First Dakota National Bank Goes “Above and Beyond”

Jeremy Grady


Neighbors helping neighbors is one of the reasons small town South Dakota is such a great place to live. The May 12 derecho swept through the eastern portion of the state and left an overwhelming amount of destruction in its path. Salem was one of the hardest hit communities that day.

Jeremy Grady, bank president of First Dakota National Bank in Salem, drove around after the storm had passed to view the widespread damage within and surrounding the Salem area and immediately asked himself, what needs to be done first? He rounded up several First Dakota National Bank employees (not only from Salem, but also surrounding communities) that were willing to take time away from their office, roll up their sleeves and get to work. Volunteers came together bringing their own tools and off-road vehicles to help in any way they could. After their boots hit the ground, they provided several-hundred hours of debris cleanup throughout the week following the storm.

One particular producer outside of Salem, Mark Huls had a significant amount of damage to his home, garage, grain bins, barns and even lost a few pigs. He shared about the cleanup efforts from First Dakota National Bank:

Jeremy Grady called me to extend an offer to help, and with how much work needed to be done, I welcomed the extra hands. Eight to ten men arrived at our place the next day and I couldn’t believe all they did. The team of volunteers had a General and a plan. They got right to work and picked up an entire field of debris in a few hours. Most of the cleanup happened without me even present – I was there when the guys showed up and left one of my sons to help in one of our tractors, then I left to go finish planting with my other son. Some bankers helped run tractors and loaders and others picked up debris and made piles of steel and wood. They couldn’t have been more helpful or more efficient. When they finished up for the day, the volunteers headed back to town, and shortly thereafter Jeremy Grady stopped by to drop off pizza to our family for supper, when it should have been the other way around to thank the workers for all their help. I know the First Dakota National Bank crew continued to help out others in the following days. They went above and beyond; these men deserve all the credit you can round up.

Jeremy stated, “We are a small-town community and people go to work and get things done.” Salem continues to work towards building back what was lost. Jeremy Grady said he plans to organize another cleanup day later this year after the crops are out of the field.

Marty Michalek
 L to R: Jayson Plamp and Doug Allerdings
Jayson Plamp
Kevin Blagg
L to R: Larry Gehle and Kevin Blagg
Before and after cleaning up tin from the road ditches. 



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