NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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When the Wind Blows, We Can Adjust Our Sails

Windy Winter Day



What issues, challenges, problems and concerns are you facing?  How could they be addressed or tackled?  Those were the questions that 327 North Dakota residents spoke to earlier this fall at community forums hosted by NDSU Extension in Lisbon and ten other ND communities around the state. 

During the first half of each forum, citizens were asked to identify the issues they face related to agriculture, energy, natural resources and the economy.  At the nearby forum in Lisbon, more than 40 individual items were identified.  Further discussion yielded four topics that rose to the surface:

                Housing
                Lack of Labor
                Ag Economy
                Changing populations

Statewide, the priority topics that were similar and also included:
                Public disconnect with agriculture
                Farm and Business transition
                Regulations

During the second half of each forum, participants were asked to identify issues they face related to children, families, and communities.  Locally, nearly 70 individual items were identified, and distilled down to four priorities:
                Community Engagement
                Childcare (cost, availability)
                Mental and physical health and wellness
                Healthy, high quality family relationships

Statewide, the priority topics were very similar.

After identifying issues, challenges and concerns, participants directed their energy toward identifying solutions.  The old adage, often identified as an Indian proverb or attributed to Jimmy Dean, comes to mind:  “We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”  Sometimes “adjusting our sails” means adopting a new attitude, approach, strategy or solution, and be assured, bold ideas came forth from the forum participants at this point! 

As an agent of NDSU Extension Service I am eager to work with the people, groups, and communities of Sargent County, and provide research-based information to address and conquer the challenges we face and improve our quality of life.  Feel free to contact me anytime!

To view a summary of the forums that were held statewide, including possible responses to the issues we face, please contact the Extension Office or visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension/ and click on “Stakeholders Share Crucial Issues and Challenges.”

Photo Source:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/76/On_a_windy_day_BW_(2286243761).jpg (Downloaded 12-7-15)

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