BROOKINGS, S.D. — The SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of Fort Pierre will host the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference May 11-12, 2022, in Fort Pierre, South Dakota.
The conference is designed to energize South Dakota’s rural communities by inviting them to network with community leaders from across the state, share success stories, get ideas and take action to improve their own communities. It will offer several sessions in the areas of: Funding for Community Projects, Arts and Culture in Your Community, Marketing for Your Community or Organization, and New Life for Old Buildings.
“We’re excited to showcase the opportunities and successes of rural community development,” said Leigh Neys, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist. “This event brings together community members from a variety of backgrounds, all focused on one thing: creating vibrant communities across our state. The program is a collaborative effort between leaders in the community of Fort Pierre and the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team.”
Gloria Hanson, Mayor of Fort Pierre, is excited to bring this conference to her region.
“Fort Pierre is more than excited to be the host city for this year’s statewide Energize! Conference,” said Hanson. “We are looking forward to welcoming participants from small communities all across South Dakota and beyond. It is an incredible opportunity to network with residents of other small communities. We have much in common, no matter where we are located.”
Hanson also wants to invite attendees to experience the uniqueness of Fort Pierre.
“Many visitors to the Pierre-Fort Pierre area think of it as one community, and in many ways, we are,” said Hanson. “But some may not know that we are two separate cities in two different counties, each with its own school district, and even officially in two separate time zones! Except for bar hours and elections, Fort Pierre residents find it more practical to use Central Time. We are fortunate to be in a period of progress and growth, and are looking forward to more growth in 2022, including two new hotels and a senior living development, featuring independent living, assisted living and memory care.”
The keynote speaker for the conference is Andrew McCrea, host of an award-winning syndicated radio station, TV broadcaster and a nationally recognized speaker. McCrea continues to manage and work on his family’s 3,500-acre ranch, McCrea Family Farms, located in northwest Missouri. His message will engage, motivate and inspire Energize! Conference participants with his energy, enthusiasm and expertise.
2022 will mark the fourth year for the Energize! Conference in South Dakota, with previous programs hosted in Milbank, De Smet and Lemmon.
— SDSU Extension