Faulk County residents are invited to come to the Faulkton Community Center on Sunday, Sept. 30, to discuss how the community can be improved. The meeting will be a chance to actively measure current resources and identify potential improvements in the economic, recreational and infrastructure components of the area.
The meeting begins at 4 p.m. and is scheduled to go until 8:30 p.m. Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones Jr. will speak on issues related to the importance of rural communities. This is one conversation you do not want to miss.
Supper will be served, and child care will be available with assistance from the Faulkton High School FCCLA program.
A group of progressive, community-minded individuals with assistance from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Dakota Resources have been active in developing the program for the evening. The hope is to stimulate all Faulk County residents to become proactive in taking a positive approach to shaping the future of our area.
One critical part of the discussion will be what new ideas can be developed to reduce the outmigration of people from rural South Dakota. A 10 percent decline in population countywide per decade since the 1940 Census has become the norm. That averages out to 1 percent per year since 1940, or a 72 percent decline.
That trend has to be reversed.
Rural South Dakota has many advantages in lifestyle options that should appeal to a larger percentage of our population. Creative solutions need to be identified, discussed and implemented if we wish to promote and develop the area in a way that sustains and grows our population.
The more people who attend the event will result in a very positive and substantial impact
on the future of the area. Please put this event on your calendar and come prepared to share your ideas on how best to shape the future.
Taking advantage of community capital
Cheryl Jacobs, from the SDSU Cooperative Extension Service, has identified seven types of community capital that can be used to gauge how resources are being used. These community capital components reveal the interactions between different parts of the
community. Each one plays a part in our communities to a greater or lesser extent, and all are important to our way of life.
- Natural Capital: The environment, natural beauty, lakes, rivers, streams, wildlife, soil and the local landscape.
- Cultural Capital: Ethnicity, generational stories and traditions, spirituality, habits and heritage.
- Human Capital: All the skills and abilities of our people, leadership, knowledge, and the ability to access resources.
- Social Capital: Groups, organizations, community networks, a sense of belonging, bonds between people.
- Political Capital: Connections to political power brokers, access to resources, leverage and influences to achieve goals.
- Built Capital: Buildings and infrastructures including schools, roads, and water and sewer systems within communities and throughout the area.
- Financial Capital: Money, charitable giving, grants, access to funding, and personal wealth.
Once communities begin to discuss these areas and identify the strengths and weaknesses within each component it is easier to use them as a planning tool for future development. There may be community capitals that need little assistance and others that need a tremendous amount of work to improve their viability.
This is where the people of the area become critical to the improvement process.
Without everyone talking, planning and working together, we will never reach our maximum potential.
—first published in the Faulk County Record