Two S.D. youth named to Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council

Farm Forum

HURON — Two South Dakota teens, Chris Nemec, Holabird and Dayton Trujillo, De Smet were elected by their peers to serve on the National Farmers Union Youth Advisory Council during the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) All-States Leadership Camp, held in Bailey, Colo.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Chris and Dayton. They have both been actively involved in South Dakota Farmers Union youth educational programs since before they were first graders. We have watched them grow into young leaders who have a heart for their community and the industry of agriculture,” said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President.

Nemec and Trujillo are two of six campers elected to the 2014/2015 National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC). NYAC duties include representing thousands of Farmers Union youth across the country, including working at the annual NFU Convention. These young Farmers Union leaders also help plan the next year’s NFU All-States Leadership Camp. Other members of the NYAC include: Nicollette Bitz, Napoleon, N.D.; RaeLyn Leier, Fargo, N.D.; Tyson Peppler, Colo.; and Lexie Weber, New Rockford, N.D.

“These youth have exhibited leadership and given back to their communities and the industry of agriculture through participation in Farmers Union leadership training, camps and volunteering their time for community development,” Geyer said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that they will now be serving Farmers Union on the national level.”

More about Nemec and Trujillo

Growing up on his family’s crop farm, Chris Nemec’s cousins introduced him to Farmers Union Youth programs by inviting him to District Camp when he was 6. He remained involved in the organization, attending camp every year since, because of the friendships he developed with other campers.

“It’s amazing how I got to meet people and although I only knew them for a week I ended up becoming better friends with them than with the kids I go to school with back home. I’ve met some of my best friends at Farmers Union camp,” Nemec says. “The fact that all of us campers have rural or agriculture backgrounds may be part of the reason we connect so fast.”

A recent graduate of Highmore High School, the 18-year-old says that along with friendship, he developed many leadership skills through Farmers Union Youth programs and while serving on the Junior Advisory Council. Nemec will attend University of South Dakota this fall and will major in Business Management. His ultimate career goal is become a chef and open a restaurant one day.

Dayton Trujillo became involved in Farmers Union youth programs at the prodding of his aunt. However, after attending the Farmers Union day camp as an elementary student, he says he didn’t need encouragement to stay involved.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself and developed self confidence and communication skills through Farmers Union youth programs. The last few years I’ve been able to give back as a camp counselor working with young kids,” Trujillo says.

He adds that along with learning, he has made life-long friends through the programs.

“The friends I have made in Farmers Union are like an extended family,” Trujillo says.

Trujillo is a 2014 graduate of De Smet High School and will be attending South Dakota State University in the fall.

A 78-Year Tradition

All-States Leadership Camp is held each summer at the NFU Education Center. During the week-long camp youth take part in cooperative activities have the opportunity to hear several inspirational speakers including: Andrew Jacobs of Co-Bank; Rulon Gardner, Olympic gold and bronze medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling; and NFU leaders, including immediate past Vice President, Claudia Svarstad.

This year’s camp focused on “Farming Means a World of Good,” reflecting the fact that 2014 is the United Nations International Year of Family Farming. Campers learned to appreciate the cultural and economic value of family farm agriculture in America and worldwide.

To participate in All-States Leadership Camp, Farmers Union members, ages 17-20, must meet specific criteria throughout the year. For more information, visit

All-States is sponsored by the FUI Foundation, Farm Credit, CoBank and CHS Foundation.