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Someone You Should Know: Feeding the community with family business

South Dakota family helping feed the community with their business
Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The egg business is a passion for the Ramsdell family.

“So our business started back in 2000. We started as a co-op of 100 producers around this area, and in 2015 our family purchased this business,” said Tracy Ramsdell

General Manager Jason Ramsdell and his wife Tracy, the marketing director, lead Dakota Layers which now has about 100 employees at their operation north of Flandreau.

“A big part of my team is being involved with all the employees and being out there with them whether it’s the processing of the eggs. If it’s out checking on the hens’ health or the equipment the hens are in,” said Jason.

“I can speak for every farmer out there. It’s a 365-day job, and we take pride in that. There are no days off. We bring our own children to work, and they enjoy that,” said Tracy.

Like any company, the goal is to make a profit but Dakota Layers also makes it a big point to give back.

“We donate to numerous different groups throughout eastern South Dakota here. For instance, Feeding South Dakota. Since 2008, we’ve given over 4.6 million eggs to help out Feeding South Dakota, for the job they do for feeding the people in need in these areas and out in the Rapid City area as well,” said Jason.

“I collaborate with so many, whether it’s a non-charity organization, a church, a food pantry. I’m honored to collaborate with those that work hard to feed families and children in need of food. And I’m just so honored to be a helping hand of helping others in need,” said Tracy.

“Today we received like 800 dozen eggs. But we’ve received eggs from them for a number of months and years I would imagine. We are always thrilled when the Ramsdell’s tell us that they have eggs for us.” said Pastor Jeff Hayes.

Dakota Layers will continue to give back, and one day they hope to educate as well.

“Unfortunately, with the kind of facility, we have to be so bio-secure. The only way we’re able to allow people to see that is by a video on our website. We’re looking on further into the future and trying to get that educational part and build a facility where we can bring people into this area. Where it’s going to cage-free and a free-range operation where we can bring people in because it’s smaller scale and they see what the birds do for eating, and how they produce eggs and how we wash and pack the eggs,” said Jason.

Which Jason says could a great educational tool for area kids as well.

The Ramsdell’s say Dakota Layers also donates a dozen eggs to Feeding South Dakota for each free throw made by the South Dakota State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams during the season.

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