Dennis Hardy has been a leader in bringing value-added agricultural opportunities to South Dakota. He is a passionate believer in value-added opportunities that bring profits directly to the farmer. His leadership is helping forge a bright future for agriculture. Dennis was a member of the original five-person task force that laid the groundwork for the South Dakota Soybean Processors plant in Volga. He chaired a feasibility study on soybean processing in South Dakota and helped raise the seed money necessary to form the cooperative and also served on its Board of Directors. He was a leader in forming a pork production cooperative that keeps efficient and competitive pork production in the control of South Dakota farmers. Currently, he is the chairman of the producer-owned Farmers Federated Pork Co-op, which has facilities at Salem and Platte. He continues to explore other opportunities for value-added businesses in rural communities. His service to agriculture goes beyond the value-added arena. Dennis helped organize the South Dakota Soybean Association and currently serves as chairman of the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Under his leadership, the Council provided more than $300,000 last year in research funds to South Dakota State University. This funding has led to the development of new soybean varieties, supported bioengineering research, and helped establish new pest and weed management programs. A strong supporter of SDSU, Dennis has been a leader in getting funds from outside sources for support of other SDSU research and value-added programs. He is a risk taker and hopes to help others reduce risk through investment in unbiased research and education. Dennis has had a national impact on agricultural issues. When the soybean checkoff was created in 1991, Dennis was on the original Board of Directors and was the only director from South Dakota nominated for the United Soybean Board. Dennis also serves on the North Central Soybean Research Program, a consortium of 10 soybean producing states. Under his tenure as chairman of this group, the committee launched a project to collectively battle the soybean cyst nematode. When this pest first appeared in South Dakota in 1995, SDSU researchers were already working with the Soybean Research and Promotion Council. His foresight helped assure that an educational program for South Dakota soybean producers was in place when the pest arrived. His leadership at the state and national level has not come at the expense of his farm and family. Dennis received a degree in electrical engineering in 1968 from SDSU, and he worked in this field for 9 years. But his love of the land drew him back to the farm. He brought the business sense of the industrial world into his farming operation. Dennis and his wife Lynette now farm 800 acres in Lincoln County. He and his wife are active members of the Canton United Methodist Church, where he is a past trustee and chairman of the finance committee. In addition, he recently led the church building committee. Over the years, Dennis has been an active advocate for 4-H. He was a 4-H leader, chairman of the County Achievement Days, and was one of the leaders in developing the Shooting Sports Program in the county to teach children in 4-H gun safety and proper hunting habits. He also frequently hosted 4-H members for crop judging schools at his farm. Dennis has been recognized by the Lincoln County Soil Conservation Service for his farming practices and for planting numerous shelterbelts. He was among the first in the area to adopt ridge till farming. He is a DeKalb and Asgrow seeds dealer, and a partner in Grain Vac Services and Obertson Agri-Sales. Dennis and his wife Lynette have three children: Michele Nielson of Wausau, Wisconsin; the Rev. DeAnn Eidem of Wagner, South Dakota; and Scott of St Charles, Missouri.