What Makes a Small Town Successful?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Why is it that some small towns languish while others thrive? As much of rural America has been struggling to retain jobs and residents in recent years, researchers have been trying to answer this question. Towns that fare better than others seem to have a number of key characteristics in common, including an engaged citizenship, community pride, a forward-thinking approach and the willingness to take risks. Faulkton, South Dakota exhibits these traits. Residents have long subscribed to the positive mantra, “We believe in possible.” It’s a fitting motto for a town of about 800 people that has the cultural amenities of an...
New Faulk County Jail successful

Friday, February 15, 2019

Faulk County Sheriff Kurt Hall recently stated that Faulk County has contracted with more than 13 counties in the state to use the new jail, including Brown, Brookings, Beadle and Minnehaha (these counties have their own jails, but are contracted with Faulk County so they may trade a particular or high profile inmate back and forth as needed); Butte, Dewey, Campbell, McPherson, Edmunds, Hyde, Hand, Spink, with Sully, Walworth and Potter in the works. At the end of October, 2017 the office moved into the new jail followed with training for several weeks in November. The new jail took in...
Faulkton has a good building year; county total is more than 6 million

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Faulkton Building Permits Building permits for the 2018 year was slightly below last year for the City of Faulkton. Building permits from the Faulkton finance officer for 2018 totaled $778,750 with 15 permits issued. The total for 2017 was $848,700. The total for 2016 was $9,131,950 which included the Faulkton Area Medical Center’s $3+ million for the new oncology addition, and the $5.6 million for the new jail. The total was $167,100 for 2015. In 2014 it totaled $1.6 million. For 2017, 21 building permits were issued in the city. In 2016 there were 31 building permits issued. The two biggest projects for the...
Bond vote passes for new school construction

Sunday, December 30, 2018

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, District voters passed the bond vote for a new middle school, high school and remodel of the elementary. There are 1,448 registered voters in the Faulkton Area School District with 673 voting on the bond issue. With 453 voting yes, and 220 voting no, the bond passed by 67.3%. The percentage needed was 60%. The percentage who voted was 46.48%. On Thursday, Dec. 20, the school board approved the official canvass of the votes. The board also hired the construction manager at risk. They had already done the interviews of several managers in anticipation of the bond passing. The board...
Ag Retail Adds To Small Town Skylines

Friday, December 07, 2018

This October, I had an opportunity to learn the story behind the giant mural on the Agtegra elevator in Faulkton, SD. What an awesome example of how a retailer adds a component to their community. As rancher Troy Hadrick said, the area was known for agriculture and hunting, but now it’s also known for art. In their business with farmers ag retail offers seed, chemical, fertility and grain services that cause the business to go vertical with storage and handling facilities. Those facilities often dominate a small town’s horizon and often give it a distinct identity. Many times when I’m visiting a retailer, they’ll...
Want Access to Capital and Resources? Take a Look at South Dakota

Thursday, December 06, 2018

In September, I took a drive through the entire state of South Dakota--from Mount Rushmore to Rapid City, through The Badlands and to Sioux Falls. I'll admit, I didn't know much about the state. The west feels like Wyoming, the east like Iowa.  South Dakota may not have been at the top of your list as a startup destination, it wasn't on mine. I changed my mind in four short days. Unlike Raleigh or Orlando, their focus hasn't been in attracting large companies but in creating the necessary pieces to grow future companies in South Dakota.  For 16 years, spanning three administrations, South Dakota's government has consistently created incentives...
Locals bring artists to town to capture the vibrance of the small agricultural community of Faulkton, S.D.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Across America, small rural agricultural towns are losing young people at a rapid rate. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's most recent population estimates, rural populations have declined for six consecutive years, dropping by 21,000 people in 2016 alone. This population decline can be attributed, in part, to a shifting geography to urban areas where jobs, schools, retailers and other opportunities are abundant. What's more, fewer young people are staying involved in production agriculture, which has impacted farming and ranching communities. Continue to full article
Rural Development – South Dakota Office: USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural South Dakota Communities

Monday, December 03, 2018

HURON, South Dakota -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development - South Dakota office issued the following news release: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is awarding grants for 128 projects to increase access to job training, educational and health care services in rural areas, including two projects in South Dakota. "Empowering rural Americans with access to services for quality of life and economic development is critical to rural prosperity," Secretary Perdue said. "Distance learning and telemedicine technology bridges the gap that often exists between rural communities and essential education, workforce training and health care resources." USDA is awarding $39.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. More than 4.5 million...
Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota governors share secrets of their states' bubbling economy

Friday, November 30, 2018

Governors leading three contiguous states — Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota — shared thoughts on what makes for economic growth during Big Sky Economic Development’s annual meeting at Montana State University Billings. And, in time-honored chief executive tradition, Govs. Steve Bullock, Matt Mead and Dennis Daugaard pledged to steal one another’s best ideas. “What you’re doing with ENDOW is awesome,” Daugaard of South Dakota told Mead of Wyoming, referencing a signature, long-term effort to diversify state revenues that are 70 percent energy related. “We should be doing more of that.” Continue to full article
Quality of Life committee discusses Hope's Park and transportation survey

Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Quality of Life/Leadership committee discussed several items at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14. Work on Hope's Playground and Park are planned for the first part of December depending on how much snow is on the ground at that time. Fencing the perimeter of the park is the last item of work on the project for this year. The committee will be applying for a grant to help with the cost of a 5-12 structure and a piece of sculpture at the entrance of the park, which would be installed next spring. Donations are still being taken that...
Support Nonprofits on Giving Tuesday

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

November 27 is Giving Tuesday, a day where people throughout our community, and the world, donate to the causes they are passionate about. This is a global day of giving. Unlike shopping holidays like Black Friday that focus on consumerism, this day is all about giving back to the community. Giving Tuesday encourages us to look beyond the busyness of the holiday season and to consider those in our community who may need our help and support, along with the charities that are bridging the gap for those in need. Donations Making a Difference In Faulkton There are many organizations in our community...
Support Small Businesses on Nov. 24 and Beyond

Monday, November 19, 2018

November 24 is Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday that urges consumers to patronize small and independent businesses rather than online retailers or big box stores. American Express was behind the first Small Business Saturday, which started in 2010. The initial goal was to counter the negative effects of the recession on small businesses and local economies. The holiday quickly caught on. In 2011, the Senate passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. Consumers have now spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants over the eight Small Business Saturdays since its inception. Small Businesses Make a Significant Economic...
Sylvia Regnier retires after 27 years delivering papers

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Last Saturday evening Dan and myself, along with Jim and Jody Moritz were guests of Phil Blake and crew of the Ortonville Independent to celebrate Sylvia Regnier’s retirement. Also in attendance were Clark County Courier publishers Bill and Betty Krikac, former Courier publishers David and Marlys Moritz, and Ipswich Tribune publishers, Duane and Tena Gibson. The celebration was held in Aberdeen at the DEC with more than 40 family, friends, and newspaper publishers in attendance. Sylvia started driving for the Ortonville Independent 27 years ago. She lives west of Leola which was a good starting point for her picking up newspapers to...
Top 10 in Cattle Business Weekly

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Schlechter Named in Top 10 Once again, The Cattle Business Weekly has selected its Top 10 Industry Leaders under the age of 40. Every fall the newspaper features individuals who are making significant contributions to the cattle industry. Their profiles are the main highlight of the newspaper’s annual Herd Reference Guide magazine which was just released. This year’s Top 10 class consists of cattle producers, auctioneers, tech gurus, media experts, feedlot operators, beef educators and veterinarians. Named to this year’s class are: Ellen Schlechter, Orient, S.D. (founder and co-owner of The Calving Book App); Eric Knock, Tulare, S.D.; Monte Bloms, Carpio, N.D.; Kyle Shobe, Lewistown,...
The Impact of Art on a Small Town Economy

Monday, November 05, 2018

As internationally-recognized artist Guido van Helten painted a giant mural on a grain elevator in Faulkton this summer, the excitement was palpable. A live stream of the process provided a window into our small town and enabled people from all over the world to watch his progress. For more than 40 years, the Faulkton Area Arts Council has worked to ensure that art has a strong presence in the community. The mural project is one of several public works of art — albeit the largest one — that are expected to earn the town recognition and draw visitors from the region...
Celebrating and Supporting Women in Business

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Since 1972, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. has risen 3,000 percent. It’s an impressive statistic, especially considering the fact that women were required to have a male co-signer in order to get a loan up until 1988. Women have come a long way since the then. That’s why October has been designated as National Women’s Small Business Month. It’s an opportune time to recognize and celebrate the impact female entrepreneurs have on our economy. Today women own 39 percent of small businesses in the U.S. In the last two decades, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114 percent...
Short Stop Bar has “new” owner

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Short Stop Bar has a familiar face as the “new” owner. Nancy Ryman purchased the business from Jerod Raethz with Ryman taking over as of Sept. 1. “I’m excited for Nancy, she will do good things with the bar,” stated Raethz. Raethz has been looking to sell the bar and what better fit than a former owner of the bar. A little history of the bar includes: Before May of 1999, Ryman had been the owner of the bar, which at that time was located on 8th Ave. (Main Street). Then in May of 1999 Jack Raethz purchased the business from Nancy, with Larry...
Burger Shack’s new owner

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Jerry Banley of Aberdeen has purchased the business from Melanie Bobby. Banley, 37, was raised in Aberdeen and graduated from Central High School. He attended college at the University of Sioux Falls and Northern State, majoring in music performance. He is married to wife Crystal and they have a 21 month old son, Michael. At present his plans are the commute to Faulkton for the business. Banley is involved in audio/video productions and has a mobile recording studio. He enjoys photography and is the Jency (Melanie Bobby) Agency’s real estate photographer. Banley is a singer and plays guitar in a band, and he...
GROW SD celebrates anniversary with business loan special

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

In 1978, GROW South Dakota made its first business loans.  In the 40 years since then, the agency has had significant impact on businesses and communities throughout northeastern South Dakota and beyond. To celebrate this milestone, GROW SD is offering a business loan special. GROW SD’s revolving loan fund was established in 1978 with the purpose of supporting economic development in 22 northeastern South Dakota counties through small business loans and job creation. Since that time, the agency has made 2,009 loans for a total of more than $69.7 million to 1,214 area businesses (as of 3/31/18). Click here for the complete article.