News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015678
ContactTammi Schone605-352-1102
Huron, SD, Mar 29, 2012 --

@@USDA Rural Development Community Program Specialist Pat Hemen was recently recognized for 20 years of federal government service. Pat began his career in March of 1992. He worked for the Farm Service Agency for two weeks and the remainder of his career has been with Rural Development. On his first day of work, South Dakota had a snow storm. That didn’t stop Pat from being the first and only person to show up for work that day. That same dedication and determination has stayed with him throughout his career and is evident in his work on water and waste projects and economic development loans and grants to electric and telephone cooperatives.

USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks stated, “No one better exemplifies the truly dedicated staff at USDA than Pat. He is not only knowledgeable - he is a pleasure to work with and he loves making a difference and working for our rural communities.” The South Dakota USDA Rural Development Water and Environmental Programs provided $20.6 million in Water and Wastewater loans and $23.3 million in Water and Wastewater grants to the many system providers over fiscal year 2011.

Hemen’s greatest career achievements include making home loans to very good people with disabilities who truly would not have had an opportunity to own their own home without the assistance of our housing programs and when he received the 20ll Friend of South Dakota Rural Water award this past January from the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems. The distinguished Friend of Rural Water title is awarded to agencies, organizations, or individuals who have supported rural water. Hemen was acknowledged for his guidance and technical assistance before and after the funding process.

“Throughout my government career, I have truly enjoyed seeing the life altering, positive impact our programs have made in people’s lives; providing safe and sanitary water, home ownership, accessible community facilities to name a few,” said Hemen.

Hemen is inspired by his wife Ruth because of her dedication to her job as Children’s Librarian at the Huron Library and the positive effect she has on children and Abraham Lincoln because of his dedication to important causes.

Hemen is an active member of the First United Methodist Church, current President of Habitat for Humanity of Beadle County and enjoys motorcycle riding, camping, word working, and lawn care.

Pat and his wife Ruth have four grown children and one granddaughter.

USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity lender with a variety of direct and guaranteed rural credit programs involving single and multi-family housing, community facilities, water and sewer development and business and cooperative programs.

USDA Rural Development has eight offices in the state serving South Dakotans living in rural areas and communities. Office locations include a state office in Huron, along with area offices in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Watertown, and Yankton.

Further information on this and other programs offered by USDA Rural Development is available by calling (605) 352-1100, by visiting or at any local area office.