Faulkton – 2016 Innovative Site of the Year

Posted on August 3, 2017

Paula Jensen
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Faulkton Believes In Possible

In 2010, the Faulkton area began rewriting its story with an “all-in” dedication to growth and a positive community atmosphere. The ambitious rural community has been adding exciting new chapters to their story ever since. Their latest ends with Faulkton being named the 2016 Dakota Rising Innovative Site of the Year, which was awarded for a long list of community accomplishments as well as innovative plans for the future.

“All of our growth and development started with Dakota Rising,” says Trevor Cramer, Economic Development Director for Faulkton. “We are far from done…in fact, we’re just getting started. Our latest venture is the collaboration between the Faulkton Business and Professionals Association and the Business/Entrepreneurship pillar of the Faulkton Area Economic Development Corporation (FAEDC)—which comes directly from Dakota Rising.”

That collaboration grew from a brainstorm session being led by Dakota Rising Community Coach Kristi Wagner. A group of Dakota Rising alumni took the idea and ran with it, bringing the two groups together and putting the right people into place.

“Cindy Kopecky, Kelly Melius and Cheryl Schaefers, all Dakota Rising alumni, were instrumental in helping build this collaboration,” says Trevor. “The idea is to supply new and existing businesses in Faulkton and surrounding areas like Miller, Gettysburg and Ipswich with more education, support and confidence. That in turn will support a pipeline for more Dakota Rising fellows.”

The Faulkton Business and Professionals Association hosts six meetings each year, and now five of those meetings will include additional programming supported by FAEDC and their partnership with Dakota Resources.

“We’ll cover topics on everything from running an effective meeting, to using Quickbooks, to improving customer service, to finding resources to sustain and grow your business,” explains Trevor. “Our goal is to help build capacity for economic growth in the Faulkton area while at the same time mentoring younger business owners and community leaders.”

That goal is one this rural community is used to achieving.

“It’s easy to make things happen in a community that wants to be involved. It’s hard to work uphill. We are really proud of everything we’ve done,” says Trevor.

Below is a list of some of the achievements  by the community of Faulkton since joining Dakota Rising in 2010:

  • Graduation of nine Dakota Rising Fellows
  • Construction of an 8-unit apartment complex with garages
  • Completion of a retail center featuring five local businesses
  • Establishment of a full-time economic development director and office on Main Street
  • Construction of a new regional jail
  • Expansion of a cancer care unit at the hospital
  • Development of a new residential neighborhood
  • Building of a new industrial park



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