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Past RuralX Speakers Continue to Make an Impact

Blog, News & Events on April 22nd. Comments Off on Past RuralX Speakers Continue to Make an Impact

Each year, ruralX organizers comb the country looking for dynamic keynote speakers to help motivate rural change makers attending the two-day event. Past speakers set the bar high, as evidenced by their continued impact on rural communities across South Dakota.

Towns like Miller, Wall, Wagner, Kimball, Tripp and Redfield have taken what they’ve learned from ruralX and moved forward with action.

A few rural leaders were so inspired by last year’s keynote speakers that they invited them back to give presentations in their own communities.

In fact, the idea for a Better Block project in Aberdeen was sparked by ruralX speaker Jason Roberts, who was asked to help launch the effort in the Aberdeen community last November. He spoke at a public event and will be returning on May 11th to officially kick off the project.

Jason Roberts was also asked to give a … Read More »


Month Nine | Tripp asks, “What’s Next?”

Blog, News & Events on April 22nd. Comments Off on Month Nine | Tripp asks, “What’s Next?”

Nine months after being inspired by ruralX, what’s next for the small community of Tripp?

“We have a lot of ideas and needs in Tripp right now,” says Shawn Bietz, who founded the Tripp Action Group after attending ruralX along with her husband, Bryan. “We just need to figure out our priorities and keep moving forward.”

Shawn says the biggest challenge after several successful community events is just keeping the momentum going and finding people to take the lead on projects.

“Despite the cold weather, we had a huge turn-out for our Easter egg hunt and school backpack program. It is great to see so many families get involved. Our next task is to kick-off something fun and new so that people stay interested and connected.”

Most of the activities planned by TAG are designed to bring families together, provide entertainment or to help … Read More »


Dakota Resources Announces New President After Nationwide Search

Blog, News & Events on April 9th. Comments Off on Dakota Resources Announces New President After Nationwide Search

After a thorough executive search, Dakota Resources announces that Joe Bartmann has been named President of the non-profit organization. Dakota Resources is a widely recognized leader in rural economic and community development, based in Renner, South Dakota.

“I believe right now is the time for rural communities to be bold, to be visionary and to be more than we ever thought possible,” says Joe. “More than ever, I’m committed to helping local people do the best work of their lives for their rural communities.”

Bartmann was recommended for the position by executive search firm Ballinger|Leafblad, Inc., who reached out to potential applicants across the Midwest and the nation. After an extensive selection process, the firm’s recommendation was approved by the Dakota Resources Board of Directors in late March, and Joe’s appointment became effective April 1.

Bartmann’s experience includes three years as … Read More »


What’s the Secret Ingredient to a Winning Community

Blog, News & Events on April 4th. Comments Off on What’s the Secret Ingredient to a Winning Community

Blogpost by Paula Jensen

The Langford Area High School boys’ basketball team recently made it to the State B tournament for the fifth time in the past six years. As I travel across South Dakota for my job people ask me, “How can Langford (being such a small school) continue producing winning teams year-after-year?” My answer is always, the same – it’s because of the coaches. Successful coaches realize that winning teams are not run by one individual who dominates and reduces the rest of the group to mere followers. Winning teams are more like open forums in which everyone participates in the decision-making process, coaches and players alike, until the decision is made. Then, once a decision is made, the team is motivated to move ahead and execute it.

This winning team scenario had me thinking about the community … Read More »


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