Corn and Soybeans join together for 2022 Dakotafest

It’s a one-stop shop. The South Dakota Corn Growers Association, the South Dakota Soybean Association, and the checkoff organizations for each, will be in the same booth space (SR02) at Dakotafest in Mitchell, August 16-18. When asked what went into the decision to share a Dakotafest booth, DaNita Murray, executive director of South Dakota Corn, explained that most South Dakota crop farmers share a common trait.

“Farmers who grow soybeans grow corn and vice-versa, there is literally no difference,” said Murray. “Obviously, our organizations are different and we represent the interests of a particular commodity, but candidly, here in South Dakota, I’m not sure that farmers really care whether they make their money off corn or soy in any particular given year; they’re concerned about their operation across the board.”

Murray says she believes she speaks for South Dakota Soybean Executive Director Jerry Schmitz when she says she’d like to hear what’s on the mind of growers across the state, adding that others who plan to attend Dakotafest would like to talk to South Dakota farmers. Wednesday, August 17th, will feature Dakotafest visits from members of the U.S. congressional delegation from South Dakota, as well as others.

“We really would like some interaction between folks that make policy out in Washington and the corn and soy growers in South Dakota, so folks will have to stay tuned to find out the details of whether or not [FSA] Administrator [Zach] Ducheneaux is, in fact, going to be able to make it, but one thing I will go ahead and mention is we’re going to try and hand out some free sandwiches right before that event in the hopes that everyone walks over from the Farm Bureau event straight to the corn and soy tent,” she said. “It’ll be first-come-first-served, but we sure would like to see quite a few folks.”

There are bound to be policy differences between corn and soy, acknowledged Murray, adding, however, that the two groups have more in common than they have separating them.

“I hope that [sharing booth space] is viewed in a positive light. I mean, maybe there will be a critic or two, but I think that farmers like to see their groups working together,” she said. “Honestly, I think that corn and soy traditionally have tried to work together as best they can in Washington, D.C., and that one-plus-one doesn’t equal two, it equals something greater than two. So, when commodities band together, I think that you get a better result because that influence is magnified.”

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