“Working for USDA Rural Development has been such a rewarding and unbelievable journey,” said Rural Development Community Program Specialist Sherrie Lewis. “I hope that I have made a difference in assisting to provide services in rural South Dakota such as healthcare, emergency services, clean & safe drinking water, sanitary sewers, and economic growth.”
Lewis was recently recognized by Bruce Jones, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota Acting State Director, for 35 years of dedicated service to the federal government. The award was presented by her Supervisor, Doug Roehl. Lewis began her federal career in 1980 and has been with Rural Development the entire time. The greatest change for her was watching the structure of the agency reorganized from 41 field offices down to 7 over the span of her career. Basically, all programs are available at the field level and a lot of thinking outside of the box has occurred to make projects work.
“Sherrie works in each community as if she is a part of it. She strives to expand, improve, and expedite the services of Rural Development to rural South Dakota communities,” said Jones. “In addition, she is a technical expert and a real asset to our agency and the communities.”
Lewis is currently a Community Program Specialist in the Yankton Rural Development Office. Previous positions in the Agency were in Redfield, Watertown, and Vermillion. In addition, she is active with the National Association of Credit Specialists (NACS). NACS is a consultative employee association, organized in 1973, whose purpose is to initiate and promote improvements in the delivery system of Rural Development programs and services to rural America. Lewis commented that she was proud and honored in serving as the National President this past year. She has a deep admiration for the NACS members’ drive and determination to make the process easier for our customers. Assignments are accepted as a responsibility and not just a job. Sherrie is also active with Habitat for Humanity, serving as the Family Services Chairperson for many years. She is involved at Trinity Lutheran Church as a member of the Youth and Family Board as well.
Sherrie’s role model was her parents. “My dad was a hard worker, quick thinker and self-motivator. My mom was my best friend. She taught me humanity, humility, kindness and compassion,” Lewis said.
Sherrie resides in Yankton. She has three grown children and 13 grandchildren. In her free time, she loves to camp, hike, and spends time with her kids and grandkids.
USDA Rural Development in South Dakota has offices in Aberdeen, Huron, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton. For more information, visit the USDA Rural Development website at http://www.rd.usda.gov/sd.
The Administration’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. These investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.