At the same time the World Cup was going on in Russia, there was an important soccer tournament happening in South Dakota — important because it celebrated the culture of many of the men and women working on dairies in the region.
Teams from 10 dairies competed in the Yea-Sacc Cup that was part of Alltech’s 7th annual Family Dairy Day. More than 200 people attended the event that was held in Pioneer Park in Brookings, S.D.
The tournament is named after a yeast supplement marketed by Alltech.
A team from Sioux River Dairy, of Watertown, S.D., won the Yea-Sacc Cup trophy. Besides the trophy and title, the dairy will receive an employee pizza party hosted by Alltech.
"Alltech is proud to host the soccer tournament to help drive community and team comradery and to support a positive environment for the dairies, the industry as a whole, and their work-force," said Jonathan Hardt, regional sales manager for the Alltech South Dakota region, in a press release announcing the tournament winners.
"We’ve always enjoyed the teamwork aspect and seeing the other side of people that you don’t always get to see at work," added David Elliott, operations manager at Drumgoon Dairy, Lake Norden, S.D. "I think it translates well when you’re working on the farm, like when we cover our silage pile, that take teamwork and organization, just like it does on the soccer field."
"Our guys look forward to this every year," said Nicolien Hammink, owner of Hammink Dairy, Bruce, S.D. "It’s not only for the employees, but for the employers as well. We are able to get on a different level with our employees than at work."
I think the tournament is good for rural communities, too, where sports have always been important. People get to see the men and women who work on dairies through a different lens. They get to see them as athletes and winners.