Rita began her education in Home Economics after winning a scholarship to South Dakota State University. From there she went on to Lennox High School as the Home Economics teacher, club advisor, and part-time science teacher. Besides her work in the classroom she also served as the director of drama presentations. Following her marriage to Hugh, she moved to a farm north of Brookings were they raised their eight children. All of her children have been involved in 4-H and attended SDSU. She has served as leader of the Northview Lassies 4-H Club for more than 35 years, and has attended various training sessions. She has also been a 4-H judge for many years and a member of the Home Economics Extension Service groups.
In the late 1950 s, Rita and Hugh were recognized for establishing one of the first all-electric farms and farmhouses. They also implemented a new and innovative irrigation system, and are well known producers in the sheep industry. As well as raising sheep, they started their own potato business selling potatoes to many customers around the state. Rita made their farm successful by helping with the everyday chores that go along with farming. She often helped by caring for new lambs, waiting on potato customers, or driving the tractor when needed.
Rita and her husband Hugh have 8 children.