Howard is home to the Miner County Courthouse
Two wind energy companies are part of the reason Howard has a bright future.

About Us

Howard is a community of approximately 900 people, located in the heart of eastern South Dakota.  Within an hour’s drive of Sioux Falls, Brookings, Mitchell, and Huron, Howard is an ideal place to live, work, and start a business.

In recent years, the community has created a bold vision for its future.  This vision has led Howard to become a center in South Dakota for renewable energy, organic beef production, and rural community development.   Today, Howard has a bright future, leading us to adopt the phrase “Howard, Opportunity Lives Here.” 

The future, however, has not always been so auspicious.  Established in 1882,Howard initially grew as it became regional retail center for the flood of pioneers homesteading on farms in Miner County.  As the economy of the region changed, starting in the 1920s, Howard and surrounding Miner County struggled to maintain its population. By the mid-1990s, Howard was no different than the host of small towns in South Dakota whose futures were in question.

Beginning in the 1990s this started to change, thanks to the efforts of local high school students and educators.  The students began to study their community and share their findings.

In one of their projects, they surveyed local spending habits of the public.  They came to understand the importance of sales tax revenues to the city government’s budget and how it affected the city’s ability to provide the services its citizens expected.  As the students shared their learning with the public, a grassroots “Buy Local” campaign started, producing dazzling results.  In one year period, the city’s sale tax revenues rose 41 percent.

This and other innovative work attracted the attention of the Northwest Area Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota. After helping the whole county create a community plan, the foundation formed a ten-year partnership in 2001  that has produced remarkable results.

Since 2001, over 200 new jobs have been created in the community.  From 1996 to 2008, the city’s sales tax revenues have increased 123%. These are signs that Opportunity Lives in Howard.