MITCHELL, SD – VeaBea Thomas from Harrold, SD has been chosen as the Dakotafest Woman Farmer/Rancher of the Year for South Dakota. While accepting the award, she said she’s learned from working with two other women in her family.
IDEAg Group, LLC., producers of Dakotafest, says judges selected the top five women 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.
Thomas worked as an LPN at McKennan Hospital, now Avera Hospital, before graduating from Garden City Community College with an RN degree. She continued working as a nurse and ranching for years before deciding to ranch full time with her family.
VeaBea wears many hats working on the operation, including managing daily ranch practices, cattle genetics, running cattle through their annual sale, book-keeping, and the Quarter horse breeding program and rodeo horses.
She is active in many beef breed associations, 4-H, FFA, and works diligently to provide youth opportunities in agriculture. She is also a Farm Bureau member, the president of the South Dakota Beef Breeds Council, and she is the current President of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.
In accepting the recognition, she said, “I grew up farming and ranching. But Troy’s (her husband) Mom helped me learn the bookkeeping and the cow/calf programs.” She added, “Our operations are generational. Now our daughter Callie is instrumental in managing the social media platforms. We need to realize that it takes a village – family, friends and others who help us get where we’re going.”
It’s our families and friends and people who help us get where we’re going
Other finalists are Evelyn Powell of Chamberlain, Bonnie Krogman of Wood, Ginger Post of Volga and Donna Thompson of Estelline.