Come to Wall Drug! From the far reaches of the nation, these words are on billboards beckoning visitors to come and experience this tourist hotspot in Wall, South Dakota. Community members that make up the Bad River/Badlands region in western South Dakota were in Wall this month for a different reason.
A training team made up of staff from South Dakota USDA Rural Development and South Dakota State University Extension were on hand to deliver the third training of a nine part series as part of the Stronger Economies Together (SET) regional economic development initiative.
Community members and economic development groups come together on a multi-county basis to develop a regional economic development plan. Community members like Dave Hahn, Mayor of Wall, have been meeting to profile their region and build their regional team. Mayor Hahn, comments, “As we began to meet, I questioned where we as a region could go but this process has created an enthusiasm within our communities and I look forward to the progress of planning for our future. We have been able to get to know each other more and more each time and the end result will benefit us all.” In the next session, the region will work on developing their shared vision and goals.
Launched in 2010 by USDA Rural Development and the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers and their land-grant university partners, this exciting initiative is now in place in 26 states across the nation. South Dakota has two regions participating in the training; Bad River/Badlands region located in western South Dakota and James River Valley Region located in the eastern part of the state.