SDFU Foundation now taking nominations for 2016 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Farm Forum

HURON, S.D. — Since 1938, the community of Groton has hosted the Carnival of Silver Skates. The on-ice themed musical performance featuring school-age children from the community is the longest running outdoor skating show in South Dakota.

For several years now, Steve and Carol Smith have been actively involved on the event’s planning committee and a few years back, when the city’s skating rink was moved from the center of town to the edge of town, they worked with other community members to organize fundraising events which raised more than $60,000 in one year for a new warming house.

“This event is very important to our community,” Carol explains. “We knew if the show was going to continue, we needed a new warming house.”

In 2015, Farmers Union recognized Steve & Carol with the Dakota Rural Pride Award. Each year, the Rural Dakota Pride Award recognizes five individuals who give back to their rural communities during the Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair.

“Rural communities depend on these unsung heroes. They are the people who do what needs to be done,” says Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of South Dakota Farmers Union.

South Dakota Farmers Union is currently calling for 2016 nominees for the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Nominations are due July 1, 2016. To nominate someone who makes a difference in your community, contact Hofhenke at 605-352-6761 ext. 114 or

More about Steve & Carol Smith

Growing up in families where giving back to church and community was a priority, when the Smiths married in 1984, they wanted to make service to others a focus for their own family.

“We both believe that the community is only as good as the people who live in it and give back,” Carol says.

Along with the Carnival of Silver Skates, the two professionals (he’s a veterinarian, partner and co-owner of Groton Veterinary Clinic and she’s a pharmacist) spend their after-hours time volunteering for several church and other community activities together with their six children: Samuel, 22; Marah, 21; Luke, 19; Erin, 16; AnneMarie, 15; and Isaac, 13.

“We were raised to build people up, not tear them down,” Steve says.

“Anything we can do to further a good cause, we will do.”