Key Industries


Our infrastructure includes research parks, world-class healthcare systems and CGMP facilities. The Heartland region is positioned to lead the bio-science industry for years to come and is annually ranked in the top ten in highest concentration of graduates in bio-science degree related programs. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard was presented the BIO Food & Agriculture Governor of the Year Award in 2014. There are over 1,200 clinical trials being conducted in the six major health and translational research systems in the region.

Key sectors include:

  • Ag Feedstock & Chemicals
  • Bio-science-related Distribution
  • Medical Devices & Equipment
  • Research & Development

Value-Added Agriculture

The Heartland region annually ranks in the top five nationally for total agriculture production with over $60 billion annually. Agriculture is one of the top three leading industries in each state of the region, which has seen a 20% growth in value-added agriculture businesses in the last ten years, leading the nation. With millions of dollars in grant funding and financing programs available, value-added agriculture businesses receive the highest support from local and state government leaders.

Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors

Outdoor recreation is widespread throughout the region, and with many residents enjoying hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports, we have cultivated a firearm-friendly philosophy. There is little red tape and reasonable regulations in the region when it comes to the shooting, hunting and outdoors industries. In fact, South Dakota was the first state in the nation to pass legislation prohibiting gun manufacturers from being sued for injuries caused by the use of guns.

The South Dakota Department of Tourism estimates that pheasant hunting alone generates $223 million in retail economic impact each year, not to mention the provision of an additional $111 million in annual salaries. Hunters in Minnesota spend more than $730 million, and upland bird hunters alone spend nearly $55 million in the state annually. The Heartland region ranks in the top ten annually for resident hunters.

Financial Services

The Heartland region has an existing and growing financial services cluster and is home to some of the nation's leading firms including Citibank, Capital One and Wells Fargo. South Dakota holds 19% of the nation's total bank assets, the second most among the 50 states. With the lowest capital requirement in the United States, effective asset production, no rule against perpetuity and absolute privacy, South Dakota is a trusted partner.