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Bon Homme and Charles Mix Counties Welcome New 4-H Youth Program Advisor

December 06, 2022

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension is excited to welcome Lesley Rygaard as the new 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties. 

A Winner native and South Dakota State University graduate, Rygaard participated in 4-H for 11 years. 

“From showcasing your art skills, or showing an animal in the ring, to building your leadership skills, I loved all the aspects of 4-H and the fact that there truly is something for everyone,” Rygaard said. 

Rygaard was also involved in FFA while in high school, which deepened her passion for agriculture and agricultural literacy. Her involvement in 4-H and FFA led her to SDSU, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and animal science. 

While in college, Rygaard interned with Tripp County 4-H, where she gained valuable experience teaching workshops and presenting educational materials on commodities and 4-H at fairs across the state. Since then, Rygaard has taught agriculture education in northern Nebraska and worked with her husband on a small ranch in southern Nebraska. 

“It is always great when one of our own returns to ‘Make the Best Better,’” said Oakley G. Perry, SDSU Extension 4-H County Operations and Professional Development Program Manager. “Lesley’s knowledge of 4-H, experience in education, and desire to build meaningful relationships in her communities is going to lead to great success for 4-H in Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties.”

She and her husband, Gene, recently welcomed their first child, a daughter named McKinley. Rygaard said she is excited to be back in South Dakota. 

“I look forward to working with the youth in both of my counties, to watch them grow in leadership roles and work toward a career choice while exploring all the aspects of 4-H,” Rygaard said. 

For more information, contact Lesley Rygaard, Bon Homme and Charles Mix Counties 4-H Youth Program Advisor.