Rural Dakota Pride Award Recipients Honored

September 3, 2013

Tom and Barb Paepke of rural Groton, Dead Schrempp of Lantry, Laurie Smith and Larry Brink both of Huron, and Jerry Martin of Meadow are all recipients of this year’s Rural Dakota Pride Award from the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation. The award is given annually to South Dakotans who are actively involved in their communities, are tireless volunteers, and display a large amount of pride in bettering their communities. A ceremony honoring this year’s award recipients was held Saturday, August 31, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

Tom and Barb Paepke

Pictured, from left, Doug Sombke, Tom and Barb Paepke, and Karla Hofhenke

“The Paepkes are a great South Dakota family that have given so much to their local community,” said SDFU Foundation President Doug Sombke. “They’re always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need and to make their local area stronger.”

Tom and Barb are members of the local Ferney Farmers Union Cooperative and are longtime volunteers for the “Friends of the Fair” committee, a volunteer group that helps the Brown County Fair come to life each year. They are both past Brown County Fair board members.

The Paepkes are both active members of the County Emergency Response Team (CERT), and are often called to help in emergencies in Brown County. They donate and volunteer at the Thanksgiving Dinner in Groton each year, a dinner for those who don’t have family or a place to go for Thanksgiving Dinner.

Tom is active in Groton’s Kiwanis Club, helping children in the area, and will be the group’s president next year. He’s also a past FSA board member. Both Tom and Barb are active members in a local hospice.

 “This year's Rural Dakota Pride Award recipients are what make South Dakota such a great place to live,” Sombke said. “They make their community stronger each and every day and serve others selflessly. We’re honored to give them this small token of appreciation for all they’ve done for our state and this community.”

Dean Schrempp

Pictured, from left, Doug Sombke, Dean Schrempp, and Karla Hofhenke

Rep. Dean Schrempp of Lantry was a recipient of this year’s Rural Dakota Pride Award from the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation. The award is given annually to South Dakotans who are actively involved in their communities, are tireless volunteers, and display a large amount of pride in bettering their communities. A ceremony honoring this year’s award recipients was held Saturday, August 31, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

“Dean is a fighter,” said SDFU Foundation President Doug Sombke. “Not only does he love boxing and help youth get started in the sport, he has fought on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and all rural South Dakotans as a member of the state Legislature for many years.”

Schrempp has worked with youth in his area for 40 years and founded the local Golden Gloves Club. He’s made a dramatic impact on many young lives over those years, having more than 500 young people go through his boxing program. Schrempp was instrumental in saving the Eagle Butte Community Clinic. In 1991, the clinic was $10,000 in debt. Dean helped the clinic become solvent again and helped raise $70,000. Then he worked with Gov. George Mickelson to secure $200,000 in state funds for the clinic that is still running today and provides health care to as many as 40 patients every day.

Schrempp has also served many years as an elected official. He was a Dewey County Commissioner from 1980-1988 and has served several terms in the South Dakota Legislature. He’s currently a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives from District 28A.

Jerry Martin

Pictured, from left, Doug Sombke, Jerry Martin and Karla Hofhenke

Meadow’s Jerry Martin was a recipient of this year’s Rural Dakota Pride Award from the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation. The award is given annually to South Dakotans who are actively involved in their communities, are tireless volunteers, and display a large amount of pride in bettering their communities. A ceremony honoring this year’s award recipients was held Saturday, August 31, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

“Jerry’s the kind of person who likes to say under the radar and does a lot of work for his local community without asking anything in return,” said SDFU Foundation President Doug Sombke. “He’s always been a quiet but stabilizing force in his area and we’re so glad we can honor him for all he’s done.”

Martin is a third-generation farmer and rancher in Perkins County who graduated from Black Hills State College with a science degree. He taught in the Faith School District for nine years before going to farm and ranch full time. Martin is a lifelong member of Indian Creek Lutheran Church. He has served on the Lemmon Federal Credit Union board of directors, was on the Grand Electric Cooperative board for 21 years, many of those years as president. He was the secretary/treasurer of the Glad Valley Volunteer Fire Department for 12 years and is currently in his third year as president. Jerry’s been an active member of Perkins County and District VI Farmers Union for over 30 years and served as co-op director on the county and district boards for several of those years.

Laurie Smith

Pictured, from left, Doug Sombke, Laurie Smith and Karla Hofhenke

“Laurie Smith believes we have to teach our children the importance of service in our communities,” said SDFU Foundation President Doug Sombke. “She involves her family every chance she gets as she makes a difference in the Huron area.”

Smith is involved in Make-A-Wish South Dakota as a wish granter. She also helps with fundraising for the organization and helped raise over $15,000 during the Wild, Wild Wish event. She’s also active in Mitchell’s Summer’s Last Dance event and Hot Harley Nights in Sioux Falls which raise funds for Make-A-Wish. Smith also serves as the chairwoman of Coats for Kids in Huron and is on the Huron Little League board of directors. She is also active in the Huron Christian Church and James Valley Christian School and serves as a volunteer for Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts.

Larry Brink Family

Pictured, from left, Doug Sombke, Kay Hammond, Amy Kruse, Jane Miller, Dan Brink, and Karla Hofhenke

“Larry is described by his friends as a man full of kindness with a big heart who is always willing to help anyone in any way possible,” Sombke said. “We’re honored to present him with this award for his lifetime of service to others.”

Brink has served on the Huron Christian Church board as an elder and many times has called upon those in the hospital, nursing homes and homebound people throughout the community. He’s a board member for Diamond Willow Ministries in Ft. Thompson and takes trailer loads of hay bales for horses involved in the ministry. He also takes clothes and household items to residents in the Ft. Thompson area. Larry worked as the superintendent for many years at Dakota Energy Electric Cooperative. Brink was unable to attend the ceremony. His children accepted the award on his behalf.


Last Modified: 06/25/2014 12:22:02 pm MDT

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