Benita Lakness and her husband Milton have farmed near Hazel, South Dakota for 46 years. As a homemaker, Benita not only prepared meals for her family, but often as many as 20 others who were involved with fieldwork or harvest. She worked in the fields and with livestock, and was actively involved in the farm decisions.
She has served as Hamlin County Commissioner, and was appointed by Governor Bill Janklow to the South Dakota Mental Health Board. She is an active member of the South Dakota Republican Party, and served as a delegate to the National Convention.
She is also a member of the Hamlin/Codington Farm Bureau, Hayti Medical Clinic board, and New Hope Lutheran Church.
At the request of the late Governor George Mickelson, she served as a member of the 1980 South Dakota delegation to Germany, and was also a member of the 1978 South Dakota delegation of the National Council of Legislators to visit Russia.
She is a former 4-H leader, and charter member of the Merry Mixers Extension Club.