Small-town South Dakota may be struggling to prosper, but our Hutterite neighbors aren't. On Tuesday, the Lake County Commission approved a new Hutterite colony in the northeast quadrant of our county:
Gary Hofer said the colony is a branch off of Gracevale Colony, also located in Lake county. Hofer said that when a colony gets too big, they branch off into another one. He said that 60-to-70 members will move there to begin, but will be set up to accommodate approximately 160 people [Sue Bergheim, "New Colony to Be Built in Lake County," KJAM, 2013.07.17].
The Gracevale Colony certainly hasn't grown to its splitting point with a clever marketing scheme of signs, banners, and promotional videos. But the colony does follow one key part of the South Dakota economic playbook: relying on government interference in the free market. Over the past 17 years, the Gracevale Hutterian Brethren, Inc., have received $2.66 million in federal farm subsidies. That's still less than the farm welfare checks of Congresswoman Kristi Noem's family, but it's enough to make them the 20th-biggest recipients of USDA largesse in South Dakota. Well done, brothers!