Jesse Carlson, Seneca, and Reece Schultz, Orient, were selected to serve on the 2016-2017 Senior Advisory Council during the 2016 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention, held in Pierre December 2016.
In this role, Carlson, a freshman studying Economics at South Dakota State University, and Schultz, a freshman studying Production Innovation at Dakota State University, will provide advice and act as mentors to the six members of the Farmers Union Youth Advisory Council. The Youth Advisory Council helps organize and plan Farmers Union State Leadership camp each year.
Below, the college students visit about what they look forward to in this new leadership role and discuss how the personal leadership development and communication skills they developed through Farmers Union educational programming has helped them during their first year of college.
When it comes to providing opportunities for McCook county youth, the 2016 recipient of the S.D. Farmers Union Minnie Lovinger Esteemed Educator Award, Tracy Chase, doesn't say 'no.'
She said 'yes' when the High School Agriculture Education Instructor, Terry Rieckman, asked the science teacher to take on some agriculture education classes. "He said, 'What do you think about us working together?' FFA provides great opportunities for students, so I began teaching Animal Science, Agriculture Foods and Natural Resources classes,'" recalls Chase, who grew up on a McCook County dairy farm.
Twelve years ago, she also said 'yes' when Farmers Union District 2 President, Jim Wahl, asked if she would serve as the Education Director for McCook County. "You have to provide opportunities for kids and South Dakota Farmers Union does just that," says Tracy, of why she accepted the additional responsibility.
Chase points to the youth from McCook Central who have benefited from attending Leadership Camp, receiving the Torchbearer Award, as well as Farmers Union scholarships. During the 2016 South Dakota State Fair Team-Up for Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships, the McCook Central FFA team took home first place.
South Dakota Farmers Union is currently accepting applications for participants in the 2016-2017 Rural Economic and Leadership (REAL) Development Program. REAL allows the opportunity to meet people from throughout the state while learning how to motivate yourself and your community toward financial growth, stability, and a positive future.
McCook Central FFA Chapter won the championship round of the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held today during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
McCook Central FFA Chapter is one of four FFA Chapters which placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2016 South Dakota State FFA Convention this April in Brookings.
Team members of the McCook Central FFA Chapter include: Cole Grasma, Melissa Lauck, Jordan Scheier and Leslie Kolbeck: Other FFA Chapters who competed and their team members include: Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter, team members include: Alison Knutson, Logan Slack, Abby Hora and Annie Wirth: Sunshine Bible FFA Chapter, team members include; Chris Hass, Evan Lopez, Shelby Belmare and Titus Deal: and the Lyman FFA Chapter, team members include; Sage Mowery, Conrad Mohr-Eymer, Eli Fanning and Grant Stewart.
More than 1,729 youth, ages 6 to 18, learned about cooperatives, developed leadership skills and celebrated South Dakota's agriculture industry together by attending a Farmers Union County, District or State camp this summer.
"Camps ensure the tradition of educating our youth on the importance of cooperatives, leadership at the local level, and farm safety,” says Rachel Haigh-Blume, S.D. Farmers Union Education Director.
Each year, Haigh-Blume, along with a team of interns and members of the Junior and Senior Advisory Council, develop camp programming which achieves the aforementioned goals through fun, age-appropriate activities.
This summer Farmers Union held more than 57 county camps, three district camps (seven districts participating), one local camp and a State Leadership Camp.
"Camp season is a great example of how Farmers Union, as a grassroots organization, led by its membership, can have a positive impact on rural communities," said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President.
The 2016-2017 Junior Advisory Council members include: AJ Schoenfelder, Parkston; Abbey Tschetter, Huron; Cole Van Gorp, Stickney; Jonah Murtha, Parkston; Shaun Snedeker, Woonsocket; and Madelyn Kline, Huron.
During the 2016 State Leadership Camp, a six-member Junior Advisory Council was selected by the Youth and Education Council to serve as leaders, role models and representatives in planning and conducting the 2017 State Leadership Camp.
The 2016-2017 Junior Advisory Council (JAC) who were announced during State Camp include: Cole Van Gorp, Corsica; Shaun Snedeker, Stickney; AJ Schoenfelder, Parkston; Madelyn Kline, Huron; Jonah Murtha, Parkston; and Abbey Tschetter, Huron.
Growing up on a farm south of Gregory, Dowain Kerner didn't give his dad, Dean's, career much thought. That is, until he began attending Farmers Union Camp as a kid.
"I was born on a farm; it's what my dad does for a living. But when I was little, I wasn't into farming at all. Attending camp really gave me an interest in farming," says Kerner, 18, who has been attending Farmers Union Camp since he was 8.
Positive peer pressure is how Kerner explains his change of heart. "I really connected with the kids and leaders at Farmers Union Camp. They were excited about farming, ranching and cooperatives - this sparked an interest in me."
Finished with his first year at the School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, Kerner is pursuing Chemical Engineering with the hopes of putting his degree to work for the agriculture industry.
"I thought it would be cool to work for a company that produces products my dad and other farmers use to protect or enhance their crops," explains the 2015 Torchbearer.