It was a time to let loose and celebrate after a year of hard work for farmers and ranchers at the 2013 Annual Ag Appreciation Banquet, held Friday night at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen.
The banquet was hosted by the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce's Ag Committee, with many local businesses sponsoring the evening's activities, which included dinner and entertainment by Deuces Wild, Dueling Pianos.
The banquet is held to thank farmers, ranchers, and ag supporters for the important contributions they make to our community, state and country, said Lance Vilhauer, an Ag Committee member and the committee's 2012 chairman. We're fortunate enough in this state to have a healthy ag industry, which serves to strengthen our economy.
John Kippley of Aberdeen attended the banquet as a farmer and a businessman.
I just think it's great for us businesses to show appreciation for all the farmers because without them, we wouldn't have much of a town, Kippley, who owns Kippley Accounting and also farms north of Aberdeen, said.
Kippley said the event was a great way for farming and ranching families to get out and enjoy themselves, especially once harvest was finished.
Just look outside and see all the pickups, he said.
This is another great event to really showcase the Ag community and to just have a great time, said Devin Reints of Aberdeen.
With the help of a few volunteers, the Deuces Wild, Dueling Pianos, kept the crowd entertained with their comical performance. Aberdeen Mayor Mike Levsen even took the stage to perform his own rendition of Georgia.
Brent Heinert, of Aberdeen and also president of Plains Commerce Bank placed focus on the importance of farmers in the community.
It's a great event for our farmers, he said. They're a big part of our community and big part of what we do at the bank.
The program recognized certain groups and people for their work during the year. The Ag Committee's 2013 Friend of Ag Award went to the Groton Future Farmers of America for helping with several Ag Committee projects throughout the year. South Dakota Wheat Growers were recognized for being awarded the ABBY Award for Agribusiness, presented for demonstrating exceptional performance in the development of agriculture in South Dakota.
The Ag Committee's Making a Difference Award was presented to Terry Simon of Plains Commerce Bank and Greg Wieker of the John Sieh Agency. Terry and Greg have served as co-chairs of the Consumer Ag Breakfast at the Brown County Fair for many years. Whether they were flipping pancakes or grilling sausage, the event was always in good hands.
The Nelson family was honored as this year's Farm Family of the Year. Calvin and Oriole Nelson moved to the farm near Richmond Lake in 1956. David started farming in 1974, share