The Roundup -

Steinbeisser Receives Distinguished Service Award


December 6, 2017 | View PDF

Don Steinbeisser and Mike Murphy

Don Steinbeisser of Sidney recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Montana Water Resources Association (MWRA) and its counterparts in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming citing his lifelong dedication and concern for agriculture and water users throughout Montana, and for his effort and participation as a director of the MWRA.

Steinbeisser has served on the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District board of directors for 50 years, including 29 years as president and still serves today at the continued request of his peers and the LYIP who appreciate his experience and diplomatic skills. He was elected to the MWRA board of directors in 2013 and continues to serve today.

Steinbeisser was a member of the Montana Dakota sugar beet Growers Association for 22 years as well as the National sugar beet Growers Association, including two years as president. He traveled extensively to Washington, DC to lobby for sugar, work on several farm bills and protect growers during the NAFTA negotiations and other federal trade deals. He also served two terms as representative to the Montana legislature and then as District 19 senator from 2005-2012. He served on several committees and was often relied on by both political parties to fairly moderate contentious legislative hearings.

Mike Murphy of the MWRA said, "In the legislature and as a member of the MWRA and LYIP board of directors, Don has worked steadfastly to protect water and other private property rights for the benefit of Montana's hard working agricultural producers. Most recently, Don and the LYIP have been in a legal battle with extremist environmental groups trying to force the removal of their Intake diversion."

Steinbeisser was born in Sidney and raised on the family farm where his sons and nephew now farm. After high school, he joined the army reserves and was honorably discharged in 1962. He returned to Sidney and farmed with his father and brother Joe raising sugar beets, cattle, sheep, corn, wheat and hay. He married Leona Gierke in 1959 and together they raised five children. Leona died unexpectedly in January 2006, after 46 years of marriage. Don married Amelia (Lia) in December 2007. They have ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Steinbeisser's daughter-in-law DelRae wrote, "Though somewhat retired, Don is still relied upon for his wisdom, experience and advice. He is the patriarch of our family, the role he cherishes the most."


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