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South Dakota VOLUME CII, NO. 6

HURON, SD

JULY/AUGUST 2017

UNION FARMER A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION

Farmers Union Enterprises Scott & Amber

2017 SDFU State Leadership Camp

Golf Tournament

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S.D. Farmers Union SDFU Weighs in on New Non-Meandered Water Law Celebrates the Springer

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he new Non-Meandered Water law, passed June 12, continues to be a work in progress according to David Ganje, the natural resources attorney South Dakota Farmers Union hired to work with legislators to draft a bill that would represent the needs of South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers. “In principal, the bill reopens the waters – which was the issue Farmers Union advocated for,” Ganje explains. “Although this bill is not perfect, it also attempts to grant property owners immunity from liability issues, which is a good thing.” Ganje added that Farmers Union supports the bill because the organization is encouraged by the fact that in six months, when the bill will come before the 2018 Legislature, the issues family farmers and ranchers are concerned about will again be in front of the legislature for review. “The committee opted for a bill that is unfinished, even for the limited, immediate issues the bill seeks to remedy. To create remedies quickly does not always work well when writing new law. The bill was only in the public's eye for 10 days before it passed,” Ganje said. Lifetime Farmers Union member and Day County farmer, Franklin Olson agrees with Ganje. The former SDFU board member owns about 75 acres of non-meandered water on land he purchased more than 50

Farm Family

Water Law Continued on Page 16 South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state’s No. 1 industry and help feed the world. This month we celebrate the Springer farm family who farms and raises cattle together near Dixon. Pictured here with farm dog, Cruizer, are brothers, Terry (left) and Wayne (right) and Wayne's wife, DenaMarie.

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ock hound and fourth-generation Dixon farmer, Terry Springer, 65, says when he’s outdoors he’s always on the lookout for a stone that catches his eye. “Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been walking around with my head down,” explains Terry, who over a lifetime has amassed a rare and extensive rock collection. Terry’s collection boasts ancient arrow heads, mammoth bones, fossilized wood, rose quartz, moss rock and other unique geologic specimens.

Springer Family Continued on Page 2


UNION FARMER Springer Family Continued from Page 1

“I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S PLAIN STUBBORNNESS – WE REALLY DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING ELSE." – Wayne Springer

Many of the rocks were discovered on the land his great-grandparents and great-greatuncle first farmed in the early 1900s - the land where today, he and his brother, Wayne, 60, continue the family’s farming legacy.

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Together they raise corn, small grains, forage and a cow/calf-to-finish-direct-marketing beef operation, Springer Farms. “I like living in the country and being my own boss. I enjoy working with cattle and being out working in nature,” says Wayne, who at 19 bought the farm neighboring the land his great-great-uncle Hans homesteaded near Gregory. When the neighbors were ready to retire, Wayne explains that they asked him if he was interested in the land because they knew he would take care of it. “Even in the late ’70s investors were buying up farm ground around here. They sold the land to me because, in their own words, ‘they wanted their farm to remain a working farm and didn’t want it to become an abandoned homestead,’” Wayne says. He adds that the land he owns was originally purchased by his great-grandfather Carl in 1904, one year after it was homesteaded. Carl lost the farm during the Dirty Thirties. The brothers can empathize with the challenges their grandfather faced. During the Farm Crisis of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Terry drove truck to help keep the family’s farm afloat, while Wayne and their dad, Verlyn, farmed. Today, with crop and livestock markets at

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barely breakeven levels, the brothers are making some creative changes to the way they farm and ranch. “Nowadays, a traditional farm is not selfsustaining. You either need to increase volume or do what it takes to reduce inputs and cut out the middle man,” Wayne explains. To cut input costs, this year the brothers planted 14 acres of open-pollinating corn, which they will harvest this fall and set aside for 2018 seed. They increased their forage acres and planted fewer acres to Roundup Ready corn. “We’re doing some old-school things,”

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UNION FARMER Humble Creations by Dee Springer

DenaMarie Springer takes salvaged wood and gives it a second take on life as a beautiful cross, coat rack, a shelf or numerous other home accessories. “I grew up around woodworking and I was trying to find a creative way to bring some more money onto the farm,” explains DenaMarie, who has helped maintain the farm recordkeeping for her husband, Wayne, and brother-in-law, Terry, since 2008 when she and Wayne married. A town kid who always wanted to live on a farm, DenaMarie easily fell into farmlife – running for parts, raking hay and doing the bookwork. Humble Creations allows her the flexibility to continue to work on the farm. She set up a woodshop in an old farrowing shed and sells her hand-crafted pieces through Facebook. “I am inspired by whatever happens to come to me while I’m working on them. I may have an idea and I try to put it together. A lot if it is messing with it and seeing which way looks the best,” she says. DenaMarie is also inspired by her customers and their interests. “Because I live in a farm and ranch community, many of my creations are inspired by farmers and ranchers and their interests,” she explains, holding up a cross embellished with the Marine emblem she crafted for a veteran. To see her creations for yourself, visit Facebook and search Humble Creations by Dee Springer. 

WWW.SDFU.ORG

says Terry, who farms the land Hans homesteaded. “Our grandpa used to raise his own seed,” explaining that this change alone will save the farm hundreds in input costs. “Traited seed is selling for $300 a bag. We can’t justify that when corn is only bringing $3 a bushel,” Wayne adds. “We’re experimenting this year. I’ve been told the yields won’t be as good as the hybrid corn, but I want to see for myself.” Instead of marketing their calves through the local auction market, they have begun to direct-market their beef as antibiotic-free, grass-fed and finished on GMO-free corn. “From the day the calf hits the ground, we can tell our customers exactly what we fed it. We are the ones who go out in the blizzards to care for cattle and muck through mud to pull calves – the packers should not be the only ones bringing home a profit,” says Wayne, a strong advocate for country-oforigin labeling, otherwise known as COOL. Wayne and Terry explain that prices forced them to look beyond the norm, to find new ways to keep their farm profitable. “I don’t know if it’s plain stubbornness – we really don’t want to do anything else,” Wayne says. To hear a radio interview with the Springer brothers and view a photo gallery, visit www.sdfu.org. To purchase their farm-

raised beef, call 605-830-9274.  by Lura Roti, for S.D. Farmers Union

Rock hound, Terry Springer, says when he’s outdoors he’s always on the lookout for a stone that catches his eye. Over a lifetime, Terry has amassed a rare and extensive rock collection. His collection boasts ancient arrow heads, mammoth bones, fossilized wood, rose quartz, moss rock and other unique geologic specimens.

“NOWADAYS, A TRADITIONAL FARM IS NOT SELF-SUSTAINING. YOU EITHER NEED TO INCREASE VOLUME OR DO WHAT IT TAKES TO REDUCE INPUTS AND CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN." – Wayne Springer

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UNION FARMER 2017 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow Scholarship Winners Announced T he South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, have announced the recipients of the annual Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarships. Twenty-five high school seniors from across South Dakota will share $25,000 in scholarships to be used to further their education at a South Dakota post-secondary school. Over the past 10 years, the foundation has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to students attending South Dakota post-secondary schools. Each of the 25 scholarship recipients will receive $1,000 to put toward their postsecondary education at a South Dakota college, university or technical school. The recipients were chosen from among a large pool of applicants. They were scored based on a combination of academic record, activities and awards, financial need and an essay relating to how they will "Insure a Brighter Tomorrow" in South Dakota. Farmers Union Insurance agents throughout the state fund this scholarship program administered by the Farmers Union Foundation. "Our insurance agents are committed to building a brighter future in South Dakota," says Jason Wells, Regional Manager of Farmers Union Insurance Agency. "This is a remarkable group and they make me excited about the future of our great state. We're choosing to invest in these outstanding Sophie McKEE individuals to help them Daughter of Kevin McKEE pursue their goals and Yankton High School aspirations.� 

Laken Olson

Wyatt Ewing

Garrison Gross

Hannah Juracek

Daughter of Daniel & Tammy Olson Britton-Hecla High School

Son of Wade & Valerie Ewing Winner High School

Son of Geoff & Julie Gross Mitchell High School

Daughter of Wade & Amy Juracek Gregory High School

Brooklyn Halverson

Seth Overbay

Ellen Schlechter

Kaihlen Smith

Daughter of Corey & Meta Halverson Lyman High School

Son of Lisa Overbay Huron High School

Daughter of Terry & Mary Schlechter Faulkton High School

Daughter of Jeff & Lynne Smith Mitchell High School

Shannon Fanning

Jacey Anderberg

MaKenzie Dean

Evan Steers

Daughter of John Fanning & Shelly Konstanz Scotland High School

Daughter of Robert & Desiree Anderberg Yankton High School

Daughter of Shane Dean & Kara Dean Parker High School

Son of Bob & Diane Steers Miller High School

Timothy Paris

Mallory Trapp

Kindra Clark

Kate Katterhagen

Kristan Soukup

Tori Gaer

Son of Tim & Rhonda Paris Rapid City Central High School

Daughter of Mike & Mary Lee Trapp Milbank High School

Daughter of Douglas & Tana Clark Garretson High School

Daughter of Mark & Lois Katterhagen Yankton High School

Daughter of Roger & Marjo Soukup Wagner Community School

Daughter of Dave & LeeAnn Gaer Newell High School

Jadyn Woodward

April Hoffman

Janae Gustafson

Kaylee Braun

Drew DeMers

Grace Goehring

Daughter of Suria Woodward Dupree High School

Daughter of Mark & Kim Hoffman Leola High School

Daughter of Jeff & Janet Gustafson Ethan High School

Daughter of Jon & Lesley Braun Ipswich High School

Son of John & Sandy DeMers Winner High School

Daughter of Dan & Marnie Goehring Selby Area High School

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WWW.SDFU.ORG


UNION FARMER Marissa Holinka of Watertown is Selected to Serve on National Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council

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arissa Holinka, a high school senior from Watertown, was selected to serve on the National Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council during the 81st annual National Farmers Union AllStates Leadership Camp held in Bailey, Colo. “I’m excited to represent South Dakota in this role because I’m passionate about Farmers Union youth programs,” explains Holinka. “I started going to S.D. Farmers Union camp when I was in middle school and made a lot of friends. I kept going each summer because I wanted to see the friends I’d made – along the way I learned a lot and gained public speaking and other leadership skills.” Hosted each June at the National Farmers Union Education Center, AllStates Camp encourages youth to explore their leadership potential, discuss issues important to their generation and identify ways to affect positive change in their communities. Holinka is one of nine South Dakota youth who attended National Farmers Union All-States Camp. The other teens include: Dalton Girlock, Stickney; Shaun Snedeker, Woonsocket; Cole Van Gorp, Stickney; Danielle Schmitz, S.D. Farmers Union Intern; Hannah Sumption, Frederick; Karly Schaunaman, Aberdeen; Haley Keizer, Plankinton; and Jennifer Hanson, Britton.

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Nine South Dakota youth attended National Farmers Union All States Camp in Colorado. The youth include: Front row, left to right: Haley Keizer, Plankinton; Jennifer Hanson, Britton; and Marissa Holinka, Watertown. Middle row, left to right: Danielle Schmitz, S.D. Farmers Union Intern; Hannah Sumption, Frederick and Karly Schaunaman, Aberdeen. Back row, left to right: Dalton Girlock, Stickney; Shaun Snedeker, Woonsocket; and Cole Van Gorp, Stickney.

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“Education is one of the cornerstones of the foundation upon which South Dakota Farmers is built,” says Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President. “We invest in educating South Dakotans of all ages through our educational programming which focuses on farm safety, leadership development and cooperative education.” Throughout the week, campers between the ages of 17 and 20 years old participated in programs that emphasize leadership, teamwork and cooperative education while also enjoying traditional camp activities. In addition, campers gained hands-on experience in Denver, Colo., while volunteering at Re:Vision, a food and farming cooperative co-founded by National Farmers Union Beginning Farmer Institute alum, Eric Kornacki. “Farmers Union has a long and effective history of providing young adults with tools and opportunities to lead. For 81 years now, All-States Camp has been the place where our young members from across the country can come

Youth Advisory Council Continued on Page 22

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S.D. Farmers Union 2017 Junior Advisory Team Our Everyday Heroes

The 2017-2018 Junior Advisory Council were elected during Farmers Union State Leadership Camp. From left to right they include: Hannah Sumption, Frederick; Joseph Nugteren, Canistota; Marissa Holinka, Watertown; Jim Brockel, Shadehill; Dalton Gerlach, Stickney; and Haley Keizer, Plankinton.

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hat is an everyday hero? This was a question considered by campers during the 2017 S.D. Farmers Union State Leadership Camp as they elected a six-member Junior Advisory Council (JACs). Before ballots were handed out, campers were asked to discuss what being an everyday hero meant to them and how they could be an everyday hero in the lives of others. During the week-long camp, campers had the opportunity to put their thoughts into action, serving as everyday heroes in the lives of dozens of hungry families by assisting Feeding America. As a team, campers helped pack hundreds of pounds of food to be distributed to families in need. “This year I really hope that campers take away the importance of being someone’s everyday hero,” explains Rachel Haigh-Blume, SDFU Education Director. “You can have a large impact on your neighbors without having to spend a lot of money. Our time at Feeding America hopefully showed the campers how much you can accomplish

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together in little time.”

2017-2018 JAC Announced Youth elected to serve on the 2017-2018 Junior Advisory Council include: Jim Brockel, Shadehill; Dalton Gerlach, Stickney; Marissa Holinka, Watertown; Haley Keizer, Plankinton; Joseph Nugteren, Canistota; and Hannah Sumption, Frederick. During the 2018 South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp, the council members, elected by their peers, will fill the role of everyday hero as they are molded into leaders in the eyes of younger campers. Apart from serving as exemplary role models to fellow campers, the council will plan, implement and guide the 2018 State Leadership Camp and help with Farmers Union events across the state of South Dakota. The Junior Advisory Council will have the challenge of developing camp activities that showcase the importance of representing South Dakota Farmers Union in a positive light in their own unique way.

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Along with how they showcase their passion for Farmers Union in everyday life, JACs were asked how they plan to foster an atmosphere that reassures campers it’s OK to break out of their shells and be themselves. “JACs’ relate-ability with every camper, from the first-year attendee, to the senior attendee, impacts a camper’s experience. So, their ability to talk and check in with campers is important,” says Haigh-Blume. In their own words Junior Advisory Council members will begin their new role with important lessons in mind, focusing on the experiences of other campers and doing little things to become everyday heroes in the lives of the people around them. The council members will learn important team-building and time management skills which they will carry with them long after their years at camp end. Read on to learn more about the 20172018 JACs.

WWW.SDFU.ORG


UNION FARMER SHADEHILL

Jim Brockel Jim Brockel, 17, is the son of Kelvin and Jean Brockel. He attends Bison High School. He looks forward to being a member of the close-knit council and making camp fun for others. He values his time at camp and coming back and seeing the friends he has made over the years “There are a lot of really cool people that you meet through Farmers Union. That’s probably the most passionate thing for me,” says Brockel. He looks back on his own experiences as a new camper and hopes his lessons learned will help new campers get involved. “I see it a lot of young people scared, I mean, I was,” says Brockel. “I was lucky, some older campers showed me the ropes and pushed me to do things. I was nervous but that’s what you have to do. When older campers tell you to do stuff, it’s going to be worth it. It’s going to be fun. That’s how you bust out and get to be having the best time at camp.”

STICKNEY

Dalton Gerlach Dalton Gerlach, 17, is the son of LaRon and Roxann Gerlach. He attends Corsica-Stickney High School. Having other campers look up to him the way he looked up to past JACs is what motivated him to run for the council. “I just like meeting new people and so I go out every day and meet everyone at my school and talk to them just like I do here,” says Gerlach. He recalls not being the most talkative person at camp his first year and hopes to help others find their voice. “I would pull them aside and kind of tell them how I broke out of my shell,” says Gerlach.

WATERTOWN

Marissa Holinka Marissa Holinka, 17, is the daughter of Rick and Gwen Holinka. She attends Watertown High School. She looks forward to representing her peers and promoting youth activities with Farmers Union. “It’s honestly a no judgment zone, everyone loves everyone here. It’s a family,” says Holinka. “If someone is struggling to break out of their shell, I would say to find someone that you can get along with and keep broadening your friend group and including other campers.” She plans to help promote Farmers Union so others can build strong lifelong friendships like she has.

Joseph Nugteren, 17, is the son of Darin and Lisa Nugteren. He attends Canistota High School. He hopes to be a positive influence on new campers so they continue to come back in the future and grow as individuals. “My family makes me passionate about Farmers Union. It’s always been a part of our family and I love coming here,” says Nugteren. He would try to include other campers in everything and let them know how nervous he was his first year. “A lot of things we do help them break out of their shells,” says Nugteren. “We were nervous too right when we started but came out of our shells because it’s family here and we are all in this together.”

PLANKINTON

Haley Keizer Haley Keizer, 17, is the daughter of Lance and Miranda Keizer. She attends Corsica-Stickney High School. She looks forward to meeting new friends and being a leader among new campers. “What makes me passionate about Farmers Union, is all of the things we get to experience at such a young age. Getting to come to this camp, we learn how to be leaders and all of the friends we make,” says Keizer. She encourages all the campers to be themselves and to look forward to the lifelong friends they will make. “I would show new campers that everyone is really themselves here at camp, no one judges who you are,” says Keizer. “Everyone finds friends, someone like them and they become best friends – for life basically.”

“THE FOUNDATION THAT WE ARE BASED ON, IT’S FAMILY, BEING A COOPERATIVE, HELPING EACH OTHER OUT, GIVING A LITTLE AND GETTING A LOT OR GIVING A LOT AND GETTING A LITTLE, BUT EITHER WAY, YOU SUPPORT EACH OTHER THROUGH NO MATTER WHAT.” – Hannah Sumption, Frederick WWW.SDFU.ORG

CANISTOTA

Joseph Nugteren

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FREDERICK

Hannah Sumption Hannah Sumption, 17, is the daughter of Eric and Stacey Sumption. She attends Frederick Area High School. Her passion for Farmers Union was sparked by her grandparents, John and Margaret Sumption, who encourage her to stay active and involved in the organization. “My grandparents have been involved for as long as I can remember,” says Sumption. “The foundation that we are based on, it’s family, being a cooperative, helping each other out, giving a little and getting a lot or giving a lot and getting a little, but either way, you support each other through no matter what.” She understands the importance of relating to and including other campers so everyone has the best experience possible. “I just encourage you to go out and introduce yourself, make it funny, don’t sit in the corner by yourself and if someone is sitting in the corner by themselves, go talk to them because chances are, they might be going through something and maybe you could help them get through that,” says Sumption.  by Christina Dexter, SDFU Communications Specialist

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UNION FARMER Workshop Focuses on Positive Conflict Resolution

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lacier National Park was the backdrop of the most recent Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program seminar which focused on how to achieve a positive outcome when dealing with conflict. “I will use what we learned,” says Scott Kolousek, a Wessington Springs crop and livestock producer. “Conflict comes up when people work together or serve together. I am on a couple boards and there can be times when we have discussions and people get unruly.” Scott and his wife, Amber, represent South Dakota Farmers Union as members of the 2016 Farmers Union Enterprise (FUE) Couples Leadership Program. The family farmers say that like all previous FUE seminars they have attended through this year-long program, the Whitefish, Mont., seminar provided them with information and resources they can implement in their family’s farming operation. It also gave them leadership skills they can put to use in serving their Wessington Springs' community. “There have been a lot of good things to come out of this,” Amber says. “We have both already seen how what we have learned through this program has benefited us and what we do.” Since the beginning, the FUE program has connected the Kolouseks with farm and ranch couples from North Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Minnesota. After the week-long meeting in Montana, the five couples have one last meeting which will be held during the National Farmers Union Fly-In.

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Scott and Amber Kolousek at Glacier National Park in Montana during recent Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program.

“We have gotten to know the other couples really well over this last year,” Scott says. “We have really enjoyed not only getting to know them, but also learning about how they do things on their farms and ranches.” Amber added that prior to this experience, Farmers Union involvement was “Scott’s

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thing.” Today, she admits she is much more involved. “Now that I have been more educated I feel that I understand more of the issues and what Farmers Union’s mission is. So, when there is a meeting, I will be more apt to go, because those meetings have more meaning now,” Amber explains. “The organization works on issues that are a big deal to agriculture.” More about Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program Developed to substantiate and empower future leaders for rural America and Farmers Union, the Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program provides training and hands-on experiences which enable couples to become knowledgeable leaders. During this meeting, the 2016 FUE class had the opportunity to meet with the presidents of the five Farmers Union organizations involved in FUE. They also met the farm and ranch couples that make up the 2017 class. “It was great to hear from Doug and the other presidents as they explain the issues our organization is focused on. They know them so well, that no matter what we asked, they were able to answer questions in-depth,” Scott explains. “And, we are very impressed with the new class.” In 2017, Jeff and Rachel Kippley, who farm near Aberdeen will represent South Dakota Farmers Union. If you’d like to learn more about the Farmers Union Enterprise Couples Leadership Program and how you can become involved, contact S.D. Farmers Union Executive Director Karla Hofhenke at Karla@sdfu.org. 

WWW.SDFU.ORG


UNION FARMER Trip Rewards Youth Leadership; Packs in Co-Op Education and Fun

Youth who attended three-year cooperative education trip to Minneapolis include: back row, left to right: Megan Hanson, Britton; Karly Schaunaman, Aberdeen; Abby Dethlefsen, Stickney; Brenna Johnson, Groton; Haley Keizer, Plankinton; Jennifer Hanson, Britton; Caleb Nugteren, Canistota; Hannah Sumption, Frederick; Bree Weidenbach, Canistota; Jim Brockel, Shadehill; Nick Snedeker, Woonsocket; Skylar Cox, Frederick; Justin Goetz, Herreid; Dalton Gerlach, Stickney; and Joseph Nugteren, Canistota. Front row, left to right: Marissa Holinka, Watertown; Cassidy Keller, Cansitota; and Katherine Oberembt, Ethan.

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n this day of social media and the digital world, a lot can happen in a day. But for three days, July 6-8, 18 juniors and seniors from across South Dakota learned countless real-world things about cooperatives. The Minnesota trip rewarded their completion of three years of leadership activities through South Dakota Farmers Union. South Dakota Farmers Union Education Director Rachel Haigh-Blume says, “It’s important for them to see how cooperatives work in urban environments and get new ideas. Seeing different types of cooperatives first hand really open their minds.”

WWW.SDFU.ORG

One such cooperative was a housing initiative started by students at the University of Minnesota. The trip also included stops at an organic food cooperative, CHS Inc. and REI consumer cooperative, where students had the opportunity to ask questions, get professional and internship advice, and see each in action. Justin Goetz, a 16-year-old junior from Selby, says, ”I learned a lot from touring all the different types of co-ops out there. I especially loved learning more about CHS. It really opened my eyes to how much more goes into farming then just what the farmer does.” “The whole experience has helped me as a leader and how I can really help with the

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cooperatives in my own community,” says junior Bree Weidenbach, a 17-year-old from Canistota. “I can teach others in my school and help them understand the benefits and join up.” To emphasize the importance of the trip, Haigh-Blume adds, “When farming in hard times, it’s good for the kids to know there are other business models out there, like a cooperative to help keep small towns alive….as well as have a little fun.” Goetz agrees, “Going to the Twins game and getting behind the scenes was not only an amazing experience but also a learning venture too.”  by Toby Kane, for SDFU

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UNION FARMER S.D. Farmers Union Requests Release of CRP Acres for Livestock Feed S outh Dakota Farmers Union joins with other drought-stricken states in requesting that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres be released for livestock owners to utilize as forage to feed their animals. “This drought is a natural disaster – creating

a situation where many of South Dakota’s livestock producers are running out of grass and other forages to feed their animals,” says Doug Sombke, President of S.D. Farmers Union and a fourth-generation crop and livestock producer from Conde. On June 20, Sombke, along with the

president of National Farmers Union and presidents of Farmers Union organizations from the drought-stricken states of North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, with this request. The letter reads as follows:

June 20, 2017 Perdue The Honorable Sonny e Secretary of Agricultur riculture U.S. Department of Ag e, SW 1400 Independence Av Washington, DC Secretary Perdue:

I e Upper Great Plains. th in t gh ou dr nt ica nif riencing sig m (CRP) land. members who are expe ion Un s er rm Fa vation Reserve Progra er of lf ns ha Co on ing az gr I write on be d ying an consider emergency ha urge you to immediately d oducers in areas affecte pr ck to es liv to f lie re d to provide uth of CRP land is authorize Dakota and parts of So ing rth az gr No d of an all g in yin rs ha be y Emergenc ers Union mem ought Mitigation Center r natural disaster. Farm Dr l ila na sim tio or Na t e gh Th ou . dr ns re by a seve drought conditio ota are facing serious es inn M d an na ta on M River Basin. Dakota, d around the Missouri an in ns itio nd co 2 Dcurrently lists D1 and in fall supply. While recent ra ed fe g tin ra rio te de a alfalfa rming picture of rs are forced to graze he rs have painted an ala nc be Ra em . m r rm ou te g m lon fro e rts Repo leasing conditions in th le to significantly alter r Index threshold for re litt ito on ne M do t s gh ha ou it Dr d, l lpe ua us he has though the the ve reached maturity. Al producers are left with ha y s an nt M . pla er e nt th wi re h fo rs be ha s e stock t supply after th reached, hay is in shor en hase hay. be t ye t no s ha P CR ndreds of miles to purc hu ng ivi dr or rd he eir -sizing th difficult choice of down using prices supplied with cattle, ca er ov e ar at th s rn ba ries of sales arket and e frequently sharing sto context of a flooded m ar e th ts in tle lly ou ia cia ed pe m es l , ca ing Lo herd downsiz ring. Such significant e ranches. to decline since the sp viability of many of thes rm te glon e th s en at re low prices, th to allow e. Waiting until August ibl ss po as on so as grazing ndow for this P land for emergency nutritional value. The wi le litt of be ll wi s as I urge you to release CR gr e lief, as th land will provide little re producers on to CRP rrowing each day. decision is short and na nce. any additional assista ide ov pr to y ad re nd sta nsideration and I thank you for your co Sincerely,

ion , National Farmers Un nt ide es Pr n, so hn Jo r Roge s Union , South Dakota Farmer nt ide es Pr e, bk m So Doug ion , Montana Farmers Un Alan Merrill, President Union nt, Minnesota Farmers ide es Pr h, tis er W ry Ga s Union , North Dakota Farmer nt ide es Pr , ne at W k ar M

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The Rest of the Story...The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorized the release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota for emergency haying and grazing.

WWW.SDFU.ORG


UNION FARMER Around the State With Farmers Union South Dakota Farmers Union members and staff are making a difference in rural communities across South Dakota.

Field Lunches 2017 State High School Rodeo Meal SDFU traveled to Belle Fourche to feed rodeo athletes and their families.

Dave Wright, Prostrollo Motors; Dan Norby, Beadle County Farmer; Peter Koehn, Beadle County Farmer; Kecia Beranek, SDFU Communication Specialist, and Chuck Langer, KDLO DJ.

Community Concepts SDFU State Office matched $100 from Deuel-Grant Farmers Union for the New hope Walk for Cancer. Pam Evenson, SDFU Membership Specialist, with Rhonda Baxter of Clear Lake.

Women in Ag BROOKINGS

Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director, presenting a Go Pro to Sierra Ward, Fruitdale at the State High School Rodeo State Finals in Belle Fourche.

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Janet Reif (right) of Salem receives a prize from Pam Evenson, SDFU Membership Specialist.

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FAULKTON

Shelby Young (right) of Aberdeen was the the winner of the Faulkton Women in Ag planter presented by Pam Evenson, SDFU Membership Specialist.

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Let’s continue the good work. FUEL UP WITH PREMIUM E-30! FUEL STATION CITY ADDRESS Airport Travel Center. .......................................Aberdeen ......................4707 E Hwy 12 Bonn Express...................................................Aberdeen ......................801 N Hwy 281 Cenex C-Express .............................................Aberdeen ......................2303 6th Ave SE North Central Farmers Elevator - Cardtrol .......Aberdeen ......................811 3rd Ave SW Friendly’s Fuel Stop .........................................Baltic .............................47155 250th St Midway Service Station....................................Baltic .............................25402 475th Ave CBH Cooperative-Travel Center ......................Belle Fourche................18765 US-85 Jet Truck Plaza.................................................Beresford ......................Hwy 29 and State Hwy 46 Interchange Coffee Cup Fuel Stop.......................................Brandon ........................1009 N Splitrock Blvd Martin’s Oil .......................................................Brookings......................106 1st St S Cenex...............................................................Bryant ...........................102 West 6th Ave Kones Corner. ..................................................Castlewood ...................18299 US Hwy 81 Big C Travel Plaza............................................Clark .............................801 1st St Clark Community Oil ........................................Clark .............................401st East Cowboy Country Store .....................................Clear Lake ....................420 3rd St S Estelline Community Oil ...................................Estelline ........................201 4th St N Bermack 2 ........................................................Faulkton ........................817 Main St Farmers Union Co-op.......................................Ferney...........................101 1st St. North Central Farmers Elevator .......................Frederick.......................38604 Brown County 10A Ma & Pa’s C-Store LLC....................................Gayville .........................31095 451st Ave Coffee Cup Fuel Stop.......................................Hartford.........................1001 S. Western Ave Farmers Coop ..................................................Hayti..............................101 Redbird Ave Farmers Union Oil Coop ..................................Hazel.............................44175 SD Hwy 22 Southside Convenience ...................................Huron ............................1775 Dakota Ave Tip Top, Inc.......................................................Kranzburg .....................46399 US Hwy 212 Tip Top, Inc.......................................................Lake Norden .................471 Burmington St Lake Nordon Country Store. ............................Lake Norden .................721 Burlington Street Prairie Ag Partners ...........................................Lake Preston.................101 Main Ave N Dave’s Service & Repair ..................................Lennox ..........................210 North Main F&M Coop ........................................................Madison ........................45316 SD Hwy 34 Mellette Travel Center. .....................................Mellette .........................38620 SD Hwy 20 Berens..............................................................Milbank .........................1506 Morningside Dr.

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FUEL STATION CITY ADDRESS Food and Fuel. .................................................Milbank .........................103 W 4th Ave UPI Petroleum Inc. ...........................................Milbank .........................313 W 4th Ave The M Station...................................................Mina ..............................800 Nesbitt Dr Cubby’s West. ..................................................Mitchell..........................1700 W Havens Ave Highland Travel Plaza, LLC..............................Mitchell..........................2166 Highland Way Holiday I-90 Travel Center................................Mitchell..........................1821 S Burr St East Lucky’s Gas N More.........................................Mobridge.......................705 W Grand Crossing Goode To Go....................................................N. Sioux City .................1301 River Dr Farmers Union Oil Coop ..................................Orient ............................108 Co Hwy 16 Cowboy #5 .......................................................Pierre ............................1619 N Harrison The Corner Station...........................................Pierre ............................103 E Pleasant Dr Coffee Cup Fuel Stop.......................................Plankinton .....................25471 US Hwy 281 Canyon Lake Gas & Auto Care ........................Rapid City .....................3928 Canyon Lake Dr Apprel’s Quick Stop..........................................Redfield.........................23 W 7th Ave One Stop Convenience Store ..........................Redfield.........................05 W 7th Ave Sioux Valley Co-op...........................................Roslyn...........................110th Hwy 25 Central Farmers Coop......................................Salem............................131 S Nebraska St Main Stop .........................................................Scotland........................411 Main St Friendly’s Fuel Stop .........................................Sioux Falls ....................3700 Pottsdam Ave Deuel County Farmers Union Coop .................Toronto..........................375 Main St North Central Farmers Elevator .......................Warner ..........................110 Central Ave N Cowboy Country Store .....................................Watertown.....................504 9th Ave SE Cowboy Country Store .....................................Watertown.....................1400 4th St NE LakeStop 20 .....................................................Watertown.....................2301 N Hwy 20 Prairie Stop ......................................................Watertown.....................1107 9th Ave SW Sioux Valley Co-op - Cardtrol...........................Watertown.....................1016 5th St SE Stone’s Truck Stop ...........................................Watertown.....................3801 9th Ave SE Sioux Valley Co-op...........................................Watertown.....................1601 9th Ave SE Sioux Valley Co-op...........................................Webster ........................11 W Hwy 12 Jurgen’s Oil Company......................................Wilmot...........................406 Main St Cork and Bottle ................................................Yankton.........................1500 Broadway Ave The Fox Stop....................................................Yankton.........................1316 West 30th S

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UNION FARMER More than $10,000 Raised During 2017 S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament S.D. Farmers Union members from across the state gathered to enjoy a day of golf and fundraising at the Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell. The event brought in more than $10,000 for S.D. Farmers Union educational programming.

Prizes include: Best Dressed Team: for eighth year in a row: Kingsbury Pros. From Kingsbury County, Wayne Soren, Steve Carlson, Doug Kazmerzak and Jason Soren. Winner of the 2017 Annual Dakota Prairie Open: Fosters Farmall from Brookings.

Shot 13 under par. Team includes: Jameson Clarke, Tom Clarke, Todd Foster and Mitch Foster. Drawing Winner: Brett Sombke of Conde won a big screen TV in the mulligan drawing. For every $20 mulligan, golfers purchased they had an opportunity to put their name in for a Big Screen TV. 

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS: Winner of the 2017 Annual Dakota Prairie Cart: Poet and Glacial Lakes Energy; Hole: Open: Fosters Farmall from Brookings. Shot 13 under par. Team includes: KWAT/KDLO, Bonnie Wagner Farmers Union Insurance, (left to right) Jameson Clarke, Tom Farmers Mutual Ins. Co. of Nebraska, Traveler’s Motor Club, Jim Clarke, Todd Foster and Mitch Foster. Wahle, East River Electric, Coteau View Hunts and Kennels, No Limit Soil Service, Media One, Leader Printing, Graber and Associates, Full Circle Ag, Larson King, American Bank and Trust, Farm Credit, Sumption Farms and Carlson and Company LLP. Pin Prizes: Morford Financial Services, Saloon #10, Lodge in Deadwood, No Limits Soil Services, Beef Bucks, Insight Marketing, Robert Sharp and Associates, Terry Sestak, Gold Dust, Cherrybean Coffee, Wild Water West, D Boutique in Miller, Reptile Gardens, Tomahawk Lake Country Club, Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort and Spearfish Canyon Country Club.

The Turtles. Best Dressed: (left to right) Wayne Soren, Steve Carlson, Doug Kazmerzak and Jason Soren.

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UNION FARMER S.D. Farmers Union Member Educates New Yorkers About South Dakota-Raised Beef

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ew York is considered a “beef deficit” state because more beef is consumed than is produced. On the other hand, South Dakota cattle outnumber New York cattle by 2.45 million. (sources: New York Beef Council and U.S. Census Bureau) And, the average-size farm in New York is 206 acres compared to South Dakota’s average farm which is about 1,397 acres. “Basically, they have the people and we have the cattle,” explains Stacey Sumption, who along with her husband, Eric, and Mike and Marcia Mahar, traveled to New York farm country in June to help educate New Yorkers on the humane and healthy management practices implemented on South Dakota’s cattle operations. And, the fact that big is not bad. “The average size beef herd in New York is 20-head,” says Eric, who currently serves as Vice President of the S.D. Beef Industry Council. “Even some New York cattle producers think ‘factory farm’ when they hear the size of our herd. I tried to explain to them that the opposite is true. For example, on our farm there are eight people caring for the herd. With more people you reduce the chances of something going wrong.” A fourth-generation Frederick cattle producer, Eric farms with his dad, four brothers and nephew. The Sumptions’ cattle operation includes a cow/calf herd, backgrounding, finishing as well as a commercial feedlot. During the trip, organized by the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and New York Beef Industry Council Eric and Stacey were able to tour several New York cattle operations, meet with chefs, dieticians and educators to share their story. Because New York is a beef deficit state, for years, the S.D. Beef Industry Council has shared its checkoff dollars to

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WAYS TO CONNECT WITH US mail to: sdfu@sdfu.org

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Eric and Stacey Sumption

help fund education and promotional programming. A donation that Eric says is put to good use. “It’s money well spent. I don’t want to short South Dakota producers, because we have needs here – which I feel we are working hard to meet – but we cannot forget about moving more volume of beef,” Eric says. He emphasizes the fact that South Dakota raises 3 million more head of cattle than we have people. According to the 2015 census,

South Dakota’s population is a little more than 858,000 while the state is home to 3.95 million cattle. Even though New York is a beef deficit state, its consumers have room in their diets for more beef. “The average consumption of beef in New York is 1.7 times-per-week. If we could raise that even a half pound, think of the difference that would make in demand,” says Eric of New York’s 19.8 million potential consumers. He added that New York schools are reintroducing agriculture education to the classroom. During their trip, Eric and Stacey had an opportunity to meet with several educators. “We need to help them and answer questions to understand that beef is a viable protein source and again, big is not bad.” Who raises your steak? When visiting New York cattle operations, Eric and Stacey said they were impressed by their close proximity to housing developments. Think your typical farmstead plopped down in the middle of a Sioux Falls’ neighborhood. “One farmer we met with did everything the way we do – he AIs, rotates pastures – but he and his 120-head of cattle are in the middle of a housing development,” Stacey explains. And, like most of the New York cattle producers they met, he direct marketed his cattle. “They are more into the valueadded side of things – they are pushing this further. Many take their beef to be harvested, bring it back to their farm and put it in a meat case where they sell it direct. Their customers want to KNOW who raises their meat,” Eric says. He shared that one farmer has a customer who drives three hours, one way, to buy $400-worth of beef from the farmer. To learn more about Eric and Stacey’s family farm, visit the Union Farmer archives by clicking on the News tab and read the December 2015 issue. 

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UNION FARMER Water Law Continued from Page 1 years ago as farmland. “It was good farmland. I raised oats, barley, wheat and corn on it,” Olson recalls. Over time, what had been a 25-acre body of standing water, 8-feet deep, expanded to become 75 acres of standing water 19 feet deep. Not bitter about his farmland being overtaken by water, Olson simply says, “Nobody but the Lord filled the land with water.” That being said, like many private landowners who have given up productive acres to non-meandered water, Olson would like to see clear landowner rights included in the bill. “People in town don’t have to post a sign to keep people off their lawns. I feel that this is my land and if someone wants to fish on it, they should ask permission,” Olson says. To this point, Jason Frerichs agrees. Frerichs represents District 1 and serves as the Minority Whip in the S.D. Senate. He notes that several of his constituents living in Day and Marshall counties have non-meandered waters on their land. “They are concerned about road issues which are affected by access points. I see a need for compensation to also be included in this bill due to the loss of income and property tax issues. These are areas we really need to

Q: What does the term “non-meandered waters” mean? A: The term non-meandered waters refers to waters that were not set aside by the state as public property in the late 1880s when South Dakota became a state. Basically, no one “meandered” around the waters in question today.

work on,” Frerichs says. S.D. Farmers Union agrees. Below, Ganje lists several concerns he and S.D. Farmers Union have over the bill as it is currently written. (Originally published in an article written by Amanda Radke in the June 13, 2017 issue of Tri-State Livestock News.) "As it's written, the bill has some valuable provisions in it, but it's very incomplete work," says Ganje. First, he says the bill legalizes discrimination among the lakes. "The bill creates two sets of laws," he says. "One for the designated lakes identified in the bill and another set for all other nonmeandered lakes. To explain the correctness of this reading, one need only look at the

section of the bill following. Under that section, a landowner on a designated lake must first seek permission from the state before he might put up signs or markers over his property. Other non-meandered landowners can put up signs. The rights, duties and liabilities of the landowners under the designated lakes are not the same as the rights, duties and liabilities of the landowners under all other non-meandered lakes." Second, the bill lacks a setback rule based on the distance and type of weapon, an issue that SDFU lobbied heavily for. "South Dakota law prohibits hunting from the water in close proximity to a dwelling unless permission is given," says Ganje. "The bill contradicts this, and requires a landowner to install 'conspicuous markers' on his property, or be subject to hunting all the way up to his home. The bill does not provide for a minimum setback of all sportsmen's activities. The bill should establish a uniform setback near dwellings and confined livestock which will be understandable by sportsmen and landowners alike." Third, the bill does not include a quiet time rule. "The bill does not establish a quiet time for sportsmen's activities near dwellings and

“PEOPLE IN TOWN DON’T HAVE TO POST A SIGN TO KEEP PEOPLE OFF THEIR LAWNS. I FEEL THAT THIS IS MY LAND AND IF SOMEONE WANTS TO FISH ON IT, THEY SHOULD ASK PERMISSION." - Franklin Olson, lifetime Farmers Union member and Day County farmer

Tri-State Neighbor photo by Janelle Atyeo

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UNION FARMER confined livestock," says Ganje. "The purpose of a quiet time rule is to preserve a landowner's right to sleep and repose. Landowners want to be good hosts on these waters, but don't want to become indisposed at all hours of the day or night. No host would. No one wants a two-stroke ice auger running next to their home at 5 in the morning." Ganje also said the bill does not declare that recreational use is an acceptable beneficial use of public waters. "The Supreme Court stated in two cases that the Legislature needs to make a declaration one way or the other about recreational use of public waters," he says. "California, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Wyoming have done it. A properly drafted declaration of recreational use will not give recreational use priority or preference over other uses." The bill, he said, also authorizes the state to buy waters, which in this context, doesn't make any sense at all. "The bill authorizes the state to buy or lease from private landowners’ recreational use of public waters," he says. "The state cannot buy or lease from private citizens water

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already held in trust for the public. All public waters in South Dakota, including nonmeandered waters, are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the people of that state. Recreational use is not a property right in the water held by a lakebed owner. Recreational use cannot be bought, sold or leased. If the purpose of the bill is to buy or lease property rights from private landowners, the bill does not achieve this purpose." Equally troubling, Ganje says that because this bill is effective immediately, there will be

Q: Why does S.D. Farmers Union membership support the reopening of these waters?

A: “Our overall goal, is that we as family farmers and ranchers can share the Earth and its resources with others,” explains Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “This bill, if done right, lets us share these waters with others and still be good stewards of the resources which have been entrusted to us.”

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much confusion amongst anglers, landowners and the Game Fish & Parks (GF&P). "The current bill creates two sets of rules, and it's going to leave a lot of ambiguity," says Ganje. "The purpose of the legislation is to create comfort rules that both landowners and sportsmen can easily follow. The GF&P is trying to grapple with how they are going to implement this right now, but anytime a government agency is given responsibility instantaneously, it's never a clean job." Moving forward The new non-meandered water bill, will expire Jan. 1, 2018, making it necessary for the 2018 Legislature to revisit and rework the bill. As the first agriculture organization to support the existing bill, S.D. Farmers Union has worked tirelessly – and will continue to work – to ensure its membership’s concerns and needs are addressed. “S.D. Farmers Union was the first agriculture organization to weigh in on this issue and we will continue to work with legislators until the final bill is approved because we want what is best for S.D. landowners and sportsmen,” says Christina Dexter, SDFU Communications Specialist. 

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UNION FARMER SDSU Equestrian Athlete Christina Dexter Joins S.D. Farmers Union Team Union,” says Dexter, who graduated this May with degrees focused in advertising, marketing and public relations. In this role, Dexter will serve as the liaison between S.D. Farmers Union members, state officials, agricultural and political organizations. Dexter will spend a lot of time on the road meeting with members to better understand their needs and work with the S.D. Farmers Union state staff and board of directors to direct programming to meet those needs. “Our organization serves family farmers and ranchers and their rural communities, we appreciate the experience and energy Christina brings to our team and organization,” says Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President.

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ntroduced to South Dakota when she was recruited to the SDSU Equestrian Team in 2013, Harrisonville, Mo., native and recent college graduate, Christina Dexter, decided to stick around the Rushmore State and begin her career with South Dakota Farmers Union as a communications specialist. “Growing up on my grandparents’ farm, I have always had a connection to the agriculture industry and feel that I can truly serve South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers through this role with Farmers

More about Christina Dexter “I’ve always had a helper-heart,” explains Dexter, who joined the S.D. Farmers Union team June 1. After working for the Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter as a part-time advocate while attending SDSU, Dexter decided to focus her career search on organizations which would allow her to give back. “It is so important to be able to impact and help people through the work that you do,” explains Dexter who also served as a Lutheran Social Services volunteer and spent time in Germany working with refugee youth. “I am a social person who

“I VALUE THE FACT THAT FARMERS UNION ADVOCATES FOR FAMILY FARMERS AND RANCHERS LIKE MY FAMILY. WITH MY COMMUNICATIONS BACKGROUND, I AM EXCITED TO BE A PART OF THIS.” - Christina Dexter, SDFU Communications Specialist likes to talk to people and learn about their lives.” She sees her position with S.D. Farmers Union as a great opportunity to communicate with farmers and ranchers – a community close to this Missouri farm girl’s heart. “I loved growing up on my grandparents’ farm,” she explains. “I value the fact that Farmers Union advocates for family farmers and ranchers like my family. With my communications background, I am excited to be a part of this.” 

NFU Supports Bill to Add USDA to Foreign Investment Committee

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.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) today introduced a bill to add the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The bill, known as the Foreign Investment and Economic Security Act of 2017, also directs CFIUS to consider U.S. food and agriculture systems when determining whether or not to approve foreign investment in U.S. companies. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson lauded the bill, citing the importance of maintaining food security for

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the sake of U.S. national security. “Food security is vital to national security. As we’re seeing across the world, food shortages and disputes are leading to massive international crises. Without stability and certainty in our food systems, we can expect similar crises on our own soil,” says Johnson. “Consequently, global and domestic food security should be a primary consideration for those tasked with ensuring our national security.” In a letter sent Wednesday to Rep. DeLauro, Johnson highlighted the risk of increased foreign investment in the U.S. agricultural sector, including the purchase of

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Smithfield Foods by Chinese firm Shuanghui International Holdings, Ltd., the acquisition of Syngenta AG by Chinese-government owned group ChemChina, and the proposed acquisition of Monsanto by German company Bayer AG. “Given the changing environment due to an increasing global population and a rapidly changing climate, the role of CFIUS must reflect new concerns about national security,” notes Johnson. “NFU is pleased Rep. DeLauro is calling for increased consideration of food security, and we call on Congress to adopt this commonsense legislation.” 

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Get to Know ...

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Get to Know Farmers Union Insurance Agent J.R. Johnson

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aily interaction with his customers motivates J.R. Johnson. “I just love the interaction with my customers. I like working with them and helping them to make sure they are covered the right way,” says Johnson, who is a Farmers Union Insurance J.R. Johnson Agent in Aberdeen. Growing up, Johnson watched his dad, Jay, who works as an independent insurance agent in Groton, interact with his clients and Johnson could tell he enjoyed his work. So, when the opportunity came around a few years ago for Johnson to follow in his dad’s footsteps, he chose to join the Farmers Union team versus becoming an independent agent like Jay.

“I LIKE THE FACT THAT THROUGH THE WORK I DO, I AM ABLE TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE COVERED THE RIGHT WAY AND THAT THEIR FARMS, HOMES, BUSINESSES OR OTHER PROPERTY ARE COVERED SO IF SOMETHING HAPPENS, THEY ARE SECURE.” – J.R. JOHNSON

“I am an old athlete and I like the idea of having a team with me when I’m serving my customers,” explains Johnson, who played basketball for Black Hills State University and Presentation College. “If I have trouble or have a question, I have other agents I can call and ask for advice.” Johnson also likes the fact that with Farmers Union Insurance he is able to work with numerous providers to offer the clients he serves the products they need. Today, Johnson and his wife, Paula, are raising sons of their own, Ryder, 9, and Asher, 6. And, like his dad, Johnson enjoys his work. “I like the fact that through the work I do, I am able to make sure people are covered the right way and that their farms, homes, businesses or other property are covered so if something happens, they are secure.” To reach Johnson, call him at 605-7253003 or email J.R.Johnson@nvc.net. 

Get to Know ...

Get to Know Farmers Union Insurance Agent Jeremy Clay

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eremy Clay has a clear understanding of what life can be like without proper insurance coverage. As an infant, Clay’s father passed away, leaving his mom with four young children to raise. “Dad didn’t have a life insurance policy to speak of. Life was tough for my mom,” shares Clay, who became a Farmers Union Insurance Jeremy Clay Agent in 2003. Today, Clay works to ensure that his clients have the coverage they need for when the unexpected happens. “Anything can happen – whether it’s a hailed-out crop, a fire or car crash. Insurance is here to protect you if you need it,” Clay

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“ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN – WHETHER IT’S A HAILED-OUT CROP, A FIRE OR CAR CRASH. INSURANCE IS HERE TO PROTECT YOU IF YOU NEED IT.” – JEREMY CLAY

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explains. “I don’t look at the insurance industry as a sales field, to me it is more of a service industry. I work for my customers and assure them that when they purchase insurance from me, not only are they going to be backed by a great company but I am part of the deal as well.” Working out of his office in Winner, Clay says most of his clients are farmers and ranchers – one of the many reasons he enjoys representing Farmers Union Insurance. “My dad was a farmer. I grew up working for area farmers and ranchers, so I appreciate the fact that Farmers Union fights the good fight for our state’s family farmers and ranchers and has programs in place to help them,” he explains. Jeremy Clay can be reached at jclay@gwtc.net or by phone at 605-842-1556 or 605-842-6939. 

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UNION FARMER Roger Johnson

National Farmers Union President

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t’s been a tough year for many American farmers and ranchers, and unfortunately, there appears to be little improvement. The Senate is gearing up to vote on a health care bill that would strip an estimated 22 million people of coverage, threaten rural hospitals, and increase out-of-pocket expenses. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice green-lighted the Dow-DuPont merger, allowing for the creation of the largest agriculture biotechnology and seed firm in the United States. Meanwhile, the EPA’s biofuel volume targets proposal would lower obligations for companies to utilize advanced biofuels, undermining the industry’s growth. However, there are a few bright spots in ag policy; in response to severe drought conditions in the Upper Great Plains, the USDA provided immediate and meaningful relief to family farmers and ranchers by releasing CRP land for emergency haying and grazing. NFU hopes that future farmrelated legislation will similarly consider the unique needs and interests of our nation’s food producers. DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST IN UPPER GREAT PLAINS A severe drought is threatening the feed supply in several states in the Upper Great Plains, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota. As hay becomes scarcer, and with no sign of relief, many producers are left with the difficult choice of downsizing their herds, driving hundreds of miles to purchase hay, or finding additional pasture. This, in turn, has flooded the markets with cattle, causing prices to decline significantly. In response to these conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) authorized the release of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land in Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota for emergency grazing. The announcement came just days after a number of elected officials, National Farmers Union, and several Farmers Union state divisions urged USDA to address severe drought conditions in the Upper Great Plains. Two weeks later, at the request of NFU President Roger Johnson and other agricultural leaders, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue additionally authorized emergency haying of CRP land in those same three states. Emergency

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haying and grazing of CRP land is authorized in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster to provide relief to livestock producers. Given the severity and duration of the drought, NFU applauded the Secretary for offering meaningful assistance to family ranchers in this region. FARMERS UNION MAKES RURAL VOICES HEARD ON HEALTH CARE In late June, the U.S. Senate was scheduled to vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, on June 27, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the vote would be postponed until after the Senate returns from its July 4 recess, citing the need to amend the bill and get a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score after the recess. The announcement came one day after the CBO projected the BRCA would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured. NFU is opposed to the BCRA and its U.S. House of Representatives companion bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), as both would have serious negative impacts on family farmers' and ranchers' ability to access affordable health care. In late June, NFU President Roger Johnson served as a witness at a hearing entitled “America Speaks Out: How the Republican Health Care Bill Would Devastate Rural America.” In both verbal and written testimony, Johnson emphasized his concerns with the legislation. Both bills would cap Medicaid funding, allow insurers to charge older customers more, cut subsidies for younger farmers and ranchers, and allow states to opt out of essential health benefits requirements. As such, these proposals would significantly increase outof-pocket health expenses. Shortly thereafter, NFU launched an action alert urging Farmers Union members to tell their Senators to vote no on BCRA by calling, sending emails, attending town hall events, and posting on social media. Due to overwhelming dissent from citizens and Senators alike, a revised version was released in mid July. Senator McConnell said he hoped to hold a vote the following week, though it remains to be seen if he will lock in the 50 votes needed to pass the bill.

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U.S. POLICY REVERSAL ON CUBA ELIMINATES OPPORTUNITY FOR FAMILY FARMERS During a June speech in Miami, President Donald Trump announced that he was "canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," a move that will roll back an Obama-era agreement, tightening travel and trade restrictions with the country. Although the particulars of the rollback are currently unknown, President Trump emphasized that the intention of the policy was to keep American dollars from funding the "military monopoly that exploits and abuses the citizens of Cuba." To do this, the U.S. will prohibit financial dealings with the military-affiliated Grupo de Administracion Empresarial SA (GAESA), which is involved in most aspects of Cuba's economy, including distribution and logistics. This will make exports to Cuba much more challenging, though perhaps not impossible. Additionally, the policy will significantly limit tourism, banning Americans from patronizing GAESA-owned hotels and allowing only organized group trips. NFU has been working for decades to break free from 50 years of failed policies that have created barriers to the Cuban market. At a time when family farmers and ranchers are enduring a steep decline in net farm income, it is disheartening to see President Trump complicate an opportunity to expand U.S. agricultural markets. EPA PROPOSES BIOFUEL VOLUME MANDATE In early July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its proposed renewable volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2018, the first renewable energy-related policy proposal released by the Trump Administration. The proposal would maintain the conventional ethanol mandate at 15 billion gallons. However, it would also lower obligations for advanced biofuels, including biodiesel, ultimately setting them 7 billion gallons short of the levels prescribed by Congress in the RFS statute. Conventional ethanol is generally made from corn, while advanced biofuels are made from other biomass, including agricultural residues such as corncobs and husks. The purpose of the RFS is to drive the biofuels market and grow the industry. By lowering volume obligations for the next generation of biofuels, the proposal falls short of preserving RFS's integrity.  Current as of July 14

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UNION FARMER South Dakota

From the President....

Reflections on World Farm Organization Trip

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want to begin this letter letting those impacted by this drought know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. When I signed the letter addressed to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging him to release CRP acres for grazing and haying, I did it hoping this would provide some relief. But, I know the farm and ranch families impacted by this drought need our support more than ever. If your operation is not impacted by this drought, I urge you to do what you can to help in whatever way you can. After all, lending a hand to neighbors in need is part of who we are as farmers and ranchers. And, being neighborly is not limited to the producers in our state, nation or even the world - as I discovered on a recent World Farm Organization trip I took in my role as President of Farmers Union Enterprises. Although we do not all speak the same language and our farms and livestock operations do not look the same; it is interesting to note that those of us who live off the land share many common values. This is important to keep in mind when we make trade deals and develop policy – to ensure that they do not hurt family farmers here in America. But also, they do not hurt family farmers in other countries. It takes all of us to feed the world. It is a global economy. And, the current commodity prices are hurting all of us. When I travel internationally, many who I meet, do not see those of us involved in American agriculture as family farmers. They see us as corporate farmers or serfs of Monsanto. This is one reason I believe so strongly in making sure American family farmers are represented on the global stage. Before I attended the general assembly of the World Farm Organization in Finland, my wife, Mel and I, on our own dime, took a two-day tour of Russia. Although the city of St. Petersburg is impressive, the constant military presence

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Doug Sombke SDFU President

and that of armed police, made me ever grateful for the freedoms we all have as Americans. It is these freedoms, I believe, that motivated many of our ancestors to make their way to South Dakota to farm and ranch. I believe that freedom – to succeed or fail – is one of the many reasons U.S. family farmers have prospered – even through challenging cycles. American family farmers not only take pride in it ourselves, but we take pride in our community and our country. While supporting each other, we also relish our individuality. Just as we embrace progressive ways of thinking, we implement progressive farming methods. Just as we care for our neighbors – we care for our resources. Another reason we’ve been successful is the fact that we have the infrastructure, logistics and systems in place for marketing, purchasing and planting. When I visit with farmers from other countries – these are what they most envy most about U.S. agriculture. Now, as we all know, our system isn’t perfect. There are some countries who seem to be doing a better job listening to and protecting their producers. We were all witness to this when the government of Canada issued a new grade of milk to help protect their producers from U.S. imports. This is the government’s way of caring for their producers. And, yes, as an American producer, it does rub me the wrong way. However, maybe our officials need to take the struggle of the American family farmer and rancher a little more seriously.

UNION FARMER

A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION

South Dakota Union Farmer, ISSN 0745-8797, publishes 10 times per calendar year, with issues printed in January, February, March, April, May/June, July/August, September, October, November and December. Periodical postage paid at Madison, S.D. POSTMASTER: Address changes to: SDFU, PO Box 1388, Huron, S.D. 57350-1388

Contact SDFU • 605.352.6761 1410 Dakota Avenue South, PO Box 1388, Huron, SD 57350 www.sdfu.org sdfu@sdfu.org

SDFU State Office Staff Karla Hofhenke.......ext. 114 Executive Director Huron Kayla Foreman ......ext. 118 Controller Miller

Rachel Haigh-Blume ....ext. 125 Education Director Tulare

Kecia Beranek.........ext. 113 Communications Specialist Miller

Christina Dexter............ext 122 Communications Specialist Huron

Pam Evenson ..........ext. 116 Membership Specialist Doland

Luanne Thompson.......ext. 111 Administrative Assistant Virgil

SDFU Board of Directors Doug Sombke.........President Groton Wayne Soren..Vice President Lake Preston Terry Sestak..............District I Tabor Jim Wahle ................District II Salem Gail Temple ............District III Clark

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 ~ Donn Teske, Vice President Darin Von Ruden, Secretary ~ John Hansen, Treasurer 202.554.1600 www.nfu.org

The South Dakota Union Farmer is published 10 times per calendar year. Karla Hofhenke, Publisher Lura Roti, Editor ~ Wendy Sweeter, Copy Editor Tri-State Graphics, Layout and Design

Doug Sombke South Dakota Farmers Union President

UNION FARMER

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: sdfu@sdfu.org

JULY/AUGUST 2017

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UNION FARMER NFU Condemns Trump Administration Approval of Dow-DuPont; Sets Sights on Ensuring Promises Are Kept to Family Farmers

P

erpetuating the disturbing consolidation trend in the agriculture sector, the U.S. Department of Justice today approved the $142 billion merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. The deal will create the largest agriculture biotechnology and seed firm in the United States. Condemning the move as a continuance of failed national economic policy, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson released the following statement: “Clearly, the Trump Administration is content allowing our country’s consolidation complex to continue. This is deeply disappointing, as it is this consolidation complex that has allowed for money and power to be drained from family farm operations and rural communities. What’s resulted is lost jobs, lowered wages, inflated costs, decreased economic opportunity, depleted resources and services, depopulation and an inability for those that remain in rural America to

decide their economic future. “The combination of Dow and DuPont, coupled with other pending mergers, leaves family farmers with less competition and choice in the seed and agrichemical sectors. This drives up costs for farmers’ inputs, and it reduces the incentive for the remaining agricultural input giants to compete and innovate through research and development. “Dow and DuPont produce essential, high quality seeds and products that farmers need. While we condemn the administration’s decision to allow the merger, we set our sights on ensuring the resulting seed and biotech firm keeps the promises made by Dow and DuPont to American family farmers and ranchers. This includes delivering localized solutions in seed and crop chemical innovation, increasing the productivity of American farmers and, most importantly, ensuring their profitability.” 

NFU Statement on EPA’s RFS Volume Targets

T

he U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Trump Administration’s first proposed set of volume obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The proposal maintains the conventional biofuel amount at 15 billion gallons, yet lowers obligations for advanced biofuels, including biodiesel, and ultimately falls nearly 7 billion gallons short of the levels prescribed by Congress in the RFS statute. In response to the proposal, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement: “While we’re pleased to see proposed conventional renewable fuels obligations remain consistent with the RFS statute, the overall proposal falls short of preserving the integrity of the RFS – which is to drive the biofuels market and grow the industry.

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JULY/AUGUST 2017

“For the past year, President Trump and his administration have assured family farmers and rural residents that this administration plans to support biofuels and uphold the intent of Congress as it relates to the RFS. But today’s disappointing proposal, by lowering volume obligations for the next generation of biofuels, seems to back off these assurances. “As family farmers navigate a severely depressed farm economy, this is a time the administration should be raising expectations for a policy that drives many economies in rural America. We urge the administration to reconsider this action and to increase these proposed obligations to meet the levels as written by Congress.” 

UNION FARMER

Youth Advisory Council Continued from Page 5

to learn more about the organization, the cooperative model and leadership. As a proud former All-States camper myself, I’m encouraged by the enthusiasm and high regard that our young members have for attending the camp each year,” says Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union President. This year’s camp, themed “Stewardship: Care for the Land, Care for the People,” featured a number of notable speakers and presenters. Some of the speakers have been esteemed All-States guests for many years; Olympic Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner, a camp regular, spoke about overcoming the odds to become an unlikely wrestling hero. Retired CHS, Inc. Vice President William Nelson explained the value of cooperatives in agriculture. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union staff members Harrison Topp and Aubriel Jones discussed leadership in agriculture with the group, while NFU Government Relations Representative Matt Perdue walked the campers through NFU’s grassroots policy process and led a short policy simulation. This year’s camp also featured Brendon Rockey, a biotic farmer in Colorado, who led an interactive session on soil health and carbon cycling. NFU Foundation Director Tom Driscoll closed the week’s festivities at the camp’s banquet, addressing the future of Farmers Union and the importance of youth involvement. The campers also elected six of their peers to NFU’s National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC), which represents thousands of Farmers Union youth across the country. NYAC will further hone their leadership skills at a learning session in Washington, D.C., through presentations at NFU’s 116th Anniversary Convention, as well as by planning next year’s All-States Camp. This year’s NYAC includes: Hunter Cardinal, Minnesota; Marissa Holinka, South Dakota; Jessica Jurcek, Wisconsin; Ben Lehman, Iowa; Shaun Heier, North Dakota; and Kirsten VanDerPol, Minnesota. “NYAC builds leaders in the agriculture industry and ensures the voice of younger generations is heard and respected in what the organization does,” says Johnson. “For the next year, these six youths will serve as representatives of their peers, learn about the legislative process and lobbying, and present in front of hundreds of NFU members and press at the NFU convention. I’m confident they will be strong advocates for both the organization and young people in agriculture.” For pictures from this year’s All-States Leadership Camp, visit www.flickr.com/ photos/nfudc/. 

WWW.SDFU.ORG


UNION FARMER THANK YOU SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION Thank you for the very nice Bar-B-Q utility set we won at the annual meeting of Kingsbury Electric Co-op. It works really well! Dennis & Nelann Glawe, Arlington, S.D. ***** Dear Members of SDFU-State Level, Thank you so much for the matching funds of $250 that you provided to the Gregory Food Bank. The Community Concept Program is a great challenge to the County Farmers Union to help feed the hungry people in their communities. Our Gregory County Farmers Union offered $250 first and with your matching funds, the Food Bank will be able to purchase many of the needed food items that are not usually donated, such as meat and juices. We sincerely appreciate your help. Board Members of the Gregory Community Services, Inc. dba Wear’n Wares and Gregory Food Bank

DEPARTINGS

LaVern Aisenbrey, age 85 of Freeman, SD passed away Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Oakview Terrace Care Center in Freeman, S.D. LaVern was a lifelong member of South Dakota Farmers Union and served as a District I Executive Board Member for SDFU for 18 years. He served in the Menno American Legion for 51 years, along with numerous other boards throughout the years. It was with great pride that he served his country in the Korean War. LaVern loved spending time with his family and making people laugh. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and four children-Nancy, Lindsey, James and Steven. His funeral was May 25 at Freeman with Military graveside rites. Gene Ellingson, 88, of Mitchell, passed away June 10, 2017 in Mitchell. Gene served as president of Sanborn County Farmers Union for 20 years and membership coordinator for SD Farmers Union. His funeral was held June 17, 2017 at the Forestburg Lutheran Church with military rites in Artesian. Gene is survived by his wife, Mae, two children Connie (Brian) Sumption and Cary (Mary Jo), along with grandchildren and relatives.

COOK’S CORNER

SDFU CLIP AND SAVE CALENDAR

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Pg. 34

Ann Marts, Gregory, S.D. – Lifetime Member

12 oz. Cool Whip 1 sm. box cheesecake pudding (instant) 3 (6 oz.) cartons strawberry yogurt 1 lb. fresh strawberries, sliced 2 bananas, sliced Miniature marshmallows Thaw Cool Whip and stir together with yogurt and pudding powder. Set in refrigerator for an hour or so. Add strawberries. Put in bananas and marshmallows just before serving. WWW.SDFU.ORG

Karen Jaquet, age 65, of South Shore died May 18, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Wayne, children Brian, Tamara, Heidi and Matthew; siblings Norman, Janet, Earl, Larry (Farmers Union Insurance Agent), Keith and Louise. Darrel “Beechnut” Barry, age 88, of Union Center, died May 15, 2017. Darrel is survived by his wife, Viola and their children, Darrel, Cheryl, Rod, Pam, Wade and Shannon; sixteen grandchildren and seven greatgrandchildren. The funeral service for Calvin Jaton, age 85, of Nunda, died May 7 from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was the father of Audrey Keierleber of Colome, S.D. Paul Mertz, age 66, of Goodwin, S.D. passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at his residence. Paul’s personality would light up any room he entered. He was the president of Codington/Hamlin County Farmers Union and owned and operated “Mertz Fencing” with his son. He is survived by Rosy, and granddaughter, Marisa, of Goodwin; three sons: Adam (Teffanie) Mertz of Watertown and their children: Tyler, Matthew, Andrew, Lilli and Myla, Christopher (Stacey) Mertz of Chapel Hill, NC, and their children.

UNION FARMER

JULY 18 State Horse Show Root Beer Social, Huron 19 SDFU Board of Directors meeting 20 County Councilors Mtg., Huron 21 SD Summer Spotlight Livestock Show, Huron AUGUST 8 KELO AM Radio Show, Sioux Falls 14-20 Brown County Fair, Aberdeen 14-17 Turner County Fair, Parker 31-Sept. 4 SD State Fair, Huron SEPTEMBER 2 SDFU Day at SD State Fair, Huron 4 State Office Closed 11-13 SDFU Fly In, Washington, D.C. 12 KELO AM Radio Show, Sioux Falls

JULY/AUGUST 2017

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