4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame

Belle Fourche News

It is our pleasure to announce that we have two Butte Lawrence County 4-H Volunteers who will be inducted into the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron for a Reception at 3:30 pm in the North Classroom in Nordby Exhibit Hall, followed by the Induction Ceremony at 4:30 pm.  Recipients are Marilyn Hespe and Ida Marie Snorteland.

Marilyn Hespe is a leader who has devoted her life to investing in the lives of YOUTH and to serving others. Recognition is not a part of that calling as she tends to be one that flies under the radar without need for thanks or accolades. But many are the accomplishments that she has. Marilyn took on leadership of the Butte Badgers 4-H club when there were only 10 youth involved. 9 girls and one boy. Today Butte Badgers is the largest 4-H Club in Butte County with nearly 40 youth enrolled.

Some of Marilyn’s accomplishments and involvements include: 4-H Livestock Sale President, Fair Board Member, Church Committee member, Director, Treasurer & President of the State Fireman’s Auxiliary. Additionally she has served her community through the Job’s Daughters Organization, as a well respected Nurse, a stay at home mother while her daughter’s were young, but always, always, offering her life to the caretaking role for others. Marilyn and her husband, Mark were also elected as Fair Honorees back in the day.

Marilyn did not grow up in the 4-H Program, but rather sought it out as a way to integrate her own daughter’s into a lifestyle of legacy, learning and giving back. That quickly blossomed into her leadership of a 4-H Club and remains to this day. She is an incredibly loyal leader and lives out strongly the power of helping to raise the future direction of youth with principles of positive development. She is known for offering numerous opportunities for youth to learn, and be engaged in a safe space while doing so. For example, Marilyn and Mark have been known to offer their own sheep herd out to the 4-H Club members so that anyone who would like to participate and may not feel they are inclined to be able to, well, with Marilyn and Mark – they help to make a way! Her Club members and community youth know that they can go to Marilyn for support.

Marilyn is the first person to show up to serve and generally the first person to leave (when the job is thoroughly done) without the need for thanks or recognition. Marilyn’s leadership status is in high regard with the community and county so much so that it is obvious that the youth respect, honor and revere her. I have seen youth laugh and cry alongside Marilyn and they leave her side deeply impacted by her genuine sense of caring and giving. Another impact that Marilyn tends to leave in the lives of others is the ability to encourage them in a fashion for the betterment of whatever their area of passion or project. Marilyn’s daughter reiterated how her mother always set the example of, “Pay attention to what someone has done for you and then when you can, give back to others and be willing to help out. This is why I am one of the local Beef Superintendents. She encouraged legacy and I am grateful.” As the leader of the local 4-H program, I, Michelle May, am grateful for that too.

When I nominate leaders for the 4-H Hall of Fame it is not merely because “they have done their time,” but rather because they have poured out their life to the program and the people – Marilyn is a shining example of this and we are so fortunate to have her invested in our communities and our youth!

Marilyn’s daughter also shares that their mother has served for 26 years and there have been conversations about when she may step down or out from the 4-H leadership…but, now that the grandbabies are here and coming, well, her investment seems to have become even more solidified.

Just yesterday I received a phone call from our local Runnings manager that he has 375 buckets set aside for our local youth to have for fair… Marilyn Hespe is “the one” who historically assists with the distribution of these buckets for the Butte/Lawrence Livestock participants. I reached out to Marilyn and asked if she would still like to take on this task and it was an immediate, “Yes, I will contact him and let you know what we come up with!” Her ability and willingness to communicate and tackle such tasks, year after year, is just another reason why I believe she is so deserving of this honor! I watched last year as 35+ youth crowded the stage around her to celebrate her local 25 years of service at Recognition and I would love to see her family and youth have this opportunity at the state level of recognition as well!

Ida Marie Snorteland is a legend and I am not just saying that. I was astonished to hear from her last year that she had not yet been inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame prior to my taking on the county position. I had always assumed she was in for sure. And so, this is the year, please and thank you.

Throughout the years Ida Marie has been the recipient of Friend of 4-H, our local County Fair Honoree, she is known greatly for her capacity to answer nearly any question as a local guru. Ida Marie is involved in South Dakota Women in Ag and also serves as the Area Director for the Make it with Wool Contest. She has been actively involved with the local Crow Peak (CFEL) Extension Club for many years as well. Her accomplishments are, quite frankly, too expanse to remember and list here.

Ida Marie’s career path has been a long and lengthy one. She started as a Home Economics agent for 6 counties in 1964 and devoted 2 1/2 years to that. She then went on to serve on the Rosebud Reservation in Todd, Millette & Trip Counties until 1972. Beginning in 1972 Ida Marie was an Extension Agent in Perkins and Ziebach counties until 1977. From there she moved onto serve in Harding & Perkins until 1985. In 1985 Ida Marie became the Extension Agent from 1985-2002 in Lawrence County where she then retired. But Ida Marie did not stop serving the local 4-H program as she has remained on in numerous capacities – most recently as Public Presentation Judge, Fairboard secretary and a board member of our local RYLF. Redwater Youth Leadership Fund committee. Ida Marie has judged at our county fair for MANY years in just about any program area. Over the years I have worked with her as she has put on and hosted sewing and quilting workshops to prepare our youth for life skills and projects that they can enter into the County Fair. To this day, Ida Marie specializes in Family Consumer Sciences and participates across the board within the program, fair and the community. Honestly, Cindy Riley and I chuckled a bit as we sat down to prepare this application stating that we can hardly keep up with her!

As I have already stated, Ida Marie is well known across the state. She has served and she has served expansively and well! The places that she has lived and worked in the state of South Dakota have an imprint of her character and service that is everlasting. She is a woman whose name can be spoken and most will smile and nod and say, “Yes, I know Ida Marie!” She has served in 13 counties in the State of South Dakota. Her name should be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame because of the impact and loyalty that she has proven with her LIFE throughout the years for the state and specifically 4-H and the Extension World!

Her name could even be placed as an “example” next to the very title of “4-H Hall of Fame.”

Ida Marie is well known and cherished by many for many reasons, some include: Her expertise base of education and life skills in nearly any project area, her professional and brave use of honesty to convey truth when asked and her display of amazing patience with adults and youth in the community. She has always made herself available to any and to all with genuine interest and amazing intelligence.