Stockman’s Banquet and Ball honorees announced

Farm Forum

RAPID CITY — The Black Hills Stock Show’s annual Stockman’s Banquet and Ball is moving to the first Saturday of Black Hills Stock Show from its traditional Wednesday evening slot.

The 2015 event is slated for Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Best Western Ramkota in Rapid City. This annual event will honor three individuals or operations for their dedication to agriculture and the Black Hills Stock Show.

The evening will feature a banquet, youth scholarship auction, live music along with presentations to the three honorees. Tickets can be purchased now at the Black Hills Stock Show office or online at

Meet the 2015 Honorees

The 2015 Stockman’s Ball honorees are Thompson Livestock, Whitewood; Silvia Christen, Rapid City, S.D.; and Ken Kirkeby of Rapid City, S.D.

Thompson Livestock is the 2015 Stockman of the Year. Spanning seven generations, Thompson Livestock has been part of the western South Dakota livestock industry for more than a century. Thompson Livestock operates a cow-calf operation near Whitewood, along with being active cattle and sheep buyers at many regional auction markets, running a yearling operation and are partners in an area feedlot.

Silvia Christen of Rapid City has been named the 2015 Agribusiness Person of the Year. Christen demonstrated leadership and support to area cattle producers following Winter Storm Atlas. She was instrumental in keeping local, state and regional leaders informed on the situation facing livestock producers. Christen, together with leaders from South Dakota Stockgrowers, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and South Dakota Wool Growers Association, helped establish the Rancher’s Relief Fund. These three organizations’ combined efforts raised more $5.4 million, which was distributed to more than 600 ranching families.

The 2015 Black Hills Stock Show Hall of Fame honoree is Ken Kirkeby of Rapid City. Kirkeby is a long-time fair and stock show supporter. Kirkeby has served as a director on the Central States Fair, Inc. Board, as well as the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation Board and the Central States Fair Foundation Board. Kirkeby is an active member of the community and supporter of the area agriculture community.

Produced by Central States Fair, Inc., the Black Hills Stock Show began in 1959 as a venue to promote quality cattle in the region. Black Hills Stock Show has since grown into a national showcase of horse and cattle genetics, as well as top quality competitions throughout the week-long event.