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Janice Schelske

Janice Schelske

Eminent Homemaker

County: Lyman

Janice Schelske lives the 4-H motto "To Make The Best Better." She has been an active 4-H Leader and Extension volunteer on the local, state, and national level. Janice currently serves as president of the State Extension Advisory Board and has lobbied Congress in support of Extension budget issues.

During her nearly twenty years of service as a 4-H leader, she served on the State 4-H Leaders' Association Executive Board as secretary and treasurer. She attended National Club Congress as a delegate from South Dakota and was a delegate to the Leadership Training Tracks Conference in New Mexico. She has attended several North Central Regional Leaders Forums and State Conventions, providing workshops and programs.

Janice served as a VISTA volunteer with the South Dakota Literacy Council and, as membership chairperson, increased membership in the organization by 60 percent. She trained volunteer tutors in both literacy and English as a second language. She created and raffled a New Reader quilt that included blocks from Barbara Bush and Linda Mickelson to raise funds for leadership activities for New Readers of South Dakota. She received the South Dakota Literacy as a Tutor Award.

As a member of South Dakota Farmers Union, Janice has served as the organizer of Area 4 Camp for Kids and served as District 4 Education Director. She also has been active in other roles in the organization.

She is a member of the South Dakota Quilt Guild, the South Dakota Centennial Quilt Guild, and the Minnesota Quilt Guild. She has served on election boards for the community and school district. In 1991, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture selected her as South Dakota's Farm and Ranch Woman of the Year.

Janice and her husband Ralph are members of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Reliance and hosted a Vietnamese family in 1978. Later, they hosted a family from Bulgaria and, through the International Foreign Youth Exchange Program, hosted a student from Costa Rica.

As a cancer survivor, she provides her experiences in adjusting to the situation and educating others. She is also a Nationally Certified Emergency Medical Technician and completed the re-certification requirements necessary every two years to enable her to maintain more than a decade of certification.

Janice and Ralph and many members of their family operate one of only two surviving dairy operations in Lyman County. They also operate a custom combining business.

Janice and Ralph have seven children: Janet (deceased), Steve, Kayla (Saunders), Sharla (Owen), Wyatt, Jared, and John.