Scholarship Program



Successful Scholarship Applicants & Their Essays

    2015       2014


2015 Scholarship Winners

Braeden Edleman


Water is essential for all living things to survive and Mid-Dakota water provides that for my family and I.  Mid-Dakota Water reached my home just 9 years ago and since then our lives have improved greatly.

The surface well water we had prior was full of iron and unreliable at times.  The rust would make our clothes dingy and made our sidewalks turn brown.  At times, the water pressure was sketchy especially when the cattle were drinking as our well could not keep up.  Life today is certainly more enjoyable and less stressful with a steady source of fresh water for both my family and our animals.  

Growing up I remember losing our electricity from a Fall ice storm for 10 days.  Unfortunately, this was prior to Mid-Dakota Water and without electricity there was no water!  My dad and I hauled water from town in 5 gallon pails for us to use in the house.  In order to flush the toilet, wash dishes or clean up, we would need to haul that water in from the garage.  Today with Mid-Dakota water, with or without electricity our water will be there and that is comforting.

Having the opportunity to drink and use crystal clear water every day is a privilege.  A privilege that everyone in the world does not have and one unfortunately that we take for granted at times.  I know that I certainly do not want to rewind the hands of time to 2006.  I appreciate the hard work Mid-Dakota does to bring us quality on tap!


Britney Moeller

Essay:  Water, the Wonderful Natural Resource 

So many times we take water for granted from the flushing of the toilet, taking showers, to the washing of our clothes.  Drop by drop, water is a wonderful natural resource, especially when it is clean and of great quality.

The announcement that Mid-Dakota Rural Water would be coming to our area to begin laying the water pipeline definitely could not have come at a better time.  The existing well water that we had for many years contained a lot of alkali.  The alkali always left a white residue on everything, especially when washing our vehicles or farm machinery.  Our well water was also getting to the point where there w

ould be high quantities of sand in it, ultimately ruining our hot water heater and leaving a thin layer of sand on the botton of our toilet tanks and it would also show up on the bottom of our washing machine.  Last but not least, our well water was inexplicably starting to turn brown in color.  A reverse osmosis system was installed in our house so that it would filter out all of the bad things so we would be able to drink our water.  Needless to say we were more than ready for Mid-Dakota Rural Water to come to our area!!

My family and I are very blessed to have received Mid-Dakota Rural Water as it has not only greatly improved our quality of water it has improved our quality of living.  Without Mid-Dakota Rural Water we would still be receiving brown well water filled with sand and alkali.



Jordyn R. Schultz


In today's world, it is all about convenience.  It seems as though everyone is trying to outdo the next person or company with bigger, better, faster products.  People truly take the simple everyday things for granted; for example, water.  Where would the world be without good, clean, safe water?

Personally, I feel very lucky to live in a community that has good, clean water to use for drinking and cooking.  Not everyone in the world is as fortunate.  Water is such a huge necessity for the human body.  In health class, I learned the importance water plays on human survival.  For instance, it is very important to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day to help stay hydrated and keep your digestive system functioning properly.  For this reason alone, our rural water system helps me and my community maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Another benefit from safe rural water is to South Dakota's livestock and farmlands.  South Dakota is known for being an agricultural state.  Therefore, water is essential for growing crops that help feed the world and maintain the economy.  I have seen this first-hand as my grandfather is both a farmer and cattle rancher.  He prides himself on producing good quality grains and beef to help feed people in our community and surrounding areas.  Therefore my grandfather's livelihood depends on safe rural water systems, such as Mid-Dakota.

In conclusion, rural water systems provide many benefits to me and my community.  These water systems help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and play a key role in the livelihoods of South Dakota's farmers and ranchers.


McKenzee Zilverberg

Essay: Mid-Dakota: A Blessing to My Family

Mid-Dakota rural water system has been an enormous blessing to my family.  I live twenty-five miles northwest of Highmore, South Dakota on a farm.  Being a rural agricultural family we rely on our water to nourish the livestock, garden, and most importantly our well beings.  Luckily, I do not recall when we had to use well water, but my parents tell me stories about it and how much of a hindrance it was.

My family drank water from a well about 200 yards from our house while the cows and the garden received artesian water from a well three miles away.  My parents remember the artesian water as full of minerals, hard and scummy.  Watering the cows and the garden was somewhat of a difficult task because the well was so far away.  It also had to supply water to two homesteads and ours was the last on the receiving end.  The cows would stand around the tank waiting for water that came slowly and the sprinkler in mom's garden would hardly spray any water.  Mom's garden also suffered from the salt content in the artesian water.  It turned the garden white and it would not produce very well.

Before Mid-Dakota, the well my family used was powered by a windmill.  It would pump water into a 3,000 gallon tank that supplied our house.  They had to be careful of the amount of water used so they did not run out.  My dad also had to "pull the well" about once a year.  The pipe that pumped water into the tank would get worn out on the bottom where the leather seals were and not properly pump the water.  Dad had to pull the pipe up all the way and repair the leather seals at the bottom.  Let's just say that was never a favorite project of my dad's.  Both my parents tell me that having the well as a water supply was a huge inconvenience for them.

Mid-Dakota coming to my household was a blessing.  The water tasted better, was softer, and overall just better quality.  No longer did my family have to ration water or pump it.  The cows did not have to wait for water and mom's garden turned white no more and started to produce significantly better.  Mid-Dkaota has allowed my household to have an unlimited supply of clean fresh water.  I can't imagine life without Mid-Dakota water.  It has been a blessing to my family, and I am so thankful they are able to supply us.




2014 Scholarship Winners

Jecelyn McKayla Wehde

Essay: The Importance of Mid-Dakota Water

Mid-Dakota has been a very important aspect of my life growing up.  I live two miles south of Huron.  My parents, along with my younger brother, older sister and myself, have all benefitted from Mid-Dakota.  It is crazy to think that without the simplicity of water, we would not be able to do much.  Every day we use water by bathing, flushing the toilet, cooking cleaning, drinking and much more.  I realize that most days I don't think a lot about how important and blessed I have been to receive water so easily.  However, I have come to know that without water, little would be possible.

For my family, Mid-Dakota has helped us immen

sely.  I am 

extremely grateful that my family and I are able to receive Mid-Dakota water.  Through this benefit, we are able to achieve so much.  I always enjoy having a clean house, food on the table, warm water to bathe, water to drink whenever I am thirsty...the list goes on and on.  It breaks my heart when I hear of the little children in other countries who don't get clean water.  I think we often times take for granted the clean water we receive.  This is easy to do because water has become a natural necessity for us.  However, we should remember that not everyone in the world is fortunate enough to have unlimited amounts of clean water.

It is such a wonderful feeling, knowing that the water we receive is clean and one-hundred percent healthy for us.  I would like to thank you for providing my family and I with clean, healthy, unlimited amounts of water.  Without it, little would be possible.  Thank you for your time and consideration in reading my essay.

Nicole Hamilton

Essay: Mid-Dakota Allows Us to Live, and Not Just Survive

Water is essential for all living things to survive.  I drink more glasses of water every day than I do any other liquid.  This abundance of clean water provided to my family has not come easily.  Mid-Dakota water reached my home just ten years ago, and since then our life has improved greatly.

The artesian water I initially grew up on was harsh

.  Until 2004, it made our clothes, blankets and sheets dingy.  It was the cause of rust in our sinks and bathtubs.  My parents had to use a water

 softener so we could drink it.  As kids, my siblings and I would hook up the garden hose and fill up the kiddie pool.  After we had our fun splashing around, we would come out having a slight sulfur smell because it was artesian water.

We would water our live Christmas tree with artesian water.  After a few years, we switched to having a 'fake' Christmas tree.  I believe part of the reason for the switch was because the live Christmas tree did not last long on artesian water.  Mid-Dakota water has allowed my family to have a real live Christmas tree again, and bring back part of a tradition.

In the church I attended when I was younger, I almost always refused to drink water there unless I was desperately thirsty.  The water was so full of minerals and had an awful salty taste.  I cannot help but think how different it would be if they received Mid-Dakota water as well.

Thanks to Mid-Dakota Rural Water, my family can enjoy clean, healthy water without the added workload of adding softener or repairing damaged pipes.  We can live, and not just survive.


Allison Lake

Essay:  Mid-Dakota

Mid-Dakota Rural Water System, Inc. has been a very important part of the recent history and of the future of the town that I live in, Gettysburg, South Dakota.  I am too young to remember but the older residents of Gettysburg tell me that we used to get our water from an artesian well.  They tell me that it d

id not have a very pleasant taste and it caused the people in the community to have discolored teeth.  To alleviate these problems the city decided to install a pipeline from the Missouri River and have our own treatment plant.  This was not only very expensive to put in and to maintain, but there were problems with the pipeline and the treatment center right from the start.  It got so bad that there was talk of maybe going back to the artesian well or starting over again with another pipeline from the river.

The arrival of Mid-Dakota Rural Water solved these problems for Gettysburg.  The water was better quality than we had ever had before, it was cheaper that we had been used to, and it was incredibly reliable, which is something that we had not been accustomed to at all.  I cannot imagine that the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System could have helped any community more, or come at a better time than it did for Gettysburg.

The Mid-Dakota Rural Water System has also helped my family's business significantly.  We own a farm right beside Gettysburg, along with a couple of ranches further from town, but still within the Mid-Dakota Rural Water service area.  The same problems that plagued the city of Gettysburg were also problematic at our ranches.  The artesian well that we had was very hard on the cattle watere

rs, the hydrants and anything else that the water came into contact with.  We were able to get water from the city at our farm in town, but they charged a lot extra because we were not within the city limits and it had become very expensive.  There was also talk that they may cut us off from using the city's water because of all the problems that they were suffering.  

Once again the creation of the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System was the solution.  We were able to hookup both places up to the Mid-Dakota System and it solved all of these problems.  Our farms and ranch enjoys a reliable source of clean water at a price cheaper than we could get before.  Also our watering equipment has a much longer life than before which once again saves us a lot of money and does away with a lot of day to day maintenance.

Cole Oakley

Essay:  Mid-Dakota is our Savior

I live in the small community of Holabird in Hyde County and thanks to Mid-Dakota Rural Water System we have safe, healthy drinking water.

I will start this story at the beginning, my family and our two dogs moved from Pierre to Holabird when I was eight.  We really enjoyed our small town and the small town living.  We shared a well with a few of the other families in town, one of the neighbors did water testing once a month to make sure our water was safe.  For a few years the tests came back okay but the water had started to smell occasionally and did leave stains on our dishes and clothes sometimes.  Shortly after these problems started we got back a test level that wasn't good, we were told we needed to find a new water source as the well water was no longer safe for humans or animals to consume.  Whatever the bad levels were I remember my mom saying that if we continued to drink the water it could cause health problems.  The families that use dhte well had a meeting and decided to talk with Mid-Dakota to see if we could get hooked up to their system.

The answer was yes, Mid-Dakota was very willing to work with us both physically and financially to help us get switched from the nasty well to their system.  So after a short time of having to buy all our water, Mid-Dakota came through, they had all the pipes, meters in and we could start hooking up our homes.  The families in our small town worked together to hook our houses up to the Mid-Dakota water.

We now have great water that tastes good, doesn't smell, doesn't leave stains and doesn't make my mom complain about how hard it is to clean up the shower.  Thanks to Mid-Dakota other small towns like ours and other people don't have to worry about drinking water that could make them sick.

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