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SDSU Extension Community Vitality launches new podcast, ‘Home Starts Here’

Fourth episode will be recorded live at Schmeckfest in Freeman

BROOKINGS, S.D. – The SDSU Extension Community Vitality team is proud to announce the launch of their new podcast, "Home Starts Here". 

The podcast focuses on changemakers in rural communities across South Dakota and the innovative ways they are working to improve their communities. It is hosted by SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialists Kara Harders and Joshua Hofer, and the Community Vitality team. Three episodes are available now, and new episodes will be released monthly. 

"We're excited to launch this podcast and to highlight the great work that is being done in rural communities across South Dakota," said Harders. "Our hope is that by sharing these stories and insights, we can inspire others to take action and make positive changes in their own communities."

For its fourth episode, there will be a live recording of “Home Starts Here” at 1 p.m. on March 25 at the Heritage Hall Museum complex during the 2023 Schmeckfest festival in Freeman, South Dakota. The public is encouraged to attend. Access will be limited once the recording begins, so early arrival is advised. 

The program's focus will be "part two" of the story about Margaret Doom’s book, The Medicine Quilt. It will provide the perspective of S. Roy Kaufman and Lois Janzen Preheim, both members of the Freeman Network for Justice and Peace organization. 

"Learning about Wagner Horizons and the Freeman Network for Justice and Peace's work was one of our most impactful conversations to date, and we're excited to bring even more color to this valuable story through a live program at Schmeckfest," said Harders.

Schmeckfest began in 1959 and celebrates the ethnic food and musical traditions of the Freeman community. It will be held March 24 and 25 at the Freeman Academy. For more information about Schmeckfest and Heritage Hall Museum & Archives, visit or

Each episode of “Home Starts Here” features changemakers from different regions of South Dakota, discussing topics such as economic development, community engagement and local entrepreneurship. Episodes thus far have featured Billie and Kelsea Sutton discussing their work in their home community of Burke, South Dakota; and Selene Zamorano-Ochoa and Jose Arreola, who helped develop the first Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in South Dakota.  

“Many South Dakotans have an address or place they reside, fewer feel that they truly have a home. Here we explore the important work of changemakers in making the places they live truly “home”, said Hofer.

For more information on "Home Starts Here" and to listen to the latest episodes, visit or stream/download the episode on Spotify.