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The Brookings Supports Breastfeeding (BSB) team hosted a Community Conversation on Breast feeding in Brookings Businesses, a public deliberation event on November 1, 2014. The deliberation focused on the question, “How can our community support the breastfeeding experience in Brookings businesses?” The event was held from 10am-2pm at the McCrory Gardens Education &Visitor Center in Brookings, SD.


The BSB project is a community effort to promote dialogue and deliberation about supporting breastfeeding in Brookings businesses. It is funded through a Community Innovation grant from the Bush Foundation, and is a partnership between South Dakota State University (SDSU), the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Health System, community breastfeeding advocates, and a public deliberation expert from Wabash College (IN).

Focus Groups

To prepare for the event, the BSB team conducted 6focusgroups:3with breastfeeding mothers and 3 with business representatives. From the focus groups, the team learned that: 1) support for breastfeeding in Brookings is growing, 2) some businesses already provide breast feeding support, and 3) breastfeeding support in Brookings can be improved. Based on these findings, the BSB team created a deliberation guide for the Community Conversation event. The guide and event focused on 3different approaches to improving breastfeeding support in Brookings businesses.


On November 1, 2014, more than 70 community members attended the Community Conversation. At 10 tables, community members participated in directed discussions led by trained facilitators (community members and SDSU students). At each table, facilitators and note takers recorded key aspects of the conversation; the conversations were also audio recorded. Each participant had a copy of the Community Conversation guide and was encouraged to complete pre-and post-event surveys.


This report presents a summary of the conversations and the preferred actions generated by participants at the event; it is not a portrayal of the opinions of the entire Brookings community. The report is an accurate and complete portrayal of the most frequent themes and supporting arguments, while also identifying less dominant butt still significant topics.

It is based on table notes, facilitator post-event worksheets, and participant surveys from the event. The report includes an overview of the procedures from the event, an analysis of participants’ perceptions of the problem and conversations about each approach, and a summary of the preferred actions from the tables and from individuals.








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This project is supported by a Community Innovation grant from the Bush Foundation