Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Lending power for young producers, rural healthcare, sustainable food supply shaping SDFU convention

HURON, SD – The Policy committee of the South Dakota Farmers Union met last month and came up with proposals for its membership to consider at their state convention in December in Huron.  Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says one of their major special orders of business will be to call for the state to expand Medicaid.

Doug Sombke, President, SDFU

“We see this as a better way than socialized medicine,” said Sombke. “We need to support Medicaid expansion in South Dakota.  We’re paying the taxes for supporting that time of  program but we’re not reaping the benefits.”

He says another Special Order of Business they’ll consider is improving opportunities for locally grown foods.

“We all know from the past year of the pandemic what happened in our supply chain for food,” observed Sombke.  “Along with improving opportunities for locally grown foods, we don’t have a very strong position on processing these foods in this country.  Two-thirds of the processed foods in this country are from other countries.  That’s just not a good, sustainable position to be in.”

Sombke says in addition prior to their State Convention in December they’ll have a Special Order of Business centering around helping young producers get better lending power and equity opportunities.

“Lending power and equity for young producers – especially in the livestock industry – is the focus,” said Sombke. “When you’re young, you don’t have a lot of capital.  And your equity is always shifting on you with market fluctuations.  We’re looking at ways to change that in the banking industry.”

Sombke says these policies will be debated and decided on at their State Convention in December that will be held in person in Huron.

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