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Volume XCVI, NO. 1

Huron, SD

January 2013

South Dakota

Union Farmer A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION Jon Crane is Fundraiser’s Featured Artist


Kayser Re-Elected to CHS Inc. Board of Directors

Farmers Union Donates 800 Pounds of Cat Litter to Local Animal Shelter



Farm Bill Extended in late night ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

SDFU president calls nine-month extension a ‘Major Disappointment’ for producers, rural America It was last summer when the U.S. Senate passed its version of a five-year farm bill. Then the House Agriculture Committee passed its version a short time later. But in the end, the House never voted on the bill, and it was allowed to expire Sept. 30, 2012. Fast forward to December when the nation was locked in the so-called “fiscall cliff” debate, where Congress needed to act before the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 to avert a series of automatic tax increases and major budget cuts that many experts thought would send the country into another recession. The farm bill, it seemed, was caught in the middle. In the end, with back room deals, a five-year farm bill was substituted by an extension of the 2008 farm bill with many programs stripped of guaranteed funding. Farmers across the country were disappointed, to say the least. “This farm bill extension is a complete disappointment for rural America,” said South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke. “Our elected leaders have let us down, and everyone in

rural America will be impacted by the lack of a five-year farm bill.” Sombke says the nine-month extension doesn’t have a lot of positive impacts on agriculture. It continues direct payments to farmers, which both the House and Senate versions of the farm bill would’ve eliminated. “It’s incredibly disappointing that the full U.S. Senate and the House Agriculture Committee both passed separate versions of a five-year farm bill, and now all of that hard work is being ignored,” Sombke said. “Leadership in the U.S. House failed rural America by refusing to even hold a

vote on the farm bill. The result is now a piecemeal approach via the fiscal cliff deal by picking and choosing which programs get continued funding, others that will have only discretionary funding, and some that are cut altogether. Farmers and ranchers need certainty, and an extension doesn’t give us any.” One of the biggest disappointments is in disaster assistance for agricultural producers. It provides no mandatory funding for disaster assistance, but authorizes discretionary funding which means it could be authorized, or it could be cut. It also terminated the McGovern-Dole International Food Program, survey and report requirements regarding foods purchased by school food authorities, pending rural development loan and grant applications, value-added agricultural market development program grants, the National Sheep


SDFU County Councilors Discuss Policy Farmers Union county leaders from across the state gathered in Huron Jan. 4, 2013, for the annual County Councilors meeting. It’s a time for grassroots policy discussion as the county leaders looked over the Farmers Union policy program to recommend and debate any changes or additions to the policy. County Councilors

began with a discussion about the upcoming legislative session with two members of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Republican chair of the committee, Sen. Shantel Krebs of Renner, and Democrat Sen. Jason Frerichs both discussed a number of pressing issues the Legislature will deal with in the session. Farmers Union policy discussion followed which included provisions on grain warehousing, which will be a major discussion

County Councilors look over the policy program during the annual meeting at the State Office in Huron Jan. 4.


Union Farmer From the President...

One thing is certain: There are more problems than solutions coming out of our government today. It reminds me of the old story about how one person eats an elephant, one bite at a time. One of those bites is the farm bill. As the federal government focuses on addressing the national debt, we farmers and ranchers must evaluate what we can do to help solve this problem. As you know, even with a drought in 2012 which affected over 60 percent of the country, the agriculture industry Doug Sombke as a whole had a very good year. SDFU President Cooperatives like CHS Inc. reported record earnings which reflect agriculture’s financial position over the past four years or more. Therefore, we should be willing and able to address our subsidy level from the federal government. That being said, one can make a strong case for the need to limit subsidies to different-sized farms and ranches in different-sized counties. For instance, let’s look at a program requiring attention for equality: the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, also called the SURE program. This program is the first of its kind to be implemented in a farm bill. It’s a permanent disaster program designed to be there for producers needing financial assistance due to a natural disaster, eliminating the need for Congress to address issues as they arise. This program has proven to be very helpful. But it does have some regulation problems. It has eliminated the delay of distributing funds to producers due to government red tape, but it must establish ways to determine a fair market price for hay and grass on a local basis to make rules more fair for producers. Today, some producers are gaming the system. With every law there are people finding ways to take advantage of them, but with stiff penalties and advance warning these can be reduced. The SURE program can be designed with minor adjustments to address the problems within the program. Then there is the grand daddy of them all: The federal crop insurance program. This is turning out to be the one program everyone seems to unable to live without, if you are a grain farmer that is. Now, as farmers, let’s be honest, there is a lot

of room to negotiate under this program while being fair to every producer and taxpayer alike. It’s time we evaluate the possibilities and do our part and lead the rest of America to a better future for all. Currently, crop insurance premiums are subsidized at 62 percent by the federal government. I know several farmers and farm organizations don’t want to talk about the gorilla in the room, but it no longer can be ignored. Capping the amount of commodity and crop insurance premium subsidies any one farm can receive by closing loopholes and setting reasonable limits on tax obligations alone could lead to savings of over $15 billion, just in this program. Honestly, if someone is willing to try and farm half the county more power to them, but they don’t need the federal government’s help to do so. This help should be reserved for beginning and small farmers to foster the next generation of family farms and ranches. It should also be used to make livestock markets competitive, fair and accessible for all producers. These types of policy reforms and investments would have little budgetary effects to implement while ensuring the future of safe and wholesome food for our country. To ensure our nation has good soil and water into the future, federal subsidies such as crop insurance should require recipients to meet conservation compliance standards. At the same time, those who do practice conservation standards and good record keeping of their farming practices should receive tax incentives for doing so. Things like variable-rate fertilizing and seeding and multiple-zone based soil sampling are good conservational practices for producers and the environment and should be rewarded. The points I’ve made should be easy for Congress to agree on and yet they just can’t seem to do their job. Even if you don’t agree with all my points in this message I do think we all can agree it’s time Congress gets the job done they were elected to do. That goes for their staff members as well. I hope you all had a Great Christmas season and a Happy New Year! God Bless everything you do,



January 2013

Union Farmer A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION South Dakota Union Farmer, ISSN 0745-8797, publishes ten times per calendar year, with issues printed in January, February, March, April, May/June, July, August, Sept/Oct, November, and December. Copies are available for $3.00 per year (included with membership dues), and non-members annual subscription is $7.50. Advertising rate is $6.00/column inch. Periodical postage paid at Mitchell, S.D. POSTMASTER: Address changes to: SDFU, PO Box 1388, Huron, S.D. 57350-1388

Contact SDFU 888.734.8136


1410 Dakota Avenue South, PO Box 1388, Huron, SD 57350

SDFU State Office Staff

Karla Hofhenke.......ext. 114 Secretary Treasurer Huron

Bonnie Geyer...........ext. 125 Education Director Huron

Chris Studer.............ext. 122 Communications/Marketing Huron

Garret Bischoff.......ext. 118 Membership Director Huron

Mitch Fargen...........ext. 116 Rural Development Director Sioux Falls

Angela Tarasoff......ext. 111 Membership Specialist Huron

Mike Traxinger........ext. 112 Legislative Director Claremont

Leslie Rupiper........ext. 115 Foundation Exec. Director Sioux Falls

SDFU Board of Directors Doug Sombke.........President Groton

Wayne Soren..........Vice Pres. Lake Preston Terry Sestak...........District I Tabor Jim Wahle..............District II Salem Franklin Olson.....District III Pierpont

Contact NFU

Joel Keierleber.......District IV Colome Dallis Basel..............District V Union Center Lynn Frey...............District VI Lemmon Chad Johnson.......District VII Groton

National Farmers Union 20 F Street NW Suite 300 Washington, DC 20001

Roger Johnson, President ~ Claudia Svarstad, Vice President Doug Peterson, Secretary ~ Don Teske, Treasurer 202.554.1600

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Education News By Bonnie Geyer Education Director

Happy New Year 2013! We have great plans and expectations for the coming year and I look forward to sharing all the fun and excitement with all of you! The 2013 legislative session is about to begin and Jan. 29-31 you will find a group of your Farmers Union youth taking part in a valuable educational and fun activity in Pierre. We will spend our days in Pierre learning about the legislative process and also taking a tour of the Capitol, the National Guard Museum and the Science Museum. Twenty-two of our youth qualified for this special honor and we are excited for those who will participate. Make plans now to attend your Farmers Union state convention Feb. 15-16, 2013, at the Ramkota in Aberdeen. We will hold an Education Honor’s Luncheon that gives us a chance to thank all our volunteers and celebrate the successes we have had in 2012. We will also honor our 2012 Torchbearers at the Convention Banquet at noon Saturday the 16th and that evening we look forward to another fabulous and fun “Night on the Prairie” fundraiser. It will be an evening of fun and fellowship all with a goal of raising money for our education programs. Make plans now to attend! You won’t want to miss it! I hope that some of you are considering joining us for the National Farmers Union convention in Springfield, Mass., March 3-5, 2013. Some of our Torchbearers will attend and these young people will see how policy is set at the national level as well as meeting other Farmers Union members from throughout the United States. What an opportunity! We are offering an opportunity for individuals interested in a great summer job. People in these positions will travel across the state assisting with our youth camping program. Applicants must be 19 years of age or older and have completed at least one year of college or have been employed over the last year. This position is ideal for someone who loves to work with people of all ages and wants to have a very fun and rewarding summer. These summer staff positions will be filled as soon as possible, so if you know of anyone interested please give me a call at 1-888-734-8136, Ext. 125 for further information and/or an application. I hope that 2013 brings good health, much happiness and all good things to you and your families. Thank you for supporting Farmers Union and the Farmers Union Youth Program.

Union Farmer

COUNTY COUNCILORS Continued from Page 1

during this year’s legislative session in Pierre after Minnesota-based Anderson Seed Co. stopped operations at their Redfield, S.D., warehouse, leaving many farmers who were not paid for grain that was delivered. The Public Utilities Commission has proposed legislation to help solve some of the problems. Other policy discussion at the County Councilors meeting dealt with the beef checkoff program, proposing some reforms to spend at least 75 percent of all collected checkoff funds each year. Another proposed addition to the polic program deals with an Animal Disease Traceability program which would identify specific animals and record their movements, to enable a 48-hour traceback of any disease or exposed animal. County Councilors approved a policy statement opposing a mandatory identification program and supporting local control of the South Dakota data by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board. The policy also proposed an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act and limiting

Sen. Jason Frerichs, D-Wilmot, listens to a question from SDFU board member Franklin Olson of Pierpont (left) during the County Councilors meeting.

in rural and underserved areas by locally-owned and/or locally-controlled financial institutions,” and recommends that Congress “create a mortgage law exemption for locally-controlled institutions serving rural and underserved areas from recently enacted laws and rules regarding mortgage escrow for high-priced Sen. Shantel Krebs of Renner, the chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture and loans, mortNatural Resources Committee, discusses gage insurance legislative issues at the beginning of County Councilors. requirements, appraisal requirements, mortgage licensing and registration, and ability to pay/qualifying mortgages.” Other special orders deal with animal damage control and wildlife damage management, and beaver management. All of the proposed changes will now move to the state convention where delegates will have the opportunity to propose more changes or additions and adopt the final policy which the organization will follow throughout the coming year. Gail Temple, who presided as chair of the County Councilors, was re-elected to serve in that capacity for 2014. DuWayne Bosse of Britton was elected to his first term as vice chair. He replaces Tyler Gerlach who declined nomination for a second term. Sandee Gittings of Philip was re-elected as the County Councilors secretary. The policy will again be considered at the state convention Feb. 15-16 at Aberdeen.

producer liability after an ownership change. Another proposed addition to the policy was on livestock production and animal welfare issues. The County Councilors approved language that would support industry-established standards for the management, care and treatment of animals in agriculture, commerce and research. Some special orders of business were passed by the County Councilors calling for regulation reform when it comes to local financial institutions. The special order says “rural financial institutions have been burdened with excessive regulations aimed at Wall Street banks but that have the unintended consequences County Councilors elected leadership. From left, Sandee Gittings of Philip, secretary, DuWayne Bosse of Britton, vice chair, and Gail Temple of Clark chair. of discouraging home lending

Union Farmer

January 2013


Union Farmer

Farmers Union Donates 800 lbs of Litter to Local Animal Shelter South Dakota Farmers Union has donated 800 pounds of Swheat Scoopbrand cat litter to the Beadle County Humane Society in Huron. Swheat Scoop litter is made from non-food grade wheat harvested in the Midwest. It’s an environmentally friendly product that is all natural and contains no chemicals. The product is made by Farmers Union Industries, a Minnesotabased company affiliated with South Dakota Farmers Union. South Dakota Farmers Union Vice President Wayne Soren of Lake Preston said the organization wanted to help the local Humane Society because it gets no funding from the Humane Society of the United States. “There’s a misconception that the Humane Society of the United States is somehow affiliated with local humane Pictured, from left, are SDFU Vice President Wayne Soren, Beadle County societies, and that’s just not the case,” Humane Society Executive Directro Kim Krueger and SDFU President Doug Soren said. “The local Beadle County Sombke. Humane Society needs our help and we were more than happy to provide this December. Swheat Scoops is available locally litter to them.” at several retail outlets across the state of South The 800 pounds of litter was purchased by Dakota. To find a story near you visit them on the South Dakota Farmers Union and was delivered Web at to the Beadle County Humane Society in early


To: All local and county unions of the South Dakota Farmers Union. Notice is hereby given that the 98th annual convention of the Farmers Union Educational and Cooperative Union of America, South Dakota Division will convene on Friday, February 15, 2013 at the Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center in Aberdeen, South Dakota at 10:00 a.m. The President, Vice-President, Directors from District II, IV and VI and delegates and alternates to the National Farmers Union Convention will be elected. Bylaw changes, if any, will also be voted upon and delegates will adopt a policy program. The convention will remain in session until disposition has been made of all business. The South Dakota Farmers Union bylaws provide: “Each chartered county union in good standing shall be entitled to one delegate for ten dues-paying members or major fraction thereof. Each county president, if not an elected delegate, shall be a delegate ex-officio to district and state conventions and shall have one vote therein.” “Each local shall have the right to district and state representation in the same ratio as prescribed by the county unions. Such nominees will be voted on at the county meeting prior to the district and state conventions. Local delegates will then become part of the county union’s slate of voting delegates. “Credentials must be signed by the president and secretary of the county which such delegates represent and be forwarded to the State Office or delivered to the Convention Credentials Committee as soon as possible after arrival in the convention city.” FARMERS EDUCATIONAL AND COOPERATIVE UNION OF AMERICA (SOUTH DAKOTA DIVISION) Doug Sombke, President Karla Hofhenke, Secretary-Treasurer


January 2013

Union Farmer

Membership News By Garret Bischoff Membership Director

Welcome to 2013, I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season! With the New Year we are pleased to welcome many new members to the South Dakota Farmers Union. This year we have implemented a big membership incentive for new and renewing members. One of our members who either renews or becomes a new member between January 1, 2013, and April 1, 2013, will be entered into a drawing for either $500 or a new iPad. If your membership is current and you want to get in on the drawing you can either extend your membership or buy someone else a membership. We are going to be busy in 2013 with all of the meetings across the state we are going to be trying to attend this year. We also have a wide variety of conferences and activities we hope to see you at. This year our annual Legislative Day in Pierre is going to be Jan. 29. This is such a great chance to see our state government at work. We are sponsoring one vehicle from each county to drive to Pierre, so if you are interested in going, contact your county Farmers Union president or one of us in the State Office for details. Our annual Farmers Union state convention takes place Feb. 15-16 this year, and hopefully you get a chance to attend in Aberdeen. We have a great lineup of speakers and activities that you won’t want to miss. Connect with friends and meet some new ones. Please, invite a neighbor to the state convention this year. We even have a special incentive for convention, if you bring at least three non-perishable food items your convention registration and all meals are free. If you are interested in attending the National Farmers Union convention as a delegate March 2 to 5 in Springfield, Mass., you need to be at our convention so you can be elected. We are going to be planning some events at sale barns around the state this year. We are going to get out to about 10 different sale barns and have coffee for the patrons. If you would like to see us in your area get in touch with me and I’ll see what we can do. If you have any questions about membership in your district or county, please feel free to call me at 605-3526761 ext. 118 or email me at gbischoff@sdfu. org.

Rural Development News By Mitch Fargen Rural Development Director

Hello again from the South Dakota Farmers Union Rural Development Department. I hope everyone is staying warm these days, I know I am and I’m sure it is snowing and blowing where you are too. Make sure you have a safe and Happy Holiday Season and I can’t wait to talk to you again in 2013. In the Rural Development Department we have been slowing down this December and working on my spring events like the REAL (Rural Economic and Leadership) Development Program, the ‘Team up to Safety’ quiz bowl competition, and Jr. REAL (Junior Rural Economic and Leadership) Development Program. My next REAL program session is in January in Pierre. This group gets to see and participate in the 2013 legislative session. They are going to talk with legislators from around the state of South Dakota and also get to talk to a representative from the South Dakota Budget and Policy Project and a media specialist. After that we will finish out our program at the Sioux Falls session this March. We have been wrapping up the South Dakota MarketPlace program still from this Fall. With such a large, successful conference it takes a long time to finish it up. It will be exciting to see what happens next with the South Dakota MarketPlace and where we want to take it in the future. I am happy to be a part of this conference and have heard so many good things about it across South Dakota. The South Dakota legislative session is upon us and I hope I get to see some of you come out in Pierre to voice your concerns with our state government. I am a big believer that people from a grassroots organization can change society or push an idea if they work together and voice what they believe. Please participate in your state government, there will be major decisions being made this year and we need your voice to be heard. If you want to know more about any of these exciting programs that the Rural Development Department or South Dakota Farmers Union is putting on please contact me at or at 605-695-0705.

Union Farmer

Vilsack: Rural America Needs a New Mindset By Daryll E. Ray & Harwood D. Schaffer Agricultural Policy Analysis Center University of Tennessee, Knoxville

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) garnered a lot of media attention on December 6 when he asked the attendees at the 2012 Farm Journal Forum, “Why is it that we don’t have a farm bill?” He went on to say, “It isn’t just the differences of policy. It’s the fact that the rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that, and we better begin to reverse it.” From the tone of his statement one might expect that he was going to go into a discussion of how city folks have written off the future of rural areas. Instead the point of his comment was that it is rural residents who have written off the future of rural areas by adopting a preservation mindset instead of a growth mindset. As he says, we need “a new mindset in rural America.” We need to ask ourselves “Where are the new opportunities?” And in his speech, Vilsack identifies a set of priorities and opportunities that are a part of the growth mindset he is talking about. He told his audience that in response to climate change, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) needs to “focus on additional research and ways in which we can adapt and mitigate and develop strategies that in the long term will allow us to continue to have the greatest agriculture in the world.” As part of that, Vilsack talked about increased double-cropping. In turning to what he dubbed a new rural development approach, Vilsack spoke of “expanding broadband access to ensure that those who set up a business, who establish an opportunity in rural areas, have the capacity and the power to be able to reach not just a local market, not just a regional market, but a global market.” Another part of this new rural development approach is convincing “smaller communities… that they have to look at themselves as a part of an overall region… addressing economic development opportunities from a regional perspective as opposed to a community-by-community perspective.” In addition, “We need to continue to promote local and regional food systems…. a multi-

billion-dollar opportunity which is continuing to grow and provides opportunities for very small producers [and] which will help repopulate some of these rural communities,” Vilsack said. Vilsack also tied rural development to the “need to invest significantly in conservation and link it more closely to outdoor recreation and bring those tourism opportunities back into the rural areas. If people are spending hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said. “we need to capture those resources, and we need to turn them around in the economy more frequently.” In discussing a biobased economy, Vilsack took a line from the old saw that in slaughtering a hog, butchers used everything but the squeal when he said, “we need to absolutely seize the opportunity that the biobased economy creates, the ability to literally take everything we grow, every aspect of every crop, every waste product that’s produced and turn it into an asset, into a commodity, into an ingredient.” He then provided examples of this as he told of turning plant materials into lighter weight car bodies, hog manure into asphalt, and molecules from corncobs into plastic bottles. “This is an amazing new future where virtually everything we need in an economy can be biology-based, plant-based, crop-based, and livestock-based; enormous new opportunities to build refineries that are not large, as we see in the oil industry, but are small because of [the] bulk of [this] biomass is basically dotting the landscape, creating economic opportunity, creating new markets, as well as job opportunities.” Vilsack challenged his audience saying, “we need to cement that new economy in Rural America, and we need to sell it to our young people if we’re going to reverse the population and poverty challenges that Rural America faces. And frankly, I think we need to recognize that unless we respond and react, the capacity of Rural America and its power and its reach will continue to decline.” Daryll E. Ray holds the Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, and is the Director of UT’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC). Harwood D. Schaffer is a Research Assistant Professor at APAC. (865) 974-7407; Fax: (865) 974-7298; and hdschaffer@;

Farmers Union Legislative Day! Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - Pierre Visit for more details

Union Farmer

January 2013


Union Farmer Legislative News By Mike Traxinger Legislative Director

The 88th legislative session opened Tuesday, Jan. 8 in Pierre with the governor’s annual State of the State address. Being sworn in this year is one of the largest classes of new state legislators in the history of the state of South Dakota. The new group will consist of 33 newly-elected members, five former members who were not in the last Legislature and five former House members that will now be in the Senate. I hope you will take a moment and get to know them by reading through their biographies in this issue of the Union Farmer beginning on page 10. It will be imperative that SDFU has a strong voice during the session this year. There are many issues that are facing the agriculture industry in the upcoming session including decisions affecting the assessment of agricultural land for tax purposes, animal welfare, an expansion of Medicaid, funding agriculture research at South Dakota State University, livestock development, oil and gas issues, predator management, the Public Utilities Commission, the state brand board, and watershed management. SDFU’s annual Legislative Day will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Each county is encouraged to send a vehicle of farmers and ranchers to this important event at our state Capitol. We will begin the day at 9:30 a.m. CST in the South Dakota Education Association (SDEA) Building located at 411 East Capitol in Pierre, directly south of the Capitol building. At 9:45 a.m. we will make our way over to the Capitol and attend one of the following committee meetings that begin at 10 a.m.: Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources; Senate Commerce and Energy; House Local Government; or House Transportation. At noon we will have lunch with our state legislators at the SDEA building where we will hear from them about current issues affecting the agricultural industry. We will also present our annual “Outstanding Legislative Leader” awards to two legislators who have demonstrated a service and commitment to the agriculture industry. In the afternoon we will return to the Capitol to attend legislative caucus meetings at 1 p.m. and the general legislative session at 2 p.m. SDFU members are encouraged to stay throughout the day. Please RSVP to or call me at 605-377-4110 if you know you will be able to attend. As policy issues arise or you have questions about the legislative session in Pierre, please do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you and continue working on your behalf.


January 2013

By NFU President Roger Johnson

Greetings from Washington and Happy New Year! January will be a busy time in Washington D.C., as the 113th Congress convenes in early January while the inauguration of President Obama takes place on Jan. 21. It will be an exciting time of change and adjustment, and NFU will continue to work in the best interests of our members. The beginning of the year will see the National Farmers Union office bustling with activity as our convention rapidly approaches. If you haven’t already done so, please make your arrangements to travel to Springfield, Mass. for the convention to be held March 2 to 5. Hotel reservations need to be made by Feb. 7 to guarantee that you get the Farmers Union discounted rate. Registration is also available at NFU Policy Committee The NFU policy committee will meet the week of Jan. 17 in Washington, D.C., to begin evaluating NFU’s current policy and to make suggestions for changes to present at the convention in Springfield, Mass. this March. Policy is driven by Farmers Union’s grassroots membership across the country and determines the priorities our organization will work on for the next year. This year’s policy committee members are Jeff Eschmeyer of Ohio (chairman), George Davis of Calif., Tom Wingfield of Colo. (Rocky Mtn.), Daniel Truelove of Ill., Mary Howell of Kan., Tim Velde of Minn., Ronda Throener of N.D., and

Kent McAninch of Okla. On behalf of all the members of Farmers Union, we are grateful for the committee’s work. The policy book is a product of decades of Farmers Union history, and committee members scrutinize each word in the document before it is presented to the delegates for changes and eventual adoption. BFI 2013 Applications Sought Applications for the 2013 Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI) program are now available at The annual program, now accepting its third class of students, is open to individuals who are new to farming, are in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative to themselves, or are contemplating a career in farming or ranching. The BFI program helps students gain insight and practical skills needed by beginning farmers and ranchers, including business plan writing, financial planning, and researching available programs to help start up and sustain a successful operation. Applicants accepted into the 2013 program will attend three separate education sessions, to be held in the spring and fall of 2013, in Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis, Minn., respectively, with a final session culminating at NFU’s annual convention in March 2014 in Santa Fe, N.M. Program topics at the education sessions will include business planning, U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, tax and record keeping, estate transfer and marketing.Applications must be postmarked on or before Feb. 11, 2013.

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Union Farmer

FARM BILL EXTENDED Continued from Page 1

Industry Improvement Center or the rural microentrepreneur assistance program. The fact is, Sombke said, that a nine-month extension doesn’t have much positive for agriculture in it. “It does address the commodity payments which are hard to defend. I just don’t see where they have represented anything from what the House and Senate Agriculture Committee members have worked toward a new farm bill.” Sombke calls agriculture a skapegoat for some of the other spending problems we have in this country. They will find other ways to come after the farmer, he said. “We have a Speaker of the House who has never voted for a farm bill in his career. The good thing is that it has alleviated the problem of increased milk prices, but it doesn’t do much for producers and the issues they face. In the long run it won’t meet the food demands for the future of this country.” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson also had some harsh words for Congress after the farm bill extension was announced as part of the fiscal cliff deal. “Once again, Congress has left rural America out in the cold,” Johnson said. “An extension represents a short sighted, temporary fix that ultimately provides inadequate solutions that will leave our farmers and ranchers crippled by uncer-

tainty.” Johnson pointed to the fact that some of the most important provisions of the five-year farm bill that was passed in a bipartisan manner in the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee were left out. “The legislation that passed fails to provide disaster aid for farmers or necessary support for our dairy industry, yet continues unjustifiable direct payments. The bill also does not provide mandatory funding for the energy title, specialty crops and organic provisions, and new important programs for beginning farmers and ranchers,” he said. “Farmers, ranchers, rural communities and all Americans deserve better and would have been better served with a new five-year farm bill. It is truly a shame that the bipartisan work of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees has been summarily and entirely discarded. Not only was that work far better than what has passed, it also provided meaningful deficit reduction.” Even with this setback, National Farmers Union will be busy working for a long-term farm bill in the weeks and months to come. “NFU will continue to work with members of Congress and all interested parties during the next Congress to ensure that a farm bill can be completed as expeditiously as possible.”

NFU Scholarships Available to Farmers Union Youth National Farmers Union (NFU) is encouraging students to apply for several scholarships made available through the general farm organization and its affiliated foundations. The amounts vary from $1,000 to $2,000. “We are thrilled to once again scholastically honor the best and brightest young Farmers Union members and aid them on their path to becoming future leaders of their schools, communities and the Farmers Union family,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. The National Farmers Union Foundation and Farmers Union Industry (FUI) Foundation present scholarships to college students in memory of Stanley Moore, a long-time leader of North Dakota Farmers Union who later became vice president of National Farmers Union. The NFU Foundation Moore scholarship is open to Farmers Union members and their children who are seeking funding to attend a two- or four-year accredited college or university, or technical school for any area of study. The foundation presents several scholarships in the value

of $1,000 annually. Honoring Stanley Moore is also the purpose of the separate FUI Foundation scholarships, which are available to Farmers Union members in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The foundation awards several $1,500 scholarships each year. The Hubert and JoAnn Seymour Scholarship is open to all graduating high school seniors who are continuing their education in an accredited twoor four-year college. Scholarship amounts vary from $1,000 to $2,000. Hubert K. Seymour was a leader in Illinois Farmers Union and subsequently was active at the national level. Applicants must be Farmers Union members. Selection committees make their determinations after evaluating the applications and essays. For details on deadlines and to download application forms, please visit the NFU Education page, as well as visit NFU’s education Facebook page for updates and further information on NFU’s youth and young adult education programs.

Union Farmer

Foundation News By Leslie Rupiper Morrow SDFU Foundation Executive Director

Happy New Year from the Farmers Union Foundation! The beginning of a new year is filled with so much hope and promise. It’s exciting to see what the next 12 months might hold. But we likely haven’t forgotten that the end of 2012 brought sorrow for some and anxiousness for others. We are still healing and learning how important it is to appreciate each day, after the horrible shootings in Connecticut. Then there was the discussion about the possible “end of days” on Dec. 21. While there was a lot of news coverage about those planning for an apocalypse, we heard very little about those who believed the end of 2012 would actually usher in a new time of better understanding, peace and love. I hope the latter is true. Sometimes when tragedy strikes it’s hard to see past the darkness of the hour. But those of us who have endured hardships know that brighter days do come. This is the hope I carry with me into this New Year. I believe we can all find ways to improve our corner of the world – to make it safer, happier and more prosperous for everyone. The start of 2013 means the 8th annual “A Night on the Prairie” fundraiser is right around the corner. We hope you can join us Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center in Aberdeen. This year, you’ll have another chance to win a dream vacation. We’re calling it, “Sand, Snow or Fine Merlot,” and you can choose a trip to Cancun, Alaska or wine country in Napa Valley, Calif. Plus, you have the opportunity to take home an original painting by artist Jon Crane. He completes his beautiful work in a home near Mystic, S.D., and is known as “The Mystic Traveler.” Jon feels a special connection to days gone by and loves to recapture those scenes in his paintings. We think you’ll love the original work he’s created for “A Night on the Prairie.” If you have an item you think would be perfect for the auction this year, or would like to support the Farmers Union Foundation through a sponsorship, please email me at, or call me at (605) 940-9070. By letting us know if you plan to donate an auction item, we can make sure it gets the recognition it deserves in the official “A Night on the Prairie” program. Wishing you many blessings in 2013!

January 2013


Union Farmer

2013 Scholarship Recipients Announced Three South Dakota high school seniors will Maria Nightingale share $1,500 in scholarships awarded by the is the recipient of the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation. $500 Farmers Union Myles Bialas has been awarded the $500 Foundation CooperaFarmers Union Foundation Memorial Scholartive Scholarship. ship. Myles is the son of Craig and Stacey Bialas The daughter of from Dimock and a Craig and Sandy Nightsenior at Parkston High ingale from White School. Lake, Maria is a senior He plans to pursue at White Lake High a degree in agronomy School. at South Dakota State She plans to purMaria Nightingale University in Brooksue a degree in the White Lake ings. The Memorial health care profession White Lake High School Scholarship is presented at South Dakota State on behalf of the famiUniversity. lies of the late Emil The Cooperative Scholarship is awarded on Loriks, Les Saboe and behalf of Ben and the late Dorothy Radcliffe and Myles Bialas other Farmers Union the families of the late Clifford Ott, Richard PasDimock members who have tian and Adam Seidel. Parkston High School donated to the scholarship fund.

Nathan Nugteren will receive the $500 Farmers Union Foundation Leadership Scholarship. He is the son of Darin and Lisa Nugteren from Canistota and is a senior at Canistota High School. Nathan plans to attend Southeast Technical Institute to pursue a degree in Diesel Technology. The Leadership Scholarship is presented on behalf of the family of the late Frank Butler. Farmers Union Foundation scholarships have been awarded annually since 1961. Recipients are selected on the basis of Nathan Nugteren organizational and community involvement, Canistota Canistota High School academic achievement, leadership activities and financial need.

Kayser Wins Re-election to CHS Inc. Board

CHS Hosts Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Posts Record Earnings Over $1.2 billion David Kayser of Alexandria was re-elected to the CHS Inc. board of directors during the cooperative’s annual meeting in Minneapolis in early December. Kayser was first elected to the CHS board in 2006 and serves as a member of the board’s Corporate Responsibility and CHS Foundation Finance and Investment committees. Kayser, a Farmers Union member who farms near AlexanCHS board member David dria, previously was a Kayser, of Alexandria, S.D., talks director and chairman during the South Dakota region meeting where he was re-elected of Farmer’s Alliance to the board for another term Cooperative and is a during the cooperative’s annual meeting in Minneapolis. past chairman of the S.D. Association of Cooperatives. Kayser was challenged in this year’s election by Tammy Basel of Union Center and Cody Jorgenson of Ideal. Randy Knecht of Houghton is the other CHS director from South Dakota. The annual meeting was held Dec. 5-6, 2012, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. CHS


January 2013

reported record net income for fiscal year 2012 of $1.26 billion on revenues of $40.6 billion. CHS, the largest cooperative in the U.S., says it will return an estimated $600 million of its fiscall 2012 earning to its member-owners in cash. “When other forms of business achieve this level of profit, the benefits are shared by those who may not have a direct relationship with the company beyond its earnings,” said Jerry Hasnedl, CHS board chairman and a St. Hilaire, Minn., farmer. “But this business not only provides its owners with energy, crop inputs, grain marketing and more, it delivers a direct return that helps farmers, ranchers and local cooperatives invest in their own growth.” Some of the highlights CHS covered at the annual meeting included the acquisition of sole ownership of a refinery in McPherson, Kan., and a continued investment in its Laurel, Mont., refinery. The cooperative also expanded its global commodities presence with new offices in South Korea, Singapore and Paraguay, along with grain origination and export acquisitions and joint ventures in the Black Sea region and South America. CHS also proposed construction of the first CHS nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing facility, planned for Spiritwood, N.D., and an investment in a Texas clean fuels project that includes sole access to 700,000 tons of urea. The cooperative also acquired a Creston, Iowa,

Union Farmer

soybean crushing plant focused on soy flour to supply the company’s existing soy protein foods business. “When it comes to the producers and cooperatives who own us, and the customers we serve around the world, we must not only invest in the future, but make sure we provide relevant options for doing business with us,” said CHS President & CEO Carl Casale speaks during the CHS annual meeting in MinCarl Casale, CHS president neapolis. and CEO. “In the last two years we’ve made three dozen major news announcements on investments and acquisitions on our owners’ behalf that strengthen our presence at home and round the world in energy, grains, processing and food ingredients.”

Union Farmer

Jon Crane Secured as ‘Featured Artist’ for annual S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Fundraiser By Leslie Rupiper Morrow

SDFU Foundation Executive Director For more than 40 years, artist Jon Crane has made his home in the Black Hills. The New Jersey native remembers visiting South Dakota as a child. “At that time, I was really intrigued by the farms, the ranches, the wide open spaces,” he remembers. But Crane didn’t come to reside in South Dakota until 1972, when he was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base to fly KC 135 Stratotankers. When he left the Air Force, Crane could’ve pursued a career as a pilot. “I could’ve gone to the airlines like most of the guys I flew with did, but that didn’t appeal to me. That wasn’t really what I wanted to do.” Instead, he chose to return to a passion he’d had since grade school – painting. “I’ve always been intrigued by landscapes. The vast majority of my work has buildings in it, and I was drawn to that right from the start. Back in high school, pieces that I made were farm scenes.” Ever since Jon Crane made the decision to become a professional artist, South Dakota’s scenery has been providing much of the inspiration for his work. This year, Jon Crane has been selected as the Featured Artist for the 2013 “A Night on the Prairie” fundraiser which will be held the evening of Feb. 16 at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Aberdeen. Crane’s artwork often features rural scenes set in a time gone by. “I think everybody looks back at when they were younger, and it always seems like it was a better way,” he said. “It might have been in one way, and it wasn’t in others. I like to do the nostalgic part of paintings.” Jon Crane and his wife, Gail, now make their home near the historic town of Mystic, S.D., nestled deep in the Black Hills. Jon is often known as the “Mystic Traveler,” since he combs the countryside looking for scenes that strike a chord in his heart, and compel him to paint. “If I could take myself back in time, with a camera of course, I would like to go back to about 1940 because that was the time in the United States when farms were the way I envision farms. It was before the metal pole barns and so forth. They’re fine and very useful but they’re not as endearing to an artist.” While Jon Crane occasionally paints his artwork on location, it’s usually with a camera that he captures the images that will eventually come alive on his canvas. “My pieces are very time consuming. The smallest, simplest, pieces might take 10 or 15 hours. More complex ones can take anywhere from 100 to 300 hours, and that kind of precludes working out on location.” Crane takes between 15,000 and 20,000 digital photos a year and then works from those pictures in his art studio. He has found that watercolor best suits the types of paintings he likes to create.

2013 ‘A Night on the Prairie’ featured artist Jon Crane works in his in-home studio nestled deep in the Black Hills of South Dakota near Mystic. Crane created a painting especially for the foundation’s live auction which will be unvieled the night of the event.

“I tried everything. I liked oils okay, but I didn’t like acrylics at all — they dried too fast. I couldn’t get the subtle variances that you can with the oils. I finally ended up in watercolors.” Since many of Crane’s paintings feature winter scenes, he says the watercolors allow him to create snow that is very life-like, soft and fluffy. When Crane paints, he often feels like he is capturing a moment in time — a moment that he hopes will live on for generations. “I think a lot of my paintings will be an example of history — of something that’s no longer around. I hope we have the foresight to keep a few of these things so people can actually see them, but my artwork will show what it was like when kids’ parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were here in the Hills and out on the farms.” One such example is the Meeker Ranch near Custer. When Crane learned that the U.S. Forest Service planned to burn it down, he galvanized a group who worked to save the ranch through the Black Hills Historic Preservation Trust. Now it will remain standing for generations to come. Jon Crane has a great love for children and for education, which is one of the reasons he wanted to be a part of “A Night on the Prairie.” Crane says he believes Farmers Union education programs can provide important lessons to South Dakota children, which will make a brighter future for all of us. When speaking about the next generation he says, “They’re going to be the leaders of the future or the voters of the future, and they’ve got to be able to make smart decisions. The rural scene that Jon

Union Farmer

Crane painted for “A Night on the Prairie” is one that he hopes will have wide appeal and might stir nostalgia in those who see it. “I’m painting a vanishing world. Many of the buildings I’ve painted over the years or many of the farms don’t look the same now or they’re gone.” That’s why Crane keeps searching for scenes to paint, so that they might live on through his canvas and remind future generations of how South Dakota’s farms and ranches once looked. He has no intention of stopping anytime soon. “I really, truly enjoy what I’m doing. I feel blessed to be able to make a living at this. I’ve got lots and lots of stuff yet to paint.”

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January 2013


Union Farmer

Meet the New 2013 South Dakota Legislators

South Dakota Farmers Union aims to educate its members and the public about legislative issues, and one of the ways to do that is to introduce you to new legislators that will be making decisions that will affect the future of our state in the coming years. We asked them to tell us a little about themselves so you

Sen. Chuck Welke

Democrat - District 2 - New Member

Chuck Welke is a lifelong resident of South Dakota. Born in Huron, he grew up on farms in the Tulare and Redfield areas, graduating from Redfield High School. He earned a degree in secondary education from Northern State University in Aberdeen with majors in Social Science and Health and Physical Education. He earned his master’s in Secondary School Administration. Welke spent two years at the school in Harrold and 33 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director and principal at Warner. He retired in 2010. Welke has a wide range of experiences having been raised on farms in Spink County and attending school and working in Brown County. He was very active in agriculture growing up and had quality educational experiences in 4-H and FFA. He has also held numerous jobs related to agriculture as well as working for various businesses in distribution, sales, and service.

Sen. Ernie Otten Jr.

Republican - District 6 - New Member

Ernie Otten Jr. is a lifelong resident of District 6. His family originally settled in Tea in 1881. Otten has over 27 years of small business experience, both as an employee and as a business owner. He has been active in the home building industry since 1975, is an associate member of the Remodeling Council and the Homebuilders Association, and works at Schoeneman’s in Harrisburg in Contractor Sales. Otten will serve on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources, Taxation and Transportation committees. He also serves as a precinct committeeman and the state central commiteeman with the Lincoln County Republican Party.

Sen. David Omdahl

Republican - District 11 - New Member

David Omdahl grew up on a farm/ ranch near Philip and graduated from the S.D. School of Mines and Technology with a degree in civil engineering. Omdahl is a licensed civil engineer. He also graduated from the World Wide School of Auctioneering, does charity and benefit auctions, and has been an instrument-rated pilot. Omdahl has over 25 years of experience in both


January 2013

can get to know them a little bit. To be fair, not all of the legislators listed here are new. Some of them have switched chambers, from the House to the Senate, and some of them are returning after leaving the Legislature in years past. But we hope that this will give you a better sense

South Dakota Senate

the public sector and private sector. David has been both a small business owner and an employee of small business and understands how overregulation impacts both small business and jobs. David has been married 34 years to his wife, Bonnie. The couple has two children and two grandchildren. Omdahl is a pro-life, pro-second amendment Ronald Reagan Conservative who believes less government is good government!

Sen. Deb Soholt

Republican - District 14 - New Member

Deb Soholt grew up in Mayville, N.D., and attended the University of N.D. and started her professional career as a registered nurse in Great Falls, Mont. After moving to Aberdeen, Deb earned a master’s degree from SDSU. She has lived in South Dakota for 31 years and with her husband Jerry raised three children. She is director of women’s health at Avera McKennan in Sioux Falls and has held many leadership positions such as President of the South Dakota Nurses Association, President of the South Dakota Board of Nursing, Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, SDSU Foundation Council of Trustees, National Women in Balance Board of Directors, Sioux Falls Community Health Board Chair and USF Center for Women Advisory Board. She was awarded Distinguished Alumni from SDSU and UND. With Jim Woster, Deb co-hosted House Calls, a weekly SDPB Radio Show for five years.

Sen. Tom Jones

Democrat - District 17 - Fmr. House Mem.

Tom Jones served the past two years in the South Dakota House of Representatives, and won election to the Senate in 2012. He’s a graduate of Rapid City High School, and received degrees from Huron College, where he was an All-American football player, and South Dakota State University. He taught and coached in South Dakota high schools for six years, and went on to coach at the collegiate level for nine years in Illinois. He later entered private business where he has been for 34 years in groceries, hardware and convenience stores. Jones and his wife, Linda, have been married for 46 years. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.

Union Farmer

of some of the new faces who will be representing you in the state Capitol this year. You can find out more about all of the legislators and follow the progress of this year’s Legislature, including bills and committee hearings at

Sen. Bill Van Gerpen

Republican - Dist. 19 - Fmr. House Mem.

Bill Van Gerpen, of Tyndall, is a retired Air National Guard Lt. Colonel who has served at the Air Force Security Service Headquarters and three years in Germany. He was placed on active duty for almost two years with the Iowa Air National Guard in 2005 to form a task force to develop a program to prepare soldiers for their deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, provide support to their families, and reduce the impact of PTSD. His duties included death notifications. Van Gerpen has pastored several churches, is a part time farmer and has served as an academic instructor and counselor at Mike Durfee State Prison. He previously served eight years in the House of Representatives. Van Gerpen served six years on the local school board. He and his wife, Karen have two children and five grandchildren.

Sen. Jim White

Republican - Dist. 22 - Fmr. House Mem.

Jim White grew up on a dairy/ small grain farm in Ellendale, N.D. He graduated from the University of N.D.-Ellendale Branch with a teaching degree. He also completed the intensive bank management program through the Graduate School of Banking in Boulder, Colo. He taught school in Oakes, N.D., operated a small business in Britton, and worked with Wells Fargo in Britton, Groton, Huron, and Aberdeen for over 29 years. In 2004, White retired as district president of Wells Fargo Bank in Aberdeen and moved back to Huron. White was elected to the House in 2010 and served on the House Appropriations Committee during the last two years and will serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee during this session. White and his wife, Paulette, have two sons and six grandchildren.

Sen. Jeff Monroe

Republican - Dist. 24 - Fmr. House Mem.

Jeff Monroe served in the S.D. House of Representatives from 1994-2002 and was elected to the Senate in 2012. He majored in agriculture at the University of Nebraska and was a chiropractor in Lincoln, Neb. from 1982-1986. He has practiced in Pierre since 1986.

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Union Farmer Sen. Larry Lucas

Democrat - Dist. 26 - Fmr. House Mem.

Larry Lucas grew up in rural Platte and earned a degree from SDSU in 1974. He taught school in Todd County from 1975-2006, and is currently a sales representative for a company specializing in equipment and curriculum for technical, engineering, and science education programs. He served in the S.D. House from 1991-2000 and was assistant minority leader from 1996-2000. He served in the House from 2007-2011. For the past four years, Lucas served on the Legislature’s Executive Board. He and his wife, Debera, have four daughters and five granddaughters. Lucas has interests in agricultural land in northern Charles Mix and western Marshall County. Lucas served on the S.D. Education Assoc. board for 11 years, including six years as state vice president. He is past president of the S.D. Technology Education Association.

Sen. Bob Ewing

Republican - District 31 - New Member

Bob Ewing was born and raised in the Black Hills, growing up on a ranch and has been involved in agriculture all his life. He graduated from Spearfish High School in 1973 and remained in the Spearfish Community since. Ewing and his wife, Sherry, own and operate a commercial towing/recovery business along with thier agriculture interests. Ewing is currently the chairman of the Lawrence County Commission, and is in the middle of his third term on the commission. Ewing will serve on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, along with the Transportation and Taxation commitees. Ewing and his wife have three grown children, three grandchildren, and another grandchild on the way this coming spring.

Sen. Phil Jensen

Republican - Dist. 33 - Fmr. House Mem.

Phil Jensen was born and raised in Wichita, Kan. He attended Butler County Community College, Wichita State University, and Kansas University Medical Center’s 1,600hour advanced paramedic training. Jensen is a real estate investor and has owned and operated Health Advantage Inc. for 24 years. Phil has served as a State Representative for District 33, covering Meade and Pennington County since 2008. Recently elected to the state Senate, he will again serve on the Health & Human Services and Commerce and Energy commitees. He will also serve on the Senate Education Committee and will be vice chair on the Retirement Laws Committee. Jensen and his wife, Janet, have lived in the Hisega area since 2003. They have two children and recently adopted Phil’s 13-year-old niece. He has two grandchildren.

Sen. Mark Kirkeby

Republican - Dist. 35 - Fmr. House Mem.

Mark is a lifelong resident representing his families fourth generation living in South Dakota. He has an established reputation as a public servant, a community leader, and love of his family. Mark and his wife, Sheryl, have four grown children and five grandchildren. A graduate of Black Hills State University with a political science degree, Kirkeby will be serving his first year as a state Senator representing District 35. Previous public service included six years in the state House of Representatives, a Pennington County commissioner for six years, and as a legislative intern. As the Community Development Director for The Salvation Army of the Black Hills, Mark additionally serves on many local, state, and national organizations.

Returning Members of the Senate Sen. Jason Frerichs - Democrat - District 1 Sen. Al Novstrup - Republican - District 3 Sen. Tim Begalka - Republican - District 4 Sen. Ried Holien - Republican - District 5 Sen. Larry Tidemann - Republican - District 7 Sen. Russell Olson - Republican - District 8 Sen. Deb Peters -Republican - District 9 Sen. Shantel Krebs - Republican - District 10 Sen. Mark Johnston - Republican - District 12 Sen. Phyllis Heineman - Republican - Dist. 13 Sen. Angie Buhl - Democrat - District 15 Sen. Dan Lederman - Republican - District 16 Sen. Jean Hunhoff - Republican - District 18 Sen. Mike Vehle - Republican - District 20 Sen. Billie Sutton - Democrat - District 21 Sen. Corey Brown - Republican - District 23 Sen. Tim Rave - Republican - District 25 Sen. Jim Bradford - Democrat - District 27 Sen. Ryan Maher - Republican - District 28 Sen. Larry Rhoden - Republican - District 29 Sen. Bruce Rampelberg - Republican - Dist. 30 Sen. Stan Adelstein - Republican - District 32 Sen. Craig Tieszen - Republican - District 34

South Dakota House Rep. Dan Kaiser

Republican - District 3 - New Member

Dan Kaiser was raised in White Bear Lake, Minn., and served in the Army Reserve. In 2001, he was deployed to Bosnia where he spent seven months. He became a police officer in Aberdeen in 2003. He was again deployed with the Army, this time to Iraq, in 2004 for a year and was promoted to sergeant. Kaiser was elected to the House from District 3 in 2012. Kaiser is currently a sergeant with the Aberdeen Police Department. Kaiser and his wife, Laura, were married in 2009. They have a son, Jaxson, born in 2010.

Union Farmer

Rep. Jim Peterson

Democrat - District 4 Former House and Senate Member

Jim Peterson is a Grant and Deuel County farmer. He and his wife, Jane, have four sons. Peterson is an Augustana graduate who taught science before his long farming career. Jim served four years in the S.D. House and six years in the Senate and in 2010 did not run for reelection. He has served on the Taxation, Education, and Agriculture and Natural Resources committees. Jim has served on an elevator board, a school board, a township board, a church board, a wind company board and as founding president of an elethnol plant. He has been a member of the S.D. Corn Growers Assoc. and Soybean Association. He is a lifetime member of the S.D. Farmers Union. Peterson says three issues facing ag during this legislative session are proper bonding for grain buyers, fair drainage laws, and fair equalization of ag lands.

Rep. Kathy Tyler

Democrat - District 4 - New Member

Kathy Tyler grew up near Sisseton, attended country school and graduated from Sisseton High School. She earned a teaching degree from Northern State University and taught for 24 years in the Milbank School District. She served on the Milbank School Board for 13 years. She started a computer business in Milbank in 1998 and sold half of it in early 2012. The sale gave her the time to run for the Legislature. Tyler and her husband live near Big Stone City. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. She participates in many horse related activities including team penning, ranch rodeos, and cattle work.

Rep. Herman Otten

Republican - District 6 - New Member

Herman Otten has lived in the Tea area his entire life. He graduated from Lennox High School and began working in the construction field working for his father. They established Otten Construction in 1996. In 2000, he has been the owner of Herman Otten Construction Inc. He has been a member of the Tea Volunteer Fire Department since 1991. He was elected mayor of Tea at age 29, serving from 1996-2000. He currently serves on the Tea City Council, a position he has held since 2005. In 1998, he was named one of the Ten Young Outstanding Young South Dakotans by the South Dakota Junior Chamber of Commerce. Otten and his wife, Melissa, have three children.

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January 2013


Union Farmer Rep. Isaac Latterell

Republican - District 6 - New Member

Isaac Latterell grew up in rural Minnesota, moving to South Dakota along with his family and eight siblings in 1999. He graduated from Northern State University in 2005 with a B.S. in Finance and Economics. Since then he has specialized in business technology, operating his own consulting business for the past seven years, and now works at DataSync. Latterell will represent District 6 in the S.D. House of Representatives, which sits in northern Lincoln County including the communities of Tea, Harrisburg, Lennox and parts of southern Sioux Falls.

Rep. Leslie Heinemann

Republican - District 8 - New Member

Dr. Leslie Heinemann was born and raised on a farm in northern Moody County. He attended country school and graduated from Flandreau Public High School. He graduated from Augustana College and Loyola University School of Dentistry. He began practicing dentistry in Flandreau in 1981 and established a second dental clinic in Dell Rapids in 2000. Leslie and his wife, Libby, have been married for 36 years, and have four children and four grandchildren. In addition to dentistry, Leslie actively farms over 500 acres with his oldest son.

Rep. Scott Parsley

Democrat - District 8 - New Member

Scott Parsley serves as assistant general manager for member services at East River Electric Power Cooperative, a rural electric power supply cooperative, headquartered

in Madison, S.D. Parsley has worked for East River for 26 years. He served as staff assistant at East River before being named to his current position in 1990. Scott is a native of Brookings. After serving in the Navy, he earned his a degree from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Scott serves on the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) board, Habitat for Humanity board, Voices for Children’s board, Dakota Resources board and is vice president of the Consumer Federation of America board. He also played a key role in the development of the PrairieWinds project. Scott and his wife, Valerie, have three children.

Rep. Paula Hawks

Democrat - District 9 - New Member

Paula Hawks grew up on a working family farm near Flandreau. Her husband, Steve, grew up on a working family ranch south of Faith. She taught high school science and technology for ten


January 2013

years and has held several leadership positions throughout her career. Hawks says her experience in education and agriculture will serve her well in the Legislature and looks forward to discussing important issues that will have an impact on people’s lives. Hawks and her husband have three children.

Rep. Don Haggar

Republican - District 10 - New Member

Don Haggar was raised in South Dakota and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of South Dakota. He holds an MBA from USD. Haggar worked in the Legislature for two years and spent much of his adult life in the private sector. He currently works in management for Esurance in Sioux Falls. His father was a state legislator, World War II veteran, and the owner of a small business. Haggar and his wife, Michele, have been married over 30 years.

Rep. Christine Erickson

Republican - District 11 - New Member

Christine (Vinatieri) Erickson, was born in Rapid City. She was a college athlete. She received an associate’s degree in business administration from National American University in Rapid City before moving to Pierre to work as a state employee. In 2005, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Sioux Falls. Erickson and her husband, Tony, have three children. Christine is a stay-at-home mother and small business owner. Erickson volunteers weekly in her son’s classroom, in addition to helping coach his soccer team.

Rep. Jim Stalzer

Republican - District 11 - New Member

Jim Stalzer was born and raised in a small town in central Iowa. He attended the University of Northern Iowa for two years before enlisting in the Air Force where he served as an Electronic Warfare Technician during the Vietnam era. After being discharged, he moved to Sioux Falls where he worked in manufacturing management. He later graduated with a degree in business administration from National College of Business. He taught classes in production management, finance, and money and banking for National for 14 years. The last 21 years before retiring this past summer, he worked for Precision Computer Systems/Fiserv. He and his wife, Carol, have two children and three grandchildren.

Learn more about the legislative session at

Rep. G. Mark Mickelson

Republican - District 13 - New Member

Mark is president and owner of Mickelson & Company, a niche financial consulting firm based in Sioux Falls. Prior to starting Mickelson & Company and a related partnership in 2004, Mickelson was employed in legal and financial functions. Mickelson is also involved in real estate and entrepreneurial investment activities and is a licensed attorney and a CPA (inactive). Mark attended and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and with highest honors from the University of South Dakota with a degree in business administration and an accounting degree. Mark currently serves on the Governors Board of Economic Development for the state of South Dakota, Sioux Falls Development Foundation Board and the Sanford USD Medical Center Sioux Falls board. Mark and his wife, Cynthia, have three boys.

Rep. Steve Westra

Republican - District 13 - New Member

Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Steve Westra graduated from Lincoln High School. He earned a business administration degree from the University of South Dakota. Steve worked for a Fortune 100 company in various roles for more than 16 years. Currently, Steve is a partner in a Sioux Falls-based health care development company that specializes in housing for those suffering from dementia. Steve and his wife, Julie, have been married for 17 years, and have three children. He and his family attend Central Baptist Church and both Steve and Julie are active members of the community serving on several boards and committees. Julie is currently serving her first term as a member of the Sioux Falls School Board.

Rep. Anne Hajek

Republican - District 14 - New Member

Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Anne and her husband Doug have three adult daughters, two sonsin-law and one granddaughter and four brothers. Anne has a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in education from SDSU, along with a Juris Doctorate from USD. Anne taught Science at Ellsworth AFB, and was a Counselor at Patrick Henry Junior High in Sioux Falls prior to receiving her law degree. Anne has practiced law in Sioux Falls for the past 23 years. She was a Sioux Falls city councilor from 19941998, and a Minnehaha County commissioner from 2002-2010. She is a current member of the SDSU Foundation Board of Trustees. Anne has been active in several community and professional groups.

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Union Farmer

Rep. Karen L. Soli

Democrat - District 15 - New Member

The Rev. Dr. Karen Soli grew up in Granite Falls, Minn., and has served as pastor in several parishes large and small throughout her almost 35-year career. She has studied at St. Olaf College, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., and received her Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She has been tapped for leadership in her denomination at all levels, including service on the national governing body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. For the past four years Pastor Soli has been called to serve as the Coordinator of the Food to You Mobile Food Pantry the Sioux Falls area. She and her husband, Joseph Holt, have five grown children and three grandchildren.

Rep. Nancy Rasmussen

Republican - District 17 - New Member

Nancy Rasmussen was elected to the House in 2012 from District 17, representing Clay and Turner counties. She is a resource aide and homemaker and lives in Hurley.

Rep. Ray Ring

Democrat - District 17 - New Member

Ray Ring grew up in Kansas on a family farm. He came to South Dakota in 1978 to teach economics at the USD School of Business. In addition to teaching, Ring consulted with the legislative and executive branches of state government through the Business Research Bureau, conducted and published research on sales and property taxes, and taught courses, including Economics of State and Local Governments. He also worked extensively with the University Honors Program, teaching seminars, directing theses, and serving as Honors Director. He retired in 2011. Ring’s wife, Mary, retired from the USD School of Education in 2011. They have four grown children and two grandchildren.

Rep. Mike Stevens

Republican - District 18 - New Member

Mike Stevens has lived in Yankton since 1975. He attended USD law school and is a trial attorney in Yankton and a partner in the law firm of Blackburn & Stevens Prof LLC. Stevens has served on numerous civic committees and also served on the Yankton School Board for 21 years. He is active in his church as a board member and a Sunday school teacher. Stevens will be serving his first term in the S.D. House representing District 18 which consists of Yankton County. Stevens wife, Linda, is a first-grade teacher. He has two daughters and two stepchildren.

Union Farmer

Rep. Kyle Schoenfish

Republican - District 19 - New Member

Kyle is an accountant at Schoenfish and Company Inc. in Parkston. He graduated from Scotland High School and received a degree in accounting and a minor in political science from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. He was treasurer of Capital Township in Hutchinson County in for two years. His parents are Randy and Loretta (Bauder) Schoenfish of Scotland; and he has two sisters: Karla Schoenfish of Tyndall, S.D., and Amy (Brian) Beran and their sons Braden and Max of Tabor.

Rep. Julie Bartling

Democrat - District 21 Former House & Senate Member

Julie Bartling of Gregory served in the S.D. House from 2001-2004, in the S.D. Senate from 2004-2010. She ran for State Auditor in 2010. She also served as the Gregory County Auditor from 1983 through 2000. She was elected again to the S.D. House in 2012 to represent District 21 consisting of Charles Mix, Gregory, and Tripp Counties and the Avon and Springfield areas of Bon Homme County. Julie was recently elected by the Democrat House Caucus to serve as their Assistant Minority Leader. She will serve on the House Education, House Agriculture and the Legislative Procedure Committees. She and her husband, Bart, own and operate Bartling Feed, Grain and Trucking of Burke. They have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Rep. Lee Qualm

Republican - District 21 - New Member

Lee Qualm is a fourth-generation farmer, born and raised near Platte. He has served on a variety of local and state organizations and boards. He is one of the founding board members of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and was instrumental with his fellow board members in developing and promoting the ethanol industry in South Dakota. He and his wife owned and operated an allseason lodge west of Platte for more than a decade. They have been married for 37 years.

Rep. Dick Werner

Republican - District 22 - New Member

Dick Werner was born and raised on the family farm in Herreid and graduated with a business degree from USD. Werner was in banking for 24 years which included managing banks in South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana. Following his career in banking, he has been active in three ventures: financial consultant for Dakota Resources, business owner of a power line construction company, and owning and operating the family farm. He also served for 6 years on

Union Farmer

the Beadle County Commission prior to his election to the South Dakota House. Werner has been active in numerous organizations including the Huron Lions Club as a member for over 30 years. He volunteers at the Dakota State Fair Speedway to raise funds for the driver’s point’s fund. Dick was the founding President of the Huron Community Foundation and is Past President of the Huron Area Chamber of Commerce. Dick and his wife, Suzanne, have three grown sons.

Rep. Mary Duvall

Republican - District 24 - New Member

Mary Duvall has been involved in the South Dakota legislative process for nearly 30 years — as a page, an intern, a legislative liaison, or a lobbyist. She grew up on a ranch in western South Dakota and graduated from SDSU with a degree in agricultural business. After college, she worked for the Secretary of Agriculture on legislative issues, special projects, and public information. She worked for the South Dakota Farm Bureau as lobbyist and director of communications for the past 20 years. She was a member of the S.D. Ag and Rural Leadership Class II. Duvall and her husband, Ron, have been married 25 years and have two daughters.

Rep. Tim Rounds

Republican - District 24 Fmr. House Mem.

Tim Rounds was born and raised in Pierre. He graduated from Black Hills State College in 1983 with a degree in political science and economics, and then began his career as a multi-line independent insurance claims adjuster. In 2002, was elected to the House from District 24, which included Hughes, Stanley and Sully counties. He was re-elected three times before he was term limited in 2010. He has served on the House Local Government, Transportation, Commerce and Retirement Laws Committees. He served as Chairman of the Retirement Laws and Commerce committees his last two terms. Rounds has been active in civic organizations, including the Exchange Club, where he served as Club President and District President. Tim and his wife, Kristin, live in Pierre.

Rep. Scott Ecklund

Republican - District 25 - New Member

Dr. Scott Ecklund grew up in Minnesota and came to South Dakota in 1974. He graduated from Augustana and attended the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and has been a physician in Sioux Falls for 29 years. Scott and his wife, Alison, live in Brandon and have four children and three grandchildren. Scott is actively involved in his church and has led medical missions all over the world, including Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Ecuador and Peru.

Continued on Page 14

January 2013


Union Farmer Rep. Troy Heinert

Democrat - District 26A - New Member

Troy Heinert was elected to the S.D. House in 2012 from District 26A, representing Mellette and Todd counties. Heinert is a business owner who lives in Mission.

Rep. Elizabeth May

Republican - District 27 - New Member

Elizabeth May was elected to the S.D. House in 2012 representing District 27 which includes Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Pennington and Shannon counties. She’s a small business owner/rancher who lives in Kyle.

Rep. Gary L. Cammack

Republican - District 29 - New Member

Gary Cammack is a fourth-generation South Dakotan. He and his wife, Amy, have owned and operated a business, Cammack Ranch Supply, in central Meade County for over 39 years. The Cammacks have also owned and operated a cattle ranch in central Meade County since 1984, while raising four sons. Gary has served as Meade County Commissioner for the past four years, before being elected to the South Dakota House. He has been involved in many community projects and served on many boards throughout the state of South Dakota. He has been a Farmers Union member for more than 40 years.

Rep. Timothy R. Johns

Republican - District 31 - New Member

Timothy Johns was born in Aberdeen and graduated from Northern State College with degrees in political science and sociology. He graduated from USD law school. He has worked in a law firm and been a deputy states attorney in Butte and Meade counties. Johns has also been a law magistrate and a circuit judge in Deadwood. He’s currently the city attorney for the City of Lead, school attorney for Lead-Deadwood schools, and the attorney for the Lead Fire Protection District. He has served on many professional and community committees and boards. Johns and his late wife have two adult sons.

Rep. Scott Craig

Republican - District 33 - New Member

Scott Craig has been a pastor for 25 years. He is currently the senior pastor of BigHorn Canyon Community Church in Rapid City. His teaching broadcast ministry, “Lighting the Way,” can be heard in the five-state region. He is the public policy advisor for KLMP radio, is an officer on the board for the Family Haritage Alliance and is on the faculty of the John Witherspoon College. He earned a B.A. in Theology from Azusa Pacific University and a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Ruthie, have three children.

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November 2012

Rep. Blaine “Chip” Campbell Republican - District 35 - New Member

Chip Campbell was elected to the S.D. House of Representatives in 2012 in District 35 which is in Rapid City. He was a pilot in the Air Force for more than two decades and now runs a sub-contracting business.

Returning Members of the House Rep. Susan Wismer - Democrat- District 1 Rep. Dennis Feickert - Democrat- District 1 Rep. Brock Greenfield - Republican - Dist. 2 Rep. Burt Tulson - Republican - District 2 Rep. David Novstrup - Republican - Dist. 3 Rep. Melissa Magstadt - Republican - Dist. 5 Rep. Roger Solum - Republican - District 5 Rep. Spencer Hawley - Democrat- District 7 Rep. Scott Munsterman - Republican - Dist. 7 Rep. Steve Hickey - Republican - District 9 Rep. Jenna Haggar - Republican - District 10 Rep. Manny Steele - Republican - District 12 Rep. Hal Wick - Republican - District 12 Rep. Marc Feinstein - Democrat- District 14 Rep. Pat Kirschman - Democrat- District 15 Rep. Jim Bolin - Republican - District 16 Rep. Patty Miller - Republican - District 16 Rep. Bernie Hunhoff - Democrat- District 18 Rep. Stace Nelson - Republican - District 19 Rep. Lance Carson - Republican - District 20 Rep. Tona Rozum - Republican - District 20 Rep. Peggy Gibson - Democrat- District 22 Rep. Justin Cronin - Republican - District 23 Rep. Charles Hoffman - Republican - Dist. 23 Rep. Jon Hansen - Republican - District 25 Rep. James Schaefer - Republican - Dist. 26B Rep. Kevin Killer - Democrat- District 27 Rep. Dean Schrempp - Democrat- District 28A Rep. Betty Olson - Republican - District 28B Rep. Dean Wink - Republican - District 29 Rep. Mike Verchio - Republican - District 30 Rep. Lance Russell - Republican - District 30 Rep. Fred Romkema - Republican - District 31 Rep. Kristin Conzet - Republican - District 32 Rep. Brian Gosch - Republican - District 32 Rep. Jacqueline Sly - Republican - District 33 Rep. Dan Dryden - Republican - District 34 Rep. David Lust - Republican - District 34 Rep. Don Kopp - Republican - District 35

Ag Census Data Collection Begins Farmers and ranchers in South Dakota will soon have the opportunity to take part in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Ag Census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them. The Census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income, expenditures and other topics. This information is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities from federal, state and local governments to agribusinesses and trade associations. For example, legislators use the data when shaping farm policy and agribusinesses factor it into their planning efforts. The 2007 Ag Census shows the number of farms and ranches in South Dakota totaled 31,169, down 2% (567 farms) from 2002. The average size farm in South Dakota was 1,401 acres, up from 1,380 acres in 2002. The average age of a South Dakota farm or ranch operator was 55.7 years old in 2007, up from 53.3 years in 2002. The market value of agricultural products sold in 2007 was $6.57 billion dollars compared to $3.83 billion in 2002. This 71% increase in value over 2002 was due to severe drought reduced production in 2002, along with higher commodity prices in 2007. NASS mailed out Ag Census forms in late December, to collect data for the 2012 calendar year. Completed forms are due by February 4, 2013. Producers can fill out the Census online via a secure website,, or return their form by mail. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the Census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential. For more information, visit www.agcensus.

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Farmers Union Footnotes

Lee Butterfield, 78, of Wessington Springs, died Dec. 31, 2012, at Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, Neb. Funeral services were held Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at the Foothills Bible Fellowship with Pastor Don Grubb officiating. Burial was in the Hope Cemetery. Lee was born Jan. 6, 1934, to Ernest Benjamin (“Jim”) and Thelma Sophia (Hopley) Butterfield. He lived on the Marshall place and the Peterson Ranch (formerly known as the Traylor Ranch) before moving to his current farm with his family in 1944. He attended his first two years of high school at Wessington Springs High School, and his junior and senior years at Ag School in Brookings, where he graduated in 1951. In 1954, the US Army drafted him into compulsory service. He served during the Korean War stationed in California. The Army wanted him to re-enlist after his compulsory service ended, but his love for South Dakota and his farm brought him

back home in 1956. Lee married Alta Marie Buchholz (daughter of Albert and Opal) on Nov. 20, 1959, at the Harmony Friends Church in Harmony Township, Jerauld County. The couple had two children: Joe Lee and Rita Jane. Lee and Alta lived on the Butterfield farm until 2002 when they moved to town. He was very involved in reviving the Owls baseball team in Wessington Springs in the 1980s. He was also instrumental in helping pass the bond issue to build the current Wessington Springs Elementary school and gymnasium. Butterfield was a longtime member of the Farmers Union. He is survived by his wife, Alta, of Wessington Springs, two children: Joe (Dawn) of Huron, SD; Rita (Mike Black) of Omaha, Neb., and 7 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two infant sons, his parents, his sister Phyllis Frank, and his two brothers Alan (Bud) and Lyle.

Clip & Save Calendar January 2013 8 17-18 19 21-22 23-25 29 29-31 29

Legislative Session Begins Women in Blue Jeans, Mitchell District III Annual Mtg REAL Session Two, Pierre Sioux Empire Farm Show SDFU Legislative Day, Pierre Two-Year Award Trip, Pierre Farmer Apprec. Banquet, Huron

15-16 16 18 22 26

SDFU State Convention (Aberdeen) A Night on the Prairie (Aberdeen) State Office Closed (Pres. Day) Sale Barn Coffee-Magness (Huron) Sale Barn Coffee, Bales (Huron)

February 2013

March 2013 2-5 8 23 25

NFU Convention, Mass. Main Legislative Session Ends Ag Day Wash. Pavilion, Sioux Falls Last Day of Session (Veto Day)

April 2013 15

Quiz Bowl Semifinals (Brookings)

27 28-31

State Office Closed (Mem. Day) District I&II Camp (Swan Lake)


State Camp (Storm Mountain)

May 2013 June 2013

Visit the Events section at for more details on upcoming events.

In the market for a vehicle? Farmers Union members get

$250 OFF $100 OFF



Prostrollo’s in Huron Aberdeen Chrysler Center Schoenhard’s Ford, Huron Call 605-352-6761 ext. 118 for more details

South Dakota Union Farmer is published 10 times per calendar year with issues in January, February, March, April, May/June, July, Aug./Sept., October, November, and December. All information for publication must be submitted by the 15th of the month. You may submit items by mail to the State Office, P.O. Box 1388, Huron, SD 57350 or email items to:

South Dakota Union Farmer  

A monthly update from South Dakota Farmers Union, the Union Farmer is full of useful information on agriculture, rural communities and Farme...

South Dakota Union Farmer  

A monthly update from South Dakota Farmers Union, the Union Farmer is full of useful information on agriculture, rural communities and Farme...