Multi-generational FFA family honored for their involvement with the organization
The Nagel family was named the 2023 South Dakota "FFA Family of the Year."
GETTYSBURG, S.D. — A South Dakota family rooted in FFA involvement, the Nagel family of Gettysburg, was named this year’s South Dakota FFA Foundations “Family of the Year.”
The family includes Stella, the late Eugene Nagel, their two daughters Dawn and Gerri (Eide), and her husband Shon and children Hunter, Tanner and Bobbi Eide. All three generations have been actively involved in the organization.
“FFA was something that my family gravitated towards truthfully because my dad was born and raised on a family farm here in the Gettysburg area, he was a third generation agriculturalist and I believe that his love for agriculture and the opportunity to really see the advancements that it was making and to truly encourage other kids and his own kids to become active in it was fundamental to him as far as seeing the success of agriculture in the future,” Dawn said.
“We are very involved in agriculture as a whole, not just FFA, and FFA just makes us feel at home because it’s like not just us that’s involved in agriculture, but we have all these connections and friends and people that we can connect with who love and share the same passion as we do,” Bobbi said.
Each family member has grown from their own experiences in the organization, serving as chapter and district officers, leading service projects and conducting Supervised Agricultural Experiences and they have been able to share their experiences with each generation of the family.
“I feel very lucky because I can go to those, my mom, my aunt, my older siblings, for advice for help on asking them to listen to my speech, to proof-read my papers, to help me learn like how to do like our nursery landscaping contest, because my older brother was our teacher for our team, which is very cool,” Bobbi said. “I feel very lucky.”
“It provided a lot of opportunity for us to really explore leadership and it provided opportunity for us to see agriculture as not just the production side, but also the agriscience side and look at the communication aspects that come with it as far as reaching the consumer, reaching other agriculturalists,” Dawn said. “It really tied that full picture together and it was something for us to truly be able to develop our own skills and find our own facets of success in and also help bring other people in to those successes.”
Their involvement and dedication to the organization made them the ideal candidates for the award.
“Seeing multi-generational involvement in an organization says a lot about the family and the organization,” said Sandy Osterday, South Dakota FFA Foundation Board President in a statement to Agweek. “When people like the Nagel family choose to give back to the FFA, it’s a reflection on what FFA has meant to them and the impact it has made on them individually and as a family.”
Being recognized for this honor is something that leaves an impact and a sense of pride on each family member in their own way.
“What it meant to us, you know, that’s hard to say, because I think probably a little different meaning to each one of us in the family in that respect,” Dawn said. “But really looking at it as a core piece of who we are as a family and wanting to help serve an organization that has given us so much in that return for our personal successes, so having the opportunity to be recognized for the fact that we truly do believe in helping others in that service to agriculture is probably where I would set my focus on in that regard.”
“It was very exciting, and I was surprised that we got picked out of all the other families that have been a big major impact in FFA and agriculture because the FFA family of the year award has only been around for about 11 years, so it’s just very surprising that we got it,” Bobbi said.
The award is encouraging to the family’s younger generation as they continue with their FFA careers.
“It makes me feel like, yes, we are involved in agriculture, but like, it makes me want to do more and be involved more with FFA and agriculture and in the agriculture industry,” Bobbi said.