SDFU taking noms for 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Awards | TSLN.com

SDFU taking noms for 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

HURON, S.D. – During the Sturgis Rally, Jeff Kreun, the owner of Kreun Kustom, an upholstery shop that specializes in customized motorcycle seats and auto interiors, can be seen visiting with thousands of bike enthusiasts and taking orders. But to Kreun, custom upholstery is more than an income, he also uses his talents to engage teens.

For several years now, Kreun has been involved in bike build projects designed to spark teens' interest in mechanics. He also helps engineering students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology with contests.

When asked why a small business owner makes time to help youth learn the skill of sewing he says, "I guess I see the world around us and most kids have a screen in front of them. I am appalled by this. It's exciting to see kids passionate about something tangible. When I see a kid light up when he creates something with his hands, it reminds me of myself when I was young."

During the 2017 S.D. State Fair, S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) recognized Kreun with the Dakota Rural Pride Award. Today, SDFU asks South Dakotans to nominate folks like Kreun, who give back to their communities, for the 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Award. Nominees do not need to be members of SDFU.

“Without thriving communities, it’s difficult to encourage young people to return to their family’s farm or ranch. Rural communities are key to the future of South Dakota’s agriculture industry, which is why we like to recognize those individuals who help them thrive.” Karla Hofhenke, executive director of SDFU

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Each year, SDFU recognizes five individuals who give back to their rural communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award.

"Rural communities depend on these everyday heroes. They are the people who do what needs to be done," says Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of South Dakota SDFU.

As an organization which supports South Dakota farmers and ranchers, Hofhenke explains that SDFU understands the integral connection between those who work in South Dakota's number one industry and their rural communities.

"One survives with the other," she says. "Without thriving communities, it's difficult to encourage young people to return to their family's farm or ranch. Rural communities are key to the future of South Dakota's agriculture industry; which is why we like to recognize those individuals who help them thrive."

Nominate a Volunteer Who Makes Your Community A Better Place to Live

2018 nominations are due July 1. To nominate a volunteer in your community, simply visit the SDFU website, sdfufoundation.org or contact Hofhenke at 605-352-6761 ext. 114.

The five Rural Dakota Pride Awards will be presented during SDFU Day at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair.

–South Dakota Farmers Union