the county’s annual gross sales have grown forty-two percent in the last four years. The Howard school has gained 35 students and the poverty rate has dropped from 14.3 percent to 8.4 percent. Wages have increased twenty-five percent in the last five years.
That's data no economic development specialist can ignore! Maybe every South Dakota county with license plates starting with two digits (and maybe some of the single-digit crowd, too!) should send a delegation to Howard, Fedora, Canova, and Carthage (don't forget Straw Bale Days!) and find out what lessons Miner County has for other rural areas looking to reverse their declining economic fortunes.
As is so often the case, a change of mindset could be making the biggest difference. In a pleasingly profound closing comment, Hunhoff says,
The best news is that the city and county citizens now realizes that as civilizations go they are actually in their infancy — not their declining years as previously feared. What a difference that makes in a man’s outlook … or a town’s.Our better days always lie ahead....