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Winner of Dakotafest Woman/Farmer Rancher of the Year Award Announced

EAGAN, Minn., Aug 17, 2023 – Attendees gathered for the Dakotafest Women in Ag Event and Kelsey Geraets of Humboldt, South Dakota, was named Dakotafest Woman Farmer/Rancher of the Year.

Geraets grew up on a family farm outside of Colton, SD. After raising her first batch of bottle calves on the family’s feedlot, she knew that a career in animal agriculture was in her future. She continued her education at South Dakota State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Science with minors in Ag Business and Ag Marketing.

Soon after, her “passion project” of raising bottle calves became a career when her parents offered her a job to run the feedlot. She is currently the feedlot manager of a 2,500 head operation, feeding weaned calves to cull cows and everything in between.

Geraets plays a huge role in every aspect of the family farm and feedlot. One of her best qualities is her ability to adapt. She can do anything from feeding and taking care of cattle year-round, vet work like sewing up prolapses and doctoring livestock, raking cornstalks and hauling grain in the fall, rolling beans, working ground, and hauling fertilizer in the spring.

She is very active in the agriculture community holding a seat on the Beef Industry Council Board, president of the SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, and helping out with the local FFA chapter.

She is the first female on the South Dakota Corn Growers Association board. She is quick to lend her time and talents to the organization, whether that be recording Corn Comments, or being featured as a young, independent woman on a family farm in South Dakota. She is the first to raise her hand and share her voice to elevate farmers and ranchers in South Dakota.

“Kelsey is a wonderful representative of women in agriculture,” said Niki Jones, event marketing director, IDEAg. “She shows so much commitment to her family farm, the ag industry and her community. Each and every nominee has an inspiring story to tell.”

Award judges selected the top five finalists for the award, from all the applications received, whose nominations demonstrated a high level of commitment to the farm or ranch in terms of hours dedicated, positive impact on income, yield, diversification or challenges, community involvement and passion for her farm and the ag industry.

Other award finalists are Calli Williams of Letcher, Judi Larson of Artesian, Pam Geppert of Kimball, and Julie Walloch of Lesterville. Each of their biographies and accomplishments can be found on Dakotafest.com.

A recording of this year’s event can be found on Dakotafest.com. Nominations for next year’s award will open in March 2024.

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