Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Drought, trade and the future of South Dakota agriculture

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Max and Alfred Gonzenbach (left) and Rudy and Alfred Nef (right) families of Valley Queen Cheese, Milbank, S.D., were named 2023 Gov. Ag Ambassadors.

PIERRE, S.D. – The Governor’s Agriculture Summit in Watertown, South Dakota, highlighted challenges and opportunities in the state’s agricultural industry. Key concerns include drought and federal farm bill discussions. South Dakota Trade, a public-private partnership, aims to create new opportunities for farmers and producers in global markets.

Secretary Hunter Roberts of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources noted that while the state experienced a difficult winter and early dryness, western South Dakota has seen improvement, providing much-needed relief for farmers who have struggled with hay and crop shortages. The resilience of crops across the rest of the state has also been a topic of interest.

International trade presents a significant opportunity for South Dakota’s agricultural producers. South Dakota Trade, under the leadership of President & CEO Luke Lindberg, aims to facilitate access to new markets and engage in trade missions to promote the state’s products abroad. Recognizing the importance of having markets to sell their crops, the industry looks to South Dakota Trade to help create these opportunities and drive international trade initiatives.

The Governor’s Ag Summit serves as a starting point for discussions on how to support and expand international trade. Given the state’s relatively small population, exploring new markets beyond domestic consumption becomes vital, making these discussions and initiatives all the more significant.

By addressing challenges such as drought and federal policies while actively pursuing international trade, South Dakota’s agricultural industry aims to foster growth and enhance opportunities for its farmers and producers. The Governor’s Agriculture Summit serves as a platform to spark future discussions and actions to support the industry’s long-term success.

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Market manipulation was the focus of a panel discussion during the recent SDFU State Convention. U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General, Michael Kades was among the panelists that included (left to right) Scott Blubaugh, President of American Farmers & Ranchers; Scott Kolousek, Wessington Springs rancher and SDFU board member, Oren Lesmeister, S.D. State Legislator and SDFU board member and Kades.


Rapid City, US
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