The 2019 BIG Idea Competition was a BIG success with 276 entries involving 389 high school students from 29 schools! The BIG Idea Committee would like to congratulate this year’s winners who received nearly $18,000 in cash and scholarships.

Sitting: (Left to right) Jordan Edwards and Paige Evans, Aberdeen Central (2nd Place); Megan Nash, Northwestern (2nd Place); Korbin Leddy, Milbank (1st Place); Phoenix Leeper, West Central (Marketing Design Winner); Kila LeGrand, Sanford Health; Ashli Maddox, SD School of Mines & Technology. Standing: (Left to right) Kelly Weaver, BIG Idea Committee; Jessica Papa, Presentation College; Judy Weisgram, SD Agriculture Foundation; Katrina Boyum, Florence Advisor; Doug Ohmer, Northern State University; Brandt Munsen, Aberdeen Central Advisor; Troy McQuillen, McQuillen Creative Group, Paul Wehrung, Spearfish Area (Wellness Category Winner); Brady Carda, Sanford Health; Jacey Orthaus, Florence (Agriculture Innovation Category Winner); Jerry Janisch, Milbank Advisor; Liberty Thompson and Payton DeGroot, Brookings (Food Animal Agriculture Category Winners); Nathan Gellhaus, Angelhaus; Laura Quail, Brookings Advisor; Cindy Burrell and Kristen Henderson, Midwest Ag Supply.

First Place

Korbin’s Steak Express
Korbin’s Steak Express sells and delivers convenient grill packs to customers. The different packs include burgers, brats, and steaks; which are locally produced and high quality.
Korbin Leddy of Milbank High School

Second Place

The Urban Garden
The Urban Garden aims to provide the urban population with fresh, quality fruit through hydroponic and vertical farming techniques.
Megan Nash of Northwestern High School

Second Place

Smart Rides 
Smart Rides aims to help parents transport their children to and from school or extra-curricular activities while providing the children with a snack or tutoring along the way.
Jordan Edwards and Paige Evans of Aberdeen Central High School

Other Finalists

Wild Yarrow Design
Wild Yarrow Design provides customers with a complete experience. Customers will buy flowers directly from the growers, prepackaged, and ready for arrangement assembly. The package will include a QR code that takes the customer directly to a YouTube video explaining how to arrange the flowers.
 Elizabeth Wright of Rapid City Stevens High School

Hoffman Manure Hauling

Hoffman Manure Hauling will offer manure spreading services to feedlots, ranches, and commercial farms in northeast South Dakota. We will be convenient and cost effective to cattle business’ that do not have the man power, time, or equipment to haul their own.
Miles Hoffman of Leola High School

CattleHome Fencing

During today’s hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult for ranchers to find time to meet all the needs of their industry, especially fencing. With CattleHome Fencing, we aim to help relieve some of the stress by building fences for local and surrounding area residents.
Jessie Lux and Kodi Retzer of Eureka High School

Vandy’s Lawn Care

Vandy’s Lawn Care is looking for people getting too old to mow, people with large families that don’t have the time to mow, or people that don’t have the equipment to mow. We will start in our neighborhood where homeowners want to have their yards looking nice. That’s where we come in.
Paul Van Dover of Milbank High School

New Home

New Home is an app that allows people to go to another’s house for a nice home cooked meal. It will solve the problem of college kids and young adults getting homesick and/or getting sick of unhealthy university food. The cook will also benefit by charging a certain price to gain profits after the meal.
Quentin Eck of Brookings High School

Download the 2019 Finalists and Honorable Mentions (PDF)

BIG Idea 2019 Competition Awards Presentation:

Winner of the Marketing Design competition, sponsored by McQuillen Creative Group, was:

Leeper Farms Custom Work
Phoenix Leeper of West Central High School

Winner of the Wellness Category competition, sponsored by Sanford Health, was:

Romulus and Remus
Paul Wehrung of Spearfish

Winner of the Food Animal Agriculture competition, sponsored by Midwest Ag Supply, was:

Large Animal Immunization Robot (L.A.I.R)
Aditya Tummala, Liberty Thompson, and Payton DeGroot of Brookings High School

Winner of the Agriculture Innovation competition, sponsored by the South Dakota Agriculture Foundation, was:

Feather-Lite Mix
Jacey Orthaus of Florence High School

Winners of the School and Teacher Awards:

Makerspace Consultation Award 
Sponsored by CREATE
Eureka High School

Partners in Business Award
Sponsored by Angelhaus
Jerry Janisch, Milbank High School
Brandt Munsen, Aberdeen Central High School

Thank you to our 2019 Speaker!

Applewood Books, Inc.
Phil Zuckerman

Special Thanks

A Special Thanks to the teachers who encouraged their students’ participation and the students themselves for putting in the hard work to make it a fun, competitive competition.

Thanks to the committee members and community leaders who participated as judges, panelists and supporters.

Also a special thanks to all of your sponsors: Small Business Development Center, Sanford Health, East River Electric, REED Fund, Dacotah Bank, McQuillen Creative Group, Northern State University, Presentation College, South Dakota Schools of Mines & Technology, Black Hills State University, First Bank & Trust, Midwest Ag Supply, Angelhaus, CREATE, Northwestern Energy, Aberdeen Development Corporation, the Tom & Danielle Aman Foundation, Midco, GROW South Dakota, the South Dakota Agriculture Foundation, and 3M.

The next competition will open again on September 1, 2020.