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DENR

Ag, environment, natural resource agencies to merge


News Staff - August 28, 2020

PIERRE, SD  - The state department whose job – in part – is to draft policy, regulate and monitor agricultural production and industries impact on water, wildlife, air and land and any economic and health impacts to municipalities and the general public, has been merged into the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Gov. Kristi Noem said that the former South Dakota Departments of Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources will become the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources beginning Sept. 8

Hunter Roberts, the current Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, will oversee the new department. Roberts will serve as interim Secretary of Agriculture while continuing to also lead the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

According to Gov. Noem, the newly created department will service producers, “better than ever before.”

Roberts has worked in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development as state energy director and as a policy advisor for Governor Daugaard, working on agricultural policy and overseeing the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. He is the owner and operator of the Roberts Ranch in Stanley and Lyman counties.

He is the grandson of the late Clint Roberts who served in the state legislature, as a U.S. Congressman and in state government as South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture. Roberts says the newly created department will continue to promote agriculture while protecting the state’s natural resources.



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