Five finalists announced for Dakotafest women’s farming award

Winner will be recognized at August farm show

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Signage for Dakotafest is pictured during the 2019 farm show in Mitchell. (Republic file photo)

Being awarded for the second time, the Dakotafest Woman Farmer/Rancher of the Year Award has announced its five finalists for the honor.

The winner will be announced Aug. 19 in the Women in Ag event held in conjunction with Dakotafest in Mitchell. The award intends to honor “the hard-working female farmers all across South Dakota who selflessly give their time to growing the crops and raising the livestock needed to feed the world.”

The finalists, listed in alphabetical order, include:

  • Tami Beaudry, of Mitchell: Beaudry works full time on her corn, soybean and cattle farm northeast of Mitchell, and is fully responsible for all the cattle operations, getting up in the middle of the night to check for new calves and feeding and watering the cattle. Beaudry pitches in with the fertilizing, planting, spraying, cutting hay, raking, baling, and harvesting in the spring, summer and fall months, as well. Away from the farm, Beaudry serves on the board of directors of Reclamation Ranch, a facility to assist families and youth in achieving goals and reaching their potential through therapeutic horses.

  • Molly Nedved, of Yankton: Nedved works as a pharmacist and a pumpkin, corn and sunflower farmer on her Yankton farm. Nedved was inspired by pumpkin patches she'd seen across the Midwest and wanted to bring that experience to South Dakota, and in 2020, Mazing Acres Pumpkin Patch was born. Nedved and her husband, Scott, are supporters of the Yankton Ag Gala and hosted local 4-H and school group field trips to help young people learn about agriculture.

  • Amanda Peterson, of Fedora: Peterson works on her corn, bean, alfalfa and hay farm, and helps to manage the bottle calves and horses. She also runs a cleaning business and women's western wear boutique. She and her husband are raising two children and are active in their community and in 4-H and rodeo.

  • Audra Scheel, of Alpena: Scheel is a full-time farmer and owner of a third-generation farm that grows corn, beans and cover crops, and raises cattle, goats and sheep. She takes on all tasks, from running machinery to animal care, throwing bales and organizing the books. Scheel, who is also the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Aurora, Buffalo, Jerauld and Sanborn counties, is passionate about educating her children about how to take care of the Earth and engaging youth in areas of animal husbandry, citizenship, community service, integrity and agriculture.

  • Tangela Uttecht, of Woonsocket: Uttecht is a full-time farmer, rancher and owner in a family partnership growing corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, oats, silage and grass hay. She also raises Hereford cattle and hair sheep on her Woonsocket farm. Her organizational skills make doing the farm's accounting work an integral part of her job. She has an eye for choosing cattle and does a great job making sure her animals have a great disposition and are easy to handle and care for. She donates farm-raised beef to events at church, school and LifeQuest.

The winner will be announced at a recognition ceremony on Aug. 19 taking place on stage at Dakotafest in Mitchell. The winner receives a $500 cash prize.

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