News Release
Release No.STELPRD4021057
ContactTammi Schone605-352-1102
Huron, SD, May 31, 2013 --

@@Applications are now available for the opportunity for regions across the state to apply for Stronger Economies Together (SET) regional training and technical assistance for rural regional economic development. Application deadline is June 24, 2013.

For the second year, USDA Rural Development (USDA RD) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension have collaborated on this initiative to strengthen the capacity of rural communities to work together in developing and implementing economic development blueprints that strategically build on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region. The SET Program is sponsored by USDA RD and the nation’s four Regional Rural Development Centers.

Two regions in South Dakota will be awarded the opportunity to receive training and technical assistance delivered by a core team of Extension and RD staff. Topics include building a strong regional team; developing vision and goals; examining regional demographics, opportunities, assets and barriers; and creating a regional economic development plan.

“We are very excited that South Dakota was chosen for a second round of funding to offer regional planning through the SET program,” said USDA RD State Director Elsie M. Meeks, “SET aligns well with USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s goal of partnering with local and state governments and community organizations on projects that promote economic development and job creation.”

Staff from SDSU Extension, the State of South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, planning districts and nonprofits makes up a State Partner Team that provides guidance and select the regions.

For questions, additional information or applications contact Christine Sorensen, USDA RD Coordinator at or 605-224-8870 Ext. 123 or 605-530-5353. A complete application must be sent electronically to Christine no later than June 24, 2013 (11:59 pm Central).

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.