Group of youth leaders recognized with Farmers Union’s Torchbearer Award

PICTURED ARE, back row: Caleb Nugteren, McCook County; Nick Snedeker, Sanborn County; Justin Goetz, Walworth County; Megan Hanson, Marshall County; and Abby Dethlefsen, Aurora County; front row: Rachel Haigh-Blume, South Dakota Farmers Union Education Director; Cassidy Keller, McCook County; and Kate Oberembt, Davison County.

HURON – The South Dakota Farmers Union honored a group of devoted youth for their commitment to community involvement and leadership development at the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention held in Pierre Nov. 29-30. 

The Torchbearer Award is the highest achievement in the S.D. Farmers Union Education Program. To receive the award, a camper must complete five years of service. It showcases the commitment campers have put toward the education department, and the time dedicated to serving rural communities. 

True to the name of the award, continuing the traditions of the S.D. Farmers Union educational programming is often a priority for those eligible to receive the Torchbearer Award. 

The 2018 Torchbearers include: Nick Snedeker, Woonsocket, son of Mark and Lisa Snedeker; Abby Dethlefsen, Stickney, daughter of Clyde and Cheryl Dethlefsen; Kate Oberembt, Ethan, daughter of Todd and Lashawn Oberembt; Cassidy Keller, Canistota, daughter of Chad and Mandy Keller; Caleb Nugteren, Canistota, son of Darin and Lisa Nugteren; Megan Hanson, Britton, daughter of Lorrie Hanson; and Justin Goetz, Selby, son of Trent Goetz and Patricia Pudwill. 

“Being a Torchbearer means I have finished a journey I started when I was 6,” says recipient Justin Goetz. “The opportunities I have had have helped me focus on my career, and without this organization, I would not be the person I am today.”

To learn more about SDFU Educational programming, visit

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