Soybean Advocate of the Year


Mary Duvall

Representing crop and livestock producers in Hughes, Hyde, Stanley and Sully counties, State Senator Mary Duvall works to provide strong leadership for all aspects of South Dakota agriculture. South Dakota Soybean Association recently recognized Duvall for her efforts with the 2020 Advocate of the Year Award.

“Mary demonstrates exceptional leadership and through her leadership, has made significant contributions to South Dakota’s agriculture and soybean industry,” said Jerry Schmitz, Executive Director of South Dakota Soybean Association & South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Raised on a Pennington County cattle ranch, Duvall grew up with a strong understanding of the land and those who earn their living from it. It was also during her youth that she developed an interest in policy after serving as a South Dakota State Senate Page during her senior year in high school.

This interest led to a college internship with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and her first job after college, monitoring legislative activities for the SD. Department of Agriculture. After working for the Department of Agriculture, Duvall moved on to work on research, policy and communications for SD Farm Bureau.

In 2012, she was asked to serve in the State Legislature and was elected. After serving four terms in the House, in 2021 she will be moving to the State Senate, where she will serve as Chair of the Senate Transportation committee. Duvall also serves on the Ag & Natural Resources, Health & Human Services, and Retirement Laws committees.

Throughout her Legislative tenure, she served on the House Taxation Committee, House Transportation Committee, Legislative Water Development Oversight Committee, Ag Land Assessment and County Funding Committee, and was Chair of Interim Legislative Committee on Extraordinary Special Education Costs, was Vice-chair of Interim Legislative Committee on Highway Needs and Financing. In 2014, she was recognized by the SD Pork Producers Council for her dedication to agriculture with the Dedicated and Distinguished Service Award.

“I think it is important to give back to the community,” says Duvall, who together with her husband, Ron, have two grown daughters. “I enjoy policy and working on policy discussion.”

Duvall is a member of South Dakota Ag & Rural Leadership Class 2. In addition to her Senate duties, Duvall is a certified fitness instructor and teaches a variety of classes for the YMCA.