TEDx Brookings reinvents rural

James Brule Reporter

 TEDx came to Brookings for the first time to reinvent the rural area with speakers coming from all over the local community to give their inflection on how today’s world society can learn and benefit from diversity in many forms. 

The first TEDx conference in Brookings was organized by Scott Meyer, Jennifer Johnson and Kyle Robinson who are all concerned citizens from Brookings. Together they brought Greg Tehven, the cofounder of the TEDx Fargo conference as the master of ceremonies. Also, they brought in eight speakers from the Brookings community, including a brew master, a librarian, a musician and many professors from South Dakota State University. 

“There’s only 1 percent of the prairie left today,” said Carter Johnson, a distinguished professor of Ecology. 

Johnson’s talk titled “Perrie-nomics: from Grain to Grassland” was about how important the natural prairie was and still is to this day. He makes point about how the perennial root grass creates a healthy soil and how that actually setting up a farm for the prairie actually became a profitable business. 

Tammy Yonce, an assistant professor in the music department, talked about three different points about classical music. How people believe that it was static a collaboration, where you need a large amount of people to perform and how the flute, one of the oldest instruments she states, is even changing today. 

Cristina Lammers, nursing associate professor, talked about the importance of prenatal care of women who may become pregnant and reside in South Dakota. 

Assistant professor, John Robinson, talked about how agriculture has changed and also how the world has changed. 

“There are things that modernism doesn’t cover which are faith,

unity and the supernatural,” Robinson said.

Robinson talked about modernism and how through the years, America has progressed to a postmodern, more freely accepting society.

Elvita Landau the director of the Brookings Public Library wrote a speech titled “Libraries in the 21st century.” In it she explained that libraries are not dinosaurs. She said they are places with principles, a code of ethics that the librarians like to uphold. They are places where the community can come together and learn and shape itself. Libraries are point of pride for most communities and improve the quality of life for its citizens.

The brew master at Wooden Legs, Seth Koch, talked about the importance of physical locations for people to meet in their social lives. 

Michael Winters, an entrepreneurial studies major, enjoyed the talks.

“It was a great experience to see all these forward thoughts,” Winters said.

Winters especially liked Robinson’s speech about Islam and felt it is not a religion of hate but a religion of love.