SDFU donates $25K for new 4-H building on S.D. State Fair Grounds

Farm Forum

HURON — South Dakota Farmers Union affirms its commitment to youth and agriculture through a $25,000 donation to the South Dakota State Fair Foundation for the construction of the new 4-H complex on the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron.

“Youth leaders who have a strong understanding of our state’s agriculture industry are the future. With their support, agriculture will remain our state’s number one industry and succeed for generations to come,” said Doug Sombke, during the check presentation made on the Northwestern Stage during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair.

Sombke went on to explain that the almost 9,000 South Dakota youth who participate in 4-H programming gain hands-on leadership and life skills, participate in community service activities and develop an understanding of South Dakota’s agriculture industry. “Whether they live in a rural or urban community, 4-H exposes our kids to service and life skills which help them develop into citizens we can all be proud of. Farmers Union is proud to support the 4-H organization in this way,” Sombke said.

The $25,000 will go toward the construction of the new 44,000-square-foot Earl Nordby Center for 4-H Youth and Community which replaces the footprint of Clover Hall which was torn down in 2013 due to structural issues.

“This contribution means that we will be able to continue the 4-H program here at the state fairgrounds. This is the state championship for 4-H and 4-H activities – having a new facility for 4-H to display their exhibits and host special competitions and performing arts presentations will mean a lot to 4-H statewide,” said Jerome Hertel, State Fair Manager.

Peter Nielson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Director, adds, “The dedication and belief in the 4-H program that is represented by the dollars given by individuals and organizations like Farmers Union makes the 4-H program more viable and relevant, as we strive for better youth development programs across the state.”

Farmers Union supports rural youth through a number of leadership programs throughout the year and 57 camps each summer. During Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, Farmers Union gave away more than $25,000 in scholarships to South Dakota students pursuing post secondary education.

“Providing youth with quality education is one of the best ways we can support them and the future of our rural communities,” Sombke explained. “It’s our hope that some of these youth return to their hometowns with degree in hand to start their careers, either on the farm or ranch or in another local business.”

To learn more about Farmers Union, the premiere sponsor of the South Dakota State Fair, visit