Meet a member: Austin Luecke
Austin Luecke is the volunteer Event Chair for the 2024 Sioux Empire Livestock Show. He joined the Chamber’s Agribusiness Division to network and engage in the community. Austin works as a financial officer with Farm Credit Services of America, and also supports others in their health and fitness goals through his role as co-owner and coach at Origin Strength. Austin and his wife, Kate, have three children, Emma (5), Levi (3) and Lottie (2).
1. What is your favorite part of the Sioux Empire Livestock Show?
The Mayor’s Round-Up & Sale of Champions! It is really fun to see the kids rewarded for all their hard work raising livestock. It takes a ton of effort and dedication to get those animals to that point, so it’s cool to see the smiles on their faces as the auction unfolds.
2. What is one opportunity or challenge you see in today’s ag industry?
I think producers today have an opportunity to be innovators and market disruptors. We live in an age of technology and advancement, and I believe the folks who can adopt those principles into their operations have a chance to be the market disruptors of the future.
3. How did you choose your profession?
I grew up in a small town (Groton, SD) and always admired and respected the farming industry. My dad was a teacher and in the summer he would help some family friends out on their farm. I loved tagging along and spending time on the farm and hoped someday I could do something ag-related. When the opportunity at FCSA came about, I knew this was a chance to combine my passion for finances with my desire to work with ag producers.
4. How do you like to spend a day off in Sioux Falls?
It always starts with a workout at my gym, Origin Strength! After that, I love to do anything outdoors. Golfing, hunting, hiking or exploring are some of my favorite activities. Kate and I also enjoy chasing the kids to their activities and having movie, campfire and s’more nights!
5. What is a skill that you’d like to learn and why?
There are two that I am currently working on and they are at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. 1. I wish I knew more about cars/engines and could do more on my own. I’m trying to learn but still have a long way to go in that department. 2. I want to learn to make sourdough bread. I love homemade bread and really enjoy sourdoughs, so if anyone out there has some tips or tricks let me know.
6. How did you first become involved with the Chamber’s Agribusiness Division?
When I started at Farm Credit Services of America, we only had one person who was involved with the Chamber. It seemed like a great way to get involved and meet people!
7. Name a tool you could not live without.
My Traeger and Blackstone! I love to grill/cook and 90% of what I make comes off one of those two.
8. What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
I participated in my first organized race this past fall. I ran the Glacier Hills 30k Ultramarathon at Newton Hills and had a blast! I am looking forward to doing another challenge in 2024.
9. If you could try out any job for a day, what would it be?
Fighter pilot…it’s got to be one of the coolest jobs there is!
10. If you could witness any event of the past, present or future, what would it be?
Signing of the Declaration of Independence. It set the stage for America as we know it and established the freedoms we have today.