If you are a woman involved in agriculture, hoping to be involved in agriculture or just want to learn more about farming and ranching, this is the place for you.
The women in our group make agriculture their home either as ranchers, farmers, agribusiness women, educators, or in a supporting role for the agriculture industry. We all come from different backgrounds - and live in different areas of the state - but we all have a deep passion for agriculture, and we're dedicated to advocating for the industry. Join us in this journey! Like us on Facebook and watch for our annual conference announcements.
A new South Dakota resident, Melanie grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin and spent more than twenty years moving all over the United States and the world with the US Air Force.
She currently lives in Rapid City where she is the administrative coordinator for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. She is also a member of the Federal Women’s Program committee in South Dakota - which led her to SDWIA.
When she's not at work, Melanie spends time rock hunting for agates, spinning fiber and junking.
Melanie attended her first conference in 2015 and joined the resource committee, something she's excited about. "I enjoy working with these brilliant and talented women as they bring information and empowerment to rural women in South Dakota and surrounding areas.
President: Melanie Smith
Deb Dodson is a born-and-raised South Dakotan – a farmer’s daughter and a retired rancher’s wife.
Deb began her leadership training journey while serving a 35-year career with
Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Black Hills Health Care System. Her goal to earn
enough money that her husband could ranch full-time began as a File Clerk and ended
in retirement as Executive Director. Along the way, she served as a national trainer
for both the VA focusing on various communication and leadership topics as well as
working with numerous Ag-related groups including Bootstraps, NRCS, SD Dept of
Agriculture and, close to her heart, the South Dakota and Nebraska Ag Rural
Upon retirement from the VA, she began working the next day for Assurant, a Fortune
500 Insurance Company with a line of business headquartered in Rapid City, SD as a
Project Manager and now serves as Director, Project Management.
Deb, and her husband Ed, achieved their life goal of Ed being able to ranch full-time
for several decades on cow-calf/irrigated alfalfa ranch north of Sturgis. They sold the
ranch and retired to the Johnson Siding area in 2020 She has two sons – Major David
Dodson currently assigned to Camp Rapid, Rapid City with the SD National Guard. He,
wife Jeanine, Abigail, 14, and Corbin 13, reside at Summerset. Michael is coaching
Boys Varsity basketball and teaching middle school math in Iowa City while his fiancé,
Kate, applies her recently completed PhD in Education at University of Iowa.
Vice President: Debra Dodson
Ann Mackaben is a familar face at the South Dakota Women in Ag conference. She's been an integral part of the organization and has served in numerous capacities. She is currently the treasurer.
Ann attended SDSU and later transfered to Western Dakota Technical Institute where she earned a business degree. She's held positions with federal agencies and with community banks - allowing her to work one-on-one with producers to help them reach their goals.
Ann and husband Ronny split their time between ranches in Broadus, MT and New Underwood, SD where they are raising cattle, and sharing their love of agriculture with their grandchildren.
During the annual conference, Ann will be found at the registration desk - one of her favorite tasks at the event. She says, "I love working with people. Seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends at the conference each year are highlights for me."
Treasurer: Ann Mackaben
A Huron native and a proud South Dakota State University graduate, Rebecca Blue has a bachelor’s degree in agronomy with a minor in Spanish, as well as a master’s degree in soil science.
She started her career working on ag and trade policy in the US House of Representatives and at USDA. It was during this time that Rebecca learned the vital role that women play in helping each other succeed and thrive in their careers. Since then, she has been driven to help connect and promote women in ag.
Blue now runs her own consulting firm, helping clients navigate complex market access issues, communicate effectively with stakeholders, and build strong partnerships. In addition, she recently launched a podcast, The Best Job in South Dakota, that highlights South Dakota women doing amazing and innovative work in ag.
In her free time, Rebecca loves to travel, learn new languages, go hunting, explore the outdoors, enjoy time with family and friends, bake (especially bread, anything with rhubarb, and pizza), and of course, connect women in agriculture!
Secretary: Rebecca Blue
Ellen Reddick had a unique start when she was born in a car enroute to the Pierre hospital. She grew up in Caputa, graduated from Rapid City Central in 1972 and South Dakota State University in 1977. Today, Ellen runs her ranch near St. Onge where she and her late husband, Duane, made their home in 1983.
With degrees in animal and crop science and minors in range management and botany, Ellen has worked in all aspects of agriculture for both state and federal agencies. She was the first female district conservationist in South Dakota for the Soil Conservation Service - known now as the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Ellen serves as a board member for several conservation organizations in the Black Hills area. She plays an important role on the SDWIA board as she oversees the "Pay-it-Forward" project.
About the conference, she says,"My favorite aspect of Women in Ag is that we empower our women to be agricultural advocates and provide them with the opportunity to network."
Ida Marie Snorteland
Ida Marie Snorteland grew up on a farm that was homesteaded by her great-grandparents, northwest of Vermillion, SD. She earned a degree from the University of South Dakota and was immediately employed as a home economics agent with South Dakota State University (known as South Dakota State College at that time). In 2002, Ida Marie retired from her position as an Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis on Family Resource Management and Foods and Nutrition.
During her tenure with SDSU, Ida Marie lived or worked in sixteen counties in South Dakota - from from Clay County, in the southeast, to Harding County in the northwest. Since 1985, Ida Marie and her husband have called Spearfish home.
She enjoys quilting, sewing, Make it With Wool, traveling and taking cruises. She's passionate about health care and works with Medicare education and the Affordable Care Act to help people understand a difficult subject.
Ida Marie has been involved with South Dakota Women in Ag from the very early days. During the conference, she shares her knowledge about important topics we all deal with. "My main emphasis has been to help families with communications and estate planning. South Dakota Women in Ag has been very important in my life; from the time we started the first Women in Ag during the late-1980’s to the current time."
Laurie Tangen is a Brookings County farm wife and retired SDSU Extension Educator. She's served on the SDWIA board for more than ten years. She's also served as a 4H leader for 19 years.
Laurie brings a very creative touch to the board and the conference. During the creative learning sessions, she can be found in the sewing room with a fun project for novice and experienced seamstresses alike.
Laurie enjoyes sewing and teaching youth to sew. She loves spending time with her grandchildren and traveling.
Laurie looks forward to the annual conference each year and says, "I enjoy meeting people with the same background and seeing familiar faces each year."
Amy Pravecek grew up in Hill City. She lives near Alva, WY with her husband Ben, son Paxton. Her daughter Payton is a student at South Dakota State University (SDSU).
Amy graduated from SDSU. She is a Territory Business Manager for Zoetis – where she enjoys working with producers and ag businesses in western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming.
Amy is a well-known ag advocate and a strong supporter and mentor for local FFA and 4-H programs. She enjoys being involved in different ag organizations. In 2016, she graduated from class VIII of South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership and is an active alumni member.
Amy joined the SDWIA board in 2013, and is currently serving as president. Her favorite aspect of the annual conference is the comradery of ag women of all ages, from all over the state. Amy encourages anyone to attend the conference saying, “It is a fantastic time to socialize, learn and re-fuel your tank with other like-minded, inspirational women.”
Jenn Stomprud grew up on the beaches of Hawaii, spent time surrounded by the mountains in Montana and made her way to the prairie of western South Dakota. Since moving to the family ranch - near Mud Butte, SD - in 2007, Jenn, her husband and three children have had a steep learning curve.
With no agricultural background but a degree in education, Jenn knows the importance of continued learning. She has participated in programs such as Annie’s Project and BeefSD which have helped her establish some agricultural foundations and build relationships with others in the industry.
In her spare time, Jenn loves to travel, play music and be with her family.
Jenn continues to be a hands-on learner and says the conferece presents a unique avenue to gain and share knowledge about agriculure; "I'm always looking for opportunities to learn, share and encourage others to do the same, which is just one reason I'm a part of South Dakota Women in Ag."