Area youth recognized with 2014 Torchbearer Award
HURON -- Seventeen rural youth were recognized with the Torchbearer honor during the 2014 South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention. This is the highest honor South Dakota Farmers Union awards youth members. The Torchbearer award recognizes a y...
HURON - Seventeen rural youth were recognized with the Torchbearer honor during the 2014 South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention.
This is the highest honor South Dakota Farmers Union awards youth members. The Torchbearer award recognizes a youth's commitment to their community, their state and the organization, as well as the leadership skills they have developed through Farmers Union youth programming, explains Bonnie Geyer, SDFU education director.
"This is an honor they all strive for and work toward. To achieve Torchbearer status signifies their dedication to the Farmers Union organization and its youth programming," she says.
"For me and those involved in the education programming, it's been amazing to watch them grow as individuals as they develop confidence, leadership skills and become citizens we can all be proud of. I'm just as proud as their parents."
On their journey to receive the Torchbearer, honor students completed volunteer projects in their community, assisted at Farmers Union events and attended Farmers Union Leadership Camp, all while gaining self-confidence, leadership skills and a strong understanding of how the cooperative system works.
"These youth are our future. South Dakota Farmers Union is proud of who they have become," said Doug Sombke, SDFU president.
Due to the timing of the State Convention, 2013 and 2014 Torchbearers were recognized during this year's convention candle lighting ceremony.
Jackie Dethlefsen is the daughter of Clyde and Cheryl Dethlefsen. She is from Stickney and currently attends the University of Sioux Falls where she is studying psychology with plans to continue on to graduate school for occupational therapy.
Dasia Tolsma is the daughter of Shannon and Paula Tolsma. She is from Stickney and currently attends Mitchell Technical Institute.
Jonathan Linke is the son of Henry and Paula Linke. He is from Woonsocket and plans to attend South Dakota State University considering a major of agriculture journalism.