Guest editorial by Don Norton, CEO of South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership (SDARL)
Consumers are more curious than ever about where their food comes from and how it’s grown. They drive the trends that impact the entire food chain. In an age of social media, viral videos and smartphones, the amount of information at one’s fingertips can be overwhelming, so how do farmers ensure their friends, neighbors and community members have the right information when making food choices for their families? Thoughtful conversations. Sharing stories. Building trust. The best advocates for agriculture are farmers themselves.
Last week, over 350 farmers attended the annual South Dakota Soybean Success Seminars. These educational seminars focused on management practices to help farmers increase soybean yields and quality. South Dakota Soybean has analyzed seven years of Yield Contest data, and agronomists presented best management practices and trends at the seminars.
They may not have realized it at the time, but last year, Tracy Chase’s sophomore class at McCook Central High School in Salem were among the first South Dakota students to test out a new science curriculum incorporating soybean genetics. The program has its roots in the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
Last Friday, South Dakota State University held a ground breaking ceremony for the new Swine Education and Research Facility (SERF). More than 200 people attended, including South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. In March, the state legislature approved $2.03 million in funding for the swine unit with another $1 million from the Board of Regents’ Higher Education Facilities Fund.