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Dakota Rural Pride awards presenters and recipients SDFU
Wayne Soren, South Dakota Farmers Union vice-president (far left) and Doug Sombke, SDFU president (far right) presented Dakota Rural Pride awards at the South Dakota State Fair to (left to right): Bob Satter, Irene; Lacey Rippentrop, Tea; Donna Duffy, Winner; Lorelee Nelson, Carthage; and (not pictured) Jeff Kuen, Black Hawk.

Nominate a volunteer hero for Rural Dakota Pride Award

South Dakota Farmers Union will honor five community volunteers at the South Dakota State Fair.

Who’s a volunteer hero in your community? You should nominate them for the South Dakota Farmers Union’s 2018 Rural Dakota Pride award. Nominees do not need to be SDFU members.

Each year at the South Dakota State Fair, SDFU recognizes five individuals who have given back to their rural communities in big ways.

Last year, SDFU presented Rural Dakota Pride awards to:

• Donna Duffy, Winner, who is president of the Winner Newcomers Community, Family, Education and Leadership Extension club. The Club supports 4-H groups, and runs the 4-H concession stand during the annual Tripp Achievement Days.

• Bob Satter, Irene, who helped start a Jaycee chapter and the Irene Area Community Foundation, which raised money to build athletic facilities in the Irene area.

• Lorelee Nelson, Carthage, who directs her Cathage’s annual Memorial Day program and its annual March play and fundraiser.

• Lacey Rippentrop, Tea, who is a South Dakota Make-A-Wish leader.

• Jeff Kreun, Black Hawk, who has been involved in motorcycle-build projects designed to spark teens’ interest in mechanics. He also helps South Dakota School of Mines and Technology engineering students with their Baha buggy and electric snowmobile design-build contests.

"Rural communities depend on these everyday heroes," says Karla Hofhenke, SDFU executive director. "They are the people who do what needs to be done."

SDFU started to recognize rural community leaders who may not be involved in agriculture because there’s an integral connection between farmers and ranchers and their communities.

"One can’t survive without the other," she says. "Without thriving communities, it's difficult to encourage young people to return to their family's farm or ranch. Rural communities are key to the future of South Dakota's agriculture industry; which is why we like to recognize those individuals who help them thrive."

To learn more about the program or to nominate a volunteer from your community, visit or contact Hofhenke at 605-352-6761 ext. 114. Nominations are due July 1.

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