TitleSDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist
Mailing AddressSDSU Extension Bennett County Office
PO Box M
501 Second Ave, Ste A
Martin, SD 57551
BiographyA native South Dakotan, Kari O’Neill was born and raised on a farm/ranch west of Faulkton. Her family raised Polled Hereford seed stock and was very active in 4-H.
Kari has a B.S. in Family & Consumer Science and a MEd in Education. She spent ten years as a 4- H/Youth Development educator with the University of MN Extension Service in Pipestone County, where she focused on youth leadership, consumer education, and team building.
Kari has been with South Dakota State University Extension since 2002. At SDSU, she directed the Character Counts! youth project for three years, then became one of the founders of the community development Extension initiative. From 2004 – 2010, she directed the Horizons project, an intensive 2-year leadership development program in forty South Dakota communities. That project received a USDA Innovative Program award, and is still alive in communities today.
Kari is currently a Community Development Field Specialist located at Martin, in southwestern South Dakota. She is an alumni of the 2-year SD Ag & Rural Leadership, Class 3. Her main interest areas are leadership, strategic planning and public issues.
Personally, Kari and her husband, Rick, ranch 30 mi. east of Martin, where they raise purebred Angus cattle and crops. She has three grown sons, three daughter-in-laws, and nine grandchildren that she loves to spend time spoiling.