Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Extension conference in S.D. spotlights community revitalization efforts in small towns; this year's is Aug. 11-12

Solutions to the economic problems of rural communities can often be community-specific, but communities can also learn from each other. To help transmit that information, the Community Vitality extension program of South Dakota State University hosts an annual conference called "Energize!"

The conference is "an opportunity for South Dakotans to hear about successful revitalizations, community projects and business opportunities happening in rural communities across the state," SDSU Extension says. Each conference "highlights rural innovation in a different rural community." This year's will be held Aug. 11-12 in Milbank, near the state's eastern border, but will include examples from elsewhere.

Kari O’Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Manager, said “We will have speakers sharing how they funded community projects, such as Fort Pierre funding their community garden, Roberts County adding a 4-H/Community Building and Langford’s Area Community Foundation completing projects in a town of 350 people.” The keynote speaker will be Amanda Brinkman of the TV series, “Small Business Revolution,” available on Hulu.

Register for the event at by July 30. For more information, contact Peggy Schlechter at 605-394-1722 or

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