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Developing Communities

All Developing Communities Content

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Young man and woman working on a construction plan.

Creating Vibrant Places

SDSU Extension’s community vitality team supports citizens in their efforts to enhance the qualities that make their community special.

Members of the 2020-2021 change network cohort. Courtesy: National Arts Strategies, Inc.

South Dakota Change Network

The South Dakota Change Network is a year-long journey around building techniques and networks to make the communities where you live and work equitable, accessible and welcoming for all members.

South Dakota State University Extension logo

SDSU Extension seeks participants for Cohort Seven of South Dakota Change Network

May 23, 2023

South Dakota State University Extension is pleased to announce the application period for the South Dakota Change Network program is open through June 15, 2023. This year-long learning experience supports South Dakotans who see opportunities to make the places they live and work more welcoming to all people.

Diverse group of community members attending a fitness class.

Community Wellness Coalitions

Community wellness coalitions bring together community-based organizations, stakeholders and wellness experts to identify and address wellness challenges.

2022 Energize Conference attendees.

Young entrepreneurs share their stories at the 2023 Energize! conference in Wessington Springs

May 16, 2023

A panel of young entrepreneurs including Aidan Friesen, Hope Karels, Swade Ries and Oliver Moeckly will speak at this year’s Energize! conference in Wessington Springs. SDSU Extension and the community of Wessington Springs will host the 2023 Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference May 31-June 1.