Can you imagine…
Milking cows each day for somebody else before going to work in town to your main job?
Traveling to Alaska to work on an oil pipeline to raise money to buy your first ranch?
Seeing food deserts where you lived and doing something about it?
Using your talents to help people celebrate some of the most important moments in their lives?
Those are some of the things I found inspiring about the 2019 Eminent Leaders recently honored by South Dakota State University. The annual award, formerly called Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker Award, recognizes South Dakotans for their leadership and service.
The 2019 honorees are:
Ann Vostad, Volga. Vostad has been a substitute teacher for 26 years, and for all those years she has milked cows for Post Lane Dairy before going to the classroom. She and her husband also have their own dairy.
Donna Adrian, White River. Adrian operates a ranch and a trucking business with her husband that involves many members of their family. She’s also a Master Gardener. She’s written a regular column about gardening for several newspapers in the state, designed and developed many individual and community gardens in south-central South Dakota communities, and taught gardening classes.
Gary Cammack, Union Center. Cammack worked on the Alaskan pipeline in order to finance the dream he and his wife, Amy, had of ranching. Today, they operate a ranch and ranch supply store, Cammack Ranch Supply. It’s never been easy for young people to get started in agriculture, Cammack says, but there always have been plenty of opportunities presented. It’s up to people to respond.
Ludwig Hohm, Yale. Hohm farms and operates a hay grinding business. He used to own crop insurance and implement businesses. He serves on many commodity group, business and civic boards. He and his wife, Julie, also are musicians. They sing and play at weddings, funerals and many other events each year.
Go online for more information about the 2019 honorees.