Skip to main content

Community Leadership

All Community Leadership Content

Diverse group of community volunteers working outdoors.

12 South Dakotans selected to join Change Network learning experience

September 06, 2023

South Dakota State University Extension’s Community Vitality program proudly announces that 12 South Dakotan change-makers from across the state have been selected to join the 2023-2024 South Dakota Change Network.

A green road sign that says South Dakota with the sunset in the background

Newcomers Survey

SDSU Extension will launch a newcomer survey in the fall of 2023 to gain a better understanding of the reason that people are moving to South Dakota and will use the results to develop programming efforts to help communities welcome and retain newcomers. 

A girl holds a sheep in a barn and a blond woman stands behind her smiling

SDSU Extension cohort programs offer immersive experiences for emerging producers, entrepreneurs and community leaders

August 31, 2023

In addition to providing training on specific topics and skills, SDSU Extension’s cohort programs help people overcome challenges to build their support network and develop a deep knowledge base.

The newest SDSU Extension cohort program, Emerging Sheep Producers, started in September 2022.

Birds-eye view of a small rural town

Home Starts Here

SDSU Extension’s Home Starts Here podcast seeks out the individuals, businesses, and ideas that are sparking vibrant communities in South Dakota.

Kellie Ecker Kolb smiles for a portrait

SDSU Extension welcomes new Community Vitality Field Specialist to Aberdeen office

August 22, 2023

SDSU Extension is pleased to welcome Kellie Ecker Kolb as a new Community Vitality Field Specialist based out of the Aberdeen Regional Center.

Sun rising over small town mainstreet.

SDSU Extension to host webinar on rural community narratives

August 15, 2023

“Rewriting the Rural Narrative,” hosted by South Dakota State University Extension, starts at 5:30 p.m. MT/6:30 p.m. CDT on Aug. 17.

Volunteers working on a community construction project.

Our Community Will Never Change

Change is inevitable in all small towns, but communities have a choice to either let change happen passively or work together to direct it in a way that moves their shared vision into the future.

2021 Energize! Conference attendees gathered outside a brick building.


The Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference is designed to empower South Dakota’s rural communities by inviting them to network with community leaders from across the state to share success stories, get new ideas and take action to improve their own communities.

Bird's eye view of Dakotafest

SDSU Extension booth at 2023 Dakotafest to feature livestock, soil and range experts

August 07, 2023

South Dakota State University Extension experts will be at the 2023 Dakotafest to provide information on a range of agricultural and economic issues, from the use of prescribed fire to livestock to weed and soil management.

Successful Energize! conference draws community leaders to Wessington Springs

July 25, 2023

From May 31 to June 1, Wessington Springs hosted nearly 120 community leaders from across the state for the 2023 Energize! Conference, organized by South Dakota State University Extension’s Community Vitality team.