The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) recognized achievements in research, legislative issues, agricultural development and public outreach during the organization’s 27th annual meeting Jan. 19 at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.
The association honored Dwayne Beck of Pierre as Most Valuable Player in Agriculture, Lud Hohm of Yale for Excellence in Agriculture, State Rep. Lance Carson of Mitchell for Outstanding Legislative Leadership, and Morgan Kontz of Colman for Excellence in Public Outreach. The SDCGA also honored seven directors of its board for their service.
Most Valuable Player in Agriculture – Dwayne Beck
Beck has been a professor in the plant sciences department at South Dakota State University since 1983. For the past 23 years, he has been research manager at Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre. His emphasis has been on developing no-till systems for irrigated and dryland areas in central South Dakota.
His research is credited for helping spread South Dakota’s Corn Belt to regions where farmers hadn’t been able to successfully grow corn before. He was instrumental in the development of no-till farming practices and advancement of crop rotation. He is known as an expert worldwide on those two topics and has traveled all over to share his expertise. His findings and opinions have been published in many farm publications over the years.
Excellence in Agriculture – Lud Hohm
Hohm served on the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board and is a past president. Since leaving that board, he has continued to be a strong supporter of agricultural organizations and an advocate for agriculture. He served as a director for the U.S. Grains Council and chairman of that council’s trade policy committee.
Hohm has always been a big supporter of value-added ag projects. Agricultural organizations and state ag leaders have regularly sought his assistance and expertise. As an ag leader, he has worked tirelessly on opportunities for his home state. He also was been a leader in economic development and community projects. He served as chairman of a chamber of commerce ag committee, his local co-op board, James Valley Christian School board, and his church board.
Outstanding Legislative Leadership – State Rep. Lance Carson
Carson joined the Legislature in 2007 and quickly moved into leadership roles on committees, including the Appropriations Committee. He also served on the State Fair Board. He is a strong advocate for agriculture and a huge supporter of the ethanol industry. He owned Lance’s Interstate Amoco and was a big help in getting ethanol established in the state.
Carson represents the 20th District, which includes Aurora, Davison and Jerauld counties. He’s an active leader in his community and has been very involved with the local chamber of commerce and economic development office. He has dedicated many hours to economic development. He has served on the Corn Palace Stampede rodeo committee since 1986 and was chairman for 17 years. He won the chamber’s community service award.
Excellence in Public Outreach – Morgan Kontz
Kontz lives on a family farm, is a strong advocate for agriculture. She gives talks about agriculture and her writings have appeared in print and over the Internet. She tweets and writes a regular blog about day-to-day activities such as silage chopping, raising cattle, and dealing with a drought. Her blog is “Stories of a First-Generation Farm Wife.”
The Indiana native became involved in 4-H at a young age, joined FFA and pursued a degree in agricultural education, but she didn’t get involved in farming until marrying a South Dakota farmer. She has served as interim executive secretary of the South Dakota FFA and is a member of CommonGround, a program that bridges the gap between farmers who grow food and the consumers who eat it.
Presidential Recognition and Outstanding Service Awards:
The Presidential Recognition Award is given to a president who completes his eligibility. Outstanding Service Awards are presented to retiring directors of the South Dakota Corn organizations to honor them for their dedicated years of service.
• Retiring South Dakota Corn Utilization Council President Chad Blindauer received the Presidential Recognition Award. He will continue serving as a director on the board.
• Bill Chase of Wolsey, a retiring director of the Corn Utilization Council board and former president of the Corn Growers Association
• David Gillen of White Lake, a retiring director of the Corn Utilization Council and former president of the Corn Growers Association
• Darrin Ihnen of Hurley, a retiring director of the Corn Utilization Council board and past president of the Corn Growers Association
• Bryan Jorgensen of Ideal, a retiring director of the Corn Utilization Council board
• Kevin Deiter of Faulkton, a retiring director of the Corn Growers Association
• Mark Klumb of Mt. Vernon, a retiring director of the Corn Growers Association
• Reed Mayberry of Yankton, a retiring industry representative for the Corn Growers Association