Cole Shippy grew up in Colome, SD and graduated in 2011. He then attended Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City for diesel mechanics in which he achieved his AAS degree. After high school graduation Cole didn’t know if he would return to the family feedlot. “I kind of picked something where I could leave and have a job somewhere else, but I also picked something that would help with the feedlot in case I did come back.” During college, Cole had an internship for a semester and worked in a truck shop. While working there, Cole decided he didn’t think it was his thing to lie underneath trucks fixing all day while it was nice outside. He decided he would rather be outside instead of in a shop all day. “That’s when I decided I knew I was headed back (to the feedlot).”
Cole’s wife, Lacey, grew up in Dayton, VA and graduated from high school in 2011. She attended a community college for 2 years and then attended Virginia Tech for 2 years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. She didn’t plan on going back to the family farm where they raised dairy, poultry, pigs, and a little bit of everything. Growing up Lacey participated in 4-H by showing steers and hogs. She was very active in the livestock judging aspect.
Before Lacey graduated from Virginia Tech, she was on the hunt for a job. While attending the National Association of Farm Broadcasters convention, she gathered numerous business cards for possible jobs. From those business cards, she sent emails to all inquiring about job openings. She heard back specifically from WNAX in Yankton with a job opening in the Ag News Department. WNAX wanted her to come out and see the area. Lacey states, “They figured if I was going to take a job out here, I should see what I am getting into because South Dakota is kind of foreign for me from where I am from.” In December 2013 she visited South Dakota for 3 days and got offered the job at WNAX. Lacey took the job and came back to South Dakota in March 2014 with a friend to do some house hunting and drive around. While house hunting, Lacey and her friend wanted to see how far west they could go and drove as far west as Winner and ate at Dairy Queen. “I had no idea I would be living somewhere in between! We thought it was the middle of nowhere!”
Lacey stated WNAX ran ads for the Burke Stampede. She told her news director that it sounded like fun and she was going to go! He said to her “do you even know where Burke is?” She said, “No but I’m going to find it.” While at the Burke Stampede she heard about a dance hall in Norden, NE. She again said “that sounds fun” and found her way to Norden, NE. It wasn’t the first dance she went to, but Norden Dance Hall is where Cole and Lacey met.
Lacey compares Winner to where she grew up in Virginia. She says life here is very different. “It is laid back, slow, no rush to get places and do things, and the people are a lot more laid back. Harrisonburg, VA is such a busy place and there are so many different types of people. It made it hard to interact with your neighbors. Out here you can trust the people in town. It’s a big difference.”
The people is what Lacey enjoys most about living in Tripp County. “Just a super friendly place to be. I feel safe and I feel welcomed. This is a much different culture than where I came from and I like it.” Cole agrees with enjoying the people. He states the community is like one big family.
The biggest challenge for Lacey living in a rural area is tornadoes! She doesn’t do those very well! She says people need to appreciate what they have living in Tripp County.
Cole doesn’t feel there are too many challenges living in a rural community. He states “with the internet, you can get anything you need in a couple of days. There are lots of jobs and work if people are willing to do it.”
Lacey is glad she is raising her family here and not where she grew up. She states, “It is a safe place. I look out the window during the day and there are kids running up and down the streets. Their parents aren’t running after them or afraid they are going to get hit by a car or picked up by a gang member. This is a good, wholesome place to raise a family. There are a lot of opportunities (for kids) if you seek them out.” Cole feels there are many opportunities to keep children busy in their community as well.
When asked what advice each would have for someone contemplating moving to Tripp County, Cole states, “I have never regretted moving back.” Lacey states, “You have to see it to appreciate it. I’ve been happy with the decision to come out here. Don’t worry about Walmart not being 5 minutes away!”
Cole and Lacey Shippy live in Colome with their newborn son, Mason. They both work at Shippy Cattle Company.