Director of Digital Communications and Marketing
Amanda Bechen's roots in agriculture are strong. She has a deep appreciation for farmers and ranchers that provide safe, affordable, and nutrient-rich foods to families all over the world as well as affordable ethanol options.
For Amanda, it all started in a corn field. As an energetic 8 year old, Amanda had her first brush with entrepreneurship and land planning. With her father's help, she planted her first field of sweet corn in Mitchell, SD. That summer brought hard work - picking rock, planting, weeding, waiting for rain, and picking ears of corn in the blazing hot sun. With a handshake and smile, the local Cenex Harvest States manager in her hometown allowed her to set up shop and sell her yield to passersby by the dozen. That summer, she fell head over heels for marketing and communications. She made graphics for the side of her "pop-up shop", created her first newspaper ad, and learned how to manage a small agribusiness in rural South Dakota. She also learned at a young age the importance of little things - being kind, under-promising and over-delivering, and that there is no substitute for hard work.
Since that summer, Amanda gained an unmatched appreciation for South Dakota farmers, ranchers and agribusiness professionals. Generations of her family have worked land and livestock in South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri. Her family taught her the importance of crop rotation, conservation, zero-waste, and leaving a legacy for future generations. As a young person, Amanda was active in the Davison County Helping Hands 4-H Club and the Mitchell chapter of Future Farmers of America. Her first "official job" was as an auditor at Hamaker Crop Insurance at the age of 14. She interned at South Dakota Rural Electric Association in Pierre, serving rural electric customers. Agriculture has been a constant in Amanda's life and she describes working at South Dakota Corn as a homecoming.
Amanda is always on-the-go. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. She also studied abroad in Argentina, allowing her to obtain a minor in Spanish. She has worked in Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. She has worked for small family-owned businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Being curious, always learning, working hard, staying abreast of technological changes, and sheer determination have allowed Amanda to accelerated growth for organizations throughout her career. She is best known for building communities online and offline that allow people to share their stories with the world.
Her greatest sense of pride is in the people she calls family. Her grandparents, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, relatives, co-workers and friends have enriched her life. It is because of them that she is unafraid to take on new adventures, travels and challenges.
Amanda is an active volunteer in her community. She teaches Junior Achievement and mentors youth. She is the first to raise her hand when there is work to be done. As a life-long learner, Amanda is always ready to learn something new. She is a recent graduate of Leadership Brookings and completed an in-depth 7 Habits of Successful People workshop in 2022.
In her spare time Amanda enjoys spoiling her nieces and nephews and her 5 year-old Vizsla, Ky. She enjoys traveling near and far, photography, interior design, gardening, kayaking, cooking/baking, and hosting big and small gatherings at her home. Amanda is also an avid South Dakota State Jackrabbits fan. You can find her at SDSU football games, volleyball games and basketball games sporting blue and yellow. She enjoys women's league tennis, concerts, festivals, shopping at small-business boutiques, craft shows and adult summer camp.