Jensen among 2021 Farmers Union Rural Dakota Pride Honorees

After Ryan Jensen and his wife, Jen, had children, they had an opportunity to move from Mitchell to Wessington Springs. This put them within minutes of Ryan’s parents.

When asked why it was important that their children grow up close to their grandparents, Ryan becomes a bit emotional.
 
“I was fortunate enough to live only five miles from my grandpa and grandma, and my first job was working for my Grandpa Bob and Grandma Ruth at their elevator, Jensen Grain Company. I also had a great-grandma who was a great friend and has been an inspiration to me because of her kindness and patience. We called her Granny Hindman. She lived to be 101 so my kids had the opportunity to get to know her too. I want our kids to know their grandparents, and I can see the special bond they already have with them. There are just some things that kids learn from their grandparents that I think is special.”
 
Ryan and Jen’s children Tregen, Sutten, Bosten and Brecken are also the reason he is a go-to youth volunteer in Wessington Springs. Ryan coaches youth baseball and basketball. He helps out at school events, raises money for city pool improvements – and just about any other activity or cause that impacts community youth. “We wanted our kids to go to a smaller school like we did when we grew up. And we both love small-town living. It’s important to me that the kids in our community have the opportunity to be able to be involved in activities and have learning experiences that will guide them for their future. I have lived a great life thus far, and it is my hope that my kids and all kids get any opportunity to do the same and can look back on their experiences and feel the same way about their life. This has been possible because of the people in my life who have guided me.”
 
Each year, South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes individuals who give back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. This year, Jensen is among six honorees who will be recognized during a September 4 ceremony held during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Freedom Stage and all are welcome to attend. 
 
Jensen adds that he doesn’t think of getting involved in his community or being involved in his children’s activities are really “volunteering.”
 
“To be honest, as a parent, it’s just what I do. I truly want great experiences for our kids and all the kids in our community, and be able to think back and say, wow that was awesome,” Ryan says.
 
Ryan also holds an annual golf tournament sponsored by Springs Food Market and Jensen’s True Value called Golfin’ for a Cause, that raises funds to benefit an individual or a family that may have health concerns or have something unfortunate happen in their life, and need a little help. “This benefit is really a dual effect, which makes me extremely happy, it benefits individuals in need and it benefits the beautiful golf course in our community.”
 
Ryan adds that because he is a small business owner, volunteering is a way that he can give back and thank his community for their continued support of locally-owned businesses, Springs Food Market and Jensen’s True Value hardware store.
 
“Our community members support us by shopping locally. So, it is my pleasure to serve our community and the members of our community by volunteering and giving back.”

PHOTO BY KRISTI HINE / TRUE DAKOTAN

Local businessman, Ryan Jensen of Wessington Springs, was recognized by South Dakota Farmers Union with the Rural Dakota Pride Award for giving back to his community. Jensen is among six honorees who will be recognized during a September 4 ceremony held during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Freedom Stage and all are welcome to attend.