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Noem moves Ag Development into Governor's Office of Economic Development

Jerry Oster, WNAX - January 22, 2019

PIERRE, SD - South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will deliver her budget address to the legislature Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 and agriculture will be a priority in her agenda.

She has already started on her plan by moving the Ag Development division into the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

“To put them in the economic development agency,” said Noem, “so we have the opportunity to use every single tool that’s in economic development now and have ag specialists right there in that department.”

She continued, “I’m really putting our opportunities on steroids, giving us more opportunities to go out and look for value-added projects and also to recruit new industries, invest in precision ag and make sure we’re doing that, and create opportunities to partner with new industries to come in.”

Noem says the state will also aggressively promote shovel-ready sites for agribusiness. “If we have a livestock operation that wants to expand into feedlots, the state should facilitate finding those spots that are perfect locations to expand.”

She added,  “If a company wants to come in and invest in a livestock operation or another ethanol plant or a soybean plant or something else, we should know the city, the location that has the best water and rail – we should already have those identified and do a lot of that legwork for them.”

This isn’t the first attempt to move Ag Development into GOED but Noem is optimistic it will be successful. “We’re running at a different pace and we’re also giving the Secretary of Agriculture more authority in GOED,” said Noem.  “There will be more opportunities for the Department of Ag to dictate and to talk and to work cooperatively with GOED."

She continued,  “The way we’re doing it and structuring it, I really believe is going to make sure everybody is on the same page.  Sometimes there has been duplicate work being done by both agencies.  This will streamline the communication and give ag the opportunity to have more influence.”

Noem’s ag agenda also includes youth development, conservation and expanding trade opportunities.

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