Successful Scholarship Applicants & Their Essays
Essay: The Benefits of Mid-Dakota Water
Mid-Dakota has been very beneficial to me and my family. I live on a ranch so water is a very important aspect. Not only do my family and I require water, the animals on our ranch do as well. Before we used well water and artesian water but now we have Mid-Dakota and it has made a major impact. Since we have had Mid-Dakota things have been a lot better on our ranch for many reasons.
To start off we have some of our tanks on Mid-Dakota and it is way faster. Our cow tanks in the pasture are still on artesian water but our sheep tanks and hydrants in the place are on Mid-Dakota and there is a big difference. The sheep tank and the water hydrants in the barn used to be well water and since Mid-Dakota it has been so much easier. I hated watering the sheep in the barn when it would take forever for the buckets to fill but now that it is Mid-Dakota water it isn’t as hard and I don’t actually mind doing it. The tanks fill up way faster and the hydrants are also faster. Before even the tanks outside took forever to fill up when all the sheep would drink at the same time. When all the animals would drink, it would be hard to do anything else with water because of how slow it would be. You couldn’t shower while the animals were all drinking because there would be no water pressure. It was a major pain that I don’t miss at all. We also would never have water when the electricity would go out because our water was well water and needed electricity. Now with Mid-Dakota we still have water when the electricity goes out and it’s an unbelievable difference. Water is very important and it was a pain when the electricity would go out but now it isn’t as bad since we have water when it does.
As you can see Mid-Dakota has really benefitted my family and I a lot since we have had it. You can actually say that it has made our lives easier. I never really thought about the benefits of Mid-Dakota until I wrote this essay. Now that I have had to think of the benefits and what it has done for me, I realize that it has helped my family and me out a ton. Mid-Dakota has been a great improvement to our ranch and I am very thankful to have it.
Essay: Out with the Old...In With the New: A Change for the Better
Water, water, everywhere! That seems to be the theme of the spring thaw in recent years. But as frustrating and damaging as flooding can be, we all know that we cannot exist without water. Our bodies are comprised of about 60% water, our brains are 70% water and our lungs are 90% water. So it is not hard to believe that good quality water makes a difference in one’s health.
I live on a farm that did not always have the luxury of having quality water. We were dependent on a surface well for our water supply. The water from that well was very sandy. When you looked down into your water glass, you would see black specks settling to the bottom. The sand would clog our pipes, hoses and faucets. I can remember my parents taking apart our kitchen faucet and cleaning the screen to try to restore the pressure. Besides sand there were chunks of rust and other junk that fell from the screen. Not a very appetizing sight! This water was also very, very hard so we were forced to have a softener to make it usable.
In addition to the quality of that surface water, we also dealt with the quantity of water available from that well. The well needed to service our livestock, my grandparents’ house and my house. And my house was at the end of the line! So there were many times that we only got a trickle of water when we turned on the faucet. And don’t even think about trying to shower when the washer was running! If the cattle were crowded around the water tank, you immediately shut off any running water because you knew that their supply was running low.
When my parents were approached with the idea of hooking up to Mid-Dakota, it was according to my dad, a ‘no brainer”. They were very excited about all the benefits of this project and could not wait until it arrived. Mid-Dakota has made such an impact on our farm. We have an abundance of fresh, clean, good tasting water available at all times. I am relieved to know that the water we are drinking is good for our bodies and will not make us sick. Our appliances and toilets remain clean and rust-free; therefore lasting longer. Mid-Dakota is always there, even if the electricity goes out. As the result of a harsh ice storm, we did not have power for 11 days. With all the problems that created, at least we did not have to worry about the cattle having water to drink.
The arrival of Mid-Dakota water was a life-changing event for rural communities. Water is essential for our survival ; having an abundant, clean, good quality source of water – Priceless!
Essay: Fountain of Life
It may sound rather archaic now, but before Mid-Dakota Rural Water my family had to time their water usage around cattle drinking at the tank. If cows were drinking, we were not. Also, every appliance, faucet, shower, toilet, tub and glass dish were opaque and rusty with well water mineral deposits due to poor water quality. Frequent appliance and faucet replacements were necessary as hard water dissolved even steel. As a child I recall turning on our faucet for a drink of water and viewing an orange rusty liquid resembling orange juice instead of crisp, clean water.
Our ranch is dependent upon water for the sustenance of our cattle. For years we had many pastures without a reliable water source. In times of drought, we were forced to undertake multiple tedious chores such as hauling water, piping water, or moving cattle. One realizes just how much water cattle need on a hot day when you have to stand and watch their tanks fill from a hand-held pipe in triple digit temperatures, twice a day. We now have Mid-Dakota Water piped to most of our pastures with many hydrants and shut offs. Forage utilization is vastly improved, allowing us to maximize production. Before Mid-Dakota, when a water line became plugged or a well pump failed, it was an immediate emergency. The many monotonous tasks related to water supply have now been virtually eliminated.
Having been raised in two completely opposite aquatic situations, I have a genuine appreciation for the steadfast water supply we are blessed with. Before Mid-Dakota Water we endured much hardship to simply supply our family with the necessity of water. We also had to balance our needs with that of our cattle. The water supply was neither reliable nor clean. Now the dishes and silverware are sparkling. Our water needs do not have to be dictated by cattle usage. Our quality of life has been vastly improved thanks to the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System. Thank you for supplying reliable, fresh water as well as scholarship funding for South Dakota students.
Mid-Dakota Rural Water System has had a very positive impact on not only the community I live in, but also on my family in particular. My family operates a farming and ranching business near the town of Gettysburg which includes two winter lots several miles apart. At our home place beside Gettysburg we were able to buy municipal water, but at a very high rate since we were outside the city limits. At our other ranch there were several shallow wells and an artesian well that supplied the water needs for the cattle there. The shallow wells proved to be not very reliable, and also the maintenance on them seemed like it was never ending. The artesian well on the other hand was very reliable, but the water was very corrosive to cattle waterers, hot water heaters and many other appliances that were used in conjunction with the water.
Mid-Dakota Rural Water solved all of these problems. It promised to be a reliable source of high quality water at a reasonable cost, and those promises proved to be true. It did away with the need and cost to maintain several small wells and was a much cleaner and higher quality source of water than the artesian well which has extended the life of all of our watering devices by several years. The system also delivered the water at a lower rate than we were paying before, with the added benefit of knowing that the system would never exclude us in case of future shortages.
The City of Gettysburg also benefited greatly from being able to connect to the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System. The city had used several water sources over the years, with the most recent being a city owned pipeline and water treatment plant from the Missouri River 16 miles to the west. The pipeline, the pumping stations, and the plant were all aging and in need of more maintenance than what was cost effective. Even though the old system was not even paid for, plans were being hatched to start another new pipeline.
Once again the implementation of the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System came to the rescue. The water system could not have come at a better time for Gettysburg. The old water system was abandoned and the very expensive plans of a new pipeline were put to rest. The constant problems of maintenance on the old plant and worries about water shortages seem like a distant memory thanks to benefits of being able to be serviced by Mid-Dakota. It has definitely been one of the better upgrades to our city in recent years.
Essay: The Importance of Safe Water
Even today there are people that drink contaminated water every day. Freshwater is something that is a universal necessity. Without freshwater, we are unable to enjoy many things that we are able to experience in everyday activities. Not to mention that clean water prevents the spread of much disease and sickness; it is vital to human health. Mid-Dakota water allows our community to have safe drinking water and made it more possible to be healthy. When I was younger, I remember not having quality drinking water in our community; we always had to have the hassle of water softeners, cloudy drinking water, and the deterioration on our faucets and other appliances in our household.
Mid-Dakota water has given our community many opportunities to benefit us in many areas. I am a lifeguard and city worker for the City of Wessington where I witness and experience these benefits daily. Before Mid-Dakota, our pool water was cloudy; it required much more maintenance to keep our facility clean. Now, with Mid-Dakota, maintenance is minimal and the clarity of the water is fantastic.
Mid-Dakota water has also been beneficial to our livestock production. Water is the most important consumption of cattle, without quality water consumption, it doesn't matter what types of grass you've got on your pasture, the cattle won't gain more than what the water will allow. Our cattle have better weight gain and are all around healthier and produce larger qualities of product due to our clean water through Mid-Dakota.
Healthy water is something that our community has been able to gain through Mid-Dakota water. Thanks to Mid-Dakota our community has been able to thrive economically through our cattle and live healthier life styles. This is something that is greatly appreciated and will always be greatly appreciated long into the future.
Essay: The Impact of Mid-Dakota Water
Being a farmer/rancher's daughter, I know the importance of water. It is a necessary aspect for the survival for humans, livestock, and crops. We drink water, use water to clean ourselves, and use water to clean our clothes. Mid-Dakota water is softer water than artesian or well water, which improves everyone's lives.
When I was younger, I remember having to drink mineral packed hard water. Our bath tub turned an orangey color due to the artesian water we had to use. I didn't think anything of it, but looking back now, boy that tub was orange! My mom had to get treatments on her hair because her hair turned orangey. That was due to the iron in the artesian water. As kids, my brothers and I would drink water straight out of the hose in the yard. We also used artesian water to wash our clothes. That water was very hard on our clothes. There was a grey tinge to our clothing, and they were always grungy looking. Mid-Dakota has improved our daily needs greatly. Our tub is no longer orange, and my mom does not have orange hair anymore because of Mid-Dakota. Our rural community has definitely benefitted from Mid-Dakota as well.
Mid-Dakota has also benefitted farmers like my dad in ways greater than some people can comprehend. My dad uses Mid-Dakota water to spray his crops. The algae build up in the tank accumulated faster and there was more of it with the artesian well water. Now, the algae building up in the tank is a much slower process. That makes it easier for my dad. Mid-Dakota water is softer, and has a better effect mixed with the chemicals for spraying. Many people would not think that sort of change in water would improve so many things!
Mid-Dakota water means a lot to me because of the improvement and impact it has made on many things. Mid-Dakota is better quality of water. I would say so anyway. I cannot imagine going back to artesian well water.
Essay: Quality on Tap
When you go to the faucet, do you think about the water going into your drinking glass? Mid-Dakota has been the source of water in our family's faucet since 2005. Most people don't realize the importance of a reliable supply of quality water and the benefits of rural water. Our family is one of the 5,500 customers with quality on tap provided by Mid-Dakota.
Water quality is important to human health and animal productivity and can vary a lot. Looking at a glass of water, you cannot tell much about the quality. Water quality is impacted by the amount of bacteria, hardness and level of items such as nitrates, sulfates, iron and acidity. Improper levels of these items can give the water a bad taste, cause health issues to humans and animals, and limit animal growth, reproduction and milk production. Mid-Dakota water is treated and run through filtration systems to provide a reliable source of quality water for humans and animals.
Rural water provides many benefits compared to well water. Before we had rural water, our well quit working in January of 1997. We had no choice but to invest $6,500 in a new well. Rural water eliminates that cost to customers for individual wells and maintenance. Electricity was required to have water with our well. With rural water, we still have water when we don't have electricity. We didn't like the taste of our well water so we bought water from town to drink and later invested in a reverse osmoses system. We also needed to use a water softener to reduce the hardness of our well water and the water made our bathtub rusty. Since receiving rural water we don't use a water softener, our bathtub is not rusty, our water supply is dependable and our water tastes great. Rural water is a superior water source compared to our well.
Our neighbor, Buzz Kutzler, and family friend, Don Olson, were founding members of the original board of directors for Mid-Dakota. The directors and many others worked hard to make Mid-Dakota a reality for providing a quality water source originating from the Missouri River. Our family has benefitted from their dedication to bring quality on tap to our house through Mid-Dakota Rural water.
Essay: Saved by Mid-Dakota
Mid-Dakota has played a big part of my life in more than one way. When I was very young my father was able to get Mid-Dakota water piped into one of our pastures in order to water cattle there. This was in the drought when the stock dams and the creek running through the pasture had dried up. By allowing us to use Mid-Dakota there, they saved us from selling hundreds of our cows. It has been a very dependable and clean source of water for our cattle to this very day. They still prefer drinking out of the tank opposed to drinking out of the other water sources.
Another way that my life has improved was in my house. An Artesian well was the only form of drinking water we had before. Believe me it was not very fit for drinking. It tasted terrible and it did not look very sanitary. Then Mid-Dakota was able to put a water line into our house. The water quality was a huge improvement. After just using it for drinking water we also piped it into our shower and all of the water outlets. It literally put our old artesian well out of business. We have also noticed that the Mid-Dakota water is much easier on our pipes and it does not wear out our water softener near as quickly as the artesian well.
Mid-Dakota has improved my life in many ways. Our family farm has been saved by it and also our house condition has improved tremendously. Thank you, Mid-Dakota!