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Emily Firman Pieper stole the show at the first Dakota Resources Rural X event when she proposed the Open X topic: “How can I get paid to be a volunteer?”
Her question was met with laughter and understanding from a crowd well-versed in the logistics of rural volunteerism. Every aspect of rural life is made better when a community has a strong core of engaged volunteers. Without them, our schools, churches, community events and overall quality of life drastically suffer. In a small town, willing volunteers are like gold—and sometimes just as hard to find.
In Flandreau, where Emily lives with her family, she isn’t just gold. She’s the entire gold mine.
“Somewhere along the line, something clicked,” she explains. “I realized I have a passion for making things happen. I love connecting with people. I enjoy solving problems. Volunteering doesn’t pay the … Read More »
Tyndall, South Dakota is on a roll.
This rural community of just under 1,100 people is seeing new growth in many areas, including an influx of new businesses, a beautiful new baseball field, a new 4-H building/community center and upgrades at the fire station and local park, among other things. Many of the improvements were made possible with the help of grants from the Hoch Foundation and The South Dakota Community Foundation.
With all of the new opportunities available in Tyndall, housing development has become an even bigger priority.
“It’s like a domino effect. When people see positive change, they want to be part of it, so they jump in and start something new too,” explains Ron Wagner, Chairperson of the Tyndall Development Corporation. “But without enough quality housing, we have people driving from 40 miles away just to work here. We need … Read More »
“We had been thinking about joining the Dakota Resources Learning Network for some time, but the last RuralX confirmed it for us,” says Joan Sacrison, Executive Director of Deuel Area Development. “The high caliber speakers and the energy surrounding the topic of ‘a new rural’ helped our board realize it was the right time to join.”
Deuel Area Development, Inc. joined the Learning Network in July, and while they are just getting their feet wet, they have had a positive experience so far. Deuel County is located in east central South Dakota and includes the communities of Clear Lake, Gary, Toronto, Brandt, Astoria, Altamont, Goodwin and Bemis. Like many rural areas, the communities are challenged by a lack of quality, affordable housing, local employment and residents shopping in nearby larger communities. Through their relationship with Dakota Resources, Deuel Area Development … Read More »
In a nutshell, the Dakota Resources Learning Network is a way for rural community leaders to connect with one another, find valuable resources, make confident decisions and help their communities thrive. Leaders can also turn to experts on topics such as housing, entrepreneurship, community engagement and managing an economic development organization. Dakota Resources brings network members together through:
A vibrant online community with a resource library
Two expert webinars per month
Four face-to-face gatherings
Six peer-to-peer video conferencing
“Obviously, it’s always best to gather face-to-face, but technology allows us to stay connected between these gatherings,” explains Mike Knutson, Dakota Resources Coach. “I am impressed with how much time and energy people put into connecting with one another. People don’t like working in a vacuum.”
The Dakota Resources Learning Network was officially launched in November 2017. Prior to the Learning Network, Dakota Resources managed separate networks for … Read More »
If you attended ruralX this summer, you were part of a presentation from South Dakota artist Amber Hansen, who taught us about the value of communal creativity and how art can bring people together. Coincidence or not, we are seeing a flurry of artistic endeavors taking place across South Dakota.
Catching up with Amber
Amber Hansen, keynote speaker at ruralX and producer of the film “Called to Walls” has had a busy summer. Just two days after her visit to ruralX, she flew to Paraguay where she helped create a large mural in a neighborhood that had recently lost its hospital. The purpose of the mural was to pay tribute to the hospital and to try to help people re-imagine the potential of the space.
The Meridian District Art Project in Yankton
It’s all coming together.
In 2017, Design:SD … Read More »