Celebrating Acts of Excellence, One Act at a Time
The Acts of Excellence program connects us with individuals and organizations who are building a culture of excellence in South Dakota, one act at a time.
Please join us and area inductees to celebrate this Act of Excellence on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the Isaac Lincoln Gallery on the Northern State University campus in Aberdeen, South Dakota. See all of the event details here.
Purina Mill Tree Honors Company Founder, Friend
Because their friend Steve Geidt was hospitalized and unable to enjoy the Christmas lights of Aberdeen in 2017, his friends and colleagues decided to place a lighted tree where he could see it from his hospital room window. From steel pipe, plastic conduit and strings of lights, they fashioned a tree atop the Purina Mills elevator, which was framed in the window of the room where Geidt fought a long battle with cancer. The elevator was operated by Livestock Specialists, Inc. the company Geidt started decades earlier. He started selling Purina feeds in Groton and eventually started Livestock Specialists. According to a story in the Aberdeen American News, two mill employees installed the 14-foot tree to make sure their friend could enjoy holiday lights even as he lay in a hospital room.
“We wanted to get it done as soon as we possibly could,’’ the American News article quotes Tim Cavalier, retail manager at Livestock Specialists, as saying. “He was very involved in his community. By doing this, we were showing him we’re still giving back to our community.’’ A tree stood atop the elevator for many years, but it had to be removed when old equipment was replaced. The plan was to replace the tree, but that didn’t happen until Geidt’s hospitalization. He died the following September, but the lighted tree is a tradition that Purina intends to continue in coming years.
(The accompanying photograph shows strands of lights forming the tree on top of the Purina Mills elevator. Aberdeen American News photo by John Davis.)