The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) named Ethan, S.D. farmer Lewis Bainbridge for an Excellence in Agriculture Award during their 22nd Annual Meeting held Jan. 5 in Sioux Falls. The award honors an outstanding leader in agriculture who exemplifies excellence in agriculture by their significant contributions to the industry as a whole.
The SDCGA’s 2008 Excellence in Agriculture honoree exemplifies everything that’s good about agriculture. As a charter member of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, Bainbridge has been at the forefront of change and agricultural development and has held countless leadership positions in the industry. He was also active on the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board for eight years.
The list the organizations and leadership positions Bainbridge has been involved in and made impacts on is extensive. Currently Bainbridge serves on the United Soybean Board and the SD Soybean Research and Promotion Council; he is a member of the advisory board for the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab at SDSU; he is a director of the SD Agricultural Heritage Museum; a board director of the SD Value Added Development Center; and is a founding member of Farmers Pork Coop, a farmer-owned, value-added enterprise.
Bainbridge has helped forge the direction of our state’s agricultural industry and South Dakotans have all benefited from his enthusiasm for creating opportunities for our state and industry.
He has worked to promote ethanol as a way to add value to South Dakota’s corn and decrease our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. He is also involved in the production of biodiesel as another way to add value to South Dakota’s crops.
In the process, Bainbridge has instilled a passion for the industry in a next generation of producers. He and his family operate a diversified crop and livestock operation which include corn, soybeans, wheat, milo, sunflowers, alfalfa and peas. His farming philosophy revolves around a deep desire to preserve the land for future generations and that future includes two sons who intend to make farming their living.
Bainbridge and his wife, Charlene, have three children, Heidi, Matthew and Neal and farm near Ethan, S.D.