Producers of Dakotafest are seeking nominations for the inaugural Dakotafest Woman Farmer of the Year Award.

Dakotafest producers have created the award to honor hard-working female farmers across South Dakota who selflessly give their time to growing crops and raising livestock on the farm. Five nominees will be chosen and honored at the Aug. 20 virtual ceremony where one will be awarded the Dakotafest Woman Farmer of the Year and receive a cash prize.

“Dakotafest has long been an event that involves everyone in farming, and that includes female farmers and families,” said Melissa Sanders Carroll, executive director of IDEAg. “We created this award to honor the hard-working women that grow the crops and raise the livestock that feed the world.”

The award ceremony will be made available online in conjunction with a Women in Ag event due to the cancellation of Dakotafest earlier this year. The event, scheduled for Aug. 20 at 10:30 a.m., will feature a keynote address from American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Sherry Saylor. The program concludes by honoring the top five women farmer nominees and naming the Dakotafest Woman Farmer of the Year.

Criteria for the award include the following:

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  • Entries may be completed by families, relatives or friends of an eligible female farmer or by the nominee herself.

  • Must farm or ranch as a sole proprietor or one part of a couple, family or partnership.

  • Farm must be located entirely within the state of South Dakota.

  • May work outside the home or farm but must contribute to the farming/ranching operation in addition to the duties outside the farm.

  • Has a high level of commitment to the farm/ranch in terms of hours dedicated to her work.

  • Has a positive impact on the farm in terms of income, yield, diversification and/or overcoming challenges.

  • Nominee demonstrates not only impact on the farm but also positive impact on her community.

  • Must be available to attend an online recognition ceremony on August 20, 2020.

  • Must agree to be featured in Dakotafest advertising, news stories and social media.

  • Must provide at least one photo with the application.

  • Must be a legal resident of the United States, and 18 years of age or older.

Those wishing to submit a nomination, either of themselves or for someone else, or attend the virtual Women in Ag event, can go to for more information. Nominations close Aug. 6.