Guest Blog Post from SD Soybean Executive Director, Jeremy Freking
Last week, South Dakota Soybean Association President Chris Fischbach, SD Soybean Council Chairman David Iverson and I attended the Governor’s Key Leader Ag Roundtable, where we represented the SD Soybean Industry. This roundtable discussion and facilitated exercise was designed to capture the most pressing issues surrounding Ag in SD and to brainstorm about solutions to the current issues facing SD Agriculture. We broke into small groups several times and had great discussions with all industries of Ag and also attending were the SD House and Senate Ag Chairs. Through this process, the group came up with many issues and priorities but was instructed to vote on the most pressing issues. Each attendee was given two votes to weigh in on their priorities. Here were the results from highest to lowest priority:
- SD Roads and Infrastructure Improvements
- Increasing SD Livestock Production
- Address SDs many water issues (tiling, excess water, flooding, prevent plant or in some parts of the state drought)
- Attract youth and providing opportunities for a younger generation to have opportunities in SD Agriculture
- Local zoning assist and improve on Agricultural County zoning processes
- Increase value-added processing in SD
- Increase awareness/Public acceptance and understanding of modern SD Agricultural practices
- Dozens of other issues were identified but these were the highest 7 priorities voted on by the Ag leaders.
Later in the afternoon, we had the privilege to meet with SD Governor Dennis Daugaard. He joined our group and we presented the findings of our afternoons work and the Governor interacted with us and listened to our issues. He committed to finding solutions to these issues and pledged to continue an open dialogue with the SD Ag industry.