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Category: News Releases

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Our Way of Life Podcast Launched by State’s Largest Ag Organization

Posted on: June 5, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) premieres Our Way of Life podcast on their website June 2024. “Our Way of Life is another way to share the stories of South Dakota’s farm and ranch families,” explained Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director. “The podcast features the South Dakotans who do the work of our state’s largest industry. […]

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The Family Who Rodeos Together…Winner Rodeo Family Shares Their Story

Posted on: May 28, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union All three of Heather and Cody Moore’s sons are rodeo athletes. And the Tripp County parents say in addition to all the great life lessons Rowdy, Roper and Rider have gleaned from competing in the sport, it’s the friends they have made that they are most grateful […]

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Get to know the 2024 Intern Team

Posted on: May 9, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

Each summer, South Dakota Farmers Union welcomes three college-age students to serve as Education Program interns. These young adults assist Education Program Specialist Samantha Olson with curriculum development, county camp facilitation and serve as mentors to the junior leaders who plan and facilitate state camps. This year all three interns are Jackrabbits: Aeriel Eitreim, Minnehaha […]

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Get to Know Farmers Union Insurance Jenn Wickstrom, Buffalo Agency

Posted on: May 1, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

In 2013 Jenn and David Wickstrom welcomed their daughter, Joey, into the world. Their hearts were overflowing with love and joy. Joey also came with a couple surprises – she was blessed with Down Syndrome, but also a heart defect that would soon need to be repaired. This is when the community they loved gathered […]

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Never Stop Educating

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition For all of us long-time ethanol supporters, we share the frustration that American agriculture and the ethanol we produce is so often misunderstood. We were reminded of this after participating in the annual con­vention of the Society of Environmental Jour­nalists this month. This gathering of more than 750 journal­ists […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Launches 2024 Photo Contest: Celebrating Life on the Family Farm & Ranch

Posted on: April 30, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) hosts its annual photo contest, Celebrating Life on the Family Farm & Ranch May 1 – July 31, 2024. “Agriculture is our state’s No. 1 industry. This photo contest celebrates the families who do the work,” explained Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director. Photographers are invited to submit photos related to […]

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It’s Camp Season Farmers Union Camp Celebrates 90 Years of Leadership, Farm Safety & Cooperative Education

Posted on: April 29, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Rural youth from across South Dakota have been attending South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Camp for 90 years. And although the programming looks a bit different today than it did in 1934, Farmers Union Camp remains relevant because over the years it has evolved to meet the […]

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Celebrate Farm & Ranch Moms 2024

Posted on: April 25, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms! Read on to learn about Gettysburg farm mom, Gerri Eide and Hidden Timber ranch mom, Kodi Blotsky. By Lura Roti […]

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FFA Farm Safety Teams Qualify for State Fair Championship

Posted on:   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

Farm Safety FFA teams from Canton, Milbank, Platte-Geddes and Wessington Springs qualified during the FFA State Convention for the 2024 South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championship. Held August 31, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, the state’s largest agriculture organization holds the annual competition to keep farm safety […]

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FUEL Empowers the Next Generation of Ag Leadership

Posted on: April 11, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

When Jason and Kaeloni Latham were asked if they wanted to participate in the 2024 Farmers Union Enterprises Leadership (FUEL) program, they quickly said, “yes!” “It was an opportunity to help better agriculture, so why not,” said Jason, a fifth-generation Camp Crook rancher.The Lathams have three reasons they want to improve agriculture: Jaydon,9, Jarrett, 7, […]

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Aberdeen Farmer Elected Second Term as NFU Vice President

Posted on: March 11, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

Family farmers and ranchers from across the nation elected Aberdeen farmer, Jeff Kippley to serve a second term as the National Farmers Union Vice President today, March 11, during the organization’s national convention held in Scottsdale, Arizona. “There is more work to do, and I am eager to continue to work hard for you,” Kippley […]

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KELO Radio’s Bill Zortman Receives Excellence in Agricultural Journalism Award from National Farmers Union

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union For more than 60 years KELO Radio’s Bill Zortman has been giving rural citizens a voice. And today, March 11, National Farmers Union (NFU) recognized Zortman for his coverage of agriculture issues, presenting him with the Milt Hakel Excellence in Agricultural Journalism Award during the organization’s national […]

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Reliance Rancher Receives National Award

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Many years ago, a Priest shared words of wisdom with David Reis that the Reliance rancher never forgot. “He told me, ‘if you don’t hear babies crying in the pews, you just as well lock the doors because your church is dying.’” A third-generation Lyman County cattle […]

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South Dakota Delegates take Grassroots Policy to NFU Convention

Posted on: March 10, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

Family farmers and ranchers from across South Dakota are in Scottsdale, Arizona, advocating for policy supporting agriculture and rural communities during the 122nd National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention held March 10-12. “These members care about policy because grassroots policy, voted on by farmers and ranchers, is what guides our organization’s lobbying efforts in South Dakota […]

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Lake Area Technical College Students Learn About Diversity of Cooperatives

Posted on: February 27, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Before attending the Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives, all Landen Melius knew about cooperatives was from doing business at the local grain elevator and Chelsea Cenex station. Today, he knows much more thanks to touring several Minnesota-based cooperatives – each with a different focus – during […]

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Don’t Believe the EV Hype—For Ethanol, Stay the Course

Posted on: February 15, 2024   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Column by Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition Among the issues that have put a scare into the ethanol industry over the past few years, the threat of electric vehicles has received considerable attention. While threats to the RFS, artificial limits on blend volumes and diminishing export markets are real, the EV threat should rank […]

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Property Rights Focus of South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day 2024

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union 2024 is the first year Egan property owner Clayton Rentschler attended a South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day. Rentschler has farmland in Moody County and he is concerned about his property rights. “South Dakota Farmers Union are the only ones standing up for landowners who want to […]

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Legislators Oren Lesmeister & Will Mortenson Recognized for Service to Agriculture

Posted on: February 13, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes Minority Leader Oren Lesmeister and Majority Leader Will Mortenson for their dedication to serving South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers with the Service to Agriculture award today, February 13 during South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day in Pierre. “These two leaders worked […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers Advocate in Pierre for Landowner Rights & More

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Today, February 13, family farmers and ranchers from across the state traveled to Pierre to advocate for landowner rights and other policy that supports the individuals and families who make up South Dakota’s No. 1 industry of agriculture. February 13 is  South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day. “Legislative Day provides legislators with the opportunity to […]

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Get to Know Farmers Union Debbie Baumgarn Agency, Webster

Posted on: February 6, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

Debbie Baumgarn loves her work as a Farmers Union Insurance Agent because of the people she serves. “I enjoy working with people and developing relationships. It is important to me to build that trust with my customers, so they are comfortable with me helping them manage their risk,” Baumgarn said. “Because I focus on building […]

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Teamwork & Problem-Solving Key to South Dakota’s Winning FFA Ag Mechanics Team

Posted on: January 30, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

FFA Week 2024 Farmers Union Supports Next Generation of Ag Leaders: The future of South Dakota’s No. 1 industry of agriculture is in the hands of the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agriculture professionals. With this in mind, each year during FFA Week (Feb. 17-24) South Dakota Farmers Union highlights a South Dakota FFA […]

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Property Rights Panel Discussion Held During Watertown Winter Farm Show

Posted on: January 23, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union hosts “How You Can Protect Your Property Rights” panel discussion during the 2024 Watertown Winter Farm Show, February 7 at 2 p.m. at the Codington County Extension Office, Classroom B (1910 W Kemp Ave.). During the panel discussion, property owners will learn about surveying and condemnation/eminent domain process and how to […]

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Young Producers Event Provides Farmers & Ranchers with Marketing & Policy Insight

Posted on: January 16, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Being open to new ideas and having access to experts and information is essential to sustainability, said Travis Spiel, a 32-year-old Parade rancher. “The worst thing a farmer or rancher can do is keep doing things the same way just because it’s how they’ve always done it,” […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Supports Next Generation Ag Professionals With Graduate Scholarship

Posted on: January 11, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Raising a flock of sheep for his 4-H and FFA projects is how Grady Gullickson initially became interested in ruminant nutrition. “My brother, Gage, and I were in charge of how their feed was managed,” explained the fourth-generation Flandreau, South Dakota livestock producer. “I really enjoyed learning about the nutrition aspect and […]

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Rural Youth Receive College Scholarships

Posted on: January 10, 2024   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation recently awarded $500 scholarships to youth from five rural South Dakota communities.   “Youth are our future. These scholarships are among the ways Farmers Union can support rural youth as they pursue the education necessary to keep South Dakota’s agriculture and rural economy strong and moving forward,” […]

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Get to Know Farmers Union Insurance Stacy Mongar Agency, Sioux Falls

Posted on: December 15, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Recently, Stacy Mongar received a phone call from a Farmers Union health insurance client. The client was faced with a difficult decision and needed Mongar’s help. The client’s finger was severely injured and the surgeon at the hospital who carried their insurance said the best outcome was amputation. When the client went for a second […]

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Wayne Soren Passes Vice Presidential Torch to Next Generation

Posted on: December 10, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Since 2010, Lake Preston farmer, Wayne Soren, has helped lead the state’s largest agriculture organization serving as Vice President of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU). During the organization’s 108th State Convention, Soren passed the torch on to Aberdeen farmer, Jeff Kippley, 44. “I think we have a lot of dynamic young leaders […]

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The Path to Higher Blends—Artificial Barriers Limiting Us to 10 percent

Posted on: December 6, 2023   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

by Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition Last month’s column on the concerns we see with the RIN system concluded that we would look at pathways to higher blends so we would not be captive to the RFS. When I say captive, I say so in the sense that it has been very difficult to […]

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DOJ Discusses Market Concentration with Farmers & Ranchers During Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: December 5, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

by Lura Roti Supply and demand drive the market. Or do they? Market manipulation was the focus of a panel discussion hosted during the South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held in Huron, December 1. U.S. Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General, Michael Kades was among the panelists to discuss this challenge with family farmers […]

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Farmers Union Names Jerauld County Farmer Agriculture Ambassador

Posted on: December 1, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti South Dakota Farmers Union names Jerauld County farmer and life-long public servant Jim Burg the 2023 Ag Ambassador in recognition of his leadership and dedication to South Dakota agriculture and rural communities. “If Webster Dictionary had an image of what a civil servant looked like, it would be a photo of Jim […]

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Brown County Farmer Re-Elected to Serve as President of South Dakota Farmers Union

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Doug Sombke was elected to serve his 10th term as President of South Dakota Farmers Union today (Dec. 1) making the fourth-generation Brown County farmer among the longest serving Presidents of South Dakota’s largest agriculture organization. “It is an honor to serve South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers,” Sombke said. “Guided by our grassroots policy, […]

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Aberdeen Farmer Announces Run for Second Term as NFU Vice President

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Jeff Kippley, Aberdeen farmer and National Farmers Union Vice President, announced his run for a second term of service during the South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 in Huron. “There is more work to do, so I hope you elect me again so I can continue to work hard […]

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Protecting Property Rights Takes Courage & Advocacy

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

County Commissioners have the power to protect landowner rights. It requires bravery. And if you think your land is not in danger of private interests using eminent domain to lay claim to it – just wait. These were the messages shared by panelists to a packed convention hall during the Landowner Rights panel discussion held […]

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Brown County Volunteer Receives Minnie Lovinger Award

Posted on: November 30, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Educating youth is something Margaret Sumption has been passionate about most of her life.  “I have always enjoyed kids, and as a teacher I found that they are generally happy and certainly every day is different,” Sumption explains. Sumption was recognized by South Dakota Farmers Union […]

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Get to Know Farmers Union Insurance Kay Koch Agency, Salem

Posted on: November 20, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

When it comes to insurance, Kay Koch has experience in all sides of the business. “Before becoming a Farmers Union Insurance Agent, I oversaw all the financial and insurance aspects of nine dental clinics. So, I have a really strong grasp on filing insurance claims – upside down and backwards,” Koch explained. Koch was 12 […]

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You Can’t Put a RIN in Your Gas Tank

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Doug Durante, Clean Fuels Development Coalition With the RFS still under attack from various sectors, there has been a lot of talk about RINs lately and how the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) creates RINs and how great that is. A RIN is a credit based on a Renewable Identification Number assigned to each gallon of […]

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U.S. Dept. of Justice to Address Packer Accountability During 108th Farmers Union State Convention

Posted on: November 13, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union  Packer accountability and landowner rights are the focus of speakers and panel discussions during the 108th South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention. Held in Huron November 30 and December 1 at the Crossroads Hotel and Huron Event Center (100 4th St SW). “We are here to fight […]

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Veteran Farmer Says National Guard Service Takes Grit

Posted on: October 26, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Fencing. In the days leading up to Cameron Lux’s 2021 deployment to the southern border, the Wetonka farmer and his mom and dad worked late into the night putting up fence so his cattle would have access to plenty of forage and water while he was away. “We were given 10 days […]

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Farmers Union Gives Breeding Livestock to Six Rural Youth

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti If the 2023 Western Junior Livestock Show is any indication, South Dakota youth are serious about their livestock. More than 350 youth from South Dakota and six surrounding states took time away from school activities to show their sheep, goats and cattle at this Rapid City show. Six of these youth won […]

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East River Electric Power Cooperative Reflects on Legacy Focused on Future

Posted on: September 28, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Just a few days ago, Bob Sahr participated in the groundbreaking of a soybean and oilseed processing plant near Mitchell. The CEO/General Manager of East River Electric Power Cooperative said being a part of a business model that supports rural citizens and their communities is rewarding. “It’s pretty exciting to be part of large projects […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Take on Secretary of Agriculture’s Challenge During D.C. Fly-In

Posted on: September 13, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is not afraid to get creative when it comes to securing a future for America’s farm and ranch families. During his September 11 conversation with family farmers and ranchers during the National Farmers Union D.C. Fly-In, Vilsack asked this question: “How many farms have we lost […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers Advocate in D.C. for What They Need in 2023 Farm Bill

Posted on: September 12, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

The 2023 Farm Bill is nearly final and a group of South Dakota family farmers and ranchers are in D.C. to ensure the Farm Bill includes what they need. “There is no one better to advocate for what family farmers and ranchers need than family farmers and ranchers,” explained Doug Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Advocates for Additional Safeguards Following PUC’s Summit Carbon Solutions Permit Denial

Posted on: September 11, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Today, September 11, Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline was denied a permit by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission with a unanimous 3-0 vote. Summit’s $5.5 billion project aims to establish a pipeline network traversing five states- including South Dakota- to transport CO2 emissions from 34 ethanol plants. Farmers, ranchers, landowners and community members have pushed […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Applauds PUC’s action, Calls for Additional Protections

Posted on: September 7, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Huron, S.D. –  September 5 the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) rejected Navigator CO2’s application for a permit to construct the Heartland Greenway carbon capture pipeline. The company’s request sought to disregard county pipeline setback ordinances. The PUC’s unanimous decision pointed to the company’s lack of transparency in disclosing carbon dioxide plume modeling and […]

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Platte-Geddes FFA Chapter Wins Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl

Posted on: September 2, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Teens from Platte-Geddes FFA Chapter were named the 2023 Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Champions Sept. 2, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. “The contest is a fun way to incorporate farm safety. We were all focused and ready to answer questions,” said Brooklyn Nepodal a member of the Platte-Geddes […]

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Farmers & Ranchers Feed 1,000 Fairgoers a 42-Cent Lunch

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Even during a year when crop and cattle markets are up, South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers still earn much less than what consumers pay at the grocery checkout. To reinforce this fact, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) is providing lunch September 2 South Dakota State Fair attendees for only 42-cents – the price family […]

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2023 Farmers Union Camp Season A Success

Posted on: July 31, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Playing in the dirt. This may not be the first thing you think about when you think about summer camp, but nearly 100 rural youth from across South Dakota got their hands dirty planting as they learned about seed germination during Farmers Union Jr. State Camp held July 23-26 at Camp Byron near Huron. “Kids […]

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Advocating for Landowner Rights Focus of Farmers Union Day at 2023 South Dakota State Fair

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Advocating for Landowner Rights Focus of Farmers Union Day at 2023 South Dakota State Fair Hundreds of farm and ranch families plan to attend the 2023 South Dakota State Fair. And the state’s largest agricultural organization and the premiere sponsor of the State Fair has a full day of events to educate and entertain. Farmers […]

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South Dakota’s 4-H and FFA Families Prepare for 2023 State Fair

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti With 2023 State Fair approaching, South Dakota Farmers Union checked in with three 4-H and FFA families: the Eide family from Gettysburg and the Michalek and Rose families from Chamberlain. As the premier sponsor of the South Dakota State Fair, Farmers Union wanted to learn their stories. We wanted to learn, what […]

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Farmers Union Supports Brown County Commission’s Eminent Domain Reform Request

Posted on: July 20, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union Board of Directors and State Policy Committee supports the Board of Brown County Commissioners resolution asking the Governor and Lt. Governor to revise South Dakota law to eliminate the taking of private property for non-public use. “As Summit Carbon Solutions, a private corporation actively ignores landowners’ property rights, the Board of […]

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Campers Learn Leadership Survival Skills During 2023 State Camp

Posted on: June 27, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Survivor season 21 contestant and Eureka, S.D. farmer Holly Hoffman had these words of advice for campers after surviving 38 days in the jungle of Nicaragua. “When you feel like quitting, and you don’t, it will be the greatest reward you will ever discover.” Hoffman shared how on day five […]

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Plankinton Ranch Family Prepares for SD High School Rodeo Finals

Posted on: June 8, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti It doesn’t surprise Rustin or Kama Bruns that their children love rodeo. “Our kids grew up on horses,” Kama explained. “I would be pregnant riding horses and they would be babies and riding with us. So, it was pretty natural just to go in and start rodeoing.” The family raises Angus and […]

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Examine CO2 Pipeline Study Closely

Posted on: June 6, 2023   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Editorial Submission by Doug Sombke There can be little disagreement that the proposed pipeline capturing CO2 from our ethanol plants has become a bitter, divisive issue. The recent study by South Dakota ethanol producers estimating a value to the state of nearly $6 billion needs to be carefully examined.  Dominik Dauch’s recent article delving into […]

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Summit Carbon Solutions is No Friend to Farmers

Posted on: May 3, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Column by Doug Sombke, President South Dakota Farmers Union Summit Carbon Solutions has violated farmers’ landowner rights. The company attempting to build a CO2 pipeline across the state is suing more than 80 South Dakota farmers who do not want the company and its pipeline on their land. South Dakota Farmers Union members addressed the […]

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FFA Chapters Qualify for Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships

Posted on: April 27, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Four FFA Chapters qualified for the Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships during the 2023 State FFA Convention. The qualifying FFA Chapters are Gettysburg, Selby Area, Platte-Geddes and Wolsey-Wessington. The four teams qualified to compete in the Quiz Bowl Championships held during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, […]

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Celebrate Farm & Ranch Moms

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Profiles by Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry –farm and ranch moms! Read on to learn about Aberdeen farm mom, Rachel Kippley and Parade […]

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SD Farmers & Ranchers Ask for MCOOL During Farm Bill Fly In

Posted on: April 18, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

It’s calving season across South Dakota, but a group of family farmers and ranchers still made time to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with policy makers and U.S.D.A. officials and advocate for what they need in the upcoming Farm Bill. “No one can carry our message like we can. This advocacy effort is important […]

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NFU Workshop Highlights Technology That Allows Diesel Engines to Run on Ethanol

Posted on: March 27, 2023   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

During the National Farmers Union Convention attendees learned about a new technology which would allow diesel engines to run on ethanol. The engineer who co-developed the technology said he wasn’t out to sell more ethanol – he wanted to develop a way to lower carbon emissions in long-haul trucks. And ethanol fit the bill. “If […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers Unite to Develop Policy That Supports Their Future

Posted on: March 7, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota family farmers and ranchers are in San Francisco working to develop policy that supports the future of their farms, ranches and rural communities during the 121 National Farmers Union Convention held March 5-7. “The work you are doing here is big,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), during a […]

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Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announcement Creates Hope Among American Cattle Producers

Posted on: March 6, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

The Product of the U.S.A. label will solely belong to livestock born, raised and harvested in the U.S. announced Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The proposed ruling was announced today, March 6, during the National Farmers Union Convention held in San Francisco (Want to hear the announcement for yourself? Click here. Skip ahead to […]

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Edmunds County Farmer & Aberdeen Insurance Agent Receives National Award

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Edmunds County farmer and Farmers Union Insurance agent, Cameron Lux was recognized today, by National Farmers Union during the 2023 National Convention held in San Francisco, California, with the Bruce Miller Award for his dedicated service to family farmers and ranchers. “This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the mission and vision of Famers Union. Cameron […]

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Lake Area Technical College Students Learn About Diversity of Cooperatives

Posted on: March 2, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Lake Area Technical College (LATC) agriculture students joined students from 10 other post-secondary schools in Minneapolis for the College Conference on Cooperatives. An annual conference hosted by National Farmers Union (NFU) to educate, motivate, and inspire the next generation of leaders in cooperatives, South Dakota Farmers Union sponsored the opportunity for the LATC students. “Cooperative […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers in Pierre to Advocate

Posted on: February 28, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Family farmers and ranchers from across the state arrived in Pierre today, February 28, to advocate for policy to strengthen agriculture and rural communities during South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Legislative Day 2023. “Fewer legislators today engage in agriculture, than in the past, so it is important that they are able to connect with the […]

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Delegates Prepare to Take South Dakota Policy to 2023 NFU National Convention

Posted on: February 27, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Dallas farmer Hank Wonnenberg serves as chair of SDFU Policy Committee and was asked to serve on the NFU Policy Committee for the 2023 National Farmers Union (NFU) Convention. He said during a recent pre-convention meeting held at the NFU D.C. headquarters, he had an opportunity to see firsthand the impact National Farmers Union and […]

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Brown County Farmer Reflects on Year of Service

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A year ago, Aberdeen farmer, Jeff Kippley made history when he was elected to serve as Vice President of National Farmers Union. It was the first time in more than 100 years that a South Dakotan was elected to this national position. “I ran to advocate for and serve family farmers and ranchers because I […]

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SB185 – IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED FOREIGN OWNERSHIP OF AG LAND

Posted on: February 20, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

Agriculture, banking, real estate, and many other groups testified against SB185 at the SD Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee meeting on February 14, 2023. Proponents were mostly government and government-related entities. South Dakota Farmers Union does not support SB185 because of the following: South Dakota Farmers Union urges the SD Senate to defeat SB 185! If foreign entities buying or […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Supports Reintroduction of Meat Packing Special Investigator Act

Posted on: February 10, 2023   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota’s largest family farmer and rancher organization supports reintroduction of the Meat Packing Special Investigator Act by U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). “South Dakota Farmers Union’s member-led policy supported this Act when it was first introduced in 2022 and we appreciate the Senators’ diligence in re-introducing this […]

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Mentors Matter & Other Lessons Learned from 2022 Miss Rodeo South Dakota

Posted on: February 7, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Reflecting on her year serving as the 2022 Miss Rodeo South Dakota, Adrianne Schaunaman says it was the “ride of a lifetime.” “If I could do this every single day of my life, I would because I love meeting people, I love traveling and I love representing agriculture, rodeo and […]

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Sioux Falls CTE Academy FFA Chapter Celebrates Its First FFA Week

Posted on: February 1, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti During the school year, Amanda Wolf lives with her parents and four siblings in Sioux Falls. But during the summer months, she’s outdoors caring for goats, chickens, rabbits and geese on her Aunt Megan’s Lincoln County farm. “I have a heart for agriculture,” said the Roosevelt High School student. “Farming and overall […]

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Young Farmers & Ranchers from Across Midwest Gather in Deadwood to Focus on Future of Agriculture

Posted on: January 30, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Young farmers and ranchers from across South Dakota, North Dakota and Oklahoma came together in Deadwood Jan. 20-21 to gain skills and information to help them succeed on their families’ farms and ranches. The Young Producer event was hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) in coordination with Farmers Union organizations in […]

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Family Farmers Donate 35,000 Pounds of Pork to Feeding South Dakota

Posted on: January 23, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

In an effort to help South Dakotans struggling with increased grocery costs, South Dakota Farmers Union partnered with Farmers Union Enterprises to donate 35,000 pounds of pork to Feeding South Dakota. “Family farmers and ranchers are not immune to increased grocery prices. Like everyone else, our food costs have gone up, but our income has […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Veterinary Student Through Graduate Scholarship

Posted on: January 10, 2023   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Lauren Larson knew from a young age that she wanted to become a veterinarian. “I was four or five when I understood what a vet was, and from that time on, it was the career I set my heart on,” explained the recipient of the 2022 South Dakota Farmers Union $2,500 Graduate […]

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Farmers Union Awards Rural Youth with High Honor

Posted on: December 19, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union honored a group of devoted youth for their commitment to community, involvement and leadership development during the 2022 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention held in Huron Dec. 15-16. The Torchbearer Award is the highest achievement in the S.D. Farmers Union Education Program. To receive the award, a student must complete five […]

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Direct Marketing Beef Focus of Panel Discussion

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma rancher, Scott Blubaugh saw a large disparity between what he was earning for the cattle he sold and what the packers were earning for the cattle they bought from him. “The packers were making $1,300 a head on the same animal our ranchers were losing $300 […]

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States Largest Ag Organization Names Salem Farmer 2022 Ag Ambassador

Posted on: December 16, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Fifth-generation McCook County farmer, Jim Wahle was named 2022 Ag Ambassador by South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) on December 16 during the organization’s state convention held in Huron. “Jim is an exceptional steward of the land, and a leader who has worked hard throughout his farming career to make things better for future family farmers […]

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Small But Mighty Group of Family Farmers & Ranchers Gather in Huron for 2022 Farmers Union State Convention

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Policy is the focus of the 2022 South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) State Convention. Held in Huron, December 15 and 16 in spite of Winter Storm Diaz. “Policy and making it is a big deal to us,” said Dick Kolousek, a Wessington Springs cattle producer who ranches with his wife Janet and son, Scott and […]

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Department of Justice Antitrust Representative & S.D. Attorney General to Speak During 2022 Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: November 21, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Packer Accountability is among the topics experts from across the state and nation will discuss during the 2022 South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) State Convention held in Huron December 15 and 16. “We are here to fight for family farmers and ranchers,” said Doug Sombke, SDFU President and Conde crop and cattle producer. “Holding meat […]

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Farmers Union Members Celebrate Medicaid Expansion

Posted on: November 9, 2022   |   Categories: Mental Health, News Releases

Following the Nov. 8 vote, South Dakota Farmers Union members join with the majority of South Dakotans in celebrating the passage of Amendment D. “Medicaid expansion keeps our tax dollars in South Dakota and it will help farm and ranch families access healthcare,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “Our rural communities […]

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Cattle Producer and Advocate Credits Time in Army with More than College Degree

Posted on: October 25, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti  Gregory rancher Brett Kenzy is many things. He is a husband, a father, a business partner with his brother, George, in their family’s fourth-generation crop and cattle operation, a South Dakota Farmers Union member and the national president of R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America).   Kenzy is also a veteran. […]

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Capturing a Larger Share in a Shrinking Pool: The Ethanol Survival Guide

Posted on:   |   Categories: EPA, News Releases

By Jim Seurer, CEO,  Glacial Lakes Energy & Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union The ethanol and entire biofuel industry is pacing the floor like an expecting parent waiting for the baby to be born as the new EPA “set” rule is going to be unveiled soon establishing renewable volumes for the next three years. […]

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Six Farm & Ranch Youth Win Breeding Stock Through Farmers Union Herd Builder Program  

Posted on: October 18, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Pre-veterinary student Madison Hofer is eager to apply the skills she’s learning in classes at South Dakota State University (SDSU) to the breeding ewe she just won from South Dakota Farmers Union. “This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to raise my own sheep,” explained […]

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Cooperative Takes Proactive Approach to Recruiting Young Board Members

Posted on: October 3, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Getting young farmers to serve on the board of directors was a challenge facing Central Farmers Cooperative. To overcome it, the full-service agriculture co-op decided to take a proactive approach. “We felt it was important to get some younger people involved, so we started an apprenticeship program […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union President Says Grassroots Policy Supports Wetlands Compliance & Appeals Reform Act

Posted on: September 26, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Policy put in place by members of South Dakota’s largest agriculture organization, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), supports the NRCS Wetland Compliance and Appeals Reform Act introduced by Senator Mike Rounds the week of September 19, 2022. “Our policy supports a landowner’s ability to make decisions for the land they own,” explained Doug Sombke, SDFU […]

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South Dakota Cattle Producers Meet with Dept. of Justice Anti-Trust Division

Posted on: September 19, 2022   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Cattle producers shared personal stories of anticompetitive practices and the Department of Justice listened. “Eyes were wide open and notepads came out,” explained a South Dakota cattle producer. “The Assistant Attorney General stayed way longer than scheduled and the staff continued to ask questions.” “They were totally shocked,” added Oren Lesmeister, a Parade rancher and […]

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South Dakota Family Farmers & Ranchers Advocate Meet with Secretary of Agriculture & Policy Makers During D.C. Fly-In

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Family farmers and ranchers making time to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials does make a difference, said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. “Thank you to National Farmers Union. In many respects NFU has been the […]

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S.D. Family Farmers & Ranchers in D.C. to Advocate for Fair Prices

Posted on: September 14, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota family farmers and ranchers took time away from their crops and livestock to travel to D.C. this week (September 11-14) to meet with policy makers and advocate for fair prices. “We are here so Congressional leaders can hear from actual family farmers and ranchers and understand the impact the policy they develop in […]

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Tragedy Inspires Farm Safety-Focused Children’s Book

Posted on: September 8, 2022   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Troy Boomsma says if someone told him that he would lose a son in a tractor rollover, he would say that could never happen. But it did. And when the Boomsma family lost 7-year-old Jaxon to a farm accident on his grandparents’ farm Easter Weekend 2017, Troy […]

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Lennox FFA Chapter Wins 2022 State Fair Farm Safety Quiz Bowl

Posted on: September 3, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union announced Lennox FFA Chapter as the Farm Safety Quiz Bowl champions following the contest held September 3 during the South Dakota State Fair. “Farm and ranch work can be dangerous if safety is not top of mind. This is the reason Farmers Union hosts this contest each year. To keep safety […]

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Fairgoers Make Wishes Come True During Farmers Union Day at the State Fair

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers UnionDuring South Dakota Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, the state’s largest agriculture organization partnered with Make-A-Wish South Dakota & Montana to adopt a wish for a South Dakota child living with a critical illness. “Make-A-Wish has a special place in many hearts because it […]

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Farmers Feed 1,000 Fairgoers & Rural Volunteers Recognized During Farmers Union Day at the State Fair

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

With grocery prices soaring, doesn’t it make sense that farmers and ranchers would also see an increase in profits? This just isn’t the case, explained Union Center rancher, Dallis Basel. “We go grocery shopping just like everyone else,” said Basel, who raises sheep and cattle together with his wife, Tammy. “Even though prices are up […]

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What a Farmer Earns: Farmer Share Lunch Feeds Fairgoers for 35 Cents

Posted on: August 13, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

During the South Dakota State Fair, Fairgoers can eat a $13 lunch for only 35 cents. It’s South Dakota Famers Union (SDFU) way of helping consumers understand just how much money family farmers and ranchers earn from the food products they raise. “It’s our way of letting consumers know that even though prices are up […]

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Strengthening South Dakota’s Beef Industry is Focus of Farmers Union State Fair Forum

Posted on: August 11, 2022   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Working to hold meat packers and food processors accountable and transparent is a focus of Farmers Union grassroots policy. During Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, the state’s largest agriculture organization will host a panel discussion focused on strengthening South Dakota’s Beef Industry. Date: September 3, 2022 Time: 1 p.m. Location: Freedom Stage at the South Dakota State […]

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Farmers Union Day at the State Fair

Posted on: August 3, 2022   |   Category: News Releases
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Kolousek Family Shares How Soil Health Extends Grazing Season and Keeps Soil from Blowing

Posted on: July 28, 2022   |   Categories: News Releases, Soil Health

By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union If you take care of the soil, it will take care of you, explained fourth-generation Wessington Springs farmer, Dick Kolousek. “The more we can do to keep the soil productive, the more the soil will produce – even in dry years,” Dick said during a Soil Health […]

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Members Support Family Farms Through Policy

Posted on: July 27, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Members guide South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) through grassroots policy development that supports family farms and ranches. It’s been this way since the beginning explains Doug Sombke, SDFU President and Conde farmer. “For more than a century, our family farm and ranch focus has united us as members – not a specific commodity or issue,” […]

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Rural Youth Leaders Eager to Serve & Strengthen Farmers Union Camp Experience

Posted on: July 20, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Melanie Raap-Eitreim, Aeriel Eitreim’s mom attended Farmers Union camp as a kid. She’s the reason Aeriel signed up to attend Farmers Union camp with her cousins 10 years ago. Ashley Hanson has a similar story. Her dad, Lorrie, attended Farmers Union camp when he was a kid. “My dad liked Farmers Union camp and he […]

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SD Farmers Union President Urges President Biden to Look Closer to Home For Gas Price Answers

Posted on: July 18, 2022   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Forget Saudi Arabia: Biden Should Have Gone to South Dakota (Reprinted from the Argus Leader July 17, 2022)   President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil seems unnecessary to us—he could have saved himself a long trip by coming to see what is being done right here in South Dakota. Sky […]

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Students Grow in Leadership Through Challenges and Activities During 2022 Farmers Union Camp

Posted on: July 12, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

by Toby Kane for South Dakota Farmers Union Leadership isn’t necessarily taught. It is something learned over time through challenges, inspiration and discussion. That was part of the message from this year’s South Dakota Farmers Union Senior Camp held at Storm Mountain Center. On June 6-10, students participated in a variety of activities from ropes […]

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Update on Policy Supporting Fair & Transparent Markets for Cattle Producers

Posted on: June 30, 2022   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Just a few months following his National Farmers Union keynote address, Montana Sen. Jon Tester provided cattle producers with an update on the work underway in D.C. for fair prices. “If we want rural America to remain strong and vibrant, it’s critical that the cattle producers that feed us have access to fair markets and […]

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Nominate a Volunteer for 2022 Rural Dakota Pride Award

Posted on: May 23, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Nominations are now open for the 2022 Rural Dakota Pride awards. Designed to recognize volunteers who give back to their rural communities and sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), rural citizens are encouraged to nominate a volunteer from their community on or before July 1. “We all know individuals who share their time and […]

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2022 Farmers Union Camps Focus on Leadership, Unique Learning Experiences

Posted on: May 20, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Toby Kane South Dakota Farmers Union is making leadership a hands-on part of their 2022 slate of educational youth camps. “Leadership is not something you just do, it is learned and practiced through your daily interactions,” said Educational Director Rachel Haigh-Blume. “Leadership development is such an important part of encouraging our youth and young […]

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Farmers Union Interns Teach Rural Youth About Farm Safety, Cooperation and Leadership

Posted on: May 12, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Each summer South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) seeks out exceptional individuals to aid the organization in its summer youth education efforts. “These interns are integral to our educational mission,” said Educational Director Rachel Haigh-Blume. “Working as a team, we create fun ways to bring farm safety, cooperative and leadership education to South Dakota’s rural youth. […]

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Canton, Gettysburg, Kimball and Lennox FFA Chapters Qualify for Farm Safety Championship

Posted on: May 9, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – During the State FFA Convention held in Brookings, FFA Chapters from Canton, Gettysburg, Kimball and Lennox qualified for the South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Championships held during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, September 3. “Farming is among the most dangerous careers on the planet, so […]

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Celebrating Farm and Ranch Moms This Mother’s Day

Posted on: April 19, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

by Lura Roti As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms! Read on to learn about Camp Crooks ranch mom and grandma, Kay Latham and Conde farm mom, […]

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Co-op Leaders Encourage Engagement

Posted on: April 5, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Cooperative success depends upon member engagement, explained Kurt Pfeifle, Executive Director of the South Dakota Association of Rural Water Systems. “Apathy is Kryptonite to cooperative success,” Pfeifle said. “When a cooperative suffers from lack of interest among its members, its foundation falters. Cooperatives that have been tremendously successful have strong member-leadership and provide outstanding service.” […]

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Young Producers Discuss How to Have Tough Conversations & More during 2022 Deadwood Event

Posted on: March 24, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU With two young sons and working full time as a nurse practitioner, Amy Albrecht says it’s tough to find uninterrupted time for conversations of any kind with her husband, Chris, let alone those of a serious nature. So, she found quite a bit of value in the fact she and […]

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Young Agriculture Producers from Meade & Hand counties Selected for Leadership Opportunity

Posted on: March 23, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

During National Farmers Union Convention policy sessions, state’s delegates sit at tables in long rows, their state flags proudly displayed. As Karla Hofhenke, checked in with South Dakota’s delegates ahead of the 2022 session, she noticed something. “I looked across the session hall and realized South Dakota had one of the youngest delegations,” said Hofhenke, […]

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Grassroots Policy Established by Family Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on: March 21, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) delegates worked hard to represent the state’s grassroots policy during the National Farmers Union Convention. “Policy, not politics. This is how South Dakota Farmers Union works to make positive change for family farmers and ranchers – through grassroots policy,” explained Doug Sombke, SDFU President and Conde farmer. And delegates lost […]

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National Farmers Union Biofuels Panel Discuss Ethanol’s Role Today

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President Doug Sombke was one of two panelists serving on a Biofuels panel during the 2022 National Farmers Union Convention held in Denver. The other panelist was Dan Bowerson, Senior Director, Energy and Environment at the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. The panel focused on ethanol’s role today, and where the […]

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SDFU President Re-Elected to Serve as National Farmers Union Treasurer

Posted on: March 14, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Representing more than 20,000 family farmers and ranchers throughout South Dakota in his role as S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke was re-elected to serve as Treasurer of the national organization’s executive board during the 120th NFU Convention, held in Denver, Colorado, February 27-March 1. “My first priority is serving South Dakota Farmers Union members. […]

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South Dakota Farmer Elected Vice President of National Farmers Union

Posted on: February 28, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota cow/calf and crop farmer, Jeff Kippley was elected to serve family farmers and ranchers from across the nation as National Farmers Union Vice President. He was elected today, February 28, during the 2022 National Farmers Union Convention held in Denver, Colorado. “I am honored family farmers and ranchers put their trust in me […]

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Parade, South Dakota Rancher Receives National Award

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Parade rancher and District 28-A Legislator Oren Lesmeister was recognized today, by National Farmers Union during the 2022 National Convention held in Denver, Colorado, with the Bruce Miller Award for his active involvement in state and national Farmers Union events as well as service to his state and community. “This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Take State Farmers Union Policy to National Convention

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota family farmers and ranchers are in Denver today through March 1 to support grassroots policy during the 2022 National Farmers Union Convention. “This is how grassroots policy in a national organization works. We establish it here in South Dakota and then we advocate on its behalf at the National Convention,” explained Doug Sombke, […]

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Past FFA State Officer & Future Rural Physician Reflects

Posted on: February 8, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti In 2020, Hunter Eide was elected to serve as the South Dakota State FFA Secretary. Together with his teammates, Eide represented and served more than 4,800 FFA members from 99 schools across South Dakota. In celebration of FFA week, Feb. 19-26, South Dakota Farmers Union sat down with Eide, who is also […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Recognizes Dist. 16 & 19 Legislators for Support of Agriculture

Posted on: February 7, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota’s largest agriculture organization recognizes legislators David Anderson and Marty Overweg for their dedicated support of South Dakota’s No. 1 industry of agriculture. South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) presented the awards February 7 in the Capitol Rotunda during Farmers Union Legislative Day. “Agriculture is the backbone of our state’s economy and yet in Pierre […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers Travel to Pierre to Lobby During 2022 Farmers Union Legislative Day

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Family farmers and ranchers from across South Dakota traveled to Pierre to visit with legislators about policy important to their farms, ranches, families, and rural communities during South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Legislative Day, Feb. 7. “This is the one day during session that Farmers Union is the focus,” explained Doug Sombke, SDFU President and […]

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South Dakota Farmer Runs for Vice President of National Farmers Union

Posted on: February 1, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Fifth-generation crop and cattle producer and small business owner, Jeff Kippley announces his candidacy for Vice President of National Farmers Union. “It is my hope to serve Farmers Union through this role because ultimately it is my goal to see my children, and the children of other family farmers and ranchers, be able to return […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Recognizes Union, Aurora, Brown, and Faulk County Youth with the 2021 Torchbearer Honor

Posted on: January 17, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union honored a group of devoted youth for their commitment to community, involvement and leadership development during the 2021 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention held in Huron Dec. 16-17. The Torchbearer Award is the highest achievement in the S.D. Farmers Union Education Program. To receive the award, a camper must complete five […]

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National FSA & RMA Administrators Speak to Members

Posted on: January 15, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Like most family farmers and ranchers Zach Ducheneaux understands what it’s like when profits are tight. To emphasize this point, the Farm Service Agency Administrator and fourth-generation South Dakota rancher shared this story with Farmers Union members during his State Convention talk. “Growing up a child of the farm financial crisis, I remember one day, […]

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Family Farmers & Ranchers Put Policy in Place for A Better Future for South Dakota Agriculture

Posted on: December 21, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

During his keynote address, South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, challenged family farmers and ranchers to take a moment to reflect and ask themselves: “What am I doing to help mankind?” Of course, the answer is unique for each of the many South Dakota family farmers and ranchers gathered in Huron December 16-17 for […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Elects Leadership During 2021 State Convention

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

True to South Dakota Farmers Union grassroots philosophy, as an organization focused on family farmers and ranchers, leaders of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) are family farmers and ranchers. During the 2021 State Convention held Dec. 16 and 17 in Huron, an election was held and members re-elected Conde farmer, Doug Sombke to serve as […]

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SD Farmers Union Honors Jim Woster and Joel Keierleber as 2021 Ag Ambassadors

Posted on: December 17, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

by Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) recognizes Jim Woster and Joel Keierleber for their dedicated service to South Dakota agriculture. The state’s largest agriculture organization named them the 2021 Ag Ambassadors during an awards ceremony held December 16 and 17 in Huron during the organizations 106th State Convention. […]

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Industrial Hemp Won’t Save Family Farms but it has A Future In South Dakota

Posted on:   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Experts on industrial hemp drew a crowd of farmers and ranchers for a panel discussion hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union during the organization’s 106th Convention held in Huron Dec. 16-17. “Industrial hemp is a crop I do not know a lot about, so I wanted to […]

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Clark County Farmer Recognized With Minnie Lovinger Award

Posted on: December 16, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Even before she had children of her own, Gail Temple volunteered her time to organize youth programming for Clark county as a South Dakota Farmers Union County Education Director. “I saw a need. Clark County did not have an education director and I had friends with kids,” explains Temple, who grew up attending Farmers Union […]

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The Good. The Bad. The Ugly. Industrial Hemp Grower Shares All

Posted on: November 16, 2021   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union When asked about growing industrial hemp the first year it was legal in South Dakota, Wessington farmer, BJ McNeil doesn’t sugar-coat his experience. “You could not have asked for a worse experience than what we had this year. But we learned a lot.” McNeil will share what […]

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De Smet Farmer & Veteran Reflects on Time in Service

Posted on: November 11, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Just over a decade ago, Rob Lee told his dad, Roger, that he would understand if Roger farmed the land he typically leased to Rob. After all, Lee was leaving for a year-long deployment to Afghanistan and wouldn’t be home to farm it. “Dad said, “I will plant it for you and […]

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State’s Largest Farm Organization Helps Next Generation Build Up Their Herd

Posted on: October 18, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti When she was 7, Swayze Ness’ dad, LeRoy, offered to sell she and her siblings each a bred heifer for $20. “We were standing out in the pasture. I instantly wanted three. My brother wanted a red one and my sister didn’t want to hand over the $20,” Ness recalls. The Kimball […]

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Farmers Union Insurance Welcomes Program Specialist Corey Wiegel of Huron

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Insurance is something Corey Wiegel is quite familiar with. Before the new Farmers Union Insurance Program Specialist joined the team this summer, he spent 25 years working in rural healthcare as a district manager for Sanford Health Home Medical. “I worked in rural communities across eastern South Dakota. This experience gave me a solid understanding […]

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Co-op Members Share Why They Believe in the Cooperative Business Model

Posted on: October 7, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Because of their unique business model, cooperatives have played an integral role in meeting the needs of rural South Dakotans. To celebrate Cooperative Month 2021 and honor the organization’s more than a century of support for cooperatives, South Dakota Farmers Union asked South Dakota cooperative members to […]

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This Judge Gets It: SD Farmers Union President Appreciates Judge Ruling on Lawsuit Against Big Four Packers

Posted on: October 4, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

After hearing the news that a federal judge in Minnesota ordered a class-action lawsuit against JBS, Tyson, National Beef, and Cargill to proceed, South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke said after decades, finally a judge, “gets it.” “This judge gets it,” explained Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer. “My entire farming career, we have been […]

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Behind the Scenes of State Fair & Western Junior Showrings: 4-Hers Share What it Takes

Posted on: September 27, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Sawdust carpeted showrings filled with well-dressed youth, attentive to judges as they show their clean, expertly groomed and calm livestock – this is what State Fair and Western Junior Livestock Show visitors see. But what does it take to get there? Lyman County 4-H members, Haleigh, Keeleigh and Oakleigh Elwood and their […]

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Kimball FFA Chapter Wins Farmers Union Farm Safety Quiz Bowl at South Dakota State Fair

Posted on: September 4, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Putting their farm safety knowledge to the test, four South Dakota FFA chapters competed in the Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl Championship September 4, during South Dakota Farmers Union Day at the State Fair in Huron. Kimball FFA Chapter won the quiz bowl. Team members include Tyler Leheska, Colton Michalek, Jayden Kott and Synch […]

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U.S. Farm Service Agency Administrator Discusses Food Security with Farmers Today During South Dakota State Fair

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Zach Ducheneaux, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator was among the thought leaders to discuss food security with farmers, ranchers and other fairgoers today, (September 4) during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. “In light of what happened to our pork and cattle markets and overall food supply during the […]

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Students Experience Big City, Learn About Cooperatives

Posted on: August 26, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Toby Kane Each year, several South Dakota Farmers Union youth take part in a Three Year Senior Achievement trip. The trip celebrates their hard work and leadership and offers an opportunity to visit Minneapolis and learn more about cooperatives. This year’s students departed for Minneapolis on July 26 where they visited Farmers Union Industries, […]

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Volunteer Firefighters Protect Their Friends, Neighbors & Community

Posted on: August 25, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU January’s Windy Fire was an early and sad start to Fire Season 2021, and a reminder of the important role volunteer fire departments play in rural communities across South Dakota. So, who are the individuals who make up these volunteer departments? And why do they set aside time for trainings, […]

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Telling Your Farming Story Focus of Farmers Union Enterprise Leadership Seminar

Posted on: August 19, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

It’s common knowledge that South Dakota is in a drought. But do consumers understand what this means to South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers who rely on the weather for their livelihood? Producers were given guidance on how to share their story during a recent Farmers Union Enterprise Leadership Seminar. “It was really interesting to learn […]

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State Fair Farmers Share Lunch Brings Producers & Consumers Together

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – More than 1,000 South Dakota State Fairgoers will enjoy lunch for 25 cents Sept. 4, during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair. The 25 cents is the profit farmers and ranchers receive for the food they produced to make the pulled pork sandwich lunch. “It’s South Dakota Farmers Union way of helping […]

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Chris Goldsmith Joins the Derschan Agency in Lemmon

Posted on: August 17, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Chris Goldsmith sees an important similarity between the work he has done for more than a decade as a law enforcement officer and the new role he has as a Farmers Union Insurance Agent with the Derschan Agency in Lemmon. “Insurance is a necessity for all of us. It’s no different than law enforcement – […]

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2021 Farmers Union Young Producers Event Connects Producers to Experts in Marketing, Farm Transitions, Soil Health & More

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

When you raise cattle, it’s tough to get a weekend away. But Roscoe farmer Lane Forkel and his wife, Lindsey, said the South Dakota Farmers Union Young Producers Event was worth it. “There’s so many things that you think you know, but nothing beats bouncing ideas off other farm families to hear what has worked […]

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Anthem Oats Adds Value to Family Farm & Connects Farmers with Consumers

Posted on: August 4, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Article by Lura Roti Farmers are excellent problem-solvers. And that is exactly what Brown County farmer Taylor Sumption set out to do when he came up with the idea behind Anthem Oats. “I had been looking for a way to add value to our family’s farm,” explains the fifth-generation farmer. “This idea really came out […]

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Experts Share How Soil Health Can Reduce Impacts of Drought During Seminar

Posted on: August 2, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Drought not only stresses crops and livestock, it also impacts their caregivers, explained Canistota farmer, Al Scott. “There’s a lot of stress…and no rain days,” Scott said. “Expenses continue, but the income is likely to shrink. Right now, I’m debating whether to put more treatments on the crop – like […]

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Farmers Union Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Committee on Behalf of Fair Market & Prices for Cattle Producers

Posted on: July 28, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

The voice of South Dakota’s cattle producers was heard today when National Farmers Union President, Rob Larew testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, says South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke. “Our cattle producers raise a premier product, yet for years, because of consolidation of packers, lack of oversight and the fact foreign meat […]

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Groups Urge EPA to Propose Higher Octane Fuel Standard

Posted on: July 19, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union is among a coalition of agriculture and biofuel groups urging the administration to propose a higher octane fuel standard as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates its greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks. “It’s been a long-standing position of South Dakota Farmers Union family farmer and […]

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Dallas Farm Couple Selected to Participate in 2021 Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program

Posted on: July 1, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Dallas crop and cattle producers Hank and Melissa Wonnenberg were selected to participate in the 2021 Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program. “Ever since we learned about the program a few years ago, we were hoping we’d have the opportunity to participate,” says Hank, who also works off the farm as a banker. Hank explains […]

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Attend July 27 Soil Health and Drought Management Workshop

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Producers are invited to attend a Soil Health and Drought Management Workshop held July 27 in Mitchell at the Highland Conference Center (2000 Highland Way) from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. All are welcome. Registration is not requested and there is no cost to attend. The event is co-hosted by South Dakota State University (SDSU) […]

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Why Send Our Healthcare Dollars to Other States?

Posted on: June 30, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Jim Woster Like many of you, my wife Penny and I are conservative when it comes to spending. We’ve lived in our home for more than 50 years, and we don’t drive the newest cars. But, when I learned that by not expanding Medicaid, funds allocated to South Dakota are going to help fund […]

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Farmers Union Insurance teams up with Expedition League to support Feeding South Dakota

Posted on: June 29, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

(HURON, S.D.) – Farmers Union Insurance has teamed up with the state’s Expedition League baseball teams to offer fans limited-edition baseball jerseys in exchange for food items or cash donations to Feeding South Dakota. “The Expedition League is proud to partner with two great organizations, Farmers Union Insurance and Feeding South Dakota,” said Steve Wagner, […]

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Rural Veterinarians Play Integral Role in Livestock Producers’ Operations

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By Lura Roti for SD Farmers Union Lainie Kringen-Scholtz loved Frank. He was a 4-year-old rodeo horse in training she worked with herself. So, the day he broke his leg, she was desperate to get him the help he needed. The first veterinarian she reached out to was not on call that night. The second […]

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Grassroots Policy Starts Here SD Farmers Union 2021 Policy Meeting

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) will host the organization’s annual Policy Meeting July 22, at 8 a.m. When asked why he plans to participate in the 2021 Policy Meeting, Corson County rancher Jerry Petik references the Joe Diffie song, Third Rock from the Sun. “For every cause, there is an effect. If you want to […]

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Farmers Union Youth Choose New Youth Leaders

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By Toby Kane This last year, we all learned new ways of staying connected. High school students were hit especially hard, as many missed milestones and school activities. Students were forced to adapt to new ways of learning, communicating and staying social. This year’s South Dakota Farmers Union State Camp brought back some of the […]

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2021 Camp Speaker Teaches Teens About Handling Stress

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By Toby Kane for South Dakota Farmers Union  Dr. Thomas Flamboe, Mental Strength Conditioning Coach from Black Hills State University, presented on the topic of healthy stress and how you can put it to work for you, instead of against you. “No Frettin’ the Stressing” was his message to this year’s South Dakota Farmers Union […]

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SD Farmers Union Hails Automaker Endorsement of High Octane Low Carbon Fuels “A Major Breakthrough for U.S. Corn Ethanol Industry”

Posted on: June 28, 2021   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

HURON, SD – South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President Doug Sombke called the recent letter from the auto industry’s major trade group to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle a “major game changer” because it endorses the immediate use of high octane low carbon (HOLC) fuels like E30 to reduce carbon and toxics emissions. Sombke […]

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CFDC Salutes Orrie Swayze and his Vision for Higher Ethanol

Posted on: June 24, 2021   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Washington, D.C. – (June 15, 2021) – Following a memorial service held last week for long time ethanol supporter and pioneer Orrie Swayze, his legacy of promoting higher blends of ethanol to protect public health and support American Agriculture was praised by friends, family, and colleagues. Swayze spent more than four decades promoting the use […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Says Competition & Fairness Are Needed to Keep Farmers and Ranchers in Business

Posted on: June 22, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – Monday, June 21, 2021 South Dakota Farmers Union urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to strengthen the nation’s food supply chain by restoring competition and fairness in markets that are dominated by a handful of multinational companies. In comments submitted to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Farmers Union called for greater […]

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Nominate A Volunteer in Your Community for the South Dakota Farmers Union Rural Dakota Pride Award

Posted on: June 14, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Rural Dakota Pride awards sponsored by South Dakota Farmers Union to celebrate rural volunteers. “Volunteers are how things get done in rural communities,” said Karla Hofhenke, S.D. Farmers Union Executive Director. “This award is one way our organization celebrates citizens who give of their time and talent to […]

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South Dakota Ag Groups Unite to Discuss Solutions for Cattle Industry

Posted on: June 4, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Leaders from six South Dakota agriculture groups came together in Pierre June 2, 2021 to unite behind solutions to help South Dakota’s cattle industry.  The groups who met include South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets Association, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farmers Union, R-Calf and South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. After discussing […]

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New Secretary of Ag & Natural Resources Answers Producer Questions

Posted on: May 26, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Many South Dakota producers have questions for Hunter Roberts, the Secretary of the newly merged Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Read on as he answers their questions. Jerry Petik, a third-generation Corson County rancher Question: To assist and encourage more transparency and fair prices of cattle, how do you plan to advocate at the […]

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2021 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners Announced

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The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance, announces the Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarship recipients. Each of the scholarship recipients will receive $1,000 to put toward their postsecondary education at a South Dakota college, university or technical school. Over the past 14 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 […]

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Camp Connections are Coming Back

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South Dakota Farmers Union has finalized its day camp schedule for the year. Communities throughout South Dakota will be “Celebrating the Connections.” “Every community plans something different, even though our lessons are the same,” explains Education Director Rachel Haigh-Blume. “In Webster, for example, we’ll have a presentation on electrical safety. In Hartford and Davison, we […]

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Producers Invited to Get Away & Connect With Information & Each Other

Posted on: May 14, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Connecting South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers with information, resources and each other is the focus of the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Young Producers Event held July 30-31 at Cedar Shores Resort, Oacoma. “Farming and ranching is an around the clock job. We design this event to give producers an opportunity to get away […]

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Celebrating Farm & Ranch Moms this Mother’s Day

Posted on: April 27, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, SDFU would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms! Cassie Sumption, Farm Mom Frederick, South Dakota From the time she was young, Cassie Sumption knew she wanted a large family. “I have […]

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Farmers Union Connects Producers to Soil Health Experts During Webinar

Posted on: April 21, 2021   |   Categories: News Releases, Soil Health

HURON, S.D. – Farming with his dad, Tim, and working fulltime in seed sales, agronomist Matt Zilverberg’s days are packed. But the Onida farmer still found time for South Dakota Farmers Union’s most recent Producer Ag Hour which focused on Soil Health. “This is another resource where I can gather information for free. As a […]

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Beresford, Hoven, Viborg-Hurly and Parker FFA Members Qualify for SD Farmers Union Safety Quiz Bowl Championship

Posted on: April 19, 2021   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

FFA members from Beresford, Hoven, Viborg-Hurly and Parker qualified for the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Farm Safety Quiz Bowl championships during the 2021 State FFA Convention. “Farm and ranch work can be dangerous. We host this contest each year to encourage youth to consider safety and understand how to keep themselves and others safe,” […]

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South Dakota Ethanol Supporters Urge Rep. Johnson to Talk Octane

Posted on: April 18, 2021   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

When Congressman Dusty Johnson meets with U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan to talk about ethanol, the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) and ethanol producer Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) are urging him to include high octane fuels on the agenda.  In response to Congressman Dusty Johnson’s request to meet with the new EPA Administrator, a joint letter from […]

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State’s Largest Ag Organization Urges Farmers & Ranchers to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Posted on: March 30, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers and those who work on farms and ranches are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) encourages agriculture producers to take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves, their families, and rural communities. “This disease is no joke,” says Doug Sombke, President of SDFU and […]

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Wessington Springs Farmer Scott Kolousek Receives National Farmers Union Award for Increasing County Membership

Posted on: March 22, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

National Farmers Union recognized Wessington Springs cattle producer, Scott Kolousek for his work encouraging other family farmers and ranchers to join South Dakota Farmers Union with the Bruce Miller Membership Award during the 2021 NFU Virtual Convention. Since 2017, Kolousek worked to more than double Jerauld County’s membership. A third-generation Farmers Union member and fifth-generation […]

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E30 Safe for Non-flex Fuel Vehicles & Cuts CO2 Emissions According to University of Nebraska Study

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If 10 percent of Nebraskans fueled up their non-flex fuel vehicles with 30 percent ethanol, CO2 emissions would decrease by 64,000 tons per year. This is according to results of a year-long University of Nebraska Study, Redefining Renewable Fuels, released February 2021. If these same Nebraskans fueled up with E30, the study said it would […]

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National Guard troops in D.C. to get Founding Farmers meals

Posted on: March 11, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

National Guard troops on duty in our nation’s capital will soon be getting a different taste in the chow line. Farmers Union Enterprises (FUE) announced today it will be donating $50,000 to provide roughly 5,000 soldiers with a nutritious meal from Founding Farmers restaurants, based in the Washington, D.C., area. “Feeding people is what farmers […]

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Grassroots Policy Set by Farmers & Ranchers for Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on: March 8, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – Most family farmers and ranchers need a second job. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 89.6 percent do not earn the majority of their income from their agriculture operations. A motivating fact if ever there was one, said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack in his March 1 […]

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SD Farmers Union Urges Senators to Stop the Merger & Support Senate Resolution of Disapproval 901

Posted on: March 4, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota farmers and ranchers opposed to merging the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have one more chance thanks to Senate Resolution of Disapproval 901. If passed, Senate Resolution of Disapproval 901 would not allow Governor Kristi Noem’s executive order to go into effect. This would be a […]

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SDFU President Calls for Repeal & Replace of Fuel Economy Rule to Include Octane and Higher Ethanol Blends

Posted on: March 2, 2021   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Speaking at the National Farmers Union National Convention February 26, 2021, South Dakota Chapter President Doug Sombke said ethanol advocates need to prioritize support for a high octane standard in the new fuel economy rule that could triple demand for ethanol over the next decade. Sombke and NFU are spearheading a “Repeal & Replace” campaign […]

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Farmers Union National Convention Speakers Say Market Consolidation Costs Farmers, Ranchers & Consumers

Posted on: March 1, 2021   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Impacts of market consolidation on farmers and ranchers was the focus of Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar’s February 26 presentation to producers during the 2021 National Farmers Union Virtual Convention. “Farmers are paying a lot more, but not getting a lot more,” Klobuchar said. She shared that this is largely due to market consolidation – noting […]

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Agriculture Community Pulls Together to Support Ranchers Impacted by Windy Fire

Posted on: February 23, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union A day after the Windy Fire consumed more than 2000 acres of owned and leased winter and spring pastureland, and 1500 round bales on the Ham Ranch, friends, neighbors and even some strangers began showing up ready to fence. “They came for a week straight. A bunch […]

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Cattle Markets May Be in for An Upswing Predicts Ag Economist

Posted on: February 17, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union You know current agriculture markets are unique when a seasoned agriculture economist refers to them as “fluid and strange.” That’s exactly how Mike Pearson, anchor of This Week in Agribusiness described current markets when he addressed South Dakota producers during a February 9 webinar hosted by South […]

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Farmers Union Enterprises Donates 35,000 Pounds of Pork Ribs to Feeding South Dakota

Posted on: February 15, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Farmers Union Enterprises teamed up with South Dakota Farmers Union to donate 35,000 pounds of pork ribs to Feeding South Dakota. “COVID-19 continues to impact jobs and many South Dakota families continue to see their grocery budget shrink. We see this as a way to help,” explains Doug Sombke, President of Farmers Union Enterprises (FUE). […]

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COVID-19 Impacts S.D. Farmers Union Families

Posted on: February 9, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

by Lura Roti When the COVID-19 pandemic began closing schools and businesses in March, South Dakota Farmers Union members had just arrived home from the organization’s 118th National Convention Held March 1-3 in Savannah, Ga. Throughout the months to follow, articles in the Union Farmer covered how this pandemic devastated our livestock industry and illuminated […]

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Young Leaders Say South Dakota Agriculture Future is Bright

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by Lura Roti for SDFU Youth are our future. In recognition of this truth, South Dakota Farmers Union highlights three ambitious 20-somethings who are just starting out in their agriculture careers. Their passion for the industry, drive and work ethic are inspiring. And if they have anything to do about it, the future of South […]

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SDSU Graduate Student Receives Farmers Union Scholarship

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Farmers are the answer to climate change. This belief drives Alex Michels, the recipient of the S.D. Farmers Union Foundation $2,500 Graduate Scholarship. “Humans are the cause of climate change, but humans are also the answer, specifically farmers,” says Michels, a South Dakota State University graduate student pursing a master’s in wildlife and fisheries sciences. […]

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Why Farmers & Ranchers Opposes Governor’s Proposal to Merge Department of Agriculture with Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Posted on: February 2, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

On Jan. 19, Gov. Kristi Noem issued an Executive Order merging the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The new department will be called the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Hunter Roberts will serve as its secretary. South Dakota Farmers Union members voted unanimously to oppose this merger during […]

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Rodeo Shaped Every Aspect of My Life, Says 2020 NFR Athlete & Harding County Rancher

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by Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union When you ranch and have five young children, it takes more than talent and an exceptional horse to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR), explains barrel racer Jessica Routier. “That first year that I made it to the NFR it really hit me, we have five […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Delegates Carry Grassroots Policy to National Stage During 2021 National Convention

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Policy which leads South Dakota’s largest agriculture organization, begins with the family farmers and ranchers who make up South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU). March 1-2, these farmer/rancher delegates will advocate to make South Dakota’s policy part of National Farmers Union policy. “Our members create the policy which guides our organization here in South Dakota and […]

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Fewer Ag Producers in State Legislature Means More Producers Need to Make Their Voice Heard

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Twelve. Of the 105 citizen legislators serving in South Dakota’s House and Senate, only 12 earn their income from production agriculture. What does this mean to the many family farmers and ranchers who work in South Dakota’s No. 1 industry? “We’ve got to do our due diligence to make sure that legislators and other citizens […]

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$1,000 Scholarships Now Available Through S.D. Farmers Union Insurance

Posted on: February 1, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

Each year South Dakota Farmers Union Insurance awards $25,000 in scholarships to high school seniors from across South Dakota. “Education is one of our organization’s founding principles because it is through education that we innovate and create opportunities for farm and ranch families and rural communities across the state,” explains Doug Sombke, President of SDFU […]

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Transition Planning Takes Care of Tomorrow’s What Ifs

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Transition and succession planning was the focus of the January 26 South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Producer Hour webinar featuring Poppy Davis, a Certified Public Accountant who teaches and advises on agricultural business and policy issues affecting family-scale farmers and ranchers. “Succession planning may be one of the most important topics that farmers and ranchers […]

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COVID-19 Impact on Agriculture Focus of Farmers Union Ag Producer Hour Series

Posted on: January 15, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

In the midst of helping 4,200 three-week-old baby pigs adjust to their new surroundings, Brad and Peggy Greenway, along with their son Brent and employee, Thomas Smith took a break. The Mitchell farm family tuned into a presentation given by Dr. David Kohl, on the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture. “We try to glean as […]

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State’s Largest Agriculture Organization Opposes Governor’s Proposed Merger

Posted on: January 8, 2021   |   Category: News Releases

As a fourth-generation family farmer, I have always felt blessed to live and work in South Dakota. With my three sons now raising their families on the farm, I am optimistic for their future because in South Dakota, agriculture is our state’s number one economic driver. South Dakota’s leaders get farming. Or at least I […]

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COVID-19’s Impact on Ag in 2021 is Focus of January 12 Webinar

Posted on: December 16, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Connecting South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers with thought leaders and timely information is the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union’s (SDFU) Producer Webinar Series. Beginning January 12, at 1 p.m. (central), the state’s largest agriculture organization will host four bi-weekly sessions focusing on relevant topics and led by industry experts. “Education is among our founding […]

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Beadle, Haakon and Clark County Youth Recognized with Farmers Union Scholarships

Posted on: December 15, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Three college-bound youth from Beadle, Haakon and Clark Counties were awarded scholarships. SD Farmers Union annually gives recognition to young people who commit to a South Dakota college, university or technical institute, and whose parents are current members of Farmers Union. “Farmers Union starts investing in youth at age 5 and that investment is never […]

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Daschle Says Farmers Union Members are Change Makers

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Former Sen. Tom Daschle began his keynote address praising S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) leadership and members for their efforts to make a positive difference for South Dakota’s number one industry of agriculture. “I’ve been around now for over 70 years, and I guess I have come to believe …there are two kinds of people. Those […]

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2021 Policy Established During 2020 State Convention

Posted on: December 14, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Nearly 100 South Dakota family farmers and ranchers gathered virtually for the 2020 South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Annual Convention December 9. “Grassroots policy development is no less strong in a virtual environment,” said Doug Sombke, SDFU President and a fourth-generation Conde farmer. “I’m sure like everyone, I missed the 3-D experience. But even though […]

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Together We Support Secretary of Agriculture Nomination

Posted on: December 11, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Presidents of South Dakota’s largest agriculture organizations unite in their support for President Elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. “Today, we face many issues in agriculture. Because Tom Vilsack knows his way around the USDA, it will help us find solutions faster that will work for family farmers and ranchers,” […]

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Double Your Donation for Education

Posted on: November 22, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Supporting rural youth farm safety and cooperative education is the motivation behind Farmers Union Industries (FUI) dollar-for-dollar fundraiser. FUI will match all funds donated to South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation November 1-December 9. “Education is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 105,” says Wayne Soren, a Kingsbury County crop and cattle farmer and […]

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Keeping Grassroots Policy Healthy During COVID

Posted on: November 19, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle will be the Keynote Speaker during the S.D. Farmers Union Virtual Business Meeting to be held at 1 p.m. December, 9, 2020. Traditionally, this meeting is held in-person during the State Convention, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year it will be held virtually.The success of this summer’s […]

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Lyman County Youth Wins Breeding Heifer

Posted on: November 12, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

During the 2020 Western Junior Livestock Show, Keeleigh Elwood became the recipient of a show heifer through South Dakota Farmers Union’s Build Your Own Herd contest. “Raising and showing livestock through 4-H, develops youth who are responsible and are comfortable leading. Through this contest, Farmers Union is able to support tomorrow’s agriculture leaders,” says Doug […]

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De Smet School Teacher & Farmer Wins Photo Contest Drawing

Posted on: November 9, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

De Smet Kindergarten teacher and farmer, Lexi Johnson was drawn as the winner of the South Dakota Farmers Union Farmers & Ranchers at Work 2020 Fall Photo Contest. Johnson will receive a $250 gift card. More than 100 photos were contributed by farmers, ranchers and their families. Each photo contributed entered the photographer in the […]

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Experts Discuss Ways to Reduce Stress & Increase Gain at Weaning During SD Farmers Union Webinar

Posted on: November 5, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Raising cattle since 1953, Warner farmer Larry Stroschein says he’s never too old to learn more. “Even though our daughter and son-in-law have taken over, I still have cows and a lot of interest in cows – cattle were my living my whole life,” Stroschein said. So, he tuned in to the South Dakota Farmers […]

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Communications Cooperatives Connect Students Without Internet

Posted on: October 7, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SD Farmers Union March 13, 2020 School Districts across South Dakota went remote to slow the spread of COVID-19. Instantly, Wessington Springs Superintendent Pandi Pittman was helping 63 staff and the families of 265 students navigate learning from home.   “It was a very shocking situation. You’re sitting there thinking, ‘Oh my […]

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Co-op General Manager Reflects on Career of Service to Member/Owners

Posted on: October 6, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Cooperatives are unique, explains Rosebud Farmers Union Cooperative General Manager, Clayton Whitney. “Unlike other businesses, when you work for a cooperative, you’re actually working for your customers. Your patrons are the ones who own the company.” Serving Farmers Union Cooperative patrons for 25 years now, Whitney doesn’t […]

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$2,500 Graduate Scholarship Designed to Support Future of Agriculture

Posted on: September 29, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Advancements in agriculture research and technology are essential to tomorrow’s farmers and ranchers. To support the future of South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers, Traveler’s Motor Club together with South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Foundation provides a $2,500 scholarship annually to a South Dakota graduate student, pursuing an agriculture degree. “Educating the next generation is […]

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Advocating for Ag Looks a Bit Different in 2020

Posted on: September 23, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Advocating on behalf of South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers kept 35 S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) members busy September 14-18 during the National Farmers Union (NFU) 2020 D.C. Virtual Fly-In. “The power is with the people, if the people will just get involved,” explains Gregory cattle producer, Brett Kenzy. “They are our representatives. They are […]

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U.S. House & Senate Ag Committee Members Meet with S.D. Farmers Union Members During 2020 Virtual Fly-In

Posted on: September 16, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

The message was clear. It does make a difference when farmers and ranchers make time to meet with Congressional leaders to share their story. “You are our bosses. You are the VIPs. You’re in charge. Remember that. And nothing is more eloquent to a member of Congress than the voice of his or her own […]

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The Future of Farming Depends On It: SD Farmers & Ranchers Meet with Congressional Leaders This Week

Posted on: September 11, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota farmers and ranchers meet with congressional leaders and staff during the annual National Farmers Union D.C. Fly-In, held virtually Sept. 14-18. “This is a pivotal time in agriculture,” said Doug Sombke, SD Farmers Union President. “Congressional leaders need to hear from us. If we don’t share our story, who will?” Sombke said pre-COVID-19, […]

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Stronger Together

Posted on: August 17, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

As a fourth-generation farmer watching his sons and their peers face many of the same struggles his generation of farmers faced and as President of South Dakota’s largest general agriculture organization, Doug Sombke has often wondered how bad things would need to get for family farmers and ranchers before positive policy change happens. “It seems […]

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State’s Oldest Agriculture Organization Deeply Committed to South Dakota State Fair

Posted on: August 12, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Jim Woster didn’t discover the South Dakota State Fair until his freshman year of college. It was fall 1958 and some of the new friends he’d met at South Dakota State University were heading to Huron to show cattle. They invited him to tag along. “It didn’t take me long to realize I’d been missing […]

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McCance Farm Family

Posted on: August 9, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

by Lura Roti Ask Steve McCance the best date to plant winter wheat, and he responds, “Sept. 20, right after oat harvest. You will get just the right amount of growth so the wheat will not be as apt to winterkill.” Ask him the best time to sell weaned calves, and the Dallas farmer’s response? […]

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Ethanol Leaders Urge Noem, Trump to Open Door to “E30 by 2030” Compliance with Existing Law Would Inject $8 Billion Per Year into South Dakota Economy

Posted on: August 5, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Huron, South Dakota:—In a Rapid City Journal ad, a Sioux Falls Argus Leader editorial, and a letter to Governor Kristi Noem, South Dakota ethanol leaders said that a transition to “E30 by 2030 Nationwide” would more than double the corn ethanol’s contribution to the state’s economic activity—to $8 billion per year—while saving urban Americans billions […]

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Brown County Farmer to Serve as Advisor to National Farmers Union Board of Directors

Posted on: July 20, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Aberdeen crop and cattle producer, Jeff Kippley was recently selected to serve as a Next Generation Leader to the National Farmers Union (NFU) board of directors. Kippley is the first South Dakota farmer to serve in this position. “Jeff is a natural leader. In this role he will help be the voice of the conventional […]

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Hundreds of Photos Capture Life on South Dakota’s Family Farms & Ranches

Posted on: July 10, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Union Center rancher, Deb Harwood was named the winner of the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Spring Photo Contest. Winning a cash prize, Harwood is among many South Dakota farmers and ranchers who captured moments on their family’s farm or ranch this spring and shared them with SDFU for a chance to win the cash […]

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South Dakotans Speak Truth to Power: Time for Trump to “Tear Down That Wall”

Posted on: July 2, 2020   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

Urge President to Capitalize on Ethanol’s Proven Ability to Improve the Nation’s Environment, Economy, & Energy Security Rapid City, South Dakota: July 2, 2020—With the majestic Mount Rushmore as a backdrop, South Dakota ethanol supporters are calling on President Trump to take a “monumental step” by opening the world’s largest gasoline market to higher blends […]

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What Nurses Connected to Ag Have to Say About COVID

Posted on: June 23, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

by Lura Roti for SDFU With more than 6,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota, there’s a chance you may know someone who has been impacted by the disease. But there’s also a good chance you don’t. So, South Dakota Farmers Union reached out to nurses who not only know rural community members impacted […]

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Calling in The Experts to Clear Up Confusion

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HURON, S.D. – CFAP – EIDL – PPP…Sure, there’s some relief available to agriculture producers, but figuring out which program or programs will work best for your operation can be confusing. To help farmers and ranchers understand what program(s) are right for them and their operation and to get their questions answered, May 27, South […]

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Elk Point Rodeo Family Says They’re In This Together

Posted on: June 10, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti Qualifying for Junior High & High School National Finals Rodeo since she was 12, Riley Donnelly is a successful South Dakota rodeo athlete. But if you ask her the reason for her success, before she mentions the 40-plus hours a week she spends in the barn practicing – the 2020 graduate of […]

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Urban Americans Reach Out to Say They Care About Farmers’ & Ranchers’ Plight

Posted on: May 26, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

We do care. A simple yet powerful message. And one Jack Bilheimer, a retired L.A. County, California law enforcement officer wanted to convey to South Dakota family farmers after he learned of their plight watching the May 3 broadcast of 60-Minutes. “Farming and ranching goes way back to the beginning of our wonderful country. I […]

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SD Farmers Union 2020 Rural Dakota Pride Nominations Open

Posted on: May 22, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union is asking South Dakotans to nominate a volunteer who makes a difference in their community for the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Each year, the state’s largest family farmer and rancher organization, recognizes citizens who make a positive impact in rural communities across the state. Citizens like Jeannie Hofer of Huron. When […]

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Farmers Unions Partner with National Breast Cancer Foundation to Spread Awareness with Pink Manure Spreader

Posted on: May 13, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

As many know, cancer doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care how much your family, or your farm depends on you. For generations, Farmers Union has lent a hand to various causes through legislation, education, and philanthropy. Now it’s our turn to take on breast cancer. In collaboration with National Breast Cancer Foundation, Farmers Union is excited […]

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SDFU Signs Letter Calling out EPA for Failure to Protect Americans

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

The South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) joined a broad group of ten energy and agriculture organizations in calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to condemn statements by its own Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) that dismissed the findings of a recent study by Harvard University linking air pollution to higher fatalities from […]

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Farmers and Their Bankers Are Frustrated by Lack of Information Surrounding COVID-19 Relief Package

Posted on: May 11, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

If any farmer can navigate disaster relief paperwork, you’d think it would be Craig Schaunaman. Why? Because the Aberdeen crop and cattle farmer is a former Farm Service Agency (FSA) Director for the state of South Dakota. But instead, like many other South Dakota producers and bankers, the fourth-generation farmer isn’t able to get clear […]

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60 Minutes Visits with Doug Sombke

Posted on: May 6, 2020   |   Category: News Releases
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S.D. Farmers Union Applauds S.D. Attorney General for Supporting Cattle Producers

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

On behalf of the state’s cattle producers, S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, thanks S.D. Attorney General, Jason Ravnsborg for joining with other states in signing a letter urging U.S. Attorney General William Barr to move forward on a federal investigation into national price fixing by meat packers. “We appreciate our Attorney General exhibiting leadership […]

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Farmers Union Enterprises Donates 150,000 Pounds of Pork Ribs to Five States

Posted on: May 4, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Farmers Union Enterprises teamed up with South Dakota Farmers Union to donate 30,000 pounds of pork ribs to Feeding South Dakota. “Because of COVID-19, many families have seen their grocery budget shrink. We saw a way to help not only feed families, but keep our employees working,” explains Doug Sombke, President of Farmers Union Enterprises […]

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COVID-19 Further Stresses South Dakota’s Ethanol Industry

Posted on: April 30, 2020   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

This February, Glacial Lakes Energy’s balance sheet showed positive cash flow. Then COVID-19 brought morning commutes to a screeching halt as workers across the country were told to shelter in place. “Ethanol was not in a good situation before. But then COVID came along and changed everything,” explains Jim Seurer, the ethanol cooperative’s CEO. “In […]

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Honoring Farm and Ranch Moms

Posted on: April 29, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, SDFU would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms! To learn more about the farm and ranch moms featured in this article, click here. by Lura Roti for SDFU Samantha Miller, Aberdeen […]

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Food Security Depends on Protecting the People of our Food System

Posted on: April 17, 2020   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Food security isn’t something many thought about prior to COVID-19. But that’s changed. “Empty grocery store shelves in Brookings or Sioux Falls speak to the fragility of even this sophisticated food system we are so proud of,” explained Barry Dunn, President of the state’s land grant, South […]

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Family Farm Organization Applauds Mayor of Sioux Falls for Efforts to Protect Families

Posted on: April 15, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke says the efforts made by Sioux Falls Mayor, Paul TenHaken to protect families impacted by COVID-19 in the state’s largest city, could have a positive impact on families and food security across South Dakota. “Mayor TenHaken’s efforts to keep families safe are a huge deal,” […]

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Ending Price Gouging Sen. Rounds says is Matter of National Food Security

Posted on: April 7, 2020   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Price gouging has concerned South Dakota farmers and ranchers for years. However, it was tough to prove the need for governmental oversight. That is until COVID-19. “The farm-gate marketing system is broken, and it is no more obvious than today because COVID-19 has shown us that there is price gouging going on. There has always […]

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Climate Outlook May be Optimistic but Challenges Remain

Posted on: April 6, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

To sum up the outlook for Planting Season 2020, Jon Kleinjan, SDSU Extension Crop Production Associate had this to say on March 31. “It looks more promising than last year at this point in time.” SDSU Extension State Climatologist, Laura Edwards also remains cautiously optimistic. “There was a nice melt of snowpack this winter, so […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Encourages USDA to Ensure Stimulus Package Helps Family Farmers Ranchers to Protect Food Security

Posted on: March 27, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

For more than a century, the health and economic well-being of South Dakota’s family farmers, ranchers and their rural communities has been the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU). The organization appreciates the speed at which Congress passed a stimulus package to bolster rural healthcare. “It is our number one priority that the talented […]

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During Social Distancing Farmers Union Connects Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on: March 26, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

You are not alone. This is the message South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) leadership and staff are working to convey to the more than 19,000 family farmers and ranchers they serve. “Social distancing can become very isolating and we don’t want anyone to feel alone,” explains Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director. “Even though we are a […]

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Today’s Corn Farmers Leave A Zero Carbon Footprint

Posted on: March 24, 2020   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

In addition to feeding and fueling the world, farmers across the Corn Belt are helping sequester carbon by raising corn for ethanol, livestock feed and Fourth of July barbecues. “Corn is one of only a handful of grasses (C4) which are superior at extracting carbon dioxide from the air and fixing it in plants and […]

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Lake Area Technical Students Gain New Perspective on Cooperatives

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Growing up, Andrew Edgar spent his summers working on his cousin’s farm near Orient, S.D. So, until recently, when the Lake Area Technical Institute student thinks about what a cooperative is, the local grain elevator comes to mind. Today, he understands that the cooperative model works for more than farmers. “I didn’t realize cooperatives could […]

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Delegates Vote on NFU President & Policy During 2020 Convention

Posted on: March 18, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

During the 118th NFU Convention held in Savannah, Georgia March 1-3, 2020, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) delegates helped elect Rob Larew to serve as the new National Farmers Union (NFU) President following the retirement of North Dakota farmer, Roger Johnson. “South Dakota should be very proud in the way our delegates represented our state’s […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Calls on Leadership to Look into Price Fixing

Posted on: March 17, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

After Friday the 13th saw a dramatic drop in cattle prices at Ft. Pierre Livestock Market, South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke called on Leadership to investigate the possibility of price fixing among the nation’s four meat packers. “I’m asking you on behalf of all our cattle producers in South Dakota whom you represent, […]

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Empower Farmers to Solve Farm Issues During Tough Times

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Op Ed by Doug Sombke, SDFU President I don’t know about you, but I don’t like taking problems to political leaders and agency officials unless I have a solution in mind. I guess it’s the farmer in me. So, when I look at the current state of agriculture, and the many challenges facing family farmers […]

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Brown County Farmer Receives National Award

Posted on: March 16, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Aberdeen crop and cattle farmer, Jeff Kippley was recognized by National Farmers Union during the 2020 National Convention with the Bruce Miller Award for his active involvement in state and national Farmers Union events as well as his community. “This award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the mission and vision of Famers Union. Through his active […]

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SD Farmers Union President Named National Treasurer

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Representing more than 18,000 family farmers and ranchers throughout South Dakota in his role as SD Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke was re-elected to serve as Treasurer of the national organization’s executive board during the 118th NFU Convention, held in Savannah, Georgia March 1-3, 2020. “My first priority is serving South Dakota Farmers Union members. […]

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SDFU Delegates Represent South Dakota Policy

Posted on: March 3, 2020   |   Category: News Releases
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South Dakotans Meet with U.S. Sec. of Agriculture During National Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: March 2, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Acknowledging the challenges facing American agriculture, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says he remains bullish for the future of agriculture when he addressed Farmers Union members during the organization’s National Convention held in Savannah March 1-3. “People need you. People need us. People need American agriculture,” Perdue said. Among the many family farmers and […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Appreciates Senators’ Response to Lifting Brazilian Beef Ban

Posted on: March 1, 2020   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) appreciates the efforts made by 15 U.S. Senators, including Thune and Rounds, to hold the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) accountable. In a February 28 letter, Senators expressed concerns over the USDA-FSIS February 20 decision to lift the U.S. ban on Brazilian raw beef imports, noting public […]

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SD Farmers Union Celebrates FFA Week

Posted on: February 26, 2020   |   Category: News Releases
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Governor Noem Proclaims Feb. 25 E30 Day

Posted on: February 25, 2020   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Members of S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) and Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) Cooperative celebrate E30 Day together in Pierre February 25 after Governor Kristi Noem’s proclamation. “The Governor’s proclamation helps increase public awareness of E30 as the renewable fuel option that also promotes air quality and public health because it replaces cancerous additives,” says Doug Sombke, […]

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Legislators Recognized for Supporting Family Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

During South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Legislative Day, February 25, SDFU recognized legislators Oren Lesmeister and Lee Qualm for their efforts in supporting South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers through legislative policy with the 2020 Legislator of the Year Award. Throughout 2019, Lesmeister, a Parade rancher and small business owner, and Lee Qualm, a Platte […]

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Farmers Union Scholarship Supports Plant Science Researcher

Posted on: February 23, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

As a farm kid growing up in rural South Dakota, Chris Nelson would see the challenges brought about by weather and markets. At the time, he could do nothing to help. Now 37, the SDSU research assistant is doing something. He enrolled in graduate classes. “I feel this is my chance to effect change,” says […]

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Members Prepare to Bring S.D. Policy to 2020 NFU Convention

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

The opportunity to advocate for the needs of South Dakota family farmers and ranchers is the main reason, Gettysburg farmer and small business owner Gerri Eide is taking time away from her family, farm and business to attend the National Farmers Union Convention held in Savannah, Ga., March 1-3.  “I’ll be advocating for South Dakota’s […]

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FFA Member Helps Farm Community Start Mental Health Conversation

Posted on: February 22, 2020   |   Categories: Mental Health, News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Worry. Stress. Anxiety. Depression. These feelings are not isolated to adults. Teens understand them too, explains McCook Central FFA member Kayle Lauck. “I understand what it is like to be anxious or sick to my stomach because I’m worried about something. It’s on a different scale than what farmers have […]

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Impact Agriculture Attend Legislative Day 2020

Posted on: February 16, 2020   |   Category: News Releases

Legislative Day 2020 Agenda Schedule of Events 9:30 a.m. Welcome & Briefing (Capitol Rotunda) 10 a.m. Attend Legislative Committee Hearings 12 p.m. FREE LUNCH with the Legislators (Capitol Rotunda) 1 p.m. Attend Legislative Caucus Meetings (Capitol) 2 p.m. Attend General Legislative Session (Capitol) Face-to-face interaction makes a difference, says Oren Lesmeister. “Showing up in Pierre […]

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SDFU Connects Farmers with Soil Health Resources

Posted on:   |   Categories: News Releases, Soil Health

In 2019, half of all South Dakota planted acres were seeded with no-till farming practices. As more farmers begin to implement no-till and other soil health building practices, they may have questions. And South Dakota Farmers Union wants to help by connecting them with answers and resources. “South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes the importance of […]

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Family, Farming & Ranching Focus of 2020 Farmers Union Young Producers Event

Posted on: February 9, 2020   |   Categories: News Releases, Soil Health

Struggle is part of life. “It’s not so much the struggle, but how you act during the struggle that builds the character and strength necessary to get through the next struggle,” recalls Curtis Johnson, a Miller crop and cattle farmer of the valuable advice he discovered listening to speaker Jeff Gould. “”His advice was applicable […]

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Rural Leaders Invest Time to Learn, Grow, Bring New Skills Home

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In the responsibilities of rural life, it’s not always easy to make time for extra things like conventions or workshops. But that’s all the more reason several participants attended a Rural Economic and Leadership (REAL) Development program Jan. 8-9 in Huron. South Dakota Farmers Union and attendees see leadership development as crucial to our future. […]

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South Dakota Cattle Producers Unite for Fair Prices

Posted on: February 7, 2020   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Fair prices. Is that too much to ask? More than 300 South Dakota cattle producers answered this question in unison gathering in Wessington Springs Jan. 3 for the Foothills Cattle Producers Roundup. Cattle producers called on D.C. leadership to support fair prices through truth in labeling. “This is such an American issue, not a rural […]

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Clean Air Benefits of Ethanol Focus of S.D. Farmers Union President Presentation to United Nations Foundation

Posted on: February 6, 2020   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Ethanol lowers carbon emissions by 40 percent and reduces the need for carcinogenic gasoline additives. These health and clean air benefits will be the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke’s presentation to the United Nations Foundation in D.C. today, February 6, 2020.“I’m eager to share how, through increased ethanol use, rural farmers […]

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Gregory Farmer Speaks to World Trade Organization

Posted on: January 25, 2020   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Fifteen minutes. A small group of young farmers from across the globe, captured the attention of World Trade Organization (WTO) members for 15 minutes, sharing their ideas for sustainable agriculture during the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture held in Berlin Germany during International Green Week, the world’s largest agriculture […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Support Youth with Scholarships

Posted on: December 23, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Three college-bound youth were awarded scholarships during South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention in Aberdeen, Dec. 10-11. South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation annually gives recognition to young people who commit to a South Dakota college, university or technical institute, and whose parents are current members of Farmers Union. “Farmers Union starts investing in youth at […]

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EPA Shows Support to Big Oil Not Farmers Through Renewable Volume Obligations

Posted on: December 19, 2019   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed it’s allegiance to Big Oil today when it released its final renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for the year 2020.  “Today’s announcement is a disappointment, but not a surprise. Instead of the 2020 Renewable Fuels Standard being a win for Farm Country, and truly […]

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Minnehaha County’s Wanda Artz Receives 2019 Minnie Lovinger Award

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Minnehaha County resident and life-long Farmers Union member Wanda Artz was recognized with the Minnie Lovinger Award for her years of dedication and service to rural youth during the 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11.At 86, Artz recalls with fond memories attending Farmers Union camp as a youth and other […]

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South Dakotans Recognized During 2019 S.D. Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: December 18, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakotans from across the state were recognized during the 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union Convention. Information about the awards as well as photos of award recipients are listed below.

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Call it Anything You Want . . . Just Not Meat

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

COOL is the reason Gregory cattleman Brett Kenzy joined S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU). “SDFU is a strong supporter of COOL (Coutry of Origin Labeling). They traveled to D.C. twice in one year to lobby on behalf of COOL. This says a lot about their strong efforts,” explains Kenzy, who serves as Region 3 Director for […]

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Columnist John Phipps Shares Tough Love with Convention-Goers

Posted on: December 17, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

For 25 years, John Phipps has been adding humor and insights to the culture of American agriculture. Humor, however, was not part of his talk during the 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held Dec. 10-11 in Aberdeen. Instead, Phipps focused on the unpredicted changes impacting today’s farmers and ranchers. “The future we thought […]

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Experts Share Weather Outlook & Science Behind Forecasting with SDFU Members

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU As a child, Franklin Olson’s grandma told him the way to tell if it’s going to be a wet year is to look at the Big Dipper. “If the Dipper sits on its handle, then it’s not going to rain. If the Dipper is pouring out, then it will rain,” […]

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United in Tough Times 2019 State Convention

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By Lura Roti for SDFU Standing before members carrying a homeplate, S.D. Farmers Union President Doug Sombke explained that before he was passionate about his family and farming, he was passionate about baseball. “Baseball has been a part of my life since I was young. I’ve learned a lot from the sport,” explains the fourth-generation […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Says USMCA Does Nothing for South Dakota Family Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on: December 13, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) released earlier this week does not improve market conditions for South Dakota’s family famers and ranchers who are struggling, says S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke. “South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers are no better off with the USMCA than they were before. Leaders had opportunities to make additions to this trade […]

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Dedicated to Serving South Dakota Agriculture

Posted on: December 11, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Four South Dakota farmers were elected to serve S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) members during the organization’s 2019 State Convention held in Aberdeen December 10-11. Conde farmer, Doug Sombke was re-elected to serve as SDFU President and Lake Preston farmer, Wayne Soren was re-elected to serve as SDFU Vice President. Wessington Springs farmer, Scott Kolousek was […]

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Tom Daschle Named 2019 Ag Ambassador

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Today, one of the state’s largest agriculture organizations, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) recognized Senator Tom Daschle for his dedication to South Dakota agriculture with the 2019 Ag Ambassador Award, during the organization’s 104th State Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11. “Senator Daschle is a longtime friend to South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers. For […]

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John & Margaret Sumption Recognized with Star of Education Award

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Brown County Farmers, John and Margaret Sumption were recognized December 10 recognized for their support of rural youth and education with the Star of Education Award by South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) during the organization’s state convention held in Aberdeen December 10-11. “Through their time, financial gifts and leadership, John and Margaret have been instrumental […]

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Industrial Hemp Seed Sales Manager Shares Growing Tips with South Dakota Farmers

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

In 2019, Horizon Hemp Seeds Sales and Marketing Manager Derrick Dohmann and his team closely monitored their first crop of industrial hemp seed. During the 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) State Convention held in Aberdeen, Dec. 10-11, farmers and ranchers from across the state were able to glean valuable growing tips from what Dohmann […]

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Who Do You Call When A Farmer Needs Help? Farmer’s Stress Hotline

Posted on: December 10, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti, for SDFU Standing before a crowd of farmers and ranchers attending the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) State Convention, Karl Oehlke made a simple request. “Stand up, find a partner, turn and look them in the eye.” Once SDFU members responded. Oehlke, shared a shocking statistic. “There’s a good chance, one of […]

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South Dakota Teens Honored with 2019 Torchbearer Award

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South Dakota Farmers Union honored a group of devoted youth for their commitment to community, involvement and leadership development at the 2019 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11. The Torchbearer Award is the highest achievement in the S.D. Farmers Union Education Program. To receive the award, a camper must complete five […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Concerned About Decision that could Threaten Food Security for South Dakotans who Depend on SNAP to Eat

Posted on: December 5, 2019   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) is concerned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) December 4, announcement that could impact some of the state’s more than 93,000 citizens who depend upon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help them provide food for themselves and their families. Under the new SNAP regulations, an estimated 688,000 Americans […]

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No One Turned Off the Tap: 2019 Wettest on Record

Posted on: December 3, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Based on 125 years of South Dakota weather data, 2019 is the wettest on record, says SDSU Extension State Climatologist, Laura Edwards. “This season tells the story of a long-term climate trend we are seeing of wetter weather. It has created many challenges for our farmers,” Edwards says. “Throughout the […]

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Farmers Union Industries Performance Pet Products Opens New Facility in Mitchell

Posted on: November 25, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Farmers Union Enterprises’ Performance Pet Products recently opened a new facility in Mitchell. Farmers Union Enterprises (FUE) purchased the full-service, premium pet food cannery in 2015. “We are excited for the expanded capacity this new facility provides,” says Dan Hildebrandt, CEO of Farmers Union Industries (FUI), an organization that manages several agribusinesses owned by Farmers […]

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SD Farmers Union Applauds Governor Noem-Led Effort to Reduce Toxics in Gasoline

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

In a letter to President Trump calling for the reduction of toxics in gasoline, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem joined Minnesota Governor Tim Walz in urging the President to have Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforce existing law that would protect public health and potentially increase ethanol demand. Walz and Noem are the Chair and Vice […]

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2019 SD Farmers Union Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11

Posted on: November 22, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – What does the future of agriculture look like? Illinois farmer and Farm Journal columnist John Phipps will start the conversation with South Dakota farmers and ranchers Dec. 10 during the 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held in Aberdeen Dec. 10-11 at the Ramkota Convention Center (1400 8th Ave NW). “Today […]

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Junior REAL Teaches Value of Community, Kindness and Contribution

Posted on: November 21, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

In the smaller towns of South Dakota, residents wear a lot of hats. Your neighbor may be a farmer, a business owner, school board member or volunteer firefighter, all at once. The importance of community is just one of the many takeaways from South Dakota Jr. Rural Economic and Leadership. “In a world that is […]

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De Smet & Gregory Farm Couples Reflect on Participation in Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program

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HURON, S.D. – Throughout her career as a nurse, Darcie Lee has participated in professional development trainings which included personality tests and discussions on how to effectively work with colleagues. Even though she gained a lot from the experience, she says it’s completely different when you take the training with your spouse and the focus […]

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FSA Director Encourages Farmers to Schedule County Office Meetings Today

Posted on: November 12, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – South Dakota’s farmers may think they’ve applied for all the programs they can to help mitigate some of the losses brought on by extreme weather and the Trade War, but South Dakota’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Paul Shubeck says there may be other resources available. “Please make an appointment to […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates Gann Valley Farm Family

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

by Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Looking out over what had been a field full of sunflowers in 2018 but is now 90 acres of water and Waconia cane, Brian Cain is deciding what to do next. “Initially I was going to bale this for forage, but it won’t quit raining long enough […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Cattle Producers of the Future – One Heifer at a Time

Posted on: November 7, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Getting a start in production agriculture isn’t easy. One of South Dakota’s largest agriculture organizations is helping future cattle producers by giving a heifer to an ambitious youth eager to start a herd of their own. Cole Cavenee, 12, of Miller is the winner of the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) 2019 Building Your Herd […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Thanks Rounds and Thune for Supporting Cattle Producers with U.S. Beef Integrity Act

Posted on: November 4, 2019   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) thanks South Dakota Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune for their support of South Dakota cattle producers through the introduction of the U.S. Beef Integrity Act. “This Act gives proper urgency to the Product of USA labeling dilemma. Our Senators’ action in introducing the U.S. Beef Integrity Act shows their […]

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SD Farmers Union Applauds USDA Industrial Hemp Ruling

Posted on: October 30, 2019   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

One of the state’s largest agriculture organizations applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on its announcement of the interim final rule for Industrial Hemp production.“The USDA did an exceptional job outlining a regulatory framework for hemp production in the United States,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU). “South Dakota Legislators […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Says MEAT Act Is a Good Start

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Since the 2015 repeal of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), truth in labeling has been a focus of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) policy. So, SDFU President, Doug Sombke says the organization is encouraged by The Real Marketing Edible Artificials Truthfully (MEAT) Act recently introduced by U.S. House of Representatives members Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and […]

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South Dakota Cattle Producers Call for Fair Prices to Save Future of State and Nation’s Cattle Industry

Posted on: October 24, 2019   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

By Lura Roti for SDFU Every year, Aberdeen cow/calf producers Jeff and Rachel Kippley visit their local Kessler’s grocery store and pick up prime rib for Christmas dinner. Since they began the tradition four years ago, the couple has paid the same price per pound for this holiday delicacy – $10.99. However, the price they […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Says RFS “Fixes” Lack Vision and Progress

Posted on: October 17, 2019   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

Huron, SD, October 17, 2019: Following yet another disappointing announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on their management of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke said it’s time to recognize the RFS Is broken. “The “big beautiful deal” EPA announced last week raised more questions than it […]

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$2,500 Graduate Scholarship Designed to Support Future of Agriculture

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Advancements in agriculture research and technology are essential to tomorrow’s farmers and ranchers. To support the future of South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Foundation provides a $2,500 scholarship annually to a South Dakota graduate student, pursuing an agriculture degree. “The future success of South Dakota’s agriculture industry depends on […]

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Presidents of South Dakota and Iowa Farmers Union Praise Governor Noem and Governor Walz for Support of Ethanol Industry and Family Farmers

Posted on: October 10, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

In an October 9, 2019 letter, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz outlined a path forward for President Trump and the Administration when it comes to supporting the country’s family farmers and ethanol industry. Farmers Union Presidents from South Dakota and Iowa are grateful to Noem and Walz. “On behalf of […]

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Industrial Hemp Advocates Take Part in South Dakota Hemp Day

Posted on: October 2, 2019   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

To show support for industrial hemp, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) will join other supporters in Pierre for South Dakota Hemp Day, held October 7 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Ramkota Hotel ( 920 W Sioux Ave). “South Dakota farmers and our rural economy could benefit from this new crop and the […]

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Daschle, Sombke Call Pending SAFE Rule the Path to Higher Ethanol Volumes

Posted on: September 30, 2019   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle joined with South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke in calling for the Trump Administration to use the pending fuel economy rule as a solution to the current ethanol and agriculture crisis. In a wide-ranging interview on a popular South Dakota Business Radio program, Sombke and Daschle stressed that […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Cattle Producers Calling for COOL & Transparency in Price Reporting

Posted on: September 26, 2019   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) supports the Sept. 25, 2019 testimony of cattle producers who testified before the U.S Senate Ag Committee. “Across the United States, cattlemen and women are facing unprecedented challenges to their livelihood. As these threats rise, and cattle prices fall, more and more families have come to the realization that they […]

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Farm Safety is a Year-Round Focus for S.D. Farmers Union

Posted on: September 16, 2019   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) invests in farm safety year-round, because it has a direct impact on family farmers, ranchers and their communities, says Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “South Dakota’s rural communities are tight-knit. So, if someone is injured in a farm or ranch-related accident, it impacts not only their family, but the entire community. […]

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Ethanol Advocate & Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle Meets with Farmers Union Members in D.C.

Posted on: September 9, 2019   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

It’s a critical time for the ethanol industry said former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle today when he met with more than 300 farmers, ranchers and agriculture supporters today in D.C. as part of the National Farmers Union Fly-In. “It’s a critical time, not only for agriculture, but for rural America,” said Daschle, calling hardship […]

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South Dakota Family Farmers & Ranchers Visit with USDA Officials in D.C.

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More than 30 South Dakota farmers and ranchers met with U.S. Department of Agriculture officials in D.C. today as part of the 2019 National Farmers Union Annual Fly-In. “Due to the trade war and weather challenges, many of our state’s family farmers and ranchers will not see a profit this harvest. We are here to […]

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REAL Fosters Leadership, Looking for 2019 Participants

Posted on: September 5, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union Rural Economic and Leadership Development (REAL) fosters leadership among rural leaders, business owners and agricultural operators.  In small towns and rural communities, leaders wear a lot of hats. They are not just running businesses and going to school events. They are sitting on boards, volunteering, fundraising and mentoring. REAL’s purpose is […]

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Farmers Earn 25 Cents from $12 State Fair Lunch

Posted on: August 31, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota’s number one industry of agriculture is hurting. In addition to dealing with extreme weather during 2019 calving and planting seasons, grain and livestock prices are down. While at the same time, grocery store prices hold steady. To help South Dakotans who don’t work on farms and ranches gain a better understanding of the […]

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Wolsey-Wessington FFA Chapter Wins 2019 Farmers Union State Fair Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl

Posted on:   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

Putting their farm safety knowledge to the test, four South Dakota FFA Chapters competed in the Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl Championship today, August 31, 2019, during South Dakota Farmers Union Day at the State Fair in Huron. Wolsey-Wessington FFA Chapter won the quiz bowl. Team members include Trayce Haeder, Paige Snyder, Mark Hamilton […]

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2019 S.D. Farmers Union Day at the State Fair Supports South Dakota Family Farmers & Ranchers & Rural Communities

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Recognizing rural heroes, awarding more than $25,000 in scholarships, feeding more than 1,000 fairgoers and discussing industrial hemp with policy makers and much more – 2019 South Dakota Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, August 31, focused on supporting South Dakota’s family farmers, ranchers and rural communities. “We work all year to make this […]

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Value Added Agriculture Center Celebrates 20 Years

Posted on: August 7, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Turning a good idea into a successful business isn’t simple – just ask Cheri Rath. “Business plans, feasibility studies, research and development … there are so many spokes in the wheel. It is challenging, cumbersome, expensive and takes time,” explains Rath, Executive Director of South Dakota’s Value Added Agriculture Development Center. Guiding South Dakota’s agricultural […]

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South Dakotans from Ethan, Frederick, Groton, Huron & Pierpont Named 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honorees

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By Lura Roti for SDFUEach year, SDFU recognizes individuals who give back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. To meet the 2019 honorees, attend the Rural Dakota Pride Ceremony held at 10:30 a.m., Aug. 31 during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair on the Freedom Stage. Read on to […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates Community Heroes, Farmers & Ranchers During SDFU Day at the State Fair

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) will celebrate community heroes, family farmers and ranchers and educate consumers on current challenges facing our state’s No. 1 industry of agriculture during the 2019 Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, Aug. 31. “State Fair is a celebration of the people who make up our state’s No. […]

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2019 Farmers Union Fly-In: Giving A Voice to S.D. Agriculture in D.C.

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Ever feel like D.C. politicians don’t understand life on a South Dakota farm or ranch? If your answer is, “yes,” then the National Farmers Union D.C. Fly-In may be the event for you. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with those leaders who don’t know about the day-to-day life on the farm,” explains Rachel Kippley, […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Meets with EPA Director to Discuss E30

Posted on: August 1, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union, together with leaders from 13 South Dakota agriculture organizations, sat down with Gregory Sopkin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator for District eight to discuss challenges facing South Dakota farmers and ranchers, as well as opportunities to be found through expanded support for higher ethanol blends. The August 1, 2019 […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Welcomes Luke Reindl

Posted on: July 31, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

There’s so much going on in the world today, that the challenges family farmers and ranchers face are often not heard by policy makers. Luke Reindl hopes he can help create positive change through his new position as Communications & Policy Specialist with S.D. Farmers Union. “I think it’s so noisy in the world we […]

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Truth in Labeling, Food Security, Pre-K Education & More Focus of 2019 State Policy Meeting

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

Truth in labeling, E30, affordable housing, pre-K education and food security topped the list of policy discussed during South Dakota Farmers Union annual State Policy meeting, held July 24, 2019, in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center. “This is grassroots policy development in action,” explains Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “Leading up to State Convention, this […]

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Get to Know 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honoree, Franklin Olson, Pierpont

Posted on: July 23, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

When Franklin Olson commits to something, he follows through. As a little boy he decided he would farm. As a young man, he expanded his dream, determining to farm 1,000 acres – even though he and his wife, JoAnne had to start from scratch. Through hard work and tenacity, they expanded and eventually Franklin was […]

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Self-Care for Farmers, Communication & Finding Balance Discussed During Summer Farmers Union Enterprise Seminar

Posted on: July 19, 2019   |   Categories: Mental Health, News Releases

When it comes to challenges, we all have the opportunity to choose how we will react. This was one of many relevant messages delivered during the Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Seminar held June 2019 in Wisconsin.   “Given the planting season we just came off of, it is good to be mindful of that fact […]

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Get to Know 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honoree, Jeannie Hofer, Huron

Posted on: July 13, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

When Jeannie Hofer explains her work as a volunteer with Manolis Family Safe Center she says, “It’s about accepting and helping and extending a hand and a heart.” Extending a hand and opening her heart to those in need is second nature for Jeannie, 69, who is grateful an aunt and uncle were there for […]

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Gasolinegate: Three Decades of Flawed Emission Reports Has Endangered Public

Posted on: July 4, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

WASHINGTON, DC, July 2, 2019: The 263 million gasoline vehicles on American roadways are emitting significantly more harmful emissions than being reported, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is ignoring the dangers of toxic compounds in gasoline, according to a new report released this week. Simply titled Gasolinegate, the report (and public service announcement […]

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Get to Know 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honoree, Jim Lane, Groton

Posted on: June 19, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

When Jim Lane hears his peers make negative comments about “kids these days.” He is quick to disagree. “I get to work with kids who put an incredible amount of work into their projects. Their work ethic, fortitude and personal drive are why I like volunteering as the robotics coach,” Jim explains, about the Groton […]

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FSA Director Speaks on Disaster Relief During S.D. Farmers Union Young Producer Event July 19 and 20

Posted on: June 12, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

 Whether you’re a crop or cattle producer, extreme weather and market instability make for a challenging 2019 growing season. S.D. Farmers Union offers young producers an opportunity to gain insight into disaster relief, cattle care and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the Missouri River during the July 19 & 20 Young Producer Event held at […]

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Get to Know 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honoree, Rich Bakeberg, Frederick

Posted on: June 8, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

When the Cenex station in Frederick closed, the closest fueling option was 12 miles away in Ellendale, N.D. So, members of the Frederick Development Corporation began searching for other options. The plan they finally went with was a creative one. The Development Corporation built a self-service fuel station and lease the facility to Agtegra. The […]

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Moody Siblings Push Each Other to Excel in Rodeo

Posted on: June 7, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti, for SDFU Each summer, South Dakota Farmers Union feeds hundreds of rodeo athletes and their families during the South Dakota High School Rodeo Finals in Belle Fourche. Read on to learn more about one of the many families who will compete during the June 11-16 event. Peering through the arena fence, 8-year-old […]

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2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honorees Announced

Posted on: June 1, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Volunteers from Ethan, Frederick, Pierpont, Groton and Huron will be recognized for their selfless contributions to South Dakota rural communities by South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) with the 2019 Rural Dakota Pride Honor August 31, during the 2019 South Dakota State Fair. “Community is created and maintained through the efforts of volunteers,” explains Karla Hofhenke, […]

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Create Fair Markets Here at Home Says S.D. Farmers Union President

Posted on: May 22, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

In a recent letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, National Farmers Union President, Roger Johnson, urged on the U.S. Department of Agriculture, (USDA) to ensure the farmer assistance package they were developing in response to escalating Trade War, would “provide fair and equitable relief to all family farmers impacted by disruptions in international […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Farm Safety Trailer Receives National Award

Posted on: May 21, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety Trailer received the Best of National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) Exhibits award during the 2019 NAMA Convention. “Farm safety education has long been a focus of South Dakota Farmers Union summer camp programming. Because of the mobile nature of the Safety Trailer we are now able to reach more youth, […]

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De Smet Farmers Represent South Dakota during 2019 Farmers Union Enterprises Couples Leadership Program

Posted on: May 20, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

De Smet farmers, Darcie and Rob Lee with their children, 3-year-old Everett and 6-month-old Rosene.  As De Smet farmers and young parents who also work off the farm fulltime, Rob and Darcie Lee say it’s not easy to make time for leadership development, but it’s important to their future, so they are making it a […]

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Today is the Day for Yes

Posted on: May 16, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

De Smet farmers, Darcie and Rob Lee with their children, 3-year-old Everett and 6-month-old Rosene.  By Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director “Yes” is a powerful word. And, like De Smet farmer, Rob Lee says, there is no real good time to says “yes.” But the benefits often outweigh the obstacles when it comes to making […]

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Celebrate Farm and Ranch Moms This Mothers Day

Posted on: May 12, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s No. 1 industry – farm and ranch moms! By Lura Roti for S.D. Farmers UnionDanni Beer  “I think raising kids on the ranch provides them with a great work […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Encourages You to Read New Report Documenting Connection Between Toxic Fuel Additives, Vehicle Emissions and Human Health Threats

Posted on: May 9, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition released a report this week (May 7, 2019) indicating that the fuel we use in our vehicles may actually be killing us. South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President, Doug Sombke encourages South Dakotans to read the report and respond by fueling up with E30. “E30 not only supports the state’s […]

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Advocate for Safe Air & Sign This Petition

Posted on: May 2, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

By Doug Sombke, SDFU President & fourth-generation South Dakota farmer As farmers who have advocated for ethanol for nearly four decades, we understand the impact higher ethanol blends can have on our farm economy. Higher ethanol blends, like E30 would create $42 billion in economic activity to sustain the agricultural-based economies in the United States […]

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FUE Led Coalition Calls on EPA to Go Beyond E15

Posted on: April 30, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D.  A broad coalition of farm, ethanol, and clean fuel advocates today called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to a wider range of fuels in order to provide consumers with healthier choices.   Farmers Union Enterprises filed comments with EPA following the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to […]

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SD Farmers Union Meets with Leaders in D.C. to Advocate for Family Farmers & Ranchers

Posted on: April 14, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – Presidents of South Dakota and North Dakota Farmers Union, met with policy makers in D.C. to discuss commodity transportation costs, crop insurance alternatives and renewable fuels on behalf of family farmers and ranchers. “Times are tough throughout production agriculture, so we are working to do what we can to make a positive impact […]

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New E15 Rule: Read the Fine Print

Posted on: April 2, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

by Doug Sombke, President South Dakota Farmers Union & Jim Seurer, CEO, Glacial Lakes Energy In 2008, the movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was released.  It was a bizarre story of a man who, once reaching full maturity, began to age backwards. An unusual premise, but perhaps not all that farfetched.  Didn’t see […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union: Say No to E15 Rule Farmer Leader Says We Can Do Better

Posted on: March 28, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

On the eve of a public hearing to receive comments on the long awaited ruling to allow year round rvp relief for E15, the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) called the rule a backdoor effort to limit ethanol blends.  In a call with supporters today, SDFU President Doug Sombke said the rule would limit the […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Disappointed with Noem’s Veto of Industrial Hemp

Posted on: March 14, 2019   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, used the words, “a crushing defeat” to describe the South Dakota Senate’s failure to override Governor Noem’s veto of House Bill 1191, which would have legalized industrial hemp.  As one of the state’s largest family farm and ranch organizations, South Dakota Farmers Union lobbied in favor […]

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National Farmers Union Recognizes Amherst Farmer Paul Symens with Meritorious Award

Posted on: March 4, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

This was just the beginning of many years of service to South Dakota and National Farmers Union. Paul served on the South Dakota Farmers Union State Board of Directors He served on the National Farmers Union Policy and Marketing Research Committees In 1979 Paul was asked to serve on the Farmers Union Industries board. During […]

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Farmers Union Enterprises Launches Ag-Based STEM Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms

Posted on: February 28, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Miranda Letherman, North Dakota Farmers Union youth education specialist, said the curriculum also exposes students to potential careers, everything from computer coding and three-dimensional (3D) printing to developing agricultural commodities. In one STEM:IT AG challenge, students create a tool that could be used to harvest a crop, while another challenge asks them to design a […]

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2019 National Farmers Union Convention: Grassroots Policy in Action

Posted on: February 26, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

“At national convention you see how diversified agriculture is across the entire nation,” explains Reis, who has served as a delegate before. “The Farmers Union lobbyists have quite a job, representing all this diversity.”  Truth in labeling and E30 are among the hot-button issues SDFU members will advocate for during policy.  “Fake meat or petri-dish […]

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SD Farmers Union Does Not Support Brown Nomination to Farm Credit Administration Board

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President, Doug Sombke urges the Senate Agriculture Committee to stop the nomination of Rodney Brown to the Farm Credit Administration Board, which regulates the Farm Credit System.  Brown is the immediate past President and CEO of the California Bankers Association and a past member of the American Bankers Association board […]

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SD Farmers Union Calls Out GM on Weak Octane Proposals

Posted on: February 22, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

In a letter to General Motors Chair and CEO Mary Barra today (February 21, 2019), South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke challenged the automaker on its claim that 98 RON (Research Octane Number) or higher gasoline was not feasible and called on them to look at their own historical position of identifying 100 RON […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Awards $2,500 to SDSU Graduate Student

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota State University Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Sciences graduate student, Jasdeep Singh recently received a $2,500 scholarship from South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) Foundation.  “Our organization invests in students pursuing master’s and doctorate degrees in agriculture because the future success of South Dakota’s agriculture industry depends on the next generation of agriculture educators, researchers […]

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Strong Relationships Matter To Farmers Union Insurance Agent Kasey Keller

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Strong relationships are at the core of what it means to be a good insurance agent, explains Kasey Keller, the Rapid City Farmers Union Insurance Agent.  “Ninety percent of being in the insurance business is relationship-based and the other 10 percent is having the guts to ask your friends and family to trust you,” explains […]

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Farmers, Ranchers & Ethanol Supporters Advocate for Agriculture in Pierre

Posted on: February 20, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

February 19 Proclaimed E30 Day in South Dakota S.D. Farmers Union invited Glacial Lakes Energy Cooperative members and supporters to join them at the Capitol today, to thank Governor Noem for her dedication to the state’s ethanol industry. During her State of the State Address, Noem committed to fueling the state’s fleet with E30. And, […]

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Young Advocates for Agriculture & The Next Generation of Leaders

Posted on: February 11, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

“I saw the difference an ag teacher could make in the lives of students,” Riley says.  He explains that his ag teacher, Mrs. Hendrix, provided him with guidance when he decided to start a cow/calf herd as part of his supervised agricultural experience. He explains that all FFA members need to have a supervised agricultural […]

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Hope isn’t an Estate Plan

Posted on: February 5, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

He explained that all producers, regardless of age, need  A PLAN. Now, what exactly that plan is, or how it is structured, that depends upon the individual farm or ranch. “No one plan fits everyone,” Carey says. However, starting a conversation with the individuals involved in the operation is a good place to begin. From […]

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Young Producers Discuss Balance Sheets & What Makes Strong Community Leaders During 2019 Event

Posted on: February 1, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

Good to know you’re not alone Event speakers and their focuses included: Malcom Chapman, community leadership; Doug Sombke, SDFU President; Blaine Carey, farm finances; Matt Odden, soil health; Dave Koupel, direct marketing; Jess Peterson, truth in labeling; and Jody Heemstra, communicating with the media and how to tell your story.  In addition to learning from […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Recognizes Youth Through Scholarships

Posted on: January 2, 2019   |   Category: News Releases

During the 2018 South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention in Pierre, held Nov. 29-30, three college-bound youth were awarded scholarships. SDFU annually gives recognition to young people who commit to a South Dakota college, university, or technical institute, and whose parents are current members of the Union. Rachael Haigh-Blume, South Dakota Farmers Union Education Director, […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Recognizes Cheryl Dethlefsen, Aurora County With Minnie Lovinger Award

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One-year-old grandson Carter Schnabel climbs onto Cheryl Dethlefsen’s lap just minutes after the Aurora County Farmers Union Education Director received the 2018 Minnie Lovinger Award for her years of dedicated service to the grassroots organization’s educational programming. “I enjoy helping kids learn things about animals, farming and cooperatives,” explains Dethlefsen on why she dedicates time […]

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Clean Octane Alliance Sees Open Road for Higher Blends – Efforts to Derail Regs Rule Successful

Posted on: November 1, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Lost in the celebration over the Trump Administration’s recent announcement to allow year-round E15 sales was a decision by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that could have far greater impact on future ethanol demand, according to members of the Clean Octane Alliance a group recently formed by National Farmers Union, Farmers Union Enterprise, the Urban Air […]

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Harvest Lunches Are Good for the Soul

Posted on: October 17, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

As the old saying goes, the way to a “farmer’s heart is through their belly.” (OK, a little different than the original, but you get the point.)Making sure producers feel appreciated is the goal of South Dakota Farmers Union annual harvest lunch program, it’s one way we can say ‘thank you’ to South Dakota family […]

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Growing Season 2018: What South Dakota Farmers Have to Say

Posted on: October 16, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Craig Schaunaman echoes Sestak’s comments. “I put a quote on my fridge for my kids, ‘Your day starts with your attitude,’” says the fourth-generation Aberdeen crop producer. “In times like this, it’s challenging to be positive, but you gotta do it. You also have to be a realist and realistic about what is going on […]

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Cooperatives Remain Relevant to South Dakotans

Posted on: October 10, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

By Doug Sombke, President SDFU, October 9, 2018Supporting the cooperative mission by providing policy support as well as cooperative education to rural youth has been a large focus of South Dakota Farmers Union for more than a century.It continues today because cooperatives remain relevant to South Dakota’s rural communities, farmers and ranchers, serving as a […]

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Cooperative Model Relevant Today

Posted on: October 4, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

In light of Cooperative Month, SD Farmers Union decided to check in and see how things are going for Agtegra, since the February 2018 unification of two legacy-rich, farmer-owned cooperatives – South Dakota Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator.The cooperative model is proving itself during these tough times in agriculture, says Board President Hal […]

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SD Farmers Union President Responds to United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Posted on: October 3, 2018   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – When the news of the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico reached Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union, he was both relieved and saddened.  “I am happy it is wrapped up, but disappointed there is nothing in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement for family farmers and ranchers. We were expecting, […]

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Join & Make Your Voice Be Heard … AND Enter a Drawing for $500

Posted on: September 26, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Farming, ranching and operating rural businesses is labor-intensive, time-consuming work. So, even though times are tough, we understand that its difficult for you to find the time to let your voice be heard.That’s one of many reasons South Dakota Farmers Union exists – to give YOU a voice. Now, sometimes we need help, and ask […]

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Share Your Story Today!

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Opinion Piece by Doug Sombke, President of S.D. Farmers Union  During the recent National Farmers Union Fly-In, South Dakota Farmers Union members met with South Dakota congressional aides from who were surprised by the stories we shared, saying that when they visited with South Dakota agricultural producers this summer, they did not hear of the […]

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Share Your Story Today

Posted on: September 20, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Post by: Doug Sombke, SDFU President & Conde farmer Just this morning a local banker stopped by to visit about the impact tariffs, on top of the already low markets, are having on his clients. What he shared with me, lines up with the impacts on our family’s farm as well as what I have […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Recognizes Farm Safety Year-Round

Posted on: September 18, 2018   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – In recognition of National Farm Safety & Health Week South Dakota Farmers Union Farm Safety trailer will be making stops at area schools to provide hands-on farm safety education. “Agriculture remains one of the deadliest U.S. occupations, with fatality rates higher than mining and construction. This is the reason farm safety education […]

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Fly-In is Good First Step South Dakota Farmer Says

Posted on: September 14, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

 Schaunaman shared his concern with a congressional staff member from Florida.   “We are just starting to harvest and there is already a little carryover from 2017, so when this glut of soybeans hits elevators and has nowhere to go, it will be a mess if we don’t get change on this trade deal,” Schaunaman […]

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Patriots, Raise Your Voices & Fight for American Agriculture

Posted on: September 13, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

North Dakota Senator, Heidi Heitkamp called upon family farmers and ranchers to demand action beyond the market trade adjustment, when it comes to resolving the trade war. “I want all patriots to raise your voices and fight for American agriculture. Stand up. Enough is enough. We have been patient long enough and demand resolution. We […]

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South Dakota Farmers Meet with Surface Transportation Board to Discuss Rail Issues

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – Maintaining strong communication between the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and farmers was the purpose of a meeting between STB board and South Dakota farmers held in D.C. September 12.  “This is the beginning of what we see as a series of conversations with STB members to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers in DC to Share Their Story & Challenge Congressional Leaders to Support American Agriculture

Posted on: September 12, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

More than 30 South Dakota family farmers, ranchers and their supporters traveled to Washington, D.C. this week (September 12-14) to meet with Congressional leadership to share their stories and how the current market economy is challenging the work they do to feed and fuel families across this nation and the world. These South Dakota Farmers […]

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Farmers Paychecks Cut

Posted on: September 10, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

By Doug Sombke, SDFU President & fourth generation farmerSeptember 6 the USDA released a report indicating farm income is expected to decrease another $9.8 billion, or 13 percent, in 2018.OK, this does not come as a surprise.Commodity markets remain low.We’re in the midst of a Trade War – undermining years of relationship building and creating […]

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Sock It To ‘Em: SDSGA Introduces Bikers to Wool

Posted on: September 6, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

SD Sheep Growers Association Introduces Bikers to Lamb and Woo lThe population of the South Dakota’s Black Hills swells considerably each year during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which provided the perfect opportunity for area ranchers to introduce bikers to American lamb and wool.The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association did just that on August 8th, offering […]

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2018 Rural Dakota Pride Honorees Recognized Today During South Dakota State Fair

Posted on: September 4, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Amy Hofer, Doland Like most working moms, daycare is essential. But in Doland, the closest daycare was 20 miles away. So, Amy Hofer, mother of two sons, 5 years and younger, decided to do something about it.  She garnered community support and wrote a grant to the Governor’s House program for a building, which the […]

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Farmers Share Lunch Educates More than 1,000 Consumers

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Board member and Colome farmer, Joel Keierleber says the meal is an effective way to share the challenges and garner support.  “When consumers buy a pound of burger at the store and pay $5, they think I’m making $5 a pound for the cattle I raise. This simply isn’t the case,” Keierleber says. “Consumers really […]

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Farm Bill, Trade & South Dakota Ag Economy Focus of State Fair Panel Discussion

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

The 2018 farm bill was the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union Panel discussion held September 1, 2018 during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. “South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers face tough economic times due to a trade war creating unstable markets – during a time when prices for our commodities […]

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A Heartwarming Bacon Day Story

Posted on: August 31, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

As our South Dakota State Fair wraps up, I am thinking of all the youth who showed animals this year who will soon be selling them. An article from Columbus, Indiana recently ran in the local paper. Following is an excerpt, and a nice reminder of all the hard work that our 4-H and FFA […]

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2018 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners Recognition Ceremony Sept. 1 at the South Dakota State Fair

Posted on: August 30, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Scholarship recipients include the following: Jenifer Fjelstad, graduate of Groton Area High School and daughter of Clint & Tara Fjelstad;  Matthew Sperry, graduate of Aberdeen Roncalli and son of Scott & Kathy Sperry;  Sage Pulse, graduate of Kimball High School and daughter of Lee & Nicole Pulse;  Anne Knoff, graduate of Yankton High School and daughter of David & […]

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State Fair Time: Educating Consumers, Producers and Youth

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Hundreds of people will fill the State Fair tent near the Freedom Stage to enjoy the Farmer’s Share Lunch during Farmers Union Day at the SD State Fair. People enjoy the barbecue pork sandwiches, chips, beans and milk, but it is also a chance for Farmers Union to educate consumers about the ‘Farmer’s Share’ of […]

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Celebrate the 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Honorees during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair

Posted on: August 29, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

John & Marie Condon, Winner John & Marie Condon of Winner are among the South Dakotans who will be recognized by South Dakota Farmers Union for giving back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award which will be presented during a ceremony held at the South Dakota State Fair on the Freedom Stage at 10:30 […]

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Land Sales: Another Farmer Goes Under

Posted on: August 23, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

 There’s a land auction happening as this is being written. Not my land. Or my extended family’s land. But land in my community. And whether people want to talk about it or not, this sale affects each member of the community. It’s a reminder that our farms are in the balance. Another reminder that the […]

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Meet the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Junior Advisory Council

Posted on: August 21, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Charlee Byrd, White Lake:   Byrd, 17, is the daughter of Rachel and Beau Byrd. She attends White Lake High School. She values the leadership role previous JACs have played during her time as a camper and hopes to fill the same role for other campers.   “I’ve always wanted to be someone that others look up to. […]

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Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

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Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org. The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or […]

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Cones, Signs, and Waiting

Posted on: August 20, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Wood stakes with numbers on them run on a portion of the road I drive daily. A quiet reminder that soon road construction will begin and I will be enduring the extra hassles and delays of road repair. The road needs it. It’s cracked, bumpy and irritating. I’m glad my tax dollars are going toward […]

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Is Your Pizza Safe: Thoughts On Ergot and Food Safety

Posted on: August 17, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

One of the best pizzas I’ve ever experience was hand-made in a HUGE, central, wood-fire oven. The flavor was like nothing I’d experience before. It made me want one of those brick ovens, decorated with those same colorful ceramic tiles – in my house… and that pizza recipe.Did you know that North Dakota is the […]

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Pet Chickens

Posted on: August 14, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

I just read where you can order a diaper online for your pet chicken. It’s amazing to what extent people will go for a pet. This makes me think about all those adorable animals that are getting groomed and trained for 4-H, in hopes of earning the coveted purple ribbon at achievement days or the […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates Community Heroes, Farmers & Ranchers During SDFU Day at the State Fair

Posted on: August 13, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Team up for Farm Safety Quiz Bowl Another way the organization emphasizes farm safety is through the Team Up for Farm Safety Quiz Bowl.  Farmers Union invites everyone to watch rural youth in action by attending the 2018 SDFU Team Up To Safety Quiz Bowl championship, held at 2 p.m. on the Freedom Stage across […]

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Celebrate Farmer’s Markets

Posted on: August 11, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

I’m thinking about that plump, juicy ear of sweetcorn that is waiting in my fridge to be devoured. It will be slathered in warm butter, if I’m eating it. And I’m thinking about those who raise all that delicious produce that can then be turned into favorite desserts, or whatever it is we are craving. […]

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Three South Dakota Teens Elected to National Farmers Union Youth Council

Posted on: August 2, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

More about NFU All States Camp During NFU All States Camp, campers between the ages of 17 and 20 years old participated in programs that emphasize leadership, teamwork and cooperative education, while also enjoying traditional camp activities.  In addition, campers gained hands-on experience on an urban farm in Denver, Colorado, while volunteering at Sprout City […]

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SD Farmers Union Members Call for Strong Leadership & Action During July 25 Policy Meeting

Posted on: July 26, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

“We have to do something about these tariffs,” said Sigdestad, who began his farming career in 1971. “I have seen tough times before and I’m concerned about the devastating impact this trade war is having on all farmers.”  Olson agrees. The 85-year-old Day County farmer has been actively engaged in SDFU since he was asked […]

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SD Farmers Union Joins NFU in Urging Administration to Do More

Posted on: July 25, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – In response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of a $12 billion plan to provide emergency aid to farmers amidst an escalating trade war with China and other trading partners, Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President urges the Administration to do more to help family farmers and ranchers.  “How will this […]

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What you need to know about the West Nile Virus

Posted on: July 21, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Many parts of South Dakota have been experiencing a very wet summer and with that brings an increase in our mosquito population and a higher chance of contracting the West Nile Virus. Below are some facts, provided by the South Dakota Department of Health, on how you can identify and protect yourself from the virus.What […]

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With Friends Like This…

Posted on: July 18, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

With Friends Like This… South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke discusses how the EPA’s proposed Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support rule would hurt both the ethanol and agriculture industries. This op-ed originally ran in the Ethanol Producer Magazine July 13, 2018   The news we get out of Washington these days lies somewhere between incredible […]

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Heat Safety Tips for the Farmer or Rancher

Posted on: July 14, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

With temperatures beginning to reach their summer peak, it is important that we keep in mind best practices when working in the heat. Regardless of the temperature, chores on your farm and ranch still have to get done. Here are four tips to help keep you protected from the heat this summer: Stay hydrated Drink […]

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Summer Break: Keeping Children Safe on the Farm

Posted on: June 28, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Summer time is upon us and many kids are home, ready to spend their holiday on the family farm. While a farm is a great place to raise a child, a farm parent’s number one priority is always keeping their children safe while they do what they love. Keeping in mind certain small details that […]

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Staying Safe on the Farm: Severe Weather Tips

Posted on: June 23, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

 (Photo of calf shed destroyed by the June 16 tornado at Chris Johnsen’s farm 10 miles northeast of Miller.)Last week parts of South Dakota where hit hard by heavy rain fall, severe winds and even the touch down of two tornadoes in Hand County. This recent weather has been a reminder that the arrival of […]

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Media Mergers and Net Neutrality: What does this mean for you?

Posted on: June 16, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

This week marks historic developments in internet evolution. The Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the Obama Administration’s net neutrality rules took effect Monday, almost six months after the vote to role it back. And on the heels of that repeal a federal judge ruled in favor of AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.What exactly […]

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The Family who Rodeos Together … Hartford Family Shares Passion for Sport

Posted on: June 15, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

“It’s the adrenaline rush – and the fact that I’ve always loved horses and being with horses, and the fact that us girls always looked out for each other,” she explains. “The other barrel racers and I are like family.”  It was only natural that when Cathy started her own family with Dan, she introduced […]

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Farmers Harvest the Sun’s Energy & Save

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How it works Because solar panels only weigh about 50 pounds each, the roof of farm buildings can easily handle the weight. Once installed, the solar panels work seamlessly with other electric sources to provide power.  “When I turn on a machine or light switch, I can’t tell if the energy is from the panels […]

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Three Tips on Managing Farm Related Stress

Posted on: June 6, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

It’s no secret that farming is a high-stress occupation. Farmers are facing record low farm incomes, forcing them to make difficult decisions when it comes to the future of their farms. For some farmers the stress of their occupation becomes too much and begins to take toll on their mental health. At these times of […]

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S.D. Farmers Union 2018 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners Announced

Posted on: May 30, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

HURON, S.D. – The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, announces the Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarship recipients. Each of the scholarship recipients will receive $1,000 to put toward their post secondary education at a South Dakota college, university or technical school. Over the past 11 years, the Foundation […]

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ELD Rule Update: Introduction of Bill to Reform Hours of Service Rules

Posted on: May 26, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

The recent introduction of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely (TLAAS) Act is warmly welcomed by many of South Dakota’s livestock haulers. The bill works to reform federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules, mitigating challenges that are presented to haulers with the current HOS rules.The bipartisan bill was introduced on May 24 by Senators Ben […]

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CONSERVING SOUTH DAKOTA: GOVERNOR’S CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

Posted on: May 23, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

 South Dakota’s natural resources directly impact the economy, quality of life, health and heritage of our state. Conservation of these grassland and water resources depends on the diverse and sustainable ranches, farms, and communities of SD. The following list of questions presented to the three candidates for Governor reflects some of the most important conservation […]

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Camps Emphasize Cooperating for a Brighter Tomorrow

Posted on: May 21, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

“Promoting the concept of careers in agriculture that have the potential to bring youth back home is important for the future of rural communities and maintaining our way of life,” said Haigh-Blume. “We talk a lot about those who have moved for their careers but we also need to promote the success stories of hometown […]

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2018 S.D. Farmers Union Young Producer Event to be Held in Sioux Falls July 13-14

Posted on: May 16, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Each year, S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) invites experts to discuss topics relevant to young farmers and ranchers. Some topics to be covered this year include: precision agriculture and new tax laws.  “Young producers don’t have time to waste, so this event is designed to provide maximum impact with valuable information they can take home and […]

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Celebrate Farm & Ranch Moms this Mother’s Day

Posted on: May 7, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Although she refers to her parenting style as laid back, raising children with a strong faith is a responsibility she takes seriously. “My husband and I wanted to raise Christian children who have strong morals and are productive citizens,” says McCance, who walked the talk by teaching Sunday school and serving as director of the […]

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Current Farm Bill Doesn’t Work For Farmers

Posted on: May 2, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Ensure fair and diverse markets for family farmers.  Over time, family farmers and ranchers have been increasingly disadvantaged in traditional commodity markets. However, access to new markets can open the door for producers to diversify their operations, improve their profitability and meet consumer demands.  Restore mandatory funding for programs that improve access to local, regional […]

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SDFU Now Taking Nominations for 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Posted on: April 12, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Nominate a Volunteer Who Makes Your Community A Better Place to Live 2018 nominations are due July 1. To nominate a volunteer in your community, simply click here or contact Hofhenke at 605-352-6761 ext. 114.  The five Rural Dakota Pride Awards will be presented during SDFU Day at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair. Courtesy […]

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Times Are Tough on the Farm & Politics Aren’t Helping

Posted on: April 5, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

How hardship wavers create devastating ripple effect The EPA’s decision to grant hardship waivers to three Andeavor refineries, despite the corporation’s net profits of nearly $1.5 billion last year, took away the requirement that a percentage of all oil is blended with corn-based ethanol.  Sombke explains that this decision does nothing to help already low […]

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Lake Area Technical Institute Joins S.D. Farmers Union for College Conference on Cooperatives

Posted on: April 3, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Throughout the conference, students toured a number of cooperatives and heard from representatives and farmers from traditional and value-added agricultural cooperatives, housing and worker-owned co-ops, and consumer cooperatives.  They also gained insight into cooperative development, as well as the challenges facing the industry from current cooperative leaders, farmers and members.  “This conference allowed me to […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Rural Energy for America Program with Letter of Support

Posted on: March 27, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

The following is the REAP letter of support: March, 2018 Dear Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow, We, the undersigned organizations, urge you to support inclusion of the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program with increased or, at the least, maintained mandatory funding in the next Farm Bill. REAP drives […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Provides Professional Leadership Training Through REAL Program

Posted on: March 26, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

“By finding ways to advance my professional knowledge I’m able to give back more to the leadership roles I hold in my community and I’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to my job,” says Hawkinson.  The REAL program connects rural professionals with experts, participants work on media and promotion, parliamentary procedure, communication […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Welcomes Rocky Forman to Serve as Member Services Coordinator

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More about Rocky Forman Forman grew up on a registered cattle ranch near Ree Heights. His dad was a ranch hand and along with helping him out with cattle chores, Forman began showing cattle at the young age of 8.  He enjoyed preparing cattle for show, and soon, his friends were asking him to help […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Supports Future of Agriculture with Scholarship

Posted on: March 19, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

More about Mike Bredeson Bredeson’s interest in holistic agriculture took root during a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agriculture Research Service lab in Brookings.  “I learned that the field of agricultural research is a complex and multifaceted system. I also gained an intimate understanding of how farm management impacts natural resource quality, […]

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Big Win for South Dakota Agriculture

Posted on: March 10, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota State University Precision Agriculture project has been funded. One of the big WINS for agriculture this year in the South Dakota Legislature. Renovations and remodeling for Berg Hall will have to be raised by SDSU but they have funding for the new building and authority for the whole project and can proceed. Thank […]

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South Dakota's Matt Birgen Recognized for Years of Service to Agriculture with National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award

Posted on: March 8, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

More about Birgen Family Farm Like most South Dakota farm families 50 years ago, the Birgen’s farm resembled that of the Old McDonald’s nursery rhyme.  “We raised cattle, chickens, sheep, had milk cows and stock cows – but back then, everyone did. You sold cream and eggs,” said Matt, who bought the land where the […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Travel to Kansas City for National Farmers Union Convention

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More than 30 South Dakota family farmers and ranchers traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to develop policy advocating for agriculture during the organization’s 116th national convention held in Kansas City, Missouri March 4-6, 2018. “As a grassroots organization, Farmers Union truly gives family farmers and ranchers a voice,” said Doug Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Precision Agriculture Bills Remain Alive

Posted on: March 3, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

The South Dakota State University Precision Agriculture bills remain alive and looking for funding. Both House and Senate bills have passed and are now sitting at the bottom of House and Senate agenda’s waiting for a funding decision. More action to come next week on these bills.HB 1184 was an Act to provide certain provisions […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Ethanol Infrastructure Bill Dies in Committee

Posted on: February 24, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota State University’s precision agriculture facility had a hearing in both the House #1264 and Senate #183 this week. Both bills are identical however they have no funding. Procedurally this is a process that is often used on important bills to keep options open in both houses. The bills give permission to the Board […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Non-Meandered Water and Precision Agriculture Bills Move Forward

Posted on: February 17, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Non-meandered water took another step toward finality this week. Senate bill 199, an attempt to provide a petition process for opening and closing water, was unable to garner enough votes to see a debate on the Senate floor. Expect to see the Governor’s Senate bill 24 working to extend the current summer session language until […]

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What you need to know about the ELD Rule.

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For motor carriers hauling stock and other Ag commodities the thought of complying with an entirely new mandate is overwhelming. Many haulers believe they will be subject to completely different regulations and electronic devices capable of shutting down their trucks when daily driving limits have been reached. In today’s age of social media communication this […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Kicks Off Campaign to Raise Awareness of Farm Bill

Posted on: February 13, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Working to raise awareness of the need for a 2018 farm bill, South Dakota Farmers Union teamed up with other states and National Farmers Union to launch a digital campaign. The campaign includes a website (2018farmbill.org), a farm bill video, animated short videos, weekly promotions and a petition.  Sumption is among several family farmers asked […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Non-meandered water up for discussion with SB 199 and 24.

Posted on: February 10, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

The Governor signed Senate Bill 26, which was introduced by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to require Class A grain buyers to provide a financial statement to the PUC quarterly rather than semi-annually. A small step to increase the transparency into their financial health. S. D. Farmers Union supported and urged its passage.Non-meandered water continues […]

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FFA Provides Personal & Professional Development

Posted on: February 8, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Why did you join the FFA? Avery Gilchrist, State Reporter from Winner answers: FFA is sort of a family tradition. Both of my grandparents were members of the Menno FFA Chapter and my mom, Rhonda Woehl, was an FFA adviser.  What kept me involved was the Natural Resources career development event. I love hunting so […]

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Coffee: It’s Good For The Soul A Look at This Time Honored Tradition

Posted on: February 5, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

 Beyond the feel good reasons Connecting with friends on a regular basis is good for your health, says Andrea Bjornestad, Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development at South Dakota State University & SDSU Extension Mental Health Specialist.  “We all have a human need to feel connected to others,” Bjornestad explains. “To feel connected, […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: E-30 Resolution Passes House Transportation Committee

Posted on: February 3, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

This week proved to be a very busy one in Pierre as all bill drafts needed to be submitted by the end of the week. Currently there are 319 House bills and 215 Senate bills, these numbers are considerably more than last year. The new legislators are now in their second year, understand the process […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Urges Leadership to Vote with Senators Thune & Rounds to Make Section 199A of Tax Code Permanent

Posted on: January 29, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Since most farms don’t have a significant wage base, they were able to use wages passed through from their cooperative. In 2018, under current law (199A) farmers are allowed a 20 percent deduction based on net farm income and net taxable income less net capital gains and cooperative distributions. Once that deduction is calculated, the […]

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Farmers Union Opposed to Repeal of Tax Provision for Co-ops

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Efforts by U.S. senators to reform a tax provision passed into law December 2017 may not be in the best interest of farmers or the viability of cooperatives, said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.  The provision in question involves Section 199 of the tax code which applies to agricultural products marketed through […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Non-Meandered Water and New Bill Introductions

Posted on: January 27, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Highlights from this week in Pierre included action on non-meandered water and the introduction of many new bills.Governor Duagaard’s Senate bill 24 which extends the sunset date of the summer special session legislation, passed committee and is now waiting for action on the floor of the Senate. The House passed an identical bill out of […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: S.D. Farmers Union Hard at Work During First Weeks of Session

Posted on: January 20, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

The first two weeks of session have been busy ones, filled with committee meetings and discussion on bills that will shape the 93rd legislative session. S.D. Farmers Union was hard at work in the capitol advocating for and identifying key bills that will be of priority in the months to come.Non-meandered water issues carried over […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Calls USDA Report on Agriculture and Prosperity a Missed Opportunity

Posted on: January 18, 2018   |   Category: News Releases

Calling it a “swing and a miss,” the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) criticized a recent report by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity in an editorial published this week in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader for failing to highlight the critical role of agricultural derived ethanol.  According to SDFU President Doug […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers will Serve as 2018 National Farmers Union Convention Delegates

Posted on: December 21, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Tammy Basel, Meade County was elected to serve as a delegate to the 2018 National Farmers Union Convention held in Kansas City, Missouri, March 4-6, 2018 during the 2017 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention. ‘I realize that policy is the most important thing Farmers Union can work on to make an impact.  In regards to what happens […]

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Torchbearers Youth Leaders Recognized with 2017 S.D. Farmers Union Torchbearer Award During State Convention

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A group of devoted Farmer’s Union campers were recognized for their commitment to community involvement and leadership development with the Torchbearer Award during an awards luncheon hosted at the 2017 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention held in Huron, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2017.  For campers, receiving the Torchbearer Award symbolizes the highest level of […]

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Supporting the Future of Family Farms & Ranches Through Policy Development

Posted on: December 13, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

“A while back someone told Scott and me that if we want to make a difference for agriculture, we need to pick and organization and get involved. We chose Farmers Union,” Dick explains. “Because Farmers Union is down to earth and yet it provides a united voice for family farmers. Numbers matter.”  The cooperative spirit […]

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2017 Policy Update

Posted on: December 9, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

 S.D. Farmers Union members prepared for a busy year ahead at the 102nd annual state convention. Up for discussion were 10 special orders of business that will guide Farmers Union grassroots policy and legislative efforts in 2018. Continue reading to find a description and explanation for each special order.Special Order #1: TradeTime and time again […]

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Cheryl Schaefers of Polo Will Attend NFU Women’s Conference

Posted on: December 8, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Cheryl Schaefers, a Polo crop and livestock farmer and owner of Cheryl’s Catering, was elected to serve as the South Dakota delegate to the National Farmers Union 2018 Women’s Conference held in San Diego, California January 14-18, 2018.  Women in Leadership is the theme of this year’s convention. Women have been leading in agriculture for […]

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Doug Sombke Reelected to Serve as S.D. Farmers Union President of During 102nd State Convention

Posted on: December 4, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Doug Sombke was reelected to serve as President of South Dakota Farmers Union during the organization’s 102nd State Convention held in Huron Nov. 30-Dec.1, 2017.  “I love this organization because it gives a voice to family farmers and ranchers,” said Sombke who has served as President of the organization since 2005. “I am a farmer. Farming […]

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Lake Preston Farmer Reelected to serve as Vice President of South Dakota Farmers Union

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Wayne Soren was reelected to serve as Vice President of South Dakota Farmers Union during the organization’s 102nd State Convention held in Huron Nov. 30-Dec.1, 2017. Soren has served in this position since 2010.  “Throughout the years I have been actively involved in Farmers Union, I am constantly impressed with the grassroots’ changes we are […]

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102nd South Dakota Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: November 30, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

S. D. Farmers Union’s 102nd State Convention is quickly approaching. We hope to see you all in attendance Thursday, Nov. 30 and Friday, Dec. 1, at the Crossroads Hotel in Huron.Festivities will be kicked off with the convention banquet and Torchbearer ceremony at noon Thursday. A variety of speakers and policy discussions are on the […]

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Rural Communities Get Creative To Provide Childcare

Posted on: November 27, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Then, about the time she went on maternity leave with their daughter, Maysa, their childcare provider notified the families she cared for that she would be closing her business.  Loni and Travis reconsidered the daycare center, but now that they had two children, the $1,000-a-month price tag didn’t fit their family budget. So, she and […]

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A letter to the family farmer and rancher

Posted on: November 22, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Dear Family Farmers and Ranchers,This time of year you can’t drive through South Dakota and not think about farming or ranching: The thousands of acres being worked by generations of family farmers and ranchers just like your own, producing countless acres of corn and head of cattle, all for one important reason, to feed us, […]

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Farmers Union Feeds Farmers During 2017 Harvest

Posted on: November 20, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

“Getting a lunch from Farmers Union makes me feel appreciated for the work I’m doing,” Voss explains. “My lunches during harvest are normally cold sandwiches eaten on the go. It was nice to have a different lunch for a change.”  Making sure producers feel appreciated and get a complimentary lunch during harvest is the goal […]

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Jaclynn Knutson of Centerville Receives NFU Foundation Scholarship for Next Generation Agricultural Leaders

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The $1,000 Stanley Moore Scholarship is awarded in memory of its namesake, a long-time Farmers Union member and visionary leader, including his roles as National Farmers Union (NFU) Vice President and chairman of the NFU Insurance Companies board.  Jaclynn Knutson is a seventh generation Centerville farmer (and third generation FFA member). She and her sisters […]

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Farmers & Ranchers will Discuss E30 & Rural Healthcare During 2017 S.D. Farmers Union Convention

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Today, Knudson serves as a Principal Research Scientist and is the Co-Director of the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC. She also is the Deputy Director for the Rural Health Reform Policy Research Center, one of seven rural health research centers funded by the federal Office of Rural Health Policy.  “Studying health insurance […]

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How ending Obamacare’s individual mandate will hurt rural America

Posted on: November 18, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

How ending Obamacare’s individual mandate will hurt rural America Senate tax reform plans have extended to include the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance mandate. In short, the mandate works as a requirement for most people to have health insurance. Without the mandate individuals will drop their coverage, leaving market stability and policy […]

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New Legislation: What you need to know about the Young and Beginning Farmers Act

Posted on: November 11, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

What is it?A bipartisan bill introduced by Representatives Sean Patrick Maloney, NY-18 and Ryan Costello, PA-6, onNov. 4.Why is it relevant?Now more than ever, young farmers and ranchers are struggling to get their foot in the door of agriculture. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 60 years old and steadily increasing. This […]

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Three Ways Jr. REAL Creates Community Leaders

Posted on: November 3, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Junior Rural Economics and Leadership (Jr. REAL) is an innovative leadership development program that invests in high school juniors and seniors and presents a comprehensive one-day seminar to students from various high schools in different locations across South Dakota. Student participants engage in hands-on exercises focused on leadership development, credit issues and identity theft, life […]

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SDFU Honors Cancer Awareness Month with H.O.P.E.S. Bags

Posted on: October 27, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

The motivation behind the launch of H.O.P.E.S. (Helping Our People Encourage Survivors) was more than just a way to recognize October’s Cancer Awareness Month. For SDFU and its staff, it was a way to reach out to members and show them that that they are not alone during their fight.”In the course of a week […]

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S.D. Farmers Union is Deeply Disappointed by USDA Decision to Terminate Farmer Fair Practices Rules

Posted on: October 18, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it would be terminating the Farmer Fair Practices Rule on Competitive Injury, a rule that would have provided the most basic of protections to American family farmers and ranchers as they endure increasingly concentrated markets and unfair treatment from multinational meatpackers.  South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) President […]

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Healthcare is a Real Rural Issue

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The Kenzys struggle to find affordable healthcare is not unique.  According to a recent survey of 1,000 farm families from seven states (South Dakota was not included in the study), 40 percent say health insurance is a barrier because of out-of-pocket expenses. One in five farmers surveyed said they were carrying medical debt or incurred […]

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Share the Road this Harvest Season

Posted on: October 17, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union would like to remind farmers and rural community members to keep their best safety practices in place this harvest season. As farmers are out working their fields, motorists are more likely to find themselves sharing the road with large farm equipment. For farmers and motorists, knowledge is key, when it comes […]

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A Unique Take on How the Cooperative Business Model Serves Today's Needs

Posted on: October 2, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Now that local authors know each other, Kurtz, along with his business partner Sion Lidster, is expanding his mission to provide a brick and mortar venue where South Dakota authors and other artists can gather, share and market their works.  To bring this lofty dream to fruition, Kurtz turned to the cooperative business model.  “This […]

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Share Their Plight in D.C.

Posted on: September 12, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

This week, 26 South Dakota farmers and ranchers left their fields and cattle in trusted hands and traveled to D.C. to visit with Congressional leaders and their staff about the challenges and opportunities they face as they work to feed our nation. They are among more than 200 farmers and ranchers from across the nation […]

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From the Field: Farmers Are the Original Conservationists

Posted on: September 2, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Farmers are the original conservationists, and no one knows the soil that sustains us better than the farmers who work it. Family farmers have a strong partner in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in supporting and coordinating efforts to protect our environment and shared […]

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Farmers Union Launches Initiative to Expand Ethanol and Biofuel Markets

Posted on: August 25, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Today, South Dakota Farmers Union together with National Farmers Union and other state organizations, unveiled an initiative to advance federal policies that support U.S. renewable energy sources.  The initiative will promote legislative and regulatory solutions to expand markets for higher blends of ethanol, like E30, and advanced biofuels.  “While the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) has […]

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SDFU Foundation $500 Scholarship Applications Due Nov. 1

Posted on: August 23, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

 South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation will be awarding three $500 scholarships to young people who commit to attending a South Dakota college, university or technical school and are children of parents who are current dues-paying members of South Dakota Farmers Union.   Scholarships are available to high school seniors or freshmen currently enrolled in a post-secondary […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship 2017

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Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org.   The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or […]

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Media Advisory: Farmers Union to Roll out Initiative to Expand Use of Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels

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WASHINGTON – The transition to a homegrown, renewable energy future for America is underway. Biofuels, higher blends of ethanol in gasoline, and advanced, bio-based technologies are reaping tremendous benefits for our environment and providing much-needed economic stability to America’s farming and rural communities. The U.S. must implement federal-level policies that encourage expanded markets for these […]

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Community Heroes Honored & Farmers Feed Fairgoers During 2017 Farmers Union Day at the State Fair

Posted on: August 9, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

“There is a big difference between grocery store price tags and what farmers and ranchers receive for the crops and meat they raise,” Sestak says. The lunch, which feeds more than 1,000 fair-goers each year, clearly illustrates this fact by selling a lunch that would typically cost $8, if it were purchased at a café, […]

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2017 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners will be Recognized During 2017 Farmers Union Day at the S.D. State Fair

Posted on: August 7, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, have announced the recipients of the annual Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarships. Scholarship recipients will be recognized during the 2017 South Dakota Farmers Union Day at the State Fair, Sept. 2 on the Freedom Stage across from the Farmers Union Tent.  Twenty-five high […]

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Trip Rewards Youth Leadership; Packs in Co-Op Education and Fun

Posted on: July 19, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

By Toby Kane, for South Dakota Farmers Union  In this day of social media and the digital world, a lot can happen in a day. But for three days, July 6-8, 18 juniors and seniors from across South Dakota learned countless real-world things about cooperatives. The Minnesota trip rewarded their completion of three years of […]

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S.D. Farmers Union 2017 Junior Advisory Team Our Everyday Heroes

Posted on: July 17, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

2017-2018 JAC Announced Youth elected to serve on the 2017-2018 Junior Advisory Council include: Jim Brockel, Shadehill; Dalton Gerlach, Stickney; Marissa Holinka, Watertown; Haley Keizer, Plankinton; Joseph Nugteren, Canistota; and Hannah Sumption, Frederick.  During the 2018 South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp, the council members, elected by their peers, will fill the role of […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Applauds USDA Decision to Allow for Emergency Haying in Upper Great Plains

Posted on: July 12, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

In response to the decision, Sombke a fourth-generation crop and livestock producer from Conde, issues the following statement:  “We are grateful for the grace that this action shows. It brings some relief to a natural disaster which has left many of South Dakota’s livestock producers in need of grass and other forages to feed their […]

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From the Field: Farming is a Risky Business

Posted on: July 8, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

By Matt Perdue, NFU Government Relations Representative Farming is a risky business. A sudden storm, enduring drought, or proliferation of crop disease can decimate a crop. Even when farmers produce a bumper crop, market downturns can still make it a struggle to make ends meet. In Montana’s “Golden Triangle,” farms of all sizes and types […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Requests Release of CRP Acres for Livestock Feed

Posted on: June 21, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

June 20, 2017 The Honorable Sonny Perdue Secretary of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave, SW Washington, DC  Secretary Perdue:  I write on behalf of Farmers Union members who are experiencing significant drought in the Upper Great Plains.  I urge you to immediately consider emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land.  Emergency haying and grazing of […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Announces their Support for Non-Meandered Water Draft Legislation

Posted on: May 26, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

S.D. Farmers Union Announces their Support for Non-Meandered Water Draft LegislationHURON, S.D. – S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, says the organization supports 5 Open Compromise, the non-meandered water draft legislation discussed by the Interim Committee for Regulation of Non-meandered Waters held May 24, 2017 in Pierre.“Now that we have had time to review the […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Jr. REAL Speaker Focuses on Overcoming Adversity

Posted on: May 22, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Kubwayo calls that mentality a “mind virus,” a negative way of thinking based on one’s experiences and circumstances.  His story is about overcoming adversity, breaking cycles and living life to your fullest potential. He reminds students that happiness is a choice. South Dakota Farmers Union Education Director, Rachel Haigh-Blume recruited Kubwayo for the keynote address, […]

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Perdue Testifies on Depressed Rural Economy

Posted on: May 19, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

By Skylar Schneider, NFU Executive Assistant Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing on rural communities and agriculture, during which U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue provided an update on the state of the farm economy. In written testimony, he addressed the fact that, after a 50 percent decrease over the past four years, […]

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Access To Markets: Why Media Matters in Agriculture

Posted on: May 17, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

By Tommy Enright, Wisconsin Farmers Union Communications AssociateSome farms garner a great deal of media attention while similar farms fly below the radar. Why is this? To be sure, there are farmers doing enough awesome things in their communities that people take notice. But more likely, they are good at marketing themselves.In my experience, attention […]

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Farmers Union Now Taking Nominations for 2017 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Posted on: May 10, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Each year Sharon and the other members of the organization raise funds through a pancake breakfast and kids clothes consignment sale to buy new coats for underprivileged Piedmont Valley and Black Hawk Elementary students.  Sharon says that the volunteer work is not only rewarding, but it’s a great way to build community.  “Working together you […]

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Tee Off for Education During 2017 S.D. Farmers Union Golf Tournament June 20

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

From youth summer camps to school-year leadership programming for youth and adults through the Jr. REAL and REAL (Rural Education & Leadership) programs, S.D. Farmers Union hosts educational programming year-round.  “Since the beginning, education has been a focus of Farmers Union. Education is the foundation of our organization as reflected in our logo,” Soren explained. […]

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FFA Members Teaming Up to Take Precaution During Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl

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Hundreds of people are hurt or killed on farms and ranches each year. Accidents are highest among youth who are inexperienced and among older experienced operators who may be used to their common routine. Rural safety is a unique challenge because family members – no matter the age – share in the work. And the […]

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No Better Place to Raise Kids: South Dakota Farm & Ranch Moms Share Their Parenting Philosophy

Posted on: May 2, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

“There was always lots of work, but we always found time to play too.” Margaret Sumption, Frederick, S.D., farmer, mother of five, grandma of 21 and great-grandma to one. When her five sons were young, mealtime was sacred.  “Everyone sat at the table until everyone was done. They had to ask to leave the table. […]

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Keep Safe. Keep Farming.

Posted on: April 5, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

This planting season, South Dakota Farmers Union wants to remind all of our farmers and ranchers to stay safe and keep farming. Just because it has never happened does not mean it couldn’t. Here are a few easy tips to remember this planting season to keep safe and keep farming. Transport Safely: Be mindful as […]

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Farm Bill, E30 and Membership Focus of Lyman County Farmers Union Meeting

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A large crowd of Lyman County family farmers and ranchers gathered for a Farmers Union listening session April 3, 2017.  “Times are tough in agriculture right now. We saw a need to remind everyone of the voice we have through Farmers Union,” said David Reis, a third-generation Reliance rancher and Lyman County Farmers Union President. […]

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Farmers Union Insurance Agent & 101-Year-Old Lifetime Member Share Their Story

Posted on: April 3, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

A third-generation farmer married to a third-generation farmer, Verna understood the impact insurance made to a farm’s bottom line. “I was so glad when we were able to sell multi-peril crop insurance. If someone had a perfect looking crop that got hailed on and then dried out ­ the farmer got a double-whammy. It was […]

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Predator Control Program

Posted on: April 1, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

  With calving and lambing underway, GFP reminds livestock producers that they offer a predator control program and are available to assist producers with livestock protection requests and loss situations. Please contact your local GFP wildlife damage specialist for assistance.

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ACTION ALERT: Farmer Fair Practices Rules in Jeopardy at USDA

Posted on: March 24, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

ACTION ALERT: Farmer Fair Practices Rules in Jeopardy at USDA In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released rules that provide basic protections for livestock producers and poultry growers. These rules, known as the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, are being held up by the current administration, so we need your help to get these […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Urges Trump to Reinstate COOL for Public Health Reasons

Posted on: March 23, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke joins National Farmers Union in urging President Trump to reinstate Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) of beef and other meat products for public health reasons.  “Without COOL, consumers don’t know where their meat is raised or processed. The recent Brazilian meat scandal just affirms the fact that we need to […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU Scores Key Victories in the 2017 Legislative Session.

Posted on: March 18, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union stayed busy this legislative session working on a number of legislative issues. These issues ranged from promoting the use of Premium E-30 to funding the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab. Fortunately, SDFU is able to boast a number of successes in this year’s efforts.There seemed to be a strong theme […]

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National Farmers Union Supports Use of E30 in All Fuel Injected Vehicles

Posted on: March 14, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

March 13, 2017National Farmers Union Supports Use of E30 in All Fuel Injected VehiclesHURON, S.D. – National Farmers Union called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to higher blends of ethanol in a landmark resolution passed during the National Farmers Union annual meeting held in San Diego March 5-8, 2017. […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: ADRDL Funding Discussion Heats Up As Session Comes to Close

Posted on: March 4, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

As the final days of the 92nd Legislative Session draw near, we find ourselves with three bills that will most likely play a part in funding the new Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab. These bills will most likely be some of the last bills addressed and will also most likely spend time in conference […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SCR 14 Finds Overwhelming Support, Fuels Premium E-30 Debate

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 Members of the House and Senate have sent a clear message to the office of the Governor with the passage of SCR 14, we want Premium E-30. To read an earlier post about SCR 14, including the resolution’s text, you can click here. Members in both houses voted overwhelmingly to support the use of Premium […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SB 130 Comes Back From the Dead, Grabs Attention of Ag Groups

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Sometimes during legislative session bills will slip under the radar. This happens because many bills begin with simple intentions. These bills will quietly pass out of their house of origin and then BAM! All of the sudden all eyes are on a bill that everyone previously considered “clean-up” or “simple”. Such was the case with […]

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Deadline for $1,000 Farmers Union Insurance Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship is April 15, 2017

Posted on: March 1, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Each year, South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, gives $1,000 scholarships to 25 South Dakota high school students. The deadline for scholarship applications is April 15, 2017.  Scholarships can be used to put toward students’ post-secondary education at a South Dakota college, university or technical school. Recipients are selected […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: ADRDL Funding Takes New Shape With Current Proposal.

Posted on: February 25, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

The search for $58 million continues as do the discussions on how to fund the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab. If you recall, I have posted a few different funding proposals already in previous editions of the Rural Lobbyist but none of those methods have found favor with a majority of members of the […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Legislators’ misplaced fears kill COOL legislation.

Posted on: February 24, 2017   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 24, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Country of Origin Labeling in South Dakota suffered a setback on Tuesday as members of the Senate voted to kill Senate Bill 135. SB 135 would have required retailers to label all beef by it’s country/countries of origin. During the debate on the floor, proponents of […]

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CALL TO ACTION: All Hands On Deck! COOL Bill (SB 135) moves to the Senate Floor!

Posted on: February 17, 2017   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 17, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union SENATE BILL 135 (COOL) IS HEADING TO THE FLOOR! DEBATE IS SET TO BEGIN TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21st. FOR INFORMATION ON THE BILL CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S POST HERE. OR THIS WEEK’S POST HERE. WE NEED YOUR HELP REACHING OUR SENATORS TO BUILD SUPPORT TO BRING COOL […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Actual Use vs. Highest and Best, the Debate Continues.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

February 17, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Taxation is always a topic of discussion during the legislative session and this session was no different. A debate has been taking place within the agricultural community about the best way to tax property. That discussion was at the forefront with Senate Bill 142. SB 142 was one of […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: ADRDL Funding Debate Continues in Appropriations with SB 172.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

February 17, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  It seems that every week there are new updates on the proposed Animal Research and Diagnostic Lab. Last week I talked about Senate Bill 162, a proposal that would have funded the lab by drawing 60% of funds from the Revolving Economic Development Initiative (REDI). The other 40% would […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU Members Show Up and Make an Impact As COOL Passes Out of Committee.

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 17, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Country of Origin Labeling passed the first of four hurdles Wednesday when Senate Bill 135 passed out of the Senate State Affairs committee by a vote of 5-3. As you recall, the bill was the centerpiece of a call to action sent out by SDFU last week; you can […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Elected Chairman of Farmers Union Enterprises

Posted on: February 13, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union was recently Elected Chairman of Farmers Union Enterprises board of directors.  “I am eager to continue to guide this organization whose goal is to do everything we can to help family farmers and ranchers,” said Sombke, of the organization which oversees Farmers Union Industries.  Farmers Union Industries […]

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Orient and Seneca Youth Say Involvement in Farmers Union Prepared them for Colleg

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Jesse Carlson, Seneca, and Reece Schultz, Orient, were selected to serve on the 2016-2017 Senior Advisory Council during the 2016 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention, held in Pierre December 2016.  In this role, Carlson, a freshman studying Economics at South Dakota State University, and Schultz, a freshman studying Production Innovation at Dakota State University, will […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Initiative Process at heart of discussion in House State Affairs.

Posted on: February 10, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

February 10, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Initiated measures were once again a topic of discussion as the House State Affairs committee heard three bills that would affect the initiated process; Senate Bill 59, House Bill 1130, and House Bill 1074. Senate Bill 59 is a bill to delay the effective date for initiated measures and referred laws. […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Animal Lab funding up for discussion with SB 162.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

February 10, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union    Each year there are a few issues that headline the legislative session. Without question, how we fund the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab (ADRDL) will be one of those headlines. At the present there is still roughly $58 million yet to be funded to complete the ADRDL […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU only group to support the repeal/redirection of farm machinery tax increase

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

 Over the past two years we have witnessed two of the largest tax increases in our states history. The first in 2015 looked to improve our eroding infrastructure. The second gave our teachers a much needed pay raise. The problem? While both issues were certainly worthy causes, the fee and tax increases came largely off […]

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Taylor Aubrey Receives S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Graduate Scholarship

Posted on: February 9, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Her passion for being around livestock and the people who depend upon them for their livelihood is what attracted Taylor Aubrey to pursue a master’s degree focused on dairy production.  “I enjoy working with producers and the close connection to our food system,” explains the South Dakota State University graduate student and the 2017 recipient of […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: CALL TO ACTION! COOL BILL WILL BE HEARD FEB. 15TH

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 9, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionTHIS IS A CALL TO ACTION! Senate Bill 135, a bill to create stronger Country of Origin Labeling standards in South Dakota, will be heard in Senate State Affairs on Wednesday, February 15 at 10:00 AM. We need all members and concerned citizens to show up and show their support for […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: The importance of SDFU Legislative Day.

Posted on: February 3, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

February 3, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionMonday is a big day at the Capitol as Farmers Union members arrive for South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day. It’s a great day for members because they have the opportunity to meet with their legislators to discuss the issues near and dear to them. Most importantly, the legislators truly […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Senate Bill 66 is proof the system can work.

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February 3, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionEmotions and tensions ran high this week as the Senate discussed HB 1069, an act to repeal Initiated Measure 22. It reminded us that politics can get ugly from time to time. However, Thursday’s Senate Ag and Natural Resources committee hearing reminded us that politics can also be a vehicle […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU lone ag group to testify in favor of rural broadband bill.

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February 3, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionRural broadband is an issue for many Farmers Union families. As advancements in ag technology move at a rapid pace, some farms only fall further behind without access to rural broadband. That’s why Farmers Union was happy and eager to support Senate Bill 71. During testimony on SB 71, proponents […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Senate Bill 67 tabled, but threat still remains.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

February 3, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionA lot can happen to a bill during the 35-40 days of legislative session. It can be amended, passed, deferred, defeated, hoghoused, smoked out, and as we saw with Senate Bill 67, tabled. Senate Bill 67 is a bill ripe with problems as it increases the number of signatures necessary […]

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Two PE Teachers Working Together to Keep the Family Farm

Posted on: February 2, 2017   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

February 2, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Feb. 2, 2017Two PE Teachers Working Together to Keep the Family Farm: The Story of the GooseMobile  Sixty-four years ago Ruth (Iburg) and Tom Neuberger embarked on their life’s adventure together beginning with a road-trip from South Dakota to Ft. Benning, Georgia, where Tom’s orders were awaiting them.  Along […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Kenzy Ranch Family

Posted on: January 31, 2017   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

January 31, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union By Lura Roti, for S.D. Farmers Union  Ralph Kenzy used to tell his sons, “You can’t put it all in your pocketbook.”  “He meant that agriculture is a lot more than money,” explains his oldest son, Brett, 45. “You get to be on the land, raising your kids. You […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Senate Bill 21 Passes out of Senate Ag.

Posted on: January 27, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

January 27, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Senate Bill 21 was one of two bills to pass out of the Senate Ag committee this week. This bill was a clean-up bill proposed by the Public Utilities Commission. Commissioner Chris Nelson noted that this bill was designed to streamline the process for claims against grain buyers and […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Informational hearings topic of discussion during Senate Ag this week.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

January 27, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  In terms of legislation, not much went on in House and Senate Ag this week. However, we did attend important information sessions in both committees. This week we heard from Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers on the comings and goings of the Department of Ag, our State Veterinarian Dustin […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Clean-up bills sweeping through the legislature.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

January 27, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  A number of clean up bills had their time in the sun this week, with 6 bills passing out of their respective houses. Those bills include: HB 1012- revise certain provisions related to wind and solar easements. This bill simply places solar easements under the same rules and regulations dealing with […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Country of Origin Labeling to make its return to the legislature.

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

January 27, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Country of Origin Labeling will be the topic of discussion the Senate State Affairs committee when they take up SB 135. This legislation is similar to the legislation proposed last session that was narrowly defeated in the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee. In SB 135, retailers of all […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Your weekly recap and forecast

Posted on: January 20, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

January 20, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionIt has been a busy week for SDFU out in Pierre fighting for family farmers and ranchers. Check out the info below to get our recap for the week and what to look out for going forward: This Week *SDFU Board met with the Governor’s Office and the Secretary of […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Despite strong support, Senate Ag committee defers SB 9/10

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

The most contentious discussion of the week took place in the Senate Ag Committee on Thursday with Senate Bills 9 and 10. These two bills address the longstanding SDFU issue of water management through watershed districts. Both bills were the recommendation of the River Basin Natural Resource District Oversight Advisory Task Force. Since the bills […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU seeks compromise on farm reporting in HB 1038

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

January 20, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionCurrently farm LLC’s are required to file two separate annual reports. Some believe the two forms are redundant in the information they require. As a result, the office of the Secretary of State has offered House Bill 1038 that repeals the requirement for filing an annual farm report. In this […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SB 23 makes it way through to the House.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

January 20, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionTwo years ago the legislature passed an extensive infrastructure package to improve our state’s roads and bridges. Senate Bill 23 makes a minor structural change in the previous legislation but makes a major difference in improving roads and bridges. The changes allow for two things to happen. They allow the […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: Drone Bill SB 22 Flies Through the Senate

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

January 20, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionSenate Bill 22 attempts to exempt certain unmanned aircraft systems (drones) from the state requirement of being a registered aircraft. The bill exempts all aircraft under 55lbs. It is important to note that the bill addresses nothing more than the registration of the aircraft at the state level. Drone fliers […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU Hard at Work During First Weeks of Session

Posted on: January 19, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

January 19, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionThe first two weeks of session are usually dominated by executive reappointments, departmental reports, and “clean up bills” but rest assured SDFU is hard at work preparing and advocating for upcoming legislative issues. This week the SDFU board joined Ellie and I in meetings with the offices of the Governor […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: A Look at the 92nd Legislative Session

Posted on: January 13, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

Tuesday marked the beginning of the 92nd Legislative Session. Legislators were sworn in, Governor Daugaard gave his State of the State Address, and now SDFU looks towards pressing issues that will be addressed this session. Those issues include: The Buffer Strip Bill You might recall conversation about this bill last session when it received near unanimous […]

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Alexandria Farmer Shares Her Thoughts on Faith, Family, Farming and Outreach

Posted on: January 9, 2017   |   Category: News Releases

January 9, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union It was the first day of school 2006 and LeAnn’s phone rang. Her son, Chet’s, preschool teacher was calling.  “She said, ‘LeAnn I think we have a problem. At the end of the day Chet packed up his bag and said, ‘Thanks Mrs. Lanners. I had a great day, […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Mehling Farm Family

Posted on: January 2, 2017   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

January 2, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world. This month, we feature the Mehling family who raise […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Awards $500 Scholarships to Three South Dakota Youth

Posted on: December 28, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

December 28, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union During the 2016 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention, held in Pierre Dec. 8-9, South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation awarded three $500 scholarships to young people committed to attending a South Dakota college, university or technical school; and are children of parents who are current dues-paying members of South Dakota […]

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Tracy Chase Recognized with S.D. Farmers Union 2016 Minnie Lovinger Esteemed Educator Award

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

When it comes to providing opportunities for McCook county youth, the 2016 recipient of the S.D. Farmers Union Minnie Lovinger Esteemed Educator Award, Tracy Chase, doesn’t say ‘no.’   She said ‘yes’ when the High School Agriculture Education Instructor, Terry Rieckman, asked the science teacher to take on some agriculture education classes. “He said, ‘What do […]

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Rural Youth Recognized with 2016 S.D. Farmers Union Torchbearer Award During S.D. Farmers Union State Convention

Posted on: December 20, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

Rural youth were recognized today for their commitment to community and leadership skills with the Torchbearer Award during an awards banquet held during the 2016 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention, held in Pierre, Dec. 8-9, 2016.  Torchbearer is the highest level for South Dakota Farmers Union Education Achievement. This achievement showcases the time and dedication […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Supports Farmer Fair Practices Rules

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke supports today’s announcement that the Farmer Fair Practices Rules have been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).  “These rules are designed to level the playing field for family farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and poultry. These rules give […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Members Make A Wish Come True for Lower Brule Boy

Posted on: November 30, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union members donated $5,000 to Make-A-Wish and helped make Toby’s wish to go to Walt Disney World come true. Toby is 11 and lives with his family in Lower Brule. Toby faces dilated cardiomyopathy, a life-threatening medical condition. He is among 53 other South Dakota youth who had their wishes granted in […]

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A Reason To Be Thankful: The EPA increases 2017 RFS Volume

Posted on: November 23, 2016   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

November 23, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionEvery cloud has a silver lining. While cliche, this statement reminds us that even when times seem tough we can always find things to be thankful for. The day before Thanksgiving, the EPA has given us just that in the recent announcement regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard. The 2017 RFS will […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Rocking Z Acres Farm Family

Posted on: November 21, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

November 21, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union By Lura Roti for S.D. Farmers Union  The phrase, “That will never work,” doesn’t slow BJ McNeil down.  Not when he converted 4,000 acres of his grandpa’s conventionally tilled land to no-till. Not when he was among the first Wessington farmers to plant Roundup Ready soybeans. Not when he […]

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From Toy Tractors to the Real Deal: S.D. Secretary of Agriculture Shares His Farm Story & Thoughts on Current Crisis

Posted on: October 26, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union Like many young farm boys, long before Mike Jaspers was harvesting a crop in the field, he was on his hands and knees, harvesting off the floors in his parents’ home. “If dad was out harvesting, I was in the basement with my toy combine harvesting,” recalls […]

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Schaefers Siblings Say Growing Up on the Farm Prepared Them to Serve

Posted on: October 25, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

October 25, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Schaefers siblings – farm kids and soldiers: Sam, Paivi, Josie and Paul. Their youngest brother,  Jacob, is pictured right.  By Lura Roti, for S.D. Farmers Union Growing up actively involved in their family’s fourth-generation South Dakota farm prepared Josie Ries and four of her siblings well for military service. […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Schaefers Farm Family

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

October 25, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union When Cheryl and Fred Schaefers tied the knot 40 years ago, the two farm kids shared a strong passion for farming. And, along with crops and livestock, the couple wanted to raise a large family. “We originally wanted 12 kids. Fred […]

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Farmers Union Feeds Farmers During Harvest

Posted on: October 4, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

October 4, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union During harvest, mornings come early for South Dakota farmers like Greg Mehling.  By 7 a.m. the Wessington farmer and his son, Cole are greasing combines or they are behind the wheel en route to the local elevator to unload trucks. By mid-morning they are in the field combining soybeans. […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Greenway Farm Family

Posted on: September 27, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

September 27, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world. This month, we’re highlighting the Greenway […]

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The Fall Fly-In: Grassroots at it’s Best

Posted on: September 20, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

September 20, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Every year South Dakota Farmers Union takes a group of members to Washington D.C., into the heart of political action in the U.S. There on Capitol Hill, members join forces with fellow Farmers Union members from across the country in an effort to advocate on behalf of family farmers […]

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South Dakota Family Farmers and Ranchers Join 275 Farmers Union Members in D.C. for Fall Legislative Fly-In

Posted on: September 14, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

Twenty-six family farmers, ranchers and Farmers Union members from South Dakota joined with some 275 farmers and ranchers from across the nation in Washington D.C. for the National Farmers Union (NFU) Fall Legislative Fly-In Sept. 12-14, 2016.  “We are facing some challenging times on farms and ranches across South Dakota right now. This Fly-In provides […]

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Panelists Discuss Amendment T during Voice of the Voters Event at the State Fair

Posted on: September 6, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

September 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union On Election Day 2016 South Dakota voters will have an opportunity to vote for fair elections by voting ‘yes’ for Amendment T.  Amendment T is a ballot measure sponsored by #SDRightThing2Do Coalition which South Dakota Farmers Union supports. Amendment T puts voters back in charge of their elections, explains […]

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Fairgoers Eat a Great Meal Today for Just $1

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

September 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Fair food is known for its tempting aromas – not its bargain prices. Today however, more than 1,000 fairgoers filled their bellies for just a $1 during the South Dakota Farmers Union Farmers Share Luncheon held at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  The hearty meal, consisting of […]

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2016 Rural Dakota Pride Award Honorees Recognized Today During Farmers Union Day at the S.D. State Fair

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Each year, South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes individuals who give back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Today, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, the following South Dakotans were recognized:  Bryan Breitling, Miller; Doug Edwards, South Hand County; Sharon Wilson, Black Hawk and Tim Pravecek, Winner. Bryan Breitling, Miller In 2008, […]

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2016 Farmers Union Quiz Bowl Encourages Youth to Think about Farm & Ranch Safety

Posted on:   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

September 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union McCook Central FFA Chapter won the championship round of the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held today during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  McCook Central FFA Chapter is one of four FFA Chapters which placed in the Farmers Union Team […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates our State’s Family Farmers & Ranchers, Rural Youth & Community Heroes During the 2016 S.D. State Fair

Posted on: August 26, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

Farmers Union Day at the 2016 South Dakota State Fair, Saturday Sept. 3, is a great opportunity to showcase South Dakota family farmers and ranchers and all they do for the state’s economy, rural communities and the world.  “In the tradition of the State Fair, Farmers Union Day honors the cream of the crop,” explains […]

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2016 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners Announced

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August 26, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, have announced the recipients of the annual Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarships. Twenty-five high school seniors from across South Dakota will share $25,000 in scholarships to be used to further their education at a South Dakota […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Vedvei Farm Family

Posted on: August 24, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

August 24, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Emerging from the show ring with a big smile, first time 4-Her, Hadlee Holt, 9, was greeted by her parents, Corrie “Vedvei” and DJ Holt, with a big hug and sighs of relief.  It was nerve-racking to watch, but seeing that smile was priceless,” explains Corrie of watching her […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke Wishes Noem Remained on the House Agriculture Committee

Posted on: August 22, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

August 22, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union I was quite surprised when I read quotes made by Representative Kristi Noem in a recent Watertown Public Opinion article where she attempts to justify her move from the House Agriculture Committee to the powerful Ways and Means Committee. She stated, “all of the ag organizations in the state […]

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Farm Reality

Posted on: August 17, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

August 17, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionHave you ever heard phrases like “don’t judge a book by its cover”, “scratch beneath the surface”, or “there’s more than meets the eye”? All of these phrases share a common message. We should look for more than what appears obvious in everyday life. Agriculture is a prime example. From […]

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S.D. Farmers Union is Disappointed in Lack of Support for Hurting Dairy Farmers

Posted on: August 5, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke is disappointed in the 2016 Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) and its inability to provide a safety net for dairy producers in a current commodity crisis.  “Congress needs to act quickly to fix what is wrong with the Margin Protection Program for Dairy – similar to how […]

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Farmers Union 2016-2017 Junior Advisory Council Members Selected to Serve

Posted on: August 2, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

August 2, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union The 2016-2017 Junior Advisory Council members include: AJ Schoenfelder, Parkston; Abbey Tschetter, Huron; Cole Van Gorp, Stickney; Jonah Murtha, Parkston; Shaun Snedeker, Woonsocket; and Madelyn Kline, Huron.  During the 2016 State Leadership Camp, a six-member Junior Advisory Council was selected by the Youth and Education Council to serve as […]

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Decisions, Decisions: Why You Should Vote Yes On T

Posted on: August 1, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

August 1, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Every election cycle, the Secretary of State’s office puts together a Ballot Question Pamphlet that outlines the pros and cons of each ballot measure before the voters. With no group organizing against Amendment T, it will be interesting to see the cons presented in the pamphlet. Of course, here […]

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30-For-30 Celebrates Home-Grown, Renewable Fuel in Pierre

Posted on: July 28, 2016   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

July 28, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers will be hosting a 30-For-30 event at Cowboy Country Store in Pierre (1619 N. Harrison Ave) August 3, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the benefits of fueling up with Premium E30.  During the 30-For-30 event, drivers receive .30 cents for every gallon […]

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Farmers Union State Leadership Camp Promotes Friends, Self Confidence, Leadership & Cooperative Education

Posted on: July 27, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

July 27, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp is a summer tradition for Jonah Murtha, 17.   Since he was 12, the Parkston High School senior has made the trek west to Storm Mountain Center just outside Rapid City to spend a week engaged in hands-on cooperative education, personal leadership development […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Painter Ranch Family

Posted on: July 25, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

July 25, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Painter Ranch Family By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union Running cattle on Harding County grasslands has been a part of the Painter Family legacy since 1895 when great-grandpa, Lewis Levi Painter, rode the open range as a horse wrangler for the […]

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Family Farmers and Ranchers May Find Drought Recovery Assistance from the USDA FSA Disaster Assistance Programs

Posted on: July 20, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

July 20, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  If the current drought has impacted your family’s farm or ranch, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) disaster assistance programs may be able to help. The disaster assistance programs are designed to assist agricultural producers in their recovery efforts following drought or similar qualifying natural disasters. Available programs include: […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org.  The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture […]

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The GMO Debate Wages On

Posted on: July 11, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

July 11, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionAsk around and you will find that GMO labeling has been one of the most divisive issues in agriculture in recent years. It is a tug-of-war of sorts between a consumer’s right to know and the negative associations attached to the term “genetically modified.” On one hand, you have the […]

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30-For-30 Celebrates Home-Grown, Renewable Fuel

Posted on: July 5, 2016   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

July 5, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers will be hosting a 30-For-30 event at the Shell Station in Mitchell (2160 Highland Way) July 14, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  to celebrate the benefits of fueling up with Premium E30. During the 30-For-30 event, drivers receive .30 cents for every gallon of […]

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Second Tuesdays Tune In To South Dakota Farmers Union Radio Show

Posted on: July 1, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

July 1, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Since 1915, South Dakota Farmers Union provides a voice to the states family farmers and ranchers. The century-old, grassroots organization continues its legacy with a radio show hosted on second Tuesdays during KELO Radio’s It’s YOUR AgriBusiness Hour (10-11 a.m. CST).  “We’re excited about this opportunity […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

July 1, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org.  The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, […]

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Guest Blog- Jason Hanson SDFU Intern

Posted on: June 28, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

June 28, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  My name is Jason Hanson and I am currently a member of the South Dakota Farmers Union Summer Staff. I have been looking forward to working for Farmers Union for some time now, and becoming Summer Staff puts me in a position that I have done almost everything to […]

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Guest Blog- Thank You Diary Farmers

Posted on: June 10, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

June 10, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionFor many people in South Dakota June means baseball games, grilling, camping, finishing planting, ice cream treats but South Dakotan’s should add one more important thing to that June list and that’s to make sure you thank a Dairy Farmer! Did you know South Dakota is home to over 200 […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Links Farm & Ranch Families to Farm Safety Videos this Summer

Posted on: June 6, 2016   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

June 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union, in conjunction with National Farmers Union is working to raise awareness about farm and ranch safety issues and best practices through a series of 10 educational videos.  “Farming and ranching is a family business – which means parents and their children are often working together […]

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Reminder South Dakota Farmers Union Golf Tournament is June 21 in Mitchell

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

June 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Farmers Union will host the 2016 Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament June 21, 2016, at the Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell (3300 N Ohlman St., Mitchell).   The tournament will be a four-person, 18-hole scramble. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. (CDT); shotgun start is at 9 a.m.  All event proceeds […]

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Farm Safety Education Should Reach Beyond the Farm Gate

Posted on: June 2, 2016   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

June 2, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Nearly 500 farm work-related deaths occur annually, according to a 2013 study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As farmers and ranchers are more active on and around their operations this time of year, National Farmers Union (NFU) is raising awareness about farm safety issues and best […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Symens Farm Family

Posted on: May 23, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

May 23, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world.  By Lura Roti, for South Dakota […]

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On a Mission for Cooperation: It’s Camp Season 2016

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

May 23, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Growing up on a farm south of Gregory, Dowain Kerner didn’t give his dad, Dean’s, career much thought. That is, until he began attending Farmers Union Camp as a kid.  “I was born on a farm; it’s what my dad does for a living. But when I was little, […]

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NFU Statement on Proposed RFS Volume Targets

Posted on: May 19, 2016   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

May 19, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, does not support the May 18, 2016 announcement made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which proposes a 5 billion gallon cut to its 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard renewable volume obligations.  “By setting the 2017 renewable volume obligation at 18.8 billion […]

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Big Oil vs. The RFS: The Fight Fueling the U.S.

Posted on: May 13, 2016   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

May 13, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionThere is a saying “You can’t have too much of a good thing.”Isn’t that the truth? For over a decade, America has reaped the benefits related to the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS has delivered a decade of job creation, cleaner air, advancements in energy technologies, and […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Sen. Grassley’s Reintroduction of Legislation Banning Packer Ownership of Livestock

Posted on: May 12, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke joins with National Farmers Union (NFU) organization in commending U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for reintroducing legislation to ban packer ownership of livestock.  “Sen. Grassley has always been recognized by Farmers Union for his continued support of family farmers and ranchers,” said Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde crop and […]

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Fun and Raising Funds

Posted on: May 9, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

May 9, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Fun and raising funds for the next generation of agricultural leaders is the focus of the 2016 Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament which will be held June 21, 2016, at the Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell (3300 N Ohlman St., Mitchell).   The tournament will be a four-person, 18-hole […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Welcomes New Education Director

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

May 9, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union recently hired Rachel Haigh-Blume to serve as Education Director.  “We are excited about Rachel’s background and professional experience, as well as her enthusiasm for youth and agriculture,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.  Haigh-Blume will be responsible for educational programming, which serves […]

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Guest Blogger Peggy Greenway: Seasons Change and So Do We

Posted on: May 6, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

May 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Spring on our farm means many things – baby calves, mud, first lawn mowing, planting crops, field lunches, doing chores without heavy winter clothes and boots, and longer work days as we rush to stay ahead of all the things that need to be done. Thirty five years ago I […]

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SDFU Foundation Now Taking Nominations for 2016 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Posted on: May 3, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

May 3, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Since 1938, the community of Groton has hosted the Carnival of Silver Skates. The on-ice themed musical performance featuring school-age children from the community is the longest running outdoor skating show in South Dakota.   For several years now, Steve and Carol Smith have been actively involved on the event’s […]

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More Than Meets The Eye: A Look at Agriculture’s Impact in Rural America

Posted on: April 29, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

April 29, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionThroughout the year, we will run campaigns encouraging everyone to “Thank-A-Farmer”. The underlying theme in that campaign is the idea that farmers are the one’s putting food on your table. However, that doesn’t quite tell the whole story. A recent report by Mitchell Technical Institute states that South Dakota farmers […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates Three Generations of Farm Moms This Mother’s Day

Posted on: April 27, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother’s Day, S.D. Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state’s number one industry – Farm and Ranch Moms!  Read on to learn the story of three mothers.  Each of these Farmers Union members represent a different generation of women […]

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What To Do When Times Are Tough: A Serious Look At Farm Income

Posted on: April 25, 2016   |   Categories: Mental Health, News Releases

April 25, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionTo be honest, I don’t really know how to start this post. So, I guess I will just come right out and say it. Times are tough and only getting tougher for farm income. This is by no means a pleasant topic, but one that needs to be discussed. Recently […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Doug Sombke Agreed to Exclusive TV Interview with KELO TV

Posted on: April 22, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

Today, during the 6 o’clock news, Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President was interviewed by KELO TV following the 7 to 46 vote by Dist. 7 members which shut down a resolution asking for his resignation.  Sombke stands by the election results decided by the members during the Centennial Convention held Dec. 9-10, 2015 […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Insurance Welcomes New Regional Manager

Posted on: April 15, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

April 15, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union Insurance welcomes Jason Wells to serve as the new Regional Manager.  “Jason brings extensive leadership and career experience to this role,” said Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director. “We are confident he will administer exceptional guidance and support to our team of South Dakota Farmers Union […]

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Better Farm Safe Than Sorry: Planning for The Best, Preparing for The Worst.

Posted on: April 14, 2016   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

April 14, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionYes it is that time of year, and yes this is another plug for farm safety. Truth is, here at Farmers Union we care about your safety…deal with it. In all seriousness, we address the issue of farm safety because agriculture is still one of, if not the most dangerous […]

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Farmers Union Quiz Bowl Encourages Youth to Think about Farm & Ranch Safety

Posted on: April 13, 2016   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

April 13, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Four FFA Chapters placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2016 South Dakota State FFA Convention in Brookings and will be advancing to the state competition held during the 2016 South Dakota State Fair. The qualifying teams are, in order […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Board of Directors Dispels Myths With Letter

Posted on: April 6, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

April 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union HURON, S.D. – For more than a century, South Dakota Farmers Union has supported the state’s family farmers and ranchers. The organization’s board of directors continues to support it’s more than 17,000 members in standing by the election results tallied during the Dec. 2015 Annual Convention and validated by […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates the Wonnenberg Family Ranch

Posted on: April 4, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world. This month, we’re highlighting the Wonnenberg family who ranch near Dallas.  As […]

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Truth in Labeling: Why Less Is Not More With GMO Labeling.

Posted on: March 24, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 24, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Picture This: A young mother is pushing her cart down the aisle of the local grocery store in preparation for the upcoming Easter holiday. As she peruses potential snacks and other goodies she comes across one package’s label that reads “Contains a GMO product”. What’s a mother to do? […]

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REAL Leaders: Guest Blogger Annie Oakley-Huber

Posted on: March 21, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

Leaders are curious. Leaders have vision. Leaders are effective communicators. Leaders understand the wisdom is in the crowd. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes. As I reviewed my takeaway notes from the SD Farmer’s Union REAL program, these were statements that had left a lasting impression on me. The material from our sessions weren’t […]

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Rural Lobbyist: 2016 Session in Review

Posted on: March 18, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 18, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Excitement was certainly not lacking during the 2016 Legislative Session as a number of bills caught the attention of many South Dakotans. Below you will find a list of issues that held Farmers Union’s attention throughout this year’s session. Revenue Redistribution SB 2- An Act to revise the distribution of […]

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Meet South Dakota Farm & Ranch Families During National Ag Week

Posted on: March 15, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

March 15, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionDuring National Ag Week, South Dakota Farmers Union and its 17,000-plus members want to introduce South Dakotans to a few of the many farm and ranch families who make up the state’s number one industry by inviting the public to read their stories which can be found on the organization’s […]

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Help Us Celebrate #AgDay2016

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

 Today we celebrate National Ag Day 2016. For some the day will pass like any other, without much awareness or significance. However, I hope to break that trend, if only for those who are reading this post. There will likely be no parades or celebrations in their honor, nor would they ask for one. However, […]

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USDA Secretary Discusses Diversification, Conservation and Trade at NFU Convention

Posted on: March 9, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 9, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union members were in attendance as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, spoke at the National Farmers Union Convention held March 5-8, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minn.  “What an amazing opportunity for those of us who work in production agriculture and live in rural communities throughout South Dakota that […]

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CALL TO ACTION: Farm Machinery Tax and SB 136 Need Your Attention.

Posted on: March 6, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 6, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionAttention South Dakota Farmers Union members, two issues require your assistance. Monday will be a big day for the South Dakota Legislative Session. According to reliable sources, attempts will be made to remove the .5% increase on the farm machinery tax. If you recall the tax was included as a […]

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Guest Piece: My Name is Tammy Basel and I am Running for NFU Vice President.

Posted on: March 4, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 4, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Dear Fellow Farmers Union Members My name is Tammy Basel and I am a cattle and sheep rancher from western South Dakota. Agriculture has always been a part of my life I as live on the property that was homesteaded by my Grandmother. The near century family farm now […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Coyotes Beware, SB 58 Passes the House.

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 Having received a majority vote in both houses, Senate Bill 58 has been sent to the Governor’s desk. SB 58 attempts to address the current problems with the growing coyote population in South Dakota. The bill is an example of compromise within the legislative process as the legislation has been amended numerous times in both […]

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Rural Lobbyist: An Explanation of SDFU’s Position on HB 1140.

Posted on:   |   Category: News Releases

March 4, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union    House Bill 1140 has now passed through the House and Senate. While South Dakota Farmers Union will seek efforts to remedy the legislation, here’s what you need to know in the meantime. South Dakota Farmers Union still supports Ag Development. Some people felt that by opposing HB 1140, […]

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National Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives Introduces Students to Purpose & Diversity of Co-ops

Posted on: March 3, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

March 3, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union When Lake Area Technical Institute Agriculture Business student, Alexa Olson, thinks about cooperatives, she immediately pictures the grain elevator in her hometown.  Until recently.  Today, the image in her mind is much more diverse. Olson just returned from the National Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives held Feb.19-21, 2016, […]

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Rural Lobbyist: South Dakota Solidifies COOL Support with Passage of HCR 1016

Posted on: March 2, 2016   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

March 2, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union    With a vote of 20-15, the Senate has passed HCR 1016 in support of the rancher approved and consumer friendly country of origin labeling law. The legislation has now successfully passed both bodies and in doing so, sends a clear message to our national delegations. With the WTO […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates the Wienk Charolais Farm Family

Posted on: February 29, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world. This month, we’re highlighting the Wienk and Eschenbaum farm family who operate […]

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CALL TO ACTION: Senate State Affairs to Take Up HB 1140 on Monday.

Posted on: February 26, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

February 26, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Attention Farmers Union Members: House Bill 1140 will be heard in Senate State Affairs on Monday, February 29th. This bill threatens local control by attempting to streamline the planning and zoning process for conditional use permits. We encourage all members interested in protecting local control and landowner rights to […]

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Rural Lobbyist: CALL TO ACTION! House Ag and Natural Resources Committee to Debate COOL Legislation.

Posted on: February 19, 2016   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 19, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Recently family ranchers and consumers were dealt a blow with the World Trade Organization verdict on Country of Origin Labeling. Congress soon after passed a full COOL repeal and the popular meat labeling law was gone. Consumers and ranchers in South Dakota will once again have benefit from such […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Actual Use Put On Hold As SB 4 Is Tabled.

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February 19, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  The Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committee was set to hear testimony on Senate Bill 4, a bill to redefine certain ag land as non-cropland. For many, this legislation is known as actual use taxation. Currently there is a debate in the agricultural community about which form of taxation […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Updated: House Votes Down HB 1182 By One Vote.

Posted on: February 18, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

 HB 1182 was finally heard on the House floor Thursday. After two successful attempts to delay the legislation, using rule JR 5-17, House members have made their vote. With a crowded gallery, House members voted down HB 1182 by one vote. Needing a 2/3 majority to pass, the bill failed by a vote of 46 […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Agriculture and Conservation Both Win With SB 136.

Posted on: February 12, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

February 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Not all news was bad news on Thursday as farmers found an ally in conservation with Senator Jim Peterson’s Senate Bill 136. If passed, SB 136 would provide an incentive to producers to plant perennial vegetation buffers within 50 ft. of lakes, ponds, and streams. The incentive would come […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Senate Ag Committee OK’s Corporate Hog Farm Ownership In SD At Expense Of Family Farms.

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February 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionFamily farmers were dealt a blow Thursday, when the Senate Ag and Natural Resources committee passed Senate Bill 89, a bill removing the regulations regarding hog farm ownership in the South Dakota Family Farm Act. Under SB 98, corporations would be eligible to take ownership of hog farms in South […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Debate for Teacher Pay Rages on.

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February 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  The debate rages on concerning teacher pay in South Dakota. The House Committee on Appropriations heard testimony on Monday for House Bill 1182. If passed, HB 1182 would increase state sales and use taxes by percent for the purpose of increasing teacher pay in South Dakota. It was noted […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Farmers Union stands for individual rights by standing against HB 1180.

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 This past Thursday the House Local Government committee heard testimony and took action on House Bill 1140. This bill attempts to modify legislation on planning and zoning that was passed in 2015. If you recall that bill was House Bill 1201 last year. Both bills are an attempt to encourage CAFO development in South Dakota. […]

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South Dakota Farmers, Ranchers & Rural Youth Visit Legislators Today for South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day

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February 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union When you’re 15 politics can be confusing. South Dakota’s Legislature is now more understandable for the South Dakota teens who attended the South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Day today. They joined family farmers, ranchers and rural business owners who also participated in the annual event.  “It’s cool to see […]

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Sturgis Rancher attends National Farmers Union 2016 Women’s Conference

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February 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Initials and brands cover the inside wall of a barn on the Sturgis ranch Mary Ellen Cammack operates with her husband, Randy.  “It started back when my dad was doing daily chores. If you helped him milk and feed bucket calves, he would carve your name or initials into […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Join us for Farmers Union Legislative Day at the Capital!

Posted on: February 5, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

February 5, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Legislative Day is nearly here! Every year at this time Farmers Union members from across the the state gather in Pierre to advocate on behalf of South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. It is a great opportunity to voice your concerns to legislators and see how the state’s political process […]

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Jr. REAL: South Dakota Farmers Union Continues to Cultivate Leaders in South Dakota’s Youth

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February 5, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Six Wolsey/Wesssington High School students learned how to protect their credit score and earned a cash prize from South Dakota Farmers Union as winners of the Making $ense of Credit and Finance PSA Competition.  The winning team includes the following students: Devon Metter, Jamie Cutshaw, Zach Reilly, Matt Larsen, […]

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Rural Lobbyist: House and Senate Ag Committee Update 2/4/15

Posted on: February 4, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

 Today marked a busy day for the members of the House and Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committees. The House Ag Committee originally had three bills on the agenda but deferred HB 1094 for another day. The other two bills were heard and action was taken. HB 1120 was unanimously passed by the committee 11-0. […]

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Rural Lobbyist: House Ag Committee ok’s industrial hemp bill.

Posted on: February 3, 2016   |   Categories: Industrial Hemp, News Releases

February 3, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee voted 11-2 to pass House Bill 1054. This bill would allow for the production of industrial hemp. Despite the 11-2 vote, the bill is somewhat contentious as a number of opponents testified against HB 1054. Many of the concerns argued […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Senate Bill 3 passes committee, redefines ag land classification criteria.

Posted on: January 28, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

January 28, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Senate Bill 3 was passed in the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. The bill was one of multiple bills that was written at the request of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force. Titled “An act to revise the income criteria for determining […]

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Rural Lobbyist: A Farmers Union Bill Tracker Update

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January 28, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  This week was about average for the beginning weeks of the legislative session. A number of the committees took care of department bills and other taskforce related bills. Below is an update of bills Farmers Union is keeping an eye on. House Ag and Natural Resources: Passed: HB 1075- […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates the Birgen Farm Family

Posted on: January 26, 2016   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help feed the world. By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union; Photos by Kathy Birgen […]

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The Rural Lobbyist: SDFU staying warm by staying busy.

Posted on: January 25, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

January 25, 2017 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionIn a week where many committees did not hold meetings, SDFU was hard at work meeting with our Secretaries of State and Agriculture, listening to presentations from our State Veterinarian and Commissioner of School and Public Lands, and preparing testimony on upcoming legislation important to Farmers Union members. In meeting […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Clean-up bills make clean sweep through committees.

Posted on: January 20, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

January 20, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Much like in sessions past, many committees kicked of this year’s legislative sessions with “clean-up” legislation from the state’s numerous departments. In the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee and on the House floor, three clean-up bills were passed unanimously by its members. These bills include: HB 1018 define […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Young Producers Event Encourages Next Generation to Explore Sustainability

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HURON, S.D. – Ranching is deeply rooted in Mark Hollenbeck’s family. His great-grandparents homesteaded in Dakota Territory, however, as one of seven children, Hollenbeck grew up understanding that if ranching was in his future, he would have to take an unconventional route to get there.  “It took a lot of unconventional ideas in order for me […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Education Funding and Medicaid Expansion headline the Governor’s State of the State Address

Posted on: January 12, 2016   |   Category: News Releases

January 12, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Today Governor Dennis Daugaard gave his annual State of the State Address to kick off the 2016 Legislative Session in Pierre. In this address Governor Daugaard gave the audience a glimpse of what to expect from the Governor’s office during this year’s session.The two major topics addressed were: Education […]

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Sec. of Ag. Tom Vilsack Appoints two South Dakota Farmers Union Members to Serve on Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board

Posted on: December 23, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

December 23, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Two S.D. Farmers Union members were appointed by Sec. of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack Dec. 22, 2015, to serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, they are Union Center rancher, Tammy Basel and Frederick cattleman, Eric Sumption.  “Secretary Vilsack made a good choice. Tammy and Eric live and […]

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A Century Strong! Members Turn Out for 2015 Centennial State Convention

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December 23, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union We are 100-years-old and have a lot to celebrate, said S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke of the organization’s Centennial State Convention where nearly 500 members turned out to celebrate and provide policy direction for the future, Dec. 9-10, 2015, in Huron.  “Celebrating 100 years is amazing, especially in […]

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Ranch Family sees Past as Part of the Future

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

December 23, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Ranch Family sees Past as Part of the Future South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s number one industry and help […]

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Nancy Mueller Receives Minnie Lovinger Esteemed Educator Award

Posted on: December 18, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

December 18, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  S.D. Farmers Union Davison County Education Director, Nancy Mueller was recognized for her years of dedicated service to South Dakota Farmers Union Youth Programming with the Minnie Lovinger Esteemed Educator Award during the Centennial Convention held Dec. 9-10, 2015 in Huron. “Nancy Mueller has made great contributions to the […]

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Agriculture Producers from Reliance, Britton & Union Center Elected to Represent at National Farmers Union Convention

Posted on: December 14, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

December 14, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Four agriculture producers were selected to represent South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers during the South Dakota Farmers Union centennial convention held in Huron last week Dec. 9-10.  “Farmers Union is a grassroots organization, all policy – state and national – begins with our members at the state level. […]

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Doug Sombke Elected to Serve Sixth Term as South Dakota Farmers Union

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December 14, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Doug Sombke was elected by the members of South Dakota Farmers Union to serve a sixth term during the organization’s centennial convention held in Huron Dec. 9 and 10, 2015.  “I feel truly honored to serve the membership of this great organization – these are South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers […]

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South Dakota Famers Union Responds to EPA’s Decision to Issue RFS Targets Below Statutory Levels

Posted on: December 2, 2015   |   Categories: EPA, News Releases

December 2, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, is concerned by the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to issue final renewable fuel volume targets which are well below their statutory levels.  “This is not good for South Dakota’s family farmers and rural communities,” said Sombke, a fourth generation crop […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Sumption Farm Family

Posted on: November 30, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

November 30, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Sumption Farm Family  By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union photos by Kaylee Speck Photography   Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, each month South Dakota Farmers Union highlights members who farm or ranch with […]

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Meet the 2015 South Dakota Farmers Union Torchbearers

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November 30, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Eleven South Dakota youth will receive the Torchbearer award during the South Dakota Farmers Union Centennial Convention held Dec. 9-10, 2015.  The highest award the organization bestows upon youth, these teens are recognized for their commitment to community and leadership skills.  Torchbearers have completed all levels of the Famers […]

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Public Invited to Hear Temple Grandin Speak During 2015 S.D. Farmers Union State Convention in Huron Dec. 9, 2015

Posted on: November 23, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

– Dr. Temple Grandin, the renowned animal handling researcher, livestock facility designer and author, is the keynote for the South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held Dec. 9 and 10, 2015 in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 4th St. SW).  “When Farmers Union brought Temple Grandin to the state in 2014 the response was […]

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NFU Opposes Proposed Rule to Allow Beef Imports from Namibia, Cites 2015 Outbreak of Highly Contagious FMD

Posted on: November 19, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

November 19, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, supports the National Farmers Union (NFU) in urging the administration to oppose a proposed rule that would make Namibia an eligible country to export meat to the United States. Namibia just this year experienced an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).   “When you […]

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More than 40,000 Signatures Collected & Delivered to Put an End to Gerrymandering in the State

Posted on: November 10, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

November 10, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Voters will have a voice November 2016 thanks to the efforts of South Dakota Farmers Union and volunteers statewide who worked tirelessly to collect 40,400 signatures for the Independent Redistricting Commission.  “This was truly a grassroots effort,” says Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. “Collecting signatures in […]

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SDFU expresses concerns over recent JBS Acquisition: Rapid Concentration in Agriculture Hurting Family Farmers and Ranchers

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November 10, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke expressed concern over the rapid consolidation in agriculture after the Department of Justice approved the purchase of Cargill Inc.’s pork unit by the Brazilian pork packer JBS.  “Growing concentration in agriculture is cause for concern,” said Sombke, a fourth generation Conde farmer. […]

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Farmer & Soldier Reflects on Freedom & Love of Farming

Posted on: November 2, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

Taking a break from soybean harvest, Tyler Gerlach climbs into a John Deere 9430 and begins planting winter wheat. Well into the rhythm of planting, Gerlach, 31, begins visiting about the double life he leads ­ that of a Stickney farmer and the former Company Commander of the 1742nd Army National Guard Transportation Company.  As foreign […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Sombke Farm Family

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

November 2, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union highlights members who farm or ranch with their families each month. This November, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Sombke family who farm together near Conde.  By Lura Roti, for SDFU; […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Extension to Protect Rail Delivery

Posted on: October 29, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke commended Congressional approval for an extension of the implementation requirement for Positive Train Control (PTC).  The extension approved Oct. 28, 2015 by the U.S. Senate prevents a serious interruption of service, protecting American farmers, ranchers, and others who rely on the rail system. “The rail industry is an […]

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Cooperative Patrons Need to Read & Address CHS Proposed Bylaw Changes

Posted on: October 22, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

October 22, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, urges cooperative patrons to weigh in on CHS proposed bylaw changes.  “If the suggested bylaw changes are passed, they will significantly alter the philosophy of CHS which could have a negative impact on family farmers and could result in changes to the […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Meeks Ranch Family

Posted on: October 5, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

October 5, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union highlights members who farm or ranch with their families each month. This October, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Meeks family who ranch on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Land is sacred […]

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Celebrate South Dakota’s Cooperatives: Member-owned & Member Led for Almost a Century

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October 5, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union For many of South Dakota’s rural communities, cooperatives have served as a lifeline to technology, products and services which have allowed local farmers, ranchers and businesses to grow and thrive.  “Co-ops have played an important role in our state’s progress,” explains Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. […]

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Cooperatives: A Tool for Empowering Rural America

Posted on: September 28, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

September 28, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionOctober is National Cooperative Month, a point on the calendar when more than 29,000 cooperatives from across the nation undertake some form of educational outreach to ensure that people better understand the cooperative business model and how it can improve life for rural Americans. And cooperatives are more important than […]

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South Dakotans Bring Farm & Ranch Issues to Congress During National Farmers Union Annual Legislative Fly

Posted on: September 22, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

September 22, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota family farmers and ranchers spent three days on Capitol Hill visiting with Congressional leaders about key issues impacting agriculture in South Dakota and across the nation.  “Boots on the ground make a difference,” said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President. “With harvest just around the corner, this […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Invites Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers to Speak during Jr. REAL

Posted on: September 9, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

September 9, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union When they made their first YouTube parody video to teach friends about life on their family’s Kansas farm, Greg Peterson says he and his siblings never thought it would go viral – receiving more than 5 million hits. The video launched him and his family into agriculture activism.  This […]

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South Dakota State Fair Celebrates a Century of Service during the South Dakota State Fair

Posted on: September 8, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

September 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union celebrates 100 years of service to the state’s family farmers and ranchers today during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  “Just as agriculture has changed over the last one hundred years, our role as an organization has changed,” said Doug Sombke, President […]

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Deuel FFA Chapter Named 2015 Champion during Farmers Union Team Up To Safety State Fair Quiz Bowl

Posted on:   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

September 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union The Deuel FFA Chapter won the 2015 Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl Championship held today during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include; Georgialee Quail, Jennifer Mueller, Colin Magedanz and Nick Cook. As one of four teams who qualified for this championship round during […]

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State Fair Goers Enjoy Lunch for only 34 Cents during the Farmers Share Luncheon Today

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September 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union HURON, S.D. – Ever reach for an item on your grocery list only to recoil from the price?  “I frequently have non-farming friends make comments about how good prices must be after a trip to the grocery store. The truth is, even when prices are down to the point […]

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True or False: A Voters Guide to Redistricting

Posted on: August 28, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

August 28, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionWhile traveling the state collecting signatures for redistricting reform, I shared an interesting conversation with a certain state legislator that highlighted a number of myths surrounding our campaign. These appear to be common assertions of opponents to our amendment. So I felt it would be appropriate to go ahead and […]

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The Troubles of TPP

Posted on: August 26, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

August 26, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionWhat’s that old cliche? “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on…me.” Or maybe it’s “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” Regardless of which saying you prefer, the message remains the same. In life, we must learn from […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Clark Ranch Family

Posted on: August 24, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

August 24, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union highlights members who farm or ranch with their families each month. This month, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Clark family who ranch 40 miles southeast of Lemmon. […]

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Farmers Union 2015 Rural Dakota Pride Honorees

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August 24, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Each year, South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes individuals who give back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. To meet the 2015 honorees, attend the recognition ceremony held Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. on the Freedom Stage at the S.D. State Fair. Bob Glanzer, […]

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Farmers Union Celebrates Another Successful Camp Season

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August 24, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union More than 1,729 rural youth, ages 6 to 18, learned about cooperatives, developed leadership skills and celebrated South Dakota’s agriculture industry together by attending a Farmers Union County, District or State camp this summer.  “Camps are a wonderful way for S.D. Farmers Union to fulfill our commitment to providing […]

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S.D. Farmers Union Celebrates Rural Youth, Community Heroes and 100 Years of Service During the 2015 S.D. State Fair

Posted on: August 14, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union celebrates 100 years of service to South Dakota’s rural communities and farm and ranch families during Farmers Union Day held Sept. 5 during the 2015 South Dakota State Fair in Huron.  “The State Fair is South Dakota’s agricultural showcase. It’s the place where the families, businesses and organizations who make up […]

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Enroll in the 2015-2016 Rural Economic & Leadership Development Program Today

Posted on: August 6, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

August 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Farmers Union Rural Economic and Leadership (REAL) Development Program is looking for committed leaders from farms, ranches and rural communities across South Dakota to enroll in the 2015-2016 class. “Farmers Union is committed to developing leaders within rural communities,” explains Erin Wilcox, SDFU Rural Development Coordinator of the program […]

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Randy & Mary Ellen Cammack will Represent South Dakota for the 2015-2016 Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program

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Ranching together for almost 40 years, Mary Ellen and Randy Cammack look forward to sharing a bit of what they’ve learned with younger couples as well as gaining knowledge they can bring back to their Sturgis ranch through their participation in the 2015-2016 Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program.  “History does repeat itself and we¹ve […]

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Farmers Union: An Advocate for Ethanol Since the Beginning

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

August 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Although his corn has a ways to grow before harvest 2015, like most corn farmers, Orrie Swayze knows where his crop will go once it leaves his Wilmot farm. “Most all of my corn goes into ethanol. Our local elevator supplies a local plant,” says Swayze, 71, who only […]

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2015-2016 Farmers Union Junior Advisory Council Members Selected to Serve

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August 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union During the 2015 Farmers Union State Leadership Camp, a six member Junior Advisory Council was selected by the youth and Education Council to serve as leaders, role models and representatives in planning and conducting the 2016 State Leadership Camp. The 2015-2016 Junior Advisory Council (JAC), who were announced during […]

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$5,000 Donated to Farmers Union Foundation Endowment

Posted on: August 3, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

August 3, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionEach year, more than 3,000 rural youth participate in Farmers Union education programming. To help fund that programming, Gene Hammond recently donated $5,000 to the Farmers Union Foundation endowment. “This is something I can do to support the rural way of life and the next generation,” says Hammond. Hammond lives […]

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Farmers Union: An Advocate for Ethanol Since the Beginning

Posted on:   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

August 3, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Farmers Union: An Advocate for Ethanol Since the Beginning Although his corn has a ways to grow before harvest 2015, like most corn farmers, Orrie Swayze knows where his crop will go once it leaves his Wilmot farm. “Most all of my corn goes into ethanol. Our local elevator […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Reis Ranch Family

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

August 3, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union will highlight members who farm or ranch with their families each month. For the months of July & August, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Reis family who ranch near Reliance. […]

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Youth Develop Leadership Skills during South Dakota Farmers Union 2015 State Leadership Camp

Posted on: July 30, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

July 30, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Rural youth from 27 counties across South Dakota attended the 2015 South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp held at Storm Mountain Center just outside Rapid City.  During the week-long camp, youth who have completed the seventh grade through high school developed leadership and communication skills as they organized […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President says Proposed New Language Ventures too Far from Policy of Country of Origin Labeling

Posted on: July 24, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

New language tied to today’s Transportation Funding Bill could dramatically impact the strength of current Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation, said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President and a Conde, S.D. farmer. “The new language diminishes COOL’s ability to protect American consumers – it basically means that retailers no longer need to label where […]

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Don’t Mess With the RFS

Posted on: July 22, 2015   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

July 22, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota grows an abundance of corn that contributes to ethanol production. Ethanol is one product with several possibilities and benefits. A few of the benefits are described below.Fuel Options: The Renewable Fuel Standard ( RFS) has a long-term plan that would gradually increase renewable fuel usage and production; decrease […]

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S.D. Attorney General’s Office Provides S.D. Farmers Union with Title & Explanation Ahead of Schedule

Posted on: July 15, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

Today, the S.D. Attorney General’s Office provided South Dakota Farmers Union Board of Directors with the title and explanation language for the Constitutional Amendment addressing Legislative Redistricting. Board members are pleased with the prompt response of the Attorney General’s office in processing their request ahead of schedule. “Now is the time to act,” said Doug […]

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Three South Dakota Teens Receive National Office within National Farmers Union

Posted on: July 6, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

July 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Three South Dakota teens were selected to serve on Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council during the 2015 National Farmers Union All States Leadership Camp held in Bailey, Colo. this June.  The students include: Jesse Carlson, 17, a Faulkton High School senior and son of Scott and Amy Carlson; […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Extremely Disappointed With APHIS Decision to Allow Importation of Beef from Areas with Foot and Mouth Disease

Posted on: June 30, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

June 30, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, joins with the National Farmers Union organization in stating his extreme disappointment over the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) decision to allow importation of fresh and chilled beef from regions of Brazil and Argentina which […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union joins with National Farmers Union Assures Senate There Remains a Viable Path Forward to Save The Law, Satisfy WTO

Posted on: June 15, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

June 15, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union is disappointed with the June 10 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).  “The National Farmers Union President said it best, this was a ‘disappointing, knee-jerk overreaction’” said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President, quoting NFU President, Roger Johnson. […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Kolousek Farm Family

Posted on: June 8, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

June 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Kolousek Farm Family Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union will highlight members who farm or ranch with their families each month. For the months of May and June, South Dakota Farmers Union features […]

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South Dakota Sheep Producers Raise High Quality Wool & Improve Rangeland

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June 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Sheep Producers Raise High Quality Wool & Improve Rangeland By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union “There is nothing cuter than a baby lamb,” Tammy Basel says as she tears down the last of her lambing pens and walks through a cloud of newly shorn ewes […]

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Farmers Union Camp Prepares Generations of Leaders

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June 8, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  Farmers Union Camp Prepares Generations of Leaders  Growing up, chores and fieldwork kept Lorrie Hanson busy on his family’s Claremont farm during the summer months. Farmers Union Camp was one of the few exceptions. “I couldn’t wait for camp. I developed friendships I still have today; plus, as I […]

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Farmers Union Urges Noem to Speak Out Against Repeal of COOL

Posted on: June 4, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

June 4, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union A bill to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is expected to be on the House floor next week. South Dakota Farmers Union urges Representative Kristi Noem to speak out against the repeal of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).  “For the rights of South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers and consumers, […]

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Un-COOL. The Congressional Attack on Consumer Rights

Posted on: May 22, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

May 22, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionDo you have the right to know where the food you eat comes from? It is a simple question. So why are there so many complicated answers? I asked myself these questions on my flight back home from Washington D.C. Over the past week, a select group of SDFU members […]

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Farmers Union 2015 Camp Season Begins!

Posted on: May 20, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

May 20, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union The first time, Jason Hanson, 17, attended Farmers Union camp; he was holding his dad, Lorrie’s hand.  “It was important to dad that I attend camp because he grew up going to Farmers Union camp and wanted me to share in a similar experience,” said Hanson, who will graduate […]

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Golf Tournament Funds Leadership Education for Agriculture’s Next Generation

Posted on: May 19, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

May 19, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Fun and raising funds for the next generation of agricultural leaders is the focus of the 2015 Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament which will be held June 16 at the Lakeview Country Club in Mitchell (3300 N Ohlman St). The tournament will be a four-person, best ball format. […]

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Letter to the Editor: Keeping COOL Under Pressure

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

May 19, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Summer meals for many begin on the grill. What if I told you the sanctity of throwing a burger or steak on the grill is under attack? And, this attack is specifically directed at your rights as a consumer?  Currently, members of Congress are attempting to undermine an integral […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Supports COOL Locally & in D.C.

Posted on: May 12, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union hosted a COOL rally May 8, 2015, in Watertown during President Obama’s visit to remind the Administration to maintain Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) as a federal law.  “We are working to keep COOL on people’s minds so they will remind Congressional leadership of the important role it plays in food […]

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Quiz Bowl Encourages Youth to Think about Farm & Ranch Safety

Posted on: May 6, 2015   |   Categories: Farm Safety, News Releases

May 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Four FFA Chapters placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2015 South Dakota State FFA Convention and will be advancing to the state competition held during the South Dakota State Fair. The qualifying teams are, in order of highest score, […]

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Rally to Support Country of Origin Labeling This Friday May 8 in Watertown

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

May 6, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionSouth Dakota Farmers Union is hosting a rally to support Country of Origin Labeling or COOL, Friday May 8, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Belmont Park in Watertown, (on the northeast corner of Third Avenue & 9th St.). All farmers, ranchers and citizens are encouraged to attend […]

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Keep COOL and Make Your Voice Heard

Posted on: May 5, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

May 5, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union By President Doug Sombke On a recent trip to Italy, I was struck by the fact that the menus in nearly every restaurant I patronized labeled all ingredients by their country of origin. Although the U.S. has a Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law that was passed in 2008, […]

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Does Everyone Get To Know Where Their Food Comes From Except Americans? Column by Doug Sombke,President of South Dakota Farmers Union.

Posted on: May 4, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

May 4, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionColumn by Doug Sombke,President of South Dakota Farmers Union On a recent trip to Italy, I was struck by the fact that the menus in nearly every restaurant I patronized labeled all ingredients by their country of origin.  Although the U.S. has a Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law, which […]

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Farmers Union Now Taking Nominations for 2015 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

Posted on: April 28, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

April 28, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionHelping women in her community has been Cindy Wilk’s calling for more than 30 years. It began when her mother, Jan Manolis, was among a group of women to open a domestic violence shelter in Huron. “Domestic violence is something that is very dear to my heart. Years ago there […]

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Cooperatives Provide a Local Voice in A Global World

Posted on: April 27, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

April 27, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Like many farmers with deep roots in South Dakota, the Dirty Thirties weren’t kind to David Kayser’s family. His grandpa, Felix Kayser, lost his Emery farm and his grandpa, Art Jarding, had to invest his own money to save the local cooperative he helped establish. “Those were tough times […]

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Celebrating Farm & Ranch Families: Ries Family Farm

Posted on: April 26, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

April 26, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionIn 1950, Donald and Armella Ries purchased some farmland a few miles southeast of Watertown and began milking four cows. A year later, their son, Mel, was born. Today Mel, his wife Orla, and three of their five grown children continue to milk cows on the farm. “I was raised […]

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Current Commodity Prices Impact All of South Dakota and Have Farmers Making Tough Decisions This Planting Season

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April 26, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionSpring fever hasn’t spread among South Dakota’s farmers as expected this planting season. Jeff Kippley attributes the atypical behavior to current commodity prices which are down about 65 percent from the last five-year average. “Normally, when you see a 70 degree day, guys are chomping at the bit to get […]

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Earth Day: A Celebration of the Family Farmer

Posted on: April 22, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

April 22, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionToday marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day. This holiday serves as a celebration of continued efforts to protect and improve our environment. There is no one who understands this holiday better or pursues its mission with more conviction than family farmers and ranchers. I am hard-pressed to come up with […]

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The Renewable Fuel Standard: Playing the waiting game with the EPA.

Posted on: April 17, 2015   |   Categories: E30, EPA, News Releases

April 17, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionOver the past year we have seen corn prices as low as $3.20 a bushel and as high as $5.10. Gas prices have fluctuated between a high of $3.59 and low of $1.90. Of course in an ideal world we would take the higher of the corn prices with the […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union President Granted Audience with Pope Francis & Vatican Leaders to Discuss Importance of Family Farming and Ranching

Posted on: March 26, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

March 26, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke was among five Farmers Union state presidents who were granted an audience with Pope Francis, March 25, 2015. Sombke met with the Pope following a weeklong series of meetings with Vatican officials and rural-based non-governmental organizations to discuss the […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates Christensen Farm Family

Posted on: March 16, 2015   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

March 16, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union Ask Marlow Christensen and his three sons, Dale, Don and Doug, why they chose farming as a career and their responses are similar. “It’s all we’ve ever known,” explains Dale, who, like his younger brothers, joined the family operation full-time right out of high school. His brother, Don, adds, […]

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South Dakota College Students Learn about Cooperatives During the National Farmers Union Conference on Cooperatives a Success

Posted on: March 13, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

March 13, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota College Students Learn about Cooperatives During the National Farmers Union Conference on Cooperatives a Success Thirty students from Lake Area Technical Institute joined more than 150 college students from 25 states and Puerto Rico to participate in the 2015 National Farmers Union (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives […]

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S.D. Farmers Union President Shares his Frustration with Legislative Disrespect for County and Local Governments

Posted on: February 25, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

February 25, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionOver the last 40 years, I have noted a continued decline in South Dakota state laws respecting County Commission and Township Boards’ authority and ability to govern. A Feb.11, 2015 comment from Rep. Don Haggar, R-Dist. 10, during discussion over the possible removal of a 1995 County property tax cap […]

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Call to Action #KeepCool

Posted on: February 18, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 18, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union As COOL supporters celebrate the recent dismissal of the U.S. District Court lawsuit on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL); the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies who filed the lawsuit are lobbying YOUR South Dakota Legislators and Congressional Leaders.  Don’t let their money and influence take away American consumer’s right to […]

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Youth Learn Legislative Process during 3-Day Trip to Pierre

Posted on: February 17, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

Youth Learn Legislative Process during 3-Day Trip to Pierre HURON, S.D. – When you’re 15, politics can be confusing. South Dakota¹s Legislature is now more understandable for the teens who earned their way to attend the Farmers Union Two Year Legislative Award Trip, Feb 3-5, 2015. Like many youth who become involved in Farmers Union Youth […]

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Mad Cow Disease in Canada Affirms Need for COOL

Posted on: February 13, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 13, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionThe recent case of Mad Cow disease confirmed in Canada affirms the value of COOL (County-of-Origin-Labeling) to protect Americans’ meat supply, said Doug Sombke South Dakota Farmers Union President. “Do you really want your lawmakers to repeal a law that tells you where your food comes from? In light of […]

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COOL Lawsuit Dropped

Posted on: February 12, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

February 12, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union South Dakota Farmers Union, Cattle Producers & Consumers Praise U.S. Dist. Court Decision to Dismiss COOL Lawsuit South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, praised the Feb. 9, 2015 dismissal of the U.S. District Court lawsuit on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), filed by the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies in […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union, Cattle Producers & Consumers Praise U.S. Dist. Court Decision to Dismiss COOL Lawsuit

Posted on:   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, praised the Feb. 9, 2015 dismissal of the U.S. District Court lawsuit on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), filed by the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies in an attempt to stop the USDA from implementing the very popular labeling law. “COOL is designed to protect the rights of American […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Praises U.S. Dist. Court Decision to Dismiss COOL Lawsuit

Posted on: February 10, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke praised the Feb. 9, 2015 dismissal of the U.S. District Court lawsuit on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), filed by the multinational meatpacking industry and their allies in an attempt to stop the USDA from implementing the very popular labeling law. “COOL is designed to protect the rights […]

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S.D. Farmers Union says Renewable Fuels Standard Reform Act Will Negatively Impact SD Farmers, Rural Communities & Ethanol Industry

Posted on: February 9, 2015   |   Categories: E30, News Releases

HURON, S.D. – The Renewable Fuels Standard Reform Act released yesterday could have a negative impact on South Dakota’s farmers, rural communities and ethanol industry if the recommendations become law, said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. In the report, it is recommended an end to ethanol subsidies, which are included as part […]

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Junior REAL: South Dakota Farmers Union Continues to Cultivate Leaders in South Dakota’s Youth

Posted on: January 29, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

January 29, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union HURON, S.D. – Through South Dakota Farmers Union Jr. REAL (Junior Rural Economic and Leadership) program, high school juniors and seniors in rural schools across the state have been learning about community service, leadership and personal finance for the past nine years. The program gets kids to start thinking about […]

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South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates January Farm Family

Posted on:   |   Categories: Celebrate Family Farms, News Releases

January 29, 2015Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota’s farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union will highlight a South Dakota farm or ranch family each month. In January, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Kippley family who farms near Aberdeen. Like all business owners, farmers are always crunching numbers, so […]

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Not COOL

Posted on: January 23, 2015   |   Categories: Meat Labeling, News Releases

January 23, 2015 – By #South Dakota Farmer UnionCOOL has been under attack since its implementation in 2008 and the fires of angst were stoked most recently after the World Trade Organization’s ruling in October. While opponents of COOL have used the ruling to fuel their attack on the legislation, they have also ignored the fact that the […]

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Rural Lobbyist: Counties win on alcohol, lose sales tax.

Posted on: January 22, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

January 22, 2016 – By #South Dakota Farmer Union  It was a tale of two bills on county funding when the Senate Local Government and House Taxation committees entertained discussion on two separate bills that addressed county revenue.  The Senate Local Government Committee listened to testimony on Senate Bill 2. SB2 is titled an act to revise the distribution […]

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SDFU Strengthens Rural Communities through Scholarships

Posted on: January 8, 2015   |   Category: News Releases

January 8, 2015The South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation announces the 2015 Foundation Scholarship recipients. The students include: Alexandra Farber, Britton; Jonathan Linke, Woonsocket; and Tyana Gottsleben, Philip. These students will be attending post-secondary education in South Dakota in fall 2015. Since 1961, the S.D. Farmers Union Foundation has invested in the lives of rural youth […]

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