USDA Rural Development State Director Karl Elmshaeuser, visited Valentine Thursday to meet with area residents about the new Rural Prosperity Partnership. During this listening session, Mr Elmshaeuser talked about housing, broadband internet service, workforce, economic development, innovation and quality of life. He also let those in attendance express concerns and ideas of what they felt were important issues in the community. In a statement provided by Mr. Elmshaeuser, which read “ the economic success of the United States today and in the future depends on optimizing rural America’s productivity and quality of life”. The core of his message was e-connectivity. In this day and age, digital data is a cornerstone of connecting agriculture, main street businesses and area residents. The event was organized by the Valentine Economic Development and Central Nebraska Economic Development.