SDSU Extension 4-H Hall of Famers honored at 2023 State Fair

Posted 9/21/23

Hopps recognized posthumously at State Fair

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SDSU Extension 4-H Hall of Famers honored at 2023 State Fair


BROOKINGS – The 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame and 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer Hall of Fame inducted seven new individuals on Sept. 3 during the 2023 South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

The 2023 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees are: Marty Warns, Lake County; Bill and LaDonna Hupp, Beadle County; Ida Marie Snorteland, Butte/Lawrence counties; and Marilyn Hespe, Butte County. The 2023 inductees to the 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer Hall of Fame are Terry Wendt, Brookings County; and Jim Slunecka, Faulk County.

“It is an honor each year to recognize the contributions of volunteers who exemplify the 4-H spirit,” said SDSU Extension Director Karla Trautman. “This year’s honorees to the South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame are exceptional examples of the 4-H spirit – caring and giving individuals who embrace the spirit of learning by doing, striving to ensure that youth experience the best that the 4-H program has to offer and engaging with them to learn skills for a lifetime. Congratulations to this year’s honorees.”

4-H Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees

Bill and LaDonna Hupp – 20 years of service, Beadle County
The late Bill and LaDonna Hupp positively promoted 4-H and felt strongly that it offered something for everyone. While the Hupps encouraged participation in all areas of 4-H, their passion was with the rodeo project. Their arena was always open, and they helped mentor young riders. As leaders of the Prairie Wranglers 4-H Club, horse project leaders and prominent supporters of the Heartland Regional Rodeo, both Bill and LaDonna were promoters of safely working with horses.

Marty Warns – 22 years of service, Lake County

Over the last 22 years, Warns has become the heart of 4-H in Lake County. He has led the Country Cousins 4-H Club and served as treasurer for the Lake County Leaders, also running the concession stand during Achievement Days and jackpot shows. From community service to event preparation, Warns is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. As an avid volunteer for 4-H and the community, he has become a role model for many youth in Lake County.

Ida Marie Snorteland – 59 years of service, Butte/Lawrence counties
Snorteland started working with SDSU Extension and 4-H in 1964 as a home economics agent for six counties. She then served the Rosebud Reservation in Todd, Mellette and Tripp counties until 1972. After that she worked in Perkins, Ziebach, Harding, Perkins, Butte and Lawrence counties until her retirement in 2002. Once retired, Snorteland continued to host sewing and quilting workshops, judge county fairs and work with youth.

Marilyn Hespe – 26 years of service, Butte County
Under Hespe’s leadership of the Butte Badgers 4-H Club, 10 enrolled youth grew into 40 to become the largest 4-H club in Butte County. She has also been a 4-H livestock sale president; fair board member; church committee member; and director, treasurer, and president of the South Dakota State Fire Auxiliary. Hespe and her husband, Mark, provide their own sheep to 4-H members who want to try out the project, offering opportunities for young people to learn in a safe space.

“To all our 2023 4-H hall of fame inductees, congratulations,” said Jenae Hansen-Gross, SDSU Extension 4-H Volunteer Development Field Specialist. “Thank you for showing so much heart in the spirit of volunteerism and efforts to help youth be successful in 4-H.”

4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer Hall of Fame inductees

Terry Wendt – 16 years of service, Brookings County
Wendt has been involved in Brookings County Shooting Sports and South Dakota Shooting Sports for more than 16 years. During that time, he has coached and recruited coaches in 4-H Shooting Sports, attained Level 2 certification and coached the South Dakota team in the air rifle division at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships. Wendt has been instrumental in growing the 4-H shooting sports program in Brookings County, and was a driving force behind the construction of the Brookings Outdoor Center to support 4-H youth and shooting sports.

Jim Slunecka – 27 years of service, Faulk County
In 1996, Slunecka began volunteering with Faulk County 4-H when his oldest child joined the 4-H shooting sports program. When other coaches were ready to step aside, they recruited Slunecka to take over the program. To continue his education, Slunecka attended national air pistol training in Colorado and became certified in rifle, archery and muzzleloading. In addition to his coaching efforts, Slunecka spearheaded efforts to build a new 4-H building in Faulk County to house the shooting sports program. He ran the Faulk County program until 2021.

“Jim and Terry are very worthy inductees into the 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer Hall of Fame,” said John Keimig, SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist. “Their leadership at the state level through training and mentoring new coaches as Level 2 instructors and their continued service as range officers at state shoot show their commitment to the shooting sports program in South Dakota. I would like to congratulate them on receiving this honor.”

SDSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program is a partnership of federal (United States Department of Agriculture), state (land grant university) and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience leadership, health and wellness, and science and agriculture through a network of professional staff and volunteers. Yearly programming efforts reach more than 9,000 enrolled members and 35,000 youth participants.

For more information, contact Jenae K. Hansen-Gross, South Dakota 4-H Volunteer Development Field Specialist, at 605-626-2870 or