The plight of small towns on the Great Plains is of particular interest at Knowledge Farm
and I hope to devote newsletter and web site space to this topic in the future. Today, there
is an especially inspiring, if somewhat poignant,
article in the Wall Street Journal on this subject. It is the feature of this edition.
Wall Street Journal - March 25, 2005
In Bid to Hang On,
Miner County, S.D.,
As Farmers Dwindle, Towns
Make Best of What's Left;
Big Grant Helps Fight Odds
Windmills and Organic Beef
By JONATHAN EIG
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
March 25, 2005; Page A1
HOWARD, S.D. -- With farm jobs disappearing at a rapid clip, almost every small
town on the American prairie dreams of getting bigger.
Some wait for Wal-Marts. Others push for new factories and jobs. Still others lobby for new
roads, new highway exit ramps or new airports.
This town has a different plan, evident to anyone driving the two-lane blacktop that cuts east
to west through Miner County. At the eastern edge of Howard, an old slaughterhouse that
had been vacant for 30 years is up and running again, this time in the production of
organic beef. Just south of the town's busiest intersection, where cattle once grazed,
a new housing development is under construction, bringing seven low-cost homes. Two wind
turbines tower over the western end of town. At their feet sits a small turbine-repair
shop staffed by former farmers and tractor repairmen.
Use this link to read the entire article at the KnowledgeFarm web site