Neil Bien, of Veblen, and Kim Vanneman, of Winner, are being honored with the 2023 Eminent Leaders in Agriculture, Family and Community Award by the South Dakota State University colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and Education and Human Sciences.
For nearly a century, this time-honored award has recognized South Dakotans for their contributions of leadership and service on the local, state and national levels.
“SDSU and the state of South Dakota are committed to building strong connections among families, local communities and our globally impactful agricultural industry,” said Victor Taylor, interim dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “This year’s award recipients are recognized for their professional accomplishments in leadership and their lifelong dedication to improving the lives of others here at home, nationally, and in the wider world.”
Established in 1927, the annual award formerly known as the Eminent Farmer/Rancher and Homemaker Award is a true South Dakota tradition with a legacy of more than 300 recipients.
SDSU selects individuals to honor based on confidential nominations. The nominations are reviewed, and honorees are recommended by a committee of faculty members, administrators, SDSU Extension personnel and past award recipients. The honorees are approved by the deans of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the College of Education and Human Sciences.
“The Eminent Leaders in Agriculture, Family and Community award recognizes those leaders who donate their time to better our state,” said Joseph Cassady, South Dakota Corn endowed dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. “It is always an honor to meet those distinguished individuals who have given of their time and talent for the benefit of others.”
Celebrate South Dakota’s Eminent Leaders Sept. 15
The 2023 award recipients will be honored during a recognition banquet held at McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center on the SDSU campus Sept. 15. During the banquet, portraits of the award recipients will be unveiled. These portraits will be displayed in a virtual gallery at sdstate.edu/eminent-leaders. Individual articles about the honorees will be released at a later time.
To attend the Sept. 15 recognition banquet and program, visit the event website to purchase tickets. Tickets need to be purchased on or before Sept. 7. The banquet begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a recognition program at 6:30 p.m.
To learn more about the award or to nominate an individual for the award, contact Angela Loftesness, Eminent Leaders in Agriculture, Family and Community chair, via email or by calling 605-688-6732.
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