Friday, September 13, 2019

Day County Hosts State-Wide Workshop

It was an honor to host one of the four annual Dakota Resources Learning Network gatherings in Day County this week. This training and networking opportunity was around "community engagement."

Executive Director Melissa Waldner worked closely with the Dakota Resources team and local business owners to create a valuable experience for the 25 community leaders that traveled from across South Dakota. A total of 38 joined us for the Northeast Regional Development Roundtable in Bristol.

Thank you to The Galley Hotel Bar & Grill, Boomers Outback & Motel, Schmidt's Custom Meats, Roslyn Mini Mall, Bristol Sand Volleyball League, Webster Area Career & Technical Education Center, International Vinegar Museum, Jimmy J's Bar & Grill, Capitol Lanes Lounge & Cafe, Bristol Community Center, and First Savings Bank for your hospitality and participation!

Case Studies presented by Mike Knutson, Dakota Resources

Amy Miller sharing about Webster Area's career and technical education expansion

Kelly Hanson sharing about Roslyn's new mini mall and Schmidt's Custom Meats

Brenda Mammenga sharing about Bristol's sand volleyball league

Dakota Resources' Paula Jensen and Kristi Wagner showing how to host a World Cafe event

Samples at Schmidt's Custom Meats in Roslyn, SD

Networking at Schmidt's Custom Meats in Roslyn Mini Mall

Vinegar tasting by Mary Wagner at International Vinegar Museum

Souvenirs from International Vinegar Museum

International Vinegar Museum in Roslyn, SD

Social and supper at Jimmy J's Bar & Grill in Roslyn, SD

Powerful Questions session with Joe Bartmann, Dakota Resources

Lunch at Capitol Cafe in Bristol, SD

Northeast Regional Development Roundtable hosted in Bristol Community Center

Northeast Regional Development Roundtable in Bristol, SD

Angie Hammrich of WEB Water presents at the Northeast Regional Development Roundtable

Friday, August 16, 2019


Pierpont, South Dakota, is home to about 135 passionate residents and several businesses.

The town's investment in its parks is fantastic, including a playground with slides, swings, wooden train, and more, a baseball park with a competitive adult summer league, two basketball courts, and a picnic shelter. Pierpont Lake Recreation Area is also a popular gathering place near town.

Pierpont's business community features PONT's Pub & Grill, CorTrust Bank, U.S. Postal Service, Pierpont Supply & Service, Louie's Auto Sales, Tople Seeds, Holler Farms, Full Circle Ag, Better Roots Farm, Winnetou Productions, and more.

Pierpont's young people are educated at Langford Area School, located just a few miles north of town. Career and housing opportunities are available at

Discover the possibilities of this community located just seven miles north of U.S. Highway 12 on SD-27.

Follow Pierpont's updates at

Monday, July 8, 2019


The board discussed challenges like how to address an overabundance of water and also successes such as a passionate baseball club’s many improvements—new LED lights and electronic scoreboard-- and the number of youth involved from around the area is nearly 40 playing this year.

Save the date for James Valley Threshing Association's annual show on Sept. 5-8 in Andover, and discover the possibilities of this community conveniently located right off Hwy 12!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Day County Proclaimed "Purple Heart County"

April 23, 2019, was a historic day for Day County when it was proclaimed a "Purple Heart County" and several communities within were named "Purple Heart Community" through Military Order of the Purple Heart, South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs and Day County Veterans Service Office.

Purple Heart recipients and their families were recognized as part of this special event. Thank you for your service.

Thanks to Janet Marx, this moment in history can be watched again and again here:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day County Represented at Rural Housing Retreat

Day County Represented at Rural Housing Gathering

What are the current challenges and opportunities for rural housing development? Rural economic development professionals from across the state met to discuss these topics during a recent housing gathering, facilitated by Dakota Resources, in Chamberlain, SD.

Local participants included Melissa Waldner, Executive Director of Webster Area Development Corporation, and Ericka Aldrich, Board Member for Day County Housing Development.

“The housing gathering gave me the opportunity to learn how other communities are pursuing housing solutions, connect with key housing contacts from around the state, and dig deeper into how we can support housing development in Day County,” said Waldner.

The group focused on how to make informed decisions for the best type of multi-family housing for an individual community. Participants heard case studies from other community’s housing development experiences. On a bus tour to the town of Kimball, they learned about a home construction program at Kimball High School.

“It was interesting to see Kimball’s housing projects,” said Aldrich. “They have been successful because they worked together to find creative solutions.”

South Dakota resource providers were present to give help and advice on individual project questions. Participating providers included South Dakota Housing Development Authority, GROW South Dakota, REED Fund, and Dakota Resources. During a “Reverse RFP (Request for Proposal)” process, participants presented one housing project idea for their town. Resource providers offered assistance to help that project move forward.

“The reverse request for proposal process was helpful because, so often, we think we need to find the one grant that can make it happen. But, it turns out, there are a lot of creative ways to fund a project if it’s the right fit for your community,” said Waldner.

Bus Tour of Kimball, SD | Photo by Dakota Resources

Housing ProForma Training by Lorraine Polak of S.D. Housing

Friday, October 12, 2018

Video | Innovative Community of the Year

One year ago, Webster was awarded Innovative Community of the Year by Dakota Resources. We are grateful for this honor, and for this amazing video McQuillen Creative Group produced as a result!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Director graduates from intensive professional development course

Melissa Waldner, Executive Director of Webster Area Development Corporation and Day County Champion Community pictured with colleagues from South Dakota: Joe Fiala of SD Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Joshua Hofer of Freeman Development Corporation, and Andrew Nilges of North Sioux City Economic Development Corporation.

Melissa Waldner of Day County was one of 87 economic development professionals to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) April 23-26, 2018 in Blue Springs, Missouri.

Heartland attendees receive intensive lectures, expert panels, educational tours and small group challenges on topics ranging from business, retention and expansion, workforce development, real estate and entrepreneurship to marketing, finance, ethics and managing and economic development organizations.

“It was an incredible experience learning from national experts, and I am eager to implement several ideas and strategies in Day County,” said Waldner, Executive Director of Webster Area Development Corporation (WADC) and Day County Champion Community (DCCC). “I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend Heartland.”

HEDC is coordinated by the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa and certified by the International Economic Development Council.  The 2018 class includes economic developers from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota, as well as nationally recognized faculty from within the profession of economic development.

“Heartland students experience a variety of presentations, best practices and networking opportunities that they can apply back in their own organizations and communities,” says James Hoelscher, CEcD, HEDC Director.  “Heartland provides a solid foundation upon which each developer can build their base of knowledge and experience.”   

The Heartland Economic Development Course is a partnership of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Professional Developers of Iowa, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers’ Association, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Association.