I want to share something I read today with you. It’s a post from New Geography, titled “A Local Graduation: How Small Towns Can Come Back.” The post, written by Sylvia L. Lovely, describes that we might best help our communities not by looking out, but by looking in. She deems this movement “localism,” and further defines it as the desire to “make the best with what you’ve got.”

I’m encouraged about the work we are doing together in Faulkton–it feels like we’re on the right track. We’re working hard to realize opportunity that is rooted in the local community, to “make the best with what we’ve got.”

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety (it’s good stuff), and leave you with another great phrase from Lovely’s article… “We need to embrace what we’ve got and not try so hard to be something we’re not.”

Thanks for all your hard work. We’re off into a new year together!


A few of us in Faulkton and at the Rural Learning Center have been working on finding a way for rural communities, and Faulkton in particular, to take advantage of a new program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The South Dakota Housing Development Authority will manage and direct the funds (SD received $19.6 million from the federal government).

The eligible program activities in South Dakota include:
* Purchase and rehabilitation of homes and residential properties that have been abandoned or foreclosed upon, in order to sell, rent or redevelop such homes and properties.
*Financing Mechanisms for Homeownership Assistance
*Demolish Blighted Structures
*Redevelop Demolished or Vacant Property

If you’re interested in learning more at the program, check out the plan South Dakota submitted to Housing and Urban Development here. If you’d like to join a group who’s talking about how Faulkton might use these funds, please give Lindsey a call at 605-772-5153. We’d love to have you join us!

Engaging Generation Y

December 18, 2008

After our meeting on December 2nd, Mike Knutson went to work to create a resource for all of you around the question “How do we engage younger people in our community?” He’s written several posts for you to read at Reimagine Rural that describe characteristics of generation y and how to actively engage them. Make sure you check it out!

Thanks to Mike for all of your work.

Out on a limb…

December 8, 2008

I’ve been debating if I should do this or not, but this afternoon in a bold move of confidence, I’m going to do it. So, what is it, you’re asking yourself…

I have been working on a brand look/tagline for Faulkton, based on what we know and love about you all. And today, I’ve decided to reveal what came to me. I’m trusting that you will be brutally honest with me, and tell me it’s terrible if need be. This is only one option–so let’s not get stuck on it either.

What do you think?



Reimagine Rural

December 3, 2008

Thanks a bunch to all of you who trekked through snow and ice to attend the community meeting last night. We felt as though we made good progress, and really appreciate everyone who took time to join us.

Reimagine Rural

Reimagine Rural

We have mentioned a new blog the Rural Learning Center is co-sponsoring a few times in the past few months, so I thought it was time to officially announce the blog. Reimagine Rural is a blog for rural residents who are seeking new ideas and opportunities for their communities. As it grows, we hope it will become a container of knowledge where rural residents share information and learn from one another.

Please check it out at www.reimaginerural.com!

Community Meeting Tonight

December 2, 2008

Just a friendly reminder that we have a community meeting scheduled for tonight at 7pm. The meeting will be in the gym next door to the community center (we had a scheduling conflict). Please plan to attend, and bring your thinking hats!

I was lucky enough to attend a conference last week called HomeTown YouthForce: Engaging the Entrepreneurial Generation. The conference hosts included the Heartland Center for Leadership Development and Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. I will share more of what I learned with the youth learning team next Tuesday, December 2nd, but I wanted to share one of the resources that was featured. It’s called ESI: EntrepreneurShip Investigation.
ESI: EntrepreneurShip Investigation is a 4-H curriculum initiative that several organizations in Nebraska have developed for middle school aged children to introduce and develop entrepreneurship skills. The program includes hands-on activities that encourage experiential learning, community connections, and a CD-Rom application that integrates technology.

What’s most exciting to me is the role this curriculum could play in community development initiatives in Faulkton. What better investment can we make than encouraging our young people to follow their passion, with the understanding that it is something they can do at home?

I’ll bring my copy on Tuesday to share! See you then!