The Stronger Economies Together (SET) Badlands/Bad River Region’s long range economic development plan has passed a High Quality Plan (HQP) review by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is only the 4th plan to receive the HQP designation nationally.
The SET Program is sponsored by USDA Rural Development, in partnership with South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension and the Regional Rural Development Centers. The region located in western South Dakota is part of the 3rd round of SET regional trainings held nationally.
SET is designed to strengthen the capacity of rural communities and counties to work together in developing and implementing regional economic development plans. Building on the current and emerging economic strengths of the region, the Badlands/Bad River region collaborated to produce a plan that benefits the entire region.
Upon learning of the High Quality Plan designation, Dawn Hilgenkamp, with West River Electric of Wall said, “That is great news. It is nice to see that all of our work was worth it. Now I hope we can use this plan to help bring the communities together, and help our small towns prosper.”
Joe Johndreau, Interior, SD community member added, “It was encouraging to see so many people involved in the start-up phase of the SET project. Now that our plan is recognized as a High Quality Plan, I hope more people show interest in economic development within our region. It’s been a very gratifying experience to be part of something as valuable as economic development planning for the Badlands/Bad River Region. The Badlands/Bad River Region has a lot to offer in conjunction with South Dakota’s established business friendly reputation.”
South Dakota USDA Rural Development and SDSU Extension staff as well as resource providers from across the state will work with the region to assist with plan implementation and engagement of more participants from the region.