Rows of healthy agricultural soybean crops. Beautiful sunset landscape.

South Dakota Farmers Attend Phase One Signing at White House

Jan 17, 2020

Two South Dakota farmers were invited by Governor Kristi Noem to attend the U.S. – China Phase One Trade Agreement signing ceremony in Washington on Wednesday.

Jerry Schmitz, a soybean producer from Vermillion, SD, and Craig Andersen, a pork producer from Centerville, SD, joined Governor Noem in representing South Dakota producers at this event.

Schmitz, who also serves as executive director of South Dakota Soybean, is excited to see progress in the development in trade negotiations and deals.

“The pioneer spirit of our ancestors remains strong among farmers. We are constantly seeking new opportunities that lie just over the horizon,” Schmitz said.

Though weather and prices challenged farmers this year, Schmitz maintained an optimistic attitude for the future with this new agreement.

“Fair trade agreements offer farm and ranch families the opportunity to do what we do best; produce safe, renewable and abundant food, feed, fiber and fuel for a growing world population.”

Schmitz added “Fair agricultural trade between nations raises the poor out of poverty, generates renewable wealth and supports peace and prosperity for all people.”

Andersen, in addition to running a diversified family farm consisting of row crops, feeder pigs, and cattle, serves as first vice president for the South Dakota Pork Producers Council.

Both South Dakota farmers were honored to attend the ceremony and look forward to learning more details and taking advantage of this new opportunity for U.S. agriculture.

South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and South Dakota Soybean Association are continuously working to provide resources and build opportunity for South Dakota farmers. Visit for more information.

Craig Andersen, SD Governor Kristi Noem and Jerry Schmitz at the White House for the Signing of the Phase One China Agreement