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Foundation announces scholarship winners

The Black Hills Stock Show Foundation has announced ten scholarship recipients. Six graduating high school seniors, attending accredited universities or colleges will receive a $4,000 scholarship ($2,000 the first year and $2,000 the second year). The foundation is also awarding two – $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors attending accredited universities or colleges, one of which is in memory of Milo Rypkema, and two – $1,000 scholarships in memory of Kevin Casey to graduating seniors attending accredited technical institutes or two year community colleges. All applicants were required to fill out an application, submit various types of information about themselves and their activities, and write an essay titled, “Advancing My Western Heritage Through Continuing Education and Career.” The mission of the BHSSF is, “Preserving the Legacy and Investing in the Future.” The foundation is dedicated to supporting youth in higher education and organizations, programs and projects that enhance services and education to the public. For more information about the foundation and the scholarship program you can go to their website at: bhssf.com.

Kevin Casey Memorial Scholarships

Kiley Klein of Madison (SD) High School is the daughter of Lee and Christina Klein. Kiley plans to attend Mitchell Technical Institute and pursue a career in an agriculture field. Her FFA advisor had this to say about her, “Kiley is an over achiever who does not give up until she is satisfied with the results. In all of my experiences with her, I find her to be one of the most upstanding students I have had the opportunity to work with.” Kiley wrote, “I have learned from my past generations that it is very important to be honest in everything that I do. I have also learned that having a strong work ethic and always putting forth maximum effort is necessary in order for one to be successful. Finally, being selfless involves putting the needs and wishes of those around you ahead of your own needs and wishes, even if this means that you have to give up something for yourself.” In high school, Kiley has stayed busy with National Honor Society, basketball, FFA, and 4-H. She is the current president of her FFA chapter and 4-H club, earning awards in both. Kiley’s community service activities include: various projects through her church youth group and 4-H club, sandbagging during flooding, picking up trash, working concession stands, and helping incoming freshmen transition into high school.

Raegan Stegmeier is the daughter of Deb and Don Nachtigal and a senior at Platte-Geddes High School. Raegan wrote, “My western heritage has been the most influential thing in my life. From throwing straw bales to working calves, my heart will always be in the country. To preserve and advance this way of life is a duty that has been passed on to all of us. To me, there is no greater thing than to care for the gifts that have come from Above.” She has been busy in high school with volleyball, basketball, track, softball, choir, band, FFA, FCA, National Honor Society, and has been a class officer all four years. She has received many awards in various organizations. Volunteerism has been a big part of Raegan’s life with church activities, singing the National Anthem for activities, FFA and FCA volunteer activities, helped with many school activities, and has been on a mission trip to Mexico. Reagan’s science instructor wrote, “Raegan’s work quality is excellent as she takes time to double check her work, ensuring accuracy. Raegan is thoughtful with a positive attitude, making her a good role model.” She plans to continue her education at Southeast Technical Institute and study veterinary technology.

Category I Scholarships


Hadley Stiefvater is from Salem, SD and is a home school student. Her parents are Mike and Carie Stiefvater. Hadley plans to attend South Dakota State University and pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She is involved in and has held leadership positions in FFA, 4-H, and SD Jr. Hereford Assoc., and has been a member of several other local and state organizations. She is also active in her church, volunteering for many projects. Hadley helps with many other activities in the community as a volunteer. The agriculture teacher at McCook Central Public Schools wrote that she is compassionate, determined, faithful, passionate, self-disciplined and the list goes on, “She is a very intelligent, hardworking, humble person, and has excellent leadership qualities.” In her essay, Hadley referenced a book, “Cowboy Ethics-What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.” She wrote, “Using this description of the Cowboy Code, I believe we can learn important traits to help advance our western heritage no matter what our continuing educations and future careers hold.” She went on to write about three of the cowboy codes: living each day with courage, taking pride in finished work, and always keeping the promises she makes. Hadley summarized, “I believe that by applying the principles and values of the American cowboy to my education and career in the veterinary field, I can improve my character and advance my leadership abilities.”

Kaydin Davis is the daughter of Kim and Zach Davis and will graduate from Buffalo (WY) High School. She is an honor roll student that has earned 30 college credits. Basketball and rodeo are her main activities. She has lettered four years in basketball and has earned many awards. Kaydin’s rodeo accomplishments are extensive. She has earned two National Little Britches Rodeo World championships and one reserve championship, top ten in breakaway roping at the National High School Rodeo for three years and one time top ten in pole bending. She has also been involved in Future Business Leaders of America and Peer Helpers. Her high school business teacher and basketball coach had this to say about Kaydin, “I have watched this young lady be one of the most determined individuals that I have ever worked with. Kaydin has set her goals for herself and has truly worked to meet them.” In her essay she writes, “I think growing up as a ranch kid has benefited me in all aspects of my life; the value of a hard day’s work, a handshake, and rising before sun up are lessons that you can’t explain to someone that has not had the opportunity.” She ended with, “One of the most important skills and traits western heritage has taught me is the value of hard work. Hard work is something I live by in all aspects of my life.”

Karli Verhulst is from Reva, SD and attends Harding County High School. Her parents are TaTania and Cory Verhulst. Karli’s FFA advisor wrote, “Karli is a talented leader, a hard worker and gives 100% to whatever she does. Her character, work ethic and interpersonal skills will take her far in life.” Academically, Karli is an honor student and a member of National Honor Society. She has competed and placed in regional Academic Olympics competitions, has won the local science fair, placed third in the State History Day Group Board Exhibit, and many more. In her community and school she is involved with elementary classroom activities, helped coach youth basketball, coached at a goat tying clinic, helped with concessions at 4-H and school events, taught children in Bible school and camps, and has helped with trash and yard clean-up projects through 4-H, FFA, and church organizations. Karli plays basketball and is a three time state high school and 4-H rodeo qualifier. She has received many 4-H, FFA, and rodeo awards and has held leadership positions. Karli wrote, “I am the fifth generation to live and work on the land that he (my great-great grandfather) homesteaded. My family has continued to advance their western heritage over the years through seeking higher education and careers that aid in improving the way we ranch. By continuing my education, I expect to bring knowledge, technologies, and skills back to our ranch and my community that will continue to advance our livelihood and my western heritage.” She plans to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.

Nate Anderson plans to attend South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to earn a degree in biomedical engineering, after graduating from Sturgis Brown High School. He is the son of Vonda and Myron Anderson of Whitewood, SD. Nate wrote, “I believe that farming and ranching should evolve with the rest of the world because it is the deepest root of human culture. In a way, we owe this industry our time and dedication, because farmers and ranchers have given their time and dedication to us.” He is a four year letter winner in cross country, a member of the track team, National Honor Society, and band. Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 4-H, Junior Leaders, and church round out the organizations in which Nate is involved. Included in the list of community service projects that Nate is involved in is Meade County Fair, food drives, Toys for Tots, and many other 4-H and community events. His high school math teacher stated this about Nate, “Nate is not satisfied with ‘getting by,’ but is always pushing himself to improve. He is very goal-oriented and is intent on accomplishing the goals he sets…Nate is very well liked by his peers and will stand up for what is right, even if it isn’t easy.”

Katie Schmit is from Artesian, SD and is the daughter of Brenda and Robert Schmit. After graduating from Sanborn Central High School she plans to attend South Dakota State University. Katie’s English Teacher wrote, “Katie has an exceptional ability to meet every challenge, or obstacle, she encounters with an ever-present positive outlook. By using her positive attitude, she creates an encouraging social dynamic that benefits everyone she works with. In high school, Katie is involved in FFA (officer), student council (officer), National Honor Society, band, chorus, oral interpretation, drama, yearbook, volleyball, golf, basketball, and more. She is also a 4-H member and officer. She has won many awards and honors in all of these organization and activities. In her community she has organized and was the keynote speaker at the Veteran’s Day program, and has helped and organized various FFA, 4-H, and community activities. Katie plans to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. In her essay she states, “I believe every person should know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. I can play one more advantageous role in promoting our western heritage – I can serve as an advocate for agriculture with my patients and clients in the community and base my dietary and health recommendations on scientific facts and not the propaganda that seems to be so prominent on social media.”

Milo Rypkema Memorial Scholarship

Kylie Shaw is the daughter of Les and Ann Shaw. She lives at White Owl, SD and attends Sturgis Brown High School. Some of her activities include student council president, National Honor Society, FFA, volleyball, basketball, Youth Leadership team, FCA, 4-H, and Junior SD Stock Growers Assoc. She placed 4th in Land Judging at National Land and Range Days in 2019, has lettered in volleyball and basketball, and was selected to attend ALA Girls State. Kylie is active in her community by helping with children’s activities at her church, running scoreboards and refereeing youth and junior high basketball and volleyball games, maintaining her local cemetery, and more. Kylie wrote, “Being the fifth generation on our family ranch, I feel that western heritage is more than just in my blood, but in my heart as well. I have a passion for ranching and will always love rural South Dakota and will forever call it home.” Her high school math teacher and student council advisor had this to say about her, “Perhaps two of Kylie’s best qualities are her kindness and respectfulness. Coming from the Midwest ranch family, Kylie’s parents have demanded that Kylie show kindness and respect, and she has not disappointed them. You can always find Kylie walking to class with a smile on her face.” Kylie plans to attend South Dakota State University and become a veterinarian.

Category II Scholarships

Tristan Hunter will graduate from Sioux County High School and is from Ardmore, SD. He is the son of Ross and Trisha Hunter. Tristan plans to gain an Agriculture Business degree from Casper College and will be attending on a rodeo scholarship. In his essay he wrote, “Living on the ranch has been a big part of my upbringing. Working and learning to be a steward of the land is very important to the sustainability of continuing a family ranch.” Hunter stays busy with student council, football, basketball, FFA, rodeo, speech, and drama. He is a FFA officer, letter winner, and has many honors and awards in FFA, sports, and speech. Tristan helps out with roadside clean-up, volunteers auctioneering services for various community events, church activities, is a blood donor, and several other projects. His high school councilor wrote, “He is an active, outgoing presence in the classroom with a great sense of humor. Tristan is the perfect person to get a group project going. His cheerful nature and openness to feedback means he’s always learning and growing as a learner, an impressive strength that will continue to serve him well in college and beyond.”

Abby Moon is the daughter of Lisa and Andy Moon of Creighton SD. She plans to pursue a career in nursing at South Dakota State University after graduating from Wall High School. Her high school councilor said, “Abby is kind and treats others (students and adults) with respect. She is a leader and maintains a positive attitude. She has excellent manners and is very thankful and appreciative. Abby is a dedicated and responsible student in and out of the classroom.” Abby is on the honor roll and is a member and officer of National Honor Society. She is also involved in FFA (officer), 4-H, student council (president), volleyball, gymnastics, track, golf, FCA, and band. Abby served as a SD Legislative Senate Page and has many honors and achievements, including a 1st place state finish in FFA Ag Issues, going on to be a semi-finalist on the national level. She wrote, “My western heritage has taught me to work hard and strive for what I want. It has allowed me to create and achieve goals that I never thought possible…Good service and kindness are qualities of my western heritage that I plan to bring with me when pursuing my career.”




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