James E. Brooking, 70, is farmer, 4-H supporter, former 4-H leader and former teacher from Onida, South Dakota. His devotion of time and energy to help young people and adults learn and do well are his trademark in Sully County.
Brooking has a flock of registered Targhee sheep on his 560-acre farm, most of it grassland, northwest of Onida. He exhibits these sheep in county and state fairs and national sheep shows.
He willingly helps 4-H members by having judging schools on his farm and by supplying quality sheep for 4-H members to start their sheep projects. He also teaches them how to show and care for the sheep.
Sully County recognized him in 1982 with the 4-H Meritorious Award for support of the county 4-H program.
Brooking was a 4-H member in his youth and hasn't forgotten about it, serving as a 4-H leader for 27 years and avid 4-H supporter in most of his adult years.
The eminent farmer was born January 18, 1915, at Onida. He attended grade school, high school, and college, graduating from SDSU in 1939 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture.
He married the former Ruby Olson of Brookings in 1939 and they spent most of their lives on the farm, raising four children, Janice Mach, James Jr., Herbert Royal and Robyn Livermore, all now college graduates. Mrs. Brooking also attended SDSU.
The Brookings are active members of the Onida Methodist Church, he sings in the church choir, and both serve on church committees.
Mrs. Brooking helps with the farm and also sews, quilts and knits.
Brooking taught vocational agriculture in Onida High School, was elementary school principal in the Sully Buttes school system, and was a rural school board member for 25 or more years.
He was a member of the County Extension Board for 32 years, is a member of the Sully County Farm Bureau and is past chairman of the South Dakota Targhee Association.
He was motivated to work in 4-H because he and his wife had children in 4-H and they needed help. Brooking was a member of the County Fair Board for about 40 years and was treasurer of the 4-H sale for about 30 years. His work with the county fair was part of helping his children and all the children.
His philosophy of life that has guided him this far is to help others do the best in everything they endeavor to do. Brooking believes in being a loyal supporter for those organizations of which he is a member and which he feels are worth working for.
Brooking is active in many affairs of the community and has worked with so many different areas with youth and adults that he has earned the reputation of an "all-around good fellow" in his home county.