Economics, Housing, Misc.
There are three main manufacturers in Brookings - 3M (their main medical plant), Daktronics (manufactures digital display systems), and Larson Manufacturing (storm doors and windows). These three companies employee roughly 3000 people (with many techically oriented positions), and are large contributors to the town's economy. SDSU is another large employer. Verasun (an ethanol plant) is located about 5 miles away, in the town of Aurora. Housing is reasonably affordable in relation to salaries, though there are numerous people who commute to and from Sioux Falls, the closest "big" city (of ~130,000 people) to take advantage of higher salaries while living in cheaper Brookings housing. There was a recent real estate uptick in 2004/2005 that drove prices up 20%-25%, but this was more of a normalization, not a bubble.
Overall, a fairly pleasant climate throughout the summers (though winter can be a bit slushy and icy). SDSU is a good influence on the town, as it brings many "cultural" elements to the towns population. The large employers also do a good job of sponsoring events, perhaps because they were mainly started by persons with very close ties to the community.
Abhd | Brookings, SD