South Dakota Cooperative Hall of Fame inductees announced

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Farm Forum

Four cooperative leaders from across South Dakota have been chosen for induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame for 2015. The four gentlemen will be recognized at the Co-Op Month Banquet to be held in September at The Lodge in Deadwood, S.D.

The S.D. Cooperative Hall of Fame is the highest honor that the cooperative community bestows on those who have made significant contributions to the state. Their leadership, integrity, and personal commitment have served not only cooperatives, but also their local communities.

This year’s inductees are:

• Keith Hainy, Aberdeen – Has more than 35 years’ experience working for North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich and Wheat Growers in Aberdeen. During that time, he was recognized for his leadership and commitment to agriculture by being asked to participate in a variety of boards, including both the National and South Dakota Grain & Feed Boards, National Grain & Feed Association Arbitrator for Trade Disputes, several transportation task forces, and an environmental watch committee. He has also been active in local community service organizations.

• Roy Ireland, Martin – Has served for more than 20 years on the boards of various electric power cooperatives, including Lacreek Electric, Rushmore Electric, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, and Basin Power Cooperative. His approach to cooperative leadership is summed up: “We are a family first, organization second. Take care of one another. Work hard, and do the right thing. Always.”

• Rodney (Rod) Renner, Wall – Has given over 42 years of service as a director of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, one of the largest telecommunications cooperatives in the United States. He has received numerous leadership awards for his work in agriculture; in addition, he is active in church and community organizations.

• Carlyle Richards, Aberdeen – Has served the cooperative community for over 50 years by providing legal counsel to South Daktoa Wheat Growers Association, North Central Farmers Elevator, Full Circle Ag, and other cooperatives. He has served on a variety of state and local advisory boards and is involved with several local service clubs.

Cooperatives have been part of South Dakota’s landscape for well over 100 years, and have an estimated annual economic impact of $8 to $10 billion. Cooperatives provide an estimated 16,000 jobs for South Dakotans, and contribute almost $600 million in tax revenue to the state.