Page 1

Volume CIII, No. 6

Huron, SD

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

South Dakota

Union Farmer A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION Premium E30 Challenge

Co-op Hall of Fame

ACE Conference E30 Panel

Farm Safety First!

Page 4

Page 5

Page 21

Page 23

Producers Provide Reality South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Richter Ranch Check During D.C. Fly-In Family

A

s South Dakota family farmers and ranchers wrapped up meetings with congressional leaders and staff, Sept. 14, the last day of the 2018 National Farmers Union Fly-In, Wessington farmer Chris Johnsen says these conversations were a good first step. “But, a lot more needs to be done. We need to keep constant

Fly-In

Continued on Page 12

Farmers Union Day at the State Fair! • Rural Dakota Pride Honorees • Scholarship Recipients • Consumer Education • Farm Safety • Farm Bill Panel

See it ALL, turn to page 17.

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 highlight the Richter ranch family, near Enning. Neal and his dad, Dick, are pictured here on their Enning ranch.

N

eal Richter began helping his dad move cattle on the family’s ranch near Enning when he was about 8. “That was a bad idea because I was hooked,” jokes Neal, 36, a fourth-generation cattle rancher. “He always wanted to be on the ranch,” explains his dad, Dick, 72. In fact, so strong was Neal’s desire to make ranching his life’s career, that as a high school student, he took on extra classes so he could graduate a semester early to be home fulltime for calving. “That first calving season, it happened to be a nice January and February, with 40 to 50 degree days. Calving was easy, I thought, ‘this is great. The next calving season wasn’t so warm, but I’m still here,’” says Neal, who graduated from Sturgis High School in 2000. Although his formal education ended that year, Neal’s intake of

Richter Family Continued on Page 2


Union Farmer

“It makes things feel complete and whole. I am glad we are not faced with the situation that many are, where the family operation was sold off and will not continue on. If that was the case, it would feel like something was very much missing.” – Bryce Richter

Richter Family Continued from Page 1 knowledge and information in regards to improving his and Dick’s cattle herd genetics and management is a daily practice. He reads agriculture publications, takes in seminars and workshops and works closely with local SDSU Extension staff. In 2010, he participated in SDSU Extension’s first beefSD class. An intensive three-year program led by livestock experts and innovative South Dakota cattle producers, who provide cattle producers with research-based information on everything from improving genetics and cattle health to feed rations and grazing practices. Through beefSD, Neal was able to collect data on five of his calves – from weaning through the feedlot and on to processing. “Ranching is just like other careers, there is always more information available to improve things, so I have to work to keep on top of it,” he explains. “beefSD opened my eyes to how what is happening here on the ranch will impact what happens down the chain.” Among the management practices

which have improved things is hay testing and supplementation. This was one of the topics covered during beefSD that made sense to Dick and Neal. So, today, the men have their hay tested to ensure they are feeding their cows a balanced ration. “We feed supplements as needed based on test results,” Dick says. The men market their calves at weaning, so birth weight and vigor are a large focus of their breeding program. “We used to wean, feed and then sell,” Dick explains. “In this country, we don’t raise our own corn. Most of what we grow is to replenish hayground. So, when the calf prices started coming up, and we could make more money selling them right off the cow, without feeding them, that’s what we decided to do.” And, according to the feeder/finisher who has been buying the Richter calves several Octobers in a row, they gain and finish well. “The guy who bought them said 75 percent of them graded choice,” Neal says. Although the same buyer bids on their cattle each year, when it comes to marketing

their calves, the men are loyal to Ft. Pierre Livestock Auction Inc. “Marketing is a terrible big part of ranching. Even before Neal started ranching with me, I took the calves to Ft. Pierre and I thought they did a good job by me,” Dick says. Neal adds, “They have gotten to know us over the years. They know our brands and they will call us when someone is looking for the type of cattle we raise.” The men raise mostly black baldy cattle, from black Angus cows, which they breed to Charolais bulls. “Our goal is to get to all F1 cross cows,” Dick says. “My dad was one of the first in the area to raise black cross in the area. And, at that time, if you weren’t raising Herefords, you weren’t thought too much of.” Dick and Neal are partners in the sense that they run their cattle together, share labor and expenses. It’s a bit different from the way Dick took

Richter Family

D D

Continued on Page 13

For the Cowboy In All of Us Double D

Western Wear & Tack 800 21st St., Huron, SD 605.352.5792

www.ddwesternhuron.com

Farmers Union Members get

20% OFF* one item only!

Present this coupon with your purchase *Excludes all boots, shoes, men’s jeans and tack

2

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


IT’S CO-OP MONTH Union Farmer Six Months In, Agtegra Cooperative Leadership Gives Update

Agtegra Cooperative Warner grain and agronomy location

T

imes are tough in agriculture; however, the cooperative model is proving itself to patrons of Agtegra Cooperative, says Board President Hal Clemensen. “There are definite savings that come from not duplicating services. Going into the merger, we knew the farming economy was tough. This was one reason we felt so strongly the merger had to happen,” Clemensen explains of the February 2018 unification of two legacyrich, farmer-owned cooperatives – South Dakota Wheat Growers and North Central

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Farmers Elevator. CEO Chris Pearson agrees, “As we think about the ability of our cooperative to deal with tariffs, use space wisely and serve farmers going into harvest, we are better able to serve as Agtegra than we would have been alone.” To ensure better service through the massive undertaking of merging two cooperatives, the board and employee leadership put together 13 teams to strategically analyze and unify. “We really made a conscious effort to try and take the best of both cooperatives when we put

Union Farmer

Agtegra together,” Clemensen explains. “And, because we are a new cooperative, we are not tied to old ways that may not work for our patrons anymore. It’s refreshing to be able to make changes, like making basis more beneficial for producers because we are not locked into old ways of either cooperative.” For example, Agtegra has improved market power, explains Mike Nickolas, Executive Vice President of Grain. “By pooling our bushels together and offering larger amounts to export facilities or domestic flour mills, we’re able to secure a little better price than we would have as separate cooperatives.” Pearson adds that this spring’s fertilizer season also highlighted synergies. “If inventories got tight in one location or if there was a facility breakdown, we were able to shift over to a different facility and share equipment and people across all facilities to support our farmers. Throughout the growing season we’ve seen similar synergies and we expect these to increase over time.” Only six months in, Clemensen says that although there are areas where Agtegra has room for improvement, he is excited for the future. “We are able to serve farmers more efficiently, building a better cooperative today and also maintaining a strong cooperative for future farmers, farmers’ kids and farmers’ grandkids.” Pearson says Agtegra Cooperative is a good example of the value of the cooperative system. “In my mind, it’s all about the expectations of our ownership – that is why the co-op system is strong today and should stay strong for generations to come. Farmers should own the retail system they do business with. Because of farmer ownership, cooperatives make decisions that over the long-term return benefits to farmers, not a quarterly earnings call or group of investors from New York City,” Pearson explains. To learn more about Agtegra Cooperative, visit www.Agtegra.com. ■ by Lura Roti for SDFU

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

3


Union Farmer

IT’S CO-OP MONTH

Educating Consumers through E30 Challenge Increases Premium E30 Use

Andy Wicks is a Premium E30 advocate, auto technician and the owner of Dyno Tune Speed and Performance.

S

ince 2016, sales of Premium E30 have gone up 600 percent in Watertown. What fueled (pardon the pun) this dramatic increase? The E30 Challenge – A clever, consumer education campaign initiated by Glacial Lakes Energy with some financial support from the Urban Air Initiative. “We knew that in order for drivers to fuel up with Premium E30, we needed consumers to change their fueling habits and dispel any myths about Premium E30,” explains Marcy Kohl, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs for Glacial Lakes Energy, an ethanol production cooperative. Beginning with those in the know – auto technicians and car dealership employees – Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) launched an aggressive educational initiative. “Ninety-five percent of all auto technicians in Watertown showed up to our educational meetings,” Kohl explains.

4 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

“But, we did it right. We offered them incentives for attending the meeting.” And, GLE recruited Andy Wicks, a trusted and experienced ally, to lead the educational meeting. Wicks is an auto technician and the owner of Dyno Tune Speed and Performance, a business that focuses on high performance automobiles. Working in the industry since 1998, Wicks fuels all his high performance vehicles with 100 percent ethanol and uses Premium E30 in his daily driver vehicles. “I have done enough research and witnessed Premium E30 working long enough, that I can confidentially say it works well,” Wicks says. “To me, octane always wins. You’re looking at a premium fuel that has the cleaning characteristics and all the good stuff you get from other premium fuels, for 50 cents to a $1 less.” Once the auto experts in Watertown had their questions answered, the campaign went to the pumps. A marketing campaign was launched, motivating drivers to try Premium E30. In return for every gallon sold, GLE donated 30 cents to the local Boys and Girls Club, up to $50,000. At the same time, GLE shared testimonials from drivers who tried Premium E30. “We (GLE) can talk all day long, but if your neighbor or friend says they had a good experience, that makes an impact,” Kohl says. The campaign began in June and by August 2016, GLE donated $50,000 to the local Boys and Girls Club. Today, consumption of Premium E30 remains steady in the Watertown area. “We were successful in changing the way folks Doug Sombke perceive a higher ethanol blend, such as Premium E30. In Watertown, we’ve sold more than 3 million gallons, that’s about 60 million miles,” explains Jim Seurer, CEO of GLE. “Our ultimate goal is to gain momentum, until the entire Midwest

Union Farmer

is fueling with E30.” South Dakota Farmers Union, a grassroots supporter of ethanol since before the first plant was built in the state, also helped with GLE’s Premium E30 campaign. “From the beginning we saw ethanol as a very real way to positively impact South Dakota’s family farmers. And, Premium E30 provides so many additional benefits – clean air, less dependence on foreign oil as well as health benefits,” explains Doug Sombke, SDFU President. Kohl says Farmers Union’s efforts were appreciated. “Farmers Union is a huge farm organization with many members. To have them as a partner, saying that they agreed with us and that they were right here, standing beside us to help promote Premium E30 was valuable to the success of this campaign.” In addition to changing consumer perception, during the campaign, GLE collected performance data by plugging data loggers into cars’ diagnostic port. They shared this data with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Chevy, Ford Chrysler and GM. GLE recently launched a similar campaign in Aberdeen July 13. To date, 63,000 gallons of Premium E30 have been sold and $37,000 has been raised for the local Boys & Girls Club. “We have been called a renegade in the ethanol industry as the E30 Challenge pushed the envelope and was something that had never been done before. Others were afraid the EPA would shut their efforts down or they’d be sued. If we don’t promote our own industry, who will?” Kohl adds. Seurer adds, “We are dispelling myths and proving to drivers that Premium E30 works. I firmly believe the industry will look back on what Glacial Lakes Energy has done and say, ‘this is where it all started, right here in Watertown, South Dakota.’” To learn more, visit www. glaciallakesenergy.com and click on the E30 tab. ■ by Lura Roti for SDFU

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

IT’S CO-OP MONTH

Dale Locken and Kermit Pearson inducted into South Dakota Cooperative Hall of Fame

T

wo South Dakotans – Dale Locken of Akaska and Kermit Pearson of Lake City – were inducted into the South Dakota Cooperative Hall of Fame during the Co-op Month Banquet and Induction Ceremony Sept. 11 at The Lodge at Deadwood. Induction into the South Dakota Cooperative Hall of Fame is the highest honor that the cooperative community can bestow on those whose endeavors in the cause of the cooperative form of enterprise have been genuinely heroic.

Dale Locken, Agtegra Cooperative Locken served as the CEWO of South Dakota Wheat Growers Association (now Agtegra Cooperative) from 2002 to 2017. As CEO, he had the vision to always pursue the next step to maintain the relevance of

WWW.SDFU.ORG

the cooperative system in South Dakota. Under his leadership, he saw the need for a merger with North Central Farmers Elevator (which occurred shortly after he stepped down as CEO). While at the helm at Wheat Growers, he developed the cooperative’s strong safety culture, established the Connecting to Tomorrow Initiative to improve grain handling systems at 12 SDWG locations, established the Growing for Tomorrow Initiative which upgraded 15 locations to expand capacity in both grain handling and agronomy, led construction of the Kennebec facility which involved rehabilitation of the railroad line along with construction of a new facility.

Kermit Pearson, Lake Region Electric Association First elected to the Lake Region Electric Association board of

Union Farmer

directors in 1980, Kermit Pearson has spent the last 38 years as a dedicated leader of electric cooperatives. By 1989, Pearson would be selected to represent LREA on the East River Electric Power Cooperative board and from there, in 1997, would become East River’s voice on the Basin Electric Power Cooperative board. In 2013, he was selected to represent Basin Electric on the South Dakota Rural Electric Association board of directors. Under Pearson’s leadership, LREA, East River and Basin Electric have engaged in innovative and visionary programs to best serve their members. He works to ensure that decisions made at the Basin Electric level are in the best interest for the regional East River Electric membership and local Lake Region Electric membership. “He embraces and promotes the new innovations that benefit the membership,” wrote LREA manager Tim McIntyre. “...his commitment to community and the membership shines as he inspires development and growth within each community.” ■ Courtesy of the S.D. Association of Cooperatives

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

5


Union Farmer

IT’S CO-OP MONTH East River Electric: Powering & Empowering Farms Across South Dakota

S

ince the 1930s, rural electric cooperatives across South Dakota have powered farms and rural communities – investing in the need for electricity when others would not. “The cooperative model worked back then and it continues to work today in providing safe, affordable and reliable power to member-owners,” says East River Electric Power Cooperative General Manager Tom Boyko. “We’ve seen substantial growth in demand for power across our service territory over the past few decades. To ensure we maintain our strong history of reliability and also that we properly serve our continued growth, we will be undergoing a significant system upgrade over the next decade.” East River’s transmission system upgrade plan, which was approved by the cooperative’s board this August, will begin implementation in 2019. “The amount of power we need to transmit continues to grow because of the increasing size of farms and an increase in commercial businesses locating to rural areas,” says Boyko. Established in 1949 as a wholesale power provider, East River Electric is made up of 24 electric distribution cooperatives and one municipal system. The cooperative serves an area of about 40,000 square miles which includes most of rural South Dakota east of the Missouri River and a section of western Minnesota. As demand for power continues to increase in rural areas, so does the need for consumer education.

6

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

“We noticed that, as the height and size of farm equipment has increased, so has the potential for increased contact with power lines,” says Boyko, who explains that all power lines installed have to meet federal height standards. “A farmer may have been driving under a power line for decades, then, one day he gets a new tractor and makes contact because it’s taller than the old one.” Taking immediate action, East River Electric coordinated with its member systems to launch an aggressive safety

Union Farmer

campaign that encourages farmers to look out for power lines and informs them on what to do if their machinery contacts a power line. “We learned of several instances this summer where farmers contacted power lines, but they took the right steps and were safe,” says Boyko. “We’ve also had several farmers approach us at farm shows to thank us for getting the message out.” To learn more about East River Electric Power Cooperative, visit www.eastriver. coop. ■ by Lura Roti for SDFU

WWW.SDFU.ORG


U nion F armer 8 1 0 2 F ly-In

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

7


Union Farmer “We are trying to be a voice for all the South Dakota farmers and ranchers who aren’t here.” Chris & Ronalee Johnsen, Wessington farmers “I participated in this Fly-In because I’m concerned over the tariffs and the disastrous impact they are having on our farmers and agriculture communities.” David Sigdestad, Pierpont farmer

“It’s important that we contact our representatives so they know the situation out here in the country.” David & Brenda Reis, Reliance ranchers

“I am here because I haven’t seen things this bad since the ‘80s. In 2008, when the rest of the nation went through a recession, South Dakota’s economy remained fairly stable because the farm economy was stable. If things don’t turn around, South Dakota will feel it.” Larry Birgen, Beresford farmer

“It’s important to tell our story so that congressional leaders understand what we do for a living. It’s also important that they hear our story from us and not someone else.” Jeff & Rachel Kippley

“I did not come to Washington for myself, but for the next generation of farmers. I would like to see long-term and short-term farm policy changes, so farmers get their profits out of the marketplace, not government payments.” Craig Blindert, with his son, Luke both men are Salem farmers and insurance agents

8 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer “When our country was founded, we were 92 percent. Today, only two out of every 100 are involved in agriculture production. There is a lot going on that impacts us.” Iona farmers, Brett & Jessie Kenzy and two of their five children; Sapphire Kenzy and Sierra Rencountre

“If you want change, it’s important to say something – we cannot expect them to read our minds.” Samantha & Nathan Miller, Houghton farmers

“We are the best lobbyists farmers and ranchers can have because we aren’t lobbyists.” Kirk Schaunaman, Aberdeen farmer “This Fly-In provides an opportunity to connect with people who have no connection to agriculture.” Wayne Soren, Lake Preston Farmer, SDFU Vice President “It’s pretty neat to be in the same room as Sonny Perdue. The fact we have enough of a presence for him to spend 10 minutes of his time with us. He wouldn’t do that for 30, but for 350 he will.” Rob Lee, De Smet

“This year, more than ever, congressional leaders need to hear farmers’ voices.” Terry & Eileen Sestak, Tabor farmers

“We see this as a good opportunity to remind them that agriculture is important to the stability of the U.S.” Oren & Tracy Lesmeister, Parade ranchers and small business owners

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

9


Union Farmer

Patriots, Raise Your Voices & Fight for American Agriculture

N

orth Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp called upon family farmers and ranchers to demand action beyond the market trade adjustment, when it comes to resolving the trade war. “I want all patriots to raise your voices and fight for American agriculture. Stand up. Enough is enough. We have been patient long enough and demand resolution. We demand action, action beyond what we have been given,” says Heitkamp, discussing the current trade war and its devastating impact on soybean farmers throughout the nation. “Patience is running thin with every combine that loads another load of soybeans that have no place to go.” Heitkamp made these remarks during a meeting with more than 350 farmers and ranchers during a rally with Farmers Union members participating in the national organization’s D.C. Fly-In. “You took those pennies (checkoff dollars) and invested them in trade promotion and, an amazing thing happened, after three decades we got into the Chinese markets with our soybeans. Then, in one year the market collapses.” Her message resonated with Chris Johnsen, a soybean farmer from the Wessington area. In fact, depressed markets was the driver that brought Johnsen to D.C., along with more than 30 South Dakota family farmers, ranchers and their supporters. “I have friends and neighbors who are having a hard time making ends meet. It’s important that we get the message out that if prices stay where they are, we can’t make it. Farmers

cannot do this year-in and year-out,” explains Johnsen, who also speaks with the future in mind, as his son, Ryland, also farms with him. Providing a platform for South Dakota family farmers and ranchers, like Johnsen, to have their voices heard is an important focus of South Dakota Farmers Union, says SDFU President Doug Sombke. “Our organization unites farmers and ranchers, so that our message has the power of numbers behind it. This is true, in good times and bad. Today, times are tough. The timing of this trade war makes what were bad commodity markets, worse. This week, by sharing our story of its impact on us with those in power, we hope will make a difference,” says Sombke, a fourth generation Conde farmer. To learn more about how S.D. Farmers Union supports family farmers and ranchers throughout South Dakota, visit www.sdfu. org. ■

Contact Your Representative Today! During the recent National Farmers Union Fly-In, Sen. Thune’s congressional aides were surprised by the stories we shared, saying that when they visited with South Dakota agricultural producers this summer, they did not hear of the challenges facing farmers due to tariffs on top of already low farm gate prices and rising energy, shipping and input cost. PLEASE share your story with them. Let them know how the tariffs and low commodity prices are impacting YOU. Every day, as president of South Dakota Farmers Union, I talk to farmers, bankers and Main Street business owners who are struggling due to the current situation. Some farmers say this will be their last harvest. Encourage your banker, neighbors and friends to share their story with our congressional leaders as well. Here’s how to reach them: Sen. John Thune Phone: 202-224-2321 Email: www.thune.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact Sen. Mike Rounds Phone: 202-224-5842 Email: www.rounds.senate.gov/contact/email-mike Rep. Kristi Noem Phone: 202-225-2801 Email: www.noem.house.gov/index.cfm/email-kristi

10 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

South Dakota Farmers Meet with Surface Transportation Board to Discuss Rail Issues

M

aintaining strong communication between the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and farmers was the purpose of a meeting between STB board and South Dakota farmers held in D.C. Sept. 12. “This is the beginning of what we see as a series of conversations with STB members to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” says Doug Sombke, President of S.D. Farmers Union and a fourth generation Conde farmer. Sombke references issues South Dakota, and other Upper Midwest, farmers faced shipping grain in 2012 and 2013. “We wanted to make sure that new STB members understand the challenges we faced in the past – which we were able to overcome by working together. It is our goal, that once trade opens up again, we are able to ship our commodities,” Sombke explains. And today, there are additional concerns, says Aberdeen farmer Jeff Kippley. “This trade war was not the farmer’s choice, it was the government’s choice. The concern is, if and when trade opens again with China, will there be rail cars available to ship our grain? As with any good company, those rail cars aren’t

WWW.SDFU.ORG

sitting idle. They are hauling oil and other goods,” Kippley says. “We don’t want them to forget about us.” With plans to meet periodically with the STB moving forward, Sombke and Kippley said they feel optimistic about the future. “We were able to share the policy of Farmers Union as it pertains to rail. STB said

Union Farmer

they were appreciative of the information shared and encouraged us to maintain this open communication between our farmers and the STB,” Sombke says. This meeting was one of many South Dakota family farmers and ranchers participated in during the 2018 National Farmers Union Fly-In held in Washington, D.C. ■

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

11


Union Farmer Fly-In

Continued from Page 1

Courtesy of SDFU During the Fly-In, South Dakota farmers, ranchers and supporters met with with congressional leaders and staff from South Dakota and states across the nation to share their story and discuss the challenges they currently face.

pressure on those leading our country so they understand how bad the situation is and know that things need to change,” explains Johnsen, after a day of meeting with congressional staff from South Dakota as well as other states. Aberdeen farmer Kirk Schaunaman agrees, “The agriculture economy has lost 50 percent of our income over the last five years. All commodities are suffering from these depressed markets. We need support for rural America, production agriculture and

all farmers.” Like many of the more than 30 South Dakota agriculture producers and supporters who traveled to D.C. for the Farmers Union Fly-In, Schaunaman raises soybeans. And, like all soybean growers, he is concerned over the dramatic drop in prices due to the current trade war with China. South Dakota is home to more than 11,000 soybean growers. In the current market, many are losing more than $2 on every bushel of soybeans they raise this year. Each year, nearly 70 percent of all bushels of soybeans harvested in South Dakota are exported. As of January 2018, China was the largest importer of South Dakota soybeans. Schaunaman shared his concern with a congressional staff member from Florida. “We are just starting to harvest and there is already a little carryover from 2017, so when this glut of soybeans hits elevators and has nowhere to go, it will be a mess if we don’t get change on this trade deal,” Schaunaman says. He added that passing a farm bill before the end of October would help the situation by providing some security. The staffer didn’t sound optimistic, saying that Congress is considering an early recess so members can campaign. Visiting with congressional staff from states or districts less dependent upon

Fly-In

12 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

Continued on Page 16

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer Richter Family Continued from Page 2 over for his dad, Joe. Growing up, Dick was the youngest of five boys. “Neighbors always accused Dad of raising a haying crew,” Dick jokes. Dick says he always enjoyed ranchwork, but because Joe and Elsie’s ranch was small, he never anticipated he would be able to stick around after high school. “We knew that once we made it out of high school, we were going to work off the ranch,” he says. When he and his brothers, Fred, Carl, Ted and Bill, were young, the livestock on the farm was diverse. “We had 21 milk cows, about 50 commercial cows, pigs and chickens.” He recalls how each member of the family was responsible for milking two or three cows. “We would sell the cream and keep the skim milk for the bum calves. We would sell the cream in Enning and the mail truck would take it to a creamery in Sturgis.” After high school, Dick went to South Dakota State University for a year and decided he needed to be closer to home, so he began taking classes at Black Hills State University and eventually completed a fouryear degree in business administration. While he was working to finish his degree, community members approached him asking if he would take a break to teach at the Union Center school. “They knew I was qualified to teach with a two-year degree. I didn’t know anything about teaching, but I took on the challenge.” Dick says that although the kids tested him, he had a lot of community support. “We didn’t have teacher in service or parentteacher conferences. The teacher was invited to dinner. And, it was expected that you’d show up. That’s where the parents got to know you.” He adds, “I was ill prepared. I had to teach myself how to teach. I enjoyed the kids and watching them learn.” From 1967 to 1975 he taught school five years and completed his degree. He taught fifth through eighth grade at Union Center Country School and seventh and eighth grade in the Enning Country School. At the time, Dick received $3,850 a year for teaching. During the school year, he helped out on the ranch. Joe paid him in cattle. During the summers, he did construction work, which led him to start his own construction company. From 1975 to 1991 he built several residential and commercial buildings throughout western South Dakota and eastern Wyoming. Locally, he oversaw the volunteer crews who built the Community Center in Union Center and the Enning Ambulance building. Dick gave back to his community in other ways as well. He served more than a decade on the Rural Electric Cooperative Board and as president of the board for the Enning Volunteer Ambulance. Most of the income his construction company earned, Dick invested back to the ranch, buying or leasing more pastureland and cattle. His late wife, Nancy, supported the family. Nancy spent her career working for Western Dakota Technical Institute and served as the Admissions Administrator and as the Director of Western Dakota Technical Institute. “She loved her career. They called her Mrs. Dakota Tech,” recalls Dick of his wife of 37 years who passed away from cancer in 2013. Dick returned to the ranch fulltime in 1991, after his dad passed away. To help the couple manage two, off-ranch careers, as well as the ranch, the family lived in Sturgis where Neal and his brother, Bryce, attended school. “She would go that way and I would go this way,” Dick recalls. Bryce says living in town and working on the ranch gave him and Neal the best of both worlds. “We gained a lot of experiences from

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Bryce Richter with his wife, Kristen and their children. Front row: Madisyn and Jordyn; middle row: Ryleigh and Ryne.

both. The work ethic I have today is the main thing that I acquired from work on the ranch, where I was able to see what a good day’s work is as opposed to what others see as a good day’s work,” explains Bryce, who lives in Sturgis with his wife, Kristen, and their four children, Ryleigh, 14; Jordyn, 12; Madisyn, 10; and Ryne, 6. He works as an ag loan officer in Sturgis. In addition to work and family, Bryce serves on the Meade 46-1 School Board and volunteers to coach soccer. He says he inherited his dad’s “neighbor mentality.” “What I mean by neighbor mentality is the ability to have a conversation with anyone about any topic and although we focus on our family first, we are always willing to do anything for those who need help,” Bryce says. He adds that he is thankful his brother Neal is carrying on the family’s ranching legacy. “It makes things feel complete and whole. I am glad we are not faced with the situation that many are, where the family operation was sold off and will not continue on. If that was the case, it would feel like something was very much missing,” Bryce says. Dick agrees. “I always knew Neal wanted return to the ranch. I couldn’t handle the ranching alone. And, like most young people, he pays more attention to how the cattle grade and technical part of raising cattle,” Dick says. “I always wanted my sons to have the opportunity to return to the ranch if they wanted, or if they wanted to do something different, they could do that too.” Since Neal returned to ranch fulltime with him, the men have more than doubled their cow herd and leased or purchase land to accommodate the expanded number of cow/calf pairs they raise. In Meade County, it takes about 20-25 acres of grassland to run a cow/ calf pair per year. To see more photos of the Richter ranch family and read about other South Dakota ranch and farm families, visit www.sdfu.org. ■ by Lura Roti for SDFU

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

13


Union Farmer

14 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

Mike Bredeson, a South Dakota State University doctorate student, was the 2018 the recipient of the $2,500 South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship.

A

pplications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org. The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota’s agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing

WWW.SDFU.ORG

a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school. “Education is our future. This scholarship is one way Farmers Union works to help retain highly skilled individuals in South Dakota,” says Doug Sombke, SDFU President and fourth-generation Conde

Union Farmer

farmer. Application deadline is Dec. 15 Also sponsored by Travelers Motor Club, scholarship preference is given to students from South Dakota who have/had an affiliation with Farmers Union. Awards are for one academic year, beginning in the fall, and students may reapply at the end of the award period. Eligible graduate students include oncampus and distance education students who are pursuing any master’s or doctoral program, agriculture teacher certification program (CERT/FCSC) or graduate certificate program (GCERT). To learn more, contact Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director, at khofhenke@ sdfu.org or call 605-352-6761 ext.114. “Our rural communities are struggling for many reasons. Agriculture is the foundation of rural communities. If we can bolster our agricultural producers by helping them to diversify their operations, conserve natural resources and improve profitability, the result will be invigorated farm economies,” explains Bredeson. To apply, visit www.sdfufoundation. org. ■

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

15


Union Farmer

Fly-In

Continued from Page 12

agriculture than South Dakota is important, explains Justin Goetz, a high school senior from Selby who traveled with the South Dakota group as a member of the Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council

Courtesy of NFU Three South Dakota youth who serve on the National Farmers Union (NFU) National Youth Advisory Council were among more than 350 family farmers and ranchers addressed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue during the NFU D.C. Fly-In. They are pictured here with their council members and the Secretary: Camryn Billen, Wisconsin; Jim Brockel, South Dakota; Riley Labahn, North Dakota; Caleb Nugteren, South Dakota; U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue; Justin Goetz, South Dakota; and Jade Person, Minnesota.

16 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

“What we say is even more important when someone comes from a non-agriculture background or doesn’t understand farming or ranching, because when they already understand what we are saying and agree with us, our time with them didn’t impact change,” Goetz says. Goetz’s message even rang true during the group’s meeting with Sen. Thune’s staff. Thune’s staff mentioned they were not hearing too much concern from South Dakota’s farmers. Aberdeen farmer Jeff Kippley was quick to respond. “That’s because farmers don’t ask for help. Whether it is being stuck in the field or going bankrupt,” he explains. “We are a prideful group and don’t easily admit our failings to others. I’m proud of this group, that they are willing to tell you exactly how it is out there.” Compared to years past, this year saw the largest number of young farmers to make time to travel to D.C. to share their story, says Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “They are concerned enough to leave the beginning of fall harvest on their own operations and understand that someone has to step up and address the issues with leadership,” Sombke says. “And, these young farmers not only had to find someone to fill in for them to feed livestock and run combines while they were gone, but they had to find someone to watch their children.” Their three young children were among the many reasons, Houghton farmers Nathan and Samantha Miller say they felt they had no choice but o share their story.

Union Farmer

Fly-In

Continued on Page 22

WWW.SDFU.ORG


n o i n U s r e m r Fa

at the

Stat e Fair

Farmers Share Lunch Educates More than 1,000 Consumers The Boos family of Mitchell, Harper, Michelle and David, are among the more than 1,000 fairgoers served during the Farmers Share lunch hosted by S.D. Farmers Union during the South Dakota State Fair. The lunch is designed to educate consumers on the current low prices. Fairgoers only paid 25 cents, the price a South Dakota farmer would receive for the ingredients used to make this $12 lunch.

M

any South Dakota family farmers and ranchers will not earn an income this harvest. In fact, once they pay for seed, fuel, feed and other inputs, when they sell what they’ve raised, some will actually lose money this year. To educate consumers on the current low prices, on Sept. 1, S.D. Farmers Union served a Farmers Share lunch, charging fairgoers the price a South Dakota farmer would receive for the ingredients used to make a $12 lunch. This year the organization only collected 25 cents from each of the more than 1,000 fed. “There is a big disconnect between the prices we see when we walk into the grocery store and what the farmer gets paid. We don’t know what farmers earn because most people don’t work on the farm anymore,” says Dave Boos, a fairgoer who works as Director of Technology for

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Mitchell Technical Institute. This is the organization’s largest educational event, says Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director. “Education is a large part of what we do as an organization. It’s a focus of our mission,” Hofhenke says. Board member and Colome farmer Joel Keierleber says the meal is an effective way to share the challenges and garner support. “When consumers buy a pound of burger at the store and pay $5, they think I’m making $5 a pound for the cattle I raise. This simply isn’t the case,” Keierleber says. “Consumers really don’t understand that most of their food dollars go to the middle man. For example, I only receive about $1.80 for that pound of burger.” And, like every cow/calf producer in South Dakota, Keierleber is responsible for the health and welfare of the cattle day-in

Union Farmer

and day-out until they are sold to a feeder or processor. “As farmers or ranchers, we’re the ones taking care of the critter for up to two years and receiving a very small fraction of the grocery store price,” Keierleber explains. SDFU President and a fourthgeneration Conde farmer Doug Sombke agrees adding, “For more than a century, Farmers Union has supported our state’s family farmers and ranchers – and this year, with low commodity prices, made worse by the current trade war, our farmers and ranchers need every bit of support we can provide them through policy development, lobbying congressional leaders and consumer education.” To learn more about how South Dakota Farmers Union supports our state’s No. 1 industry, visit www.sdfu.org. ■

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

17


Union Farmer

18

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Farmers Union at the State Fair

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Farmers Union at the State Fair

Union Farmer

Hoven FFA Chapter Named Quiz Bowl Champions During Team Up For Safety State Fair Competition

H

oven FFA Chapter won the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl held during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include Brady Keller, Chayce Rausch and Peter Rausch. The team was recognized with a cash prize. Other teams who qualified to compete include the following FFA Chapters: Parker FFA Chapter, members include: Jackson Fiegen, Camden Bialas, Nick Haraldsen and Geoff Dunkelberger; Tri-Valley FFA Chapter, members include: Josh Hotchkiss, Jen Hotchkiss, Rhegan Oberg and Westen VanDerVliet; and Wessington Springs FFA Chapter, members include: Isaac Kolousek, Cooper Hainy and Noah Hainy. The Team Up For Safety competition is run in a game show format and held each year as a fun reminder to teens to keep safety top of mind. The four teams qualified for the championship during the state FFA convention held this spring, where more than

20 teams competed. “For most of us in South Dakota, we like to think we’re pretty in tune with what’s going on around us,” says Doug Sombke, SDFU President. “But life moves pretty fast and it’s easy to take little things for granted. It could be something as simple as just taking the time to read labels on chemicals or applications and making sure you don’t harm yourself or your livestock.” Hoven FFA member Peter Rausch agrees. “I know from firsthand experience how dangerous working on a farm can be. I lost a friend in a grain bin accident. He would have been a senior this year,” says Rausch, who holds his OSHA certification thanks to a course he took as part of his high school’s agriculture education class. “It is always good to be aware of your surroundings and be as safe as you can for yourself and others.” To learn more about SDFU and its educational programming, visit www.sdfu.org. ■

Hoven FFA Chapter won the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl held during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include Brady Keller, Chayce Rausch and Peter Rausch.

Parker FFA Chapter competed in the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl held during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include Jackson Fiegen, Camden Bialas, Nick Haraldsen and Geoff Dunkelberger.

Tri-Valley FFA Chapter competed in the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl held during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include Josh Hotchkiss, Jen Hotchkiss, Rhegan Oberg and Westen VanDerVliet.

Wessington Springs FFA Chapter competed in the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Team Up For Safety Quiz Bowl held during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Team members include Isaac Kolousek, Cooper Hainy and Noah Hainy.

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

19


Union Farmer OFFICIAL CONVENTION NOTICE

Farm Bill, Trade & South Dakota Ag Economy Focus of State Fair Panel Discussion

To: All local and county unions of the South Dakota Farmers Union. Notice is hereby given that the 103rd annual convention of the Farmers Union Educational and Cooperative Union of America, South Dakota Division will convene on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 at the Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center in Pierre, South Dakota, at 11:30 a.m. (CT) Directors from District I, III, V and VII and delegates and alternates to the National Farmers Union Convention will be elected. 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 10 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.” “Credentials must be signed by the president and secretary of the county which such delegates represent and be received by the State Office no later than 5 days prior to the state convention (Nov. 24, 2018), and registered at the venue no later than 11 a.m. on last day of the convention.” FARMERS EDUCATIONAL AND COOPERATIVE UNION OF AMERICA (SOUTH DAKOTA DIVISION) Doug Sombke, President Karla Hofhenke, State Secretary-Treasurer Early Bird – A policy program will be sent out to any delegates that we receive by Nov. 20, 2018.

20

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

The 2018 farm bill was the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union panel discussion held Sept. 1 during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. Panelists include: Paul Shubeck, State Director of the Farm Service Agency; Lynn Tjeerdsma, Senior Policy Adviser for South Dakota Sen. John Thune; and Doug Sombke, SDFU President.

T

he 2018 farm bill was the focus of South Dakota Farmers Union Panel discussion held Sept. 1 during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair. “South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers face tough economic times due to a trade war creating unstable markets – during a time when prices for our commodities were already low. This farm bill could offer some stability. We hope it is passed soon,” says Doug Sombke, President of SDFU. “This is the reason we selected the farm bill as the focus of our annual State Fair panel discussion.” Joining Sombke on the Freedom Stage were Paul Shubeck, State Director of the Farm Service Agency; and Lynn Tjeerdsma, Senior Policy Adviser for South Dakota Sen. John Thune. “Agriculture is in a critical spot where a new farm bill is crucial,” says Tjeerdsma, referring to current low commodity prices and trade war negatively impacting farmers this harvest. “This is the sixth farm bill I have worked on and the only one written during economic times like now.” Sombke said this topic is not only timely,

Union Farmer

but the State Fair, surrounded by farm and ranch families, is a good place to hold a discussion of this importance. “This is an event, right before harvest, when many farm and ranch families take a few days to meet up, watch the next generation compete in 4-H and FFA competitions. We hope all who work in agriculture, who attended today’s panel discussion, have a better understanding of what the next farm bill is and how it will impact them.” Curt Hillestad, who farms near Claire City, says Sombke’s goal was met. “You hear a lot of rumors, so I knew that this would help me understand what they are really thinking,” explains the fourthgeneration farmer. “I was also wondering about who is eligible for payments and now I have my answer.” SDFU continued the conversation about the farm bill, trade war and the current challenges South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers face with policymakers during the 2018 D.C. Fly-In. To learn more about how SDFU serves South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers, visit www.sdfu.org. ■

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

SDFU Supporting Investigative Series on EPA

Doug Durante, Executive Director of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition; Trevor Hinz, Director of Urban Air Initiative (moderator); and Dave VanderGriend, President of Urban Air Initiative. Photo courtesy of Cindy Zimmerman, ZimmComm New Media

S

DFU is a member of the Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) in Washington, D.C., which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has been a tireless advocate for ethanol. CFDC has been leading a research effort for several months now to dig deep into the issues surrounding the roadblocks facing higher ethanol blends. They have compiled an impressive body of research we support in South Dakota, through Farmers Union Enterprise, and hopefully can get the board of NFU behind. With support from fellow CFDC members like ICM, the result of the research will be a forthcoming series titled Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: Is this EPA’s Gasolinegate? The initial findings were revealed at the recent annual conference of the American Coalition for Ethanol

WWW.SDFU.ORG

(ACE) when a panel discussion explained the project. After a decade with no significant progress to reduce the most toxic components in gasoline, it is clear change is needed within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) has failed to enforce the regulations to reduce the aromatic content of gasoline as required in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA). Extensive exploration found a gap in research, public information and a void in consumer representation on the dangerous chemicals added to gasoline, along with a growing concern in the public health sector. The Beyond a Reasonable Doubt series highlights independent vehicle emissions

Union Farmer

and driving tests, numerous public and private requests for tangible progress enforcing the CAAA, the assessment of 1,000-plus validated research studies and more than 10,000 EPA emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. The results of the research are very similar to the Volkswagen emissions scandal coined “Dieselgate” which is why we believe EPA has a “Gasolinegate.“ Amazingly, just a handful of EPA career government civil servants in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) have set the rules for fuels and vehicles for the past 30 years. Their decisions have dictated how Americans spend billions every year on vehicles and fuel. OTAQ’s missteps have adversely impacted the environment and public health. And, they

ACE

Continued on Page 27

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

21


Union Farmer Fly-In

Continued from Page 16

“The low prices and then the tariffs, we need a farm bill,” explains Nathan, 30, who farms with his dad, Brent, and brother, Jordan. “It’s a big worry right now,” adds Samantha. “Because, no matter what, we still have to feed and clothe our children. We have no choice – there are some things you can’t cut costs on.” And, sharing their story along with 350 farmers and ranchers from across the nation helps, says De Smet farmer and veteran Rob Lee, 32. “Thirty people don’t have the impact that 350 do,” he says. Terry Sestak, SDFU board member and a farmer from Tabor agrees. “Advocating for farming and ranching is never ending. That is why we are all members of Farmers Union, because that is what they do for us, in D.C.

“The low prices and then the tariffs, we need a farm bill.” – Nathan Miller and at home in Pierre, when we are busy farming and ranching.” South Dakota farmers, ranchers and supporters who traveled to D.C. include the following: Doug Sombke, Conde farmer and SDFU President; Wayne Soren, Lake Preston farmer and SDFU Vice President; Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director, Huron; Larry Birgen, Beresford farmer; Kirk Schaunaman, Aberdeen farmer; Terry and Eileen Sestak, Tabor farmers and Terry serves as an SDFU board member; Rob Lee, De Smet farmer; Oren and Tracy Lesmeister, Parade

ranchers; Brett and Jessica Kenzy, Iona farmers and their children, Sierra Rencountre and Sapphire Kenzy; David Sigdestad, Pierpont farmer; David and Brenda Reis, Oacoma farmers; Rocky Forman, SDFU Member Services Coordinator, Huron; Mandi Forman, small business owner, Huron; Chris and Ronalee Johnsen, Wessington farmers; Craig Blindert, Salem farmer and Insurance Agent; Luke Blindert, Salem farmer and Insurance Agent; Jeff and Rachel Kippley, Aberdeen farmers; Mitch Richter, SDFU lobbyist, Rapid City; and Nathan and Samantha Miller, Houghton farmers. The group of South Dakota high school and college youth, who serve on Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council, also traveled with the group to D.C. They include Jim Brockel, Shade Hill; Caleb Nugteren, Canistota; and Justin Goetz, Selby. ■

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

If interested, contact Pam Evenson, 352-6761, ext. 116 for your packet

22

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

SDFU Farm Safety Trailer … Bringing Safety To a Community Near You

P

reventing accidents through fun and interaction is the No.1 goal of the SDFU Farm Safety trailer, explains Rocky Forman, SDFU Member Services Coordinator. “We are eager to partner with schools, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters and other organizations to bring our safety trailer to rural communities so South Dakota youth receive farm safety education that we hope prevents accidents and worse,” he explains. Throughout August and September, the Safety Trailer made stops in Huron, Gregory, Ipswich, Mellette, Salem and the South Dakota State Fair. To bring the SDFU Farm Safety Trailer to your community, contact Forman at 605-350-3421 or rforman@sdfu.org. ■

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

23


Union Farmer

Around the State With Farmers Union

Read on to learn how South Dakota Farmers Union members and staff are making a difference in rural communities across South Dakota.

E30 Promotion in Aberdeen

RCALF Convention SDFU members Brett & Jessie Kenzy

August Radio Show SDFU member George Kenzy with brother, Brett

RCALF speaker

SDFU members Cheryl and Fred Schaefers

24

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

Around the State With Farmers Union

Read on to learn how South Dakota Farmers Union members and staff are making a difference in rural communities across South Dakota.

Scholarships at the State Fair Each year, the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation, in cooperation with Farmers Union Insurance Agency, honors Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarship recipients during Farmers Union Day at the State Fair. Each of the scholarship recipients will receive $1,000 to put toward their postsecondary education at a South Dakota college, university or technical school.

Rural Dakota Pride Each year, during the State Fair, South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes individuals for their selfless contributions to rural communities across the state with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Today, individuals from rural communities across South Dakota were recognized. The honorees are pictured here with Doug Sombke, SDFU President. Honorees include: Joe Schnell, Lake Preston; Diana Runge, Wessington; Tim Holzer, Arlington; Amy Hofer, Doland; Roger Deiter, Faulkton; and Marie and John Condon, Millboro.

Pizza Feed at the State Fair

SDFU feeds 4-H and open class beef exhibitors during the S.D. State Fair.

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Best in Show at the State Fair

Aaron Linke was awarded the Best of Show in Division 14, Agriculture Grains & Seeds with a winter wheat seed exhibit.

Union Farmer

Nathan Linke was awarded the Best of show in Division 15, Agriculture Plants/Bundles/Bales with a winter wheat sheave exhibit.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

25


Union Farmer

26

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


ACE

Union Farmer Continued from Page 21

have failed to embrace all the other public policy objectives such as energy security and economic development – particularly in the rural economy – that comes from the production of domestic, renewable fuels. Gasolinegate is about EPA/OTAQ going against the intent of legislation. We believe EPA/OTAQ created unrealistic certification fuels and testing parameters that inaccurately modeled emissions data from the 263 million vehicles on the road (compared to only 500,000 vehicles impacted by Dieselgate). In the case of Gasolinegate, the “defeat device” is the deceptive design of certification fuels and testing procedures that provided misleading data used to certify vehicles for emissions and fuel efficiency. These and other unfair and anticompetitive practices allowed Big Oil to avoid further regulations to improve air quality, delay the need to develop new technologies and to protect and expand its monopolistic market share of transportation fuels. This also unnecessarily increased the cost of fuel to consumers because ethanol is less expensive than gasoline. We believe EPA/ OTAQ has worked in cooperation with the industry it’s responsible to regulate. As a result, it may be covering up the health risks associated with the unnecessary use of higher levels of toxic/carcinogenic aromatic octane enhancing additives in gasoline. The outcome of Gasolinegate is those fuels that are “tested and certified” are putting out more emissions than originally estimated, which impacts the cost of healthcare and the price consumers pay at the pump. The false data also impacts many governors, mayors and state regulators who are responsible for creating state implementation plans (SIP) to meet EPA’s ozone attainment standards. Because regulators may not be able to utilize ethanol as a clean fuel strategy, they miss out on economic development opportunities to build new roads or attract new businesses. The nation has been exposed to

WWW.SDFU.ORG

decades of fake test fuels and fake driving tests, which in turn means fake emissions results and mileage claims. For example, OTAQ’s own director admitted in 1994 that its fuel testing process was outdated. This begs the question, why haven’t testing processes changed? What are aromatics and what’s the concern? We believe today’s hydrocarbonbased toxic aromatic gasoline additives used to increase octane share the same storyline and shameless history of deceit with lead (i.e., a now banned additive to gasoline), tobacco and “Dieselgate.“ This series documents a long-term track record and recent history of the oil industry’s desire to protect market share at all costs, primarily the consumers. The series shows how Big Oil misled the media and public to discredit the government and competitive products which in turn discourages public research and private investment. It details a history of private interest manipulating and derailing government responsibility while public interest and personal health are left hanging in the balance of justice. Many in the oil industry and their Washington representatives used the same strategic tactics used for protecting tobacco. By manipulating research and data, thus manipulating the market and price for fuels, consumers and taxpayers pay the price. We now have a 50-year modern day window of missed opportunity with another possible 25 years on the horizon if EPA/OTAQ does not change its strategy to delay new high octane and high compression engine requirements. The nation is at a vulnerable crossroads. Automakers can no longer be primarily responsible for reducing Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSATs) and the health effects from trying to incinerate the oil industry’s toxic/ carcinogenic aromatic compounds. The nation will need cleaner fuels if it wants cleaner air. In the coming months, the nation will debate the future of engines and fuel technology as part of the discussions to change the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Will the deep state that we believe is embedded within EPA at OTAQ sentence the public to another 25 years of exposure to proven carcinogens and other MSATs? The nation

Union Farmer

must not allow the history of tobacco and lead to be repeated by allowing more toxic/carcinogenic aromatics in gasoline. So what are aromatics, why are they needed and what’s the concern? The short story is that aromatics are made in the process of refining crude oil into gasoline and/or they are added to gasoline to increase the level of octane. Gasoline with higher levels of octane permit engines to perform more efficiently by preventing knock. The most common aromatics include Benzene, Toluene (methylbenzene), Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (dimethylbenzene). This part of the family of aromatics is commonly referred to as BTEX, which is the most lethal part of the gasoline mix. Today there are only two commercially viable and legal octane contenders – hydrocarbon-based aromatics and renewable ethanol. Ethanol increases the octane of gasoline and reduces the need to add toxic aromatics. For us in agriculture, we can provide this cleaner burning alternative if we can break down the barriers EPA has put in front of us. Conclusion In addition to Gasolinegate, the research shows EPA’s actions provide a documented track-record of trying to thwart the development of ethanol. Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show how EPA conspired with Big Oil to manipulate research and data that created a negative impact on ethanol’s image as a clean fuel. Real world blending shows a very different story than the one painted by EPA. At SDFU we will continue to work with CFDC, the UrbanAir Initiative and other friends and allies in the ethanol industry to get a fair deal and have our ethanol recognized for the positive contributions it can provide. Look for the Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Series to be released in the coming weeks and we will have links to it on our website. ■ by Douglas A. Durante, Executive Director, Clean Fuels Development Coalition

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

27


Union Farmer Roger Johnson National Farmers Union President

B

etween depressed prices, trade uncertainty, unpredictable weather and the administration’s demand destruction of biofuels, family farmers and ranchers are having a challenging year. Though National Farmers Union’s government relations team keeps busy year-round working for solutions to these issues on behalf of the organization’s members, the fall legislative Fly-In is an opportunity for members to travel to Washington to speak with their legislators directly. Given all the difficulties in farm country, it is unsurprising that this year’s event was the most well-attended in over a decade. Farmers, ranchers and farm advocates visited all 535 congressional offices to discuss some of the most critical agricultural issues, including the 2018 Farm Bill, an escalating trade war and renewable energy. Fall Fly-In Brings 350 Farmers to D.C. In September, 350 Farmers Union members traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for stronger farm and food policy. The famers and farm advocates spoke to members of Congress and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials about how they feel about the trade war, the farm bill, and other issues that will have a tremendous impact on their farms and their communities. The event kicked off at the USDA, where U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and other officials spoke with the crowd about the administration’s policies, including the USDA aid package for farmers, rural broadband, animal health tracking, mental health in rural communities and the opioid crisis. But chief on the minds of Farmers Union members and USDA officials was the current trade war with China. Gregg Doud, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), fielded pointed questions from the crowd. “For farmers selling $6.62 beans in central North Dakota today, can you describe what a win will look like?” asked Mark Watne, President of North Dakota Farmers Union. “Higher prices, greater demand or do I simply have another market that I can sell into but can’t make money in?” “Agriculture will survive this trade war, but what kind of agriculture? Will it be family farms?” asked Gary Wertish, President of

28

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Minnesota Farmers Union. “There are farmers in this room who won’t make it through the next year.” That afternoon, the group visited Capitol Hill to speak with eight members of Congress about the farm bill and what they plan to do about trade and biofuel issues. U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Chellie Pingree of Maine were among the legislators in attendance. During the following two days, teams of Farmer Union members stopped by the offices of all 535 members of Congress to highlight the key objectives for the organization, struggles they are facing and goals for future legislation, including the2018 Farm Bill. NFU also recognized 26 outstanding U.S. Senators and Representatives who have demonstrated leadership and support at the federal policymaking level for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities with the Golden Triangle Award, the organization’s highest legislative honor. Net Farm Income Expected to Fall Again The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) released its annual farm income forecast at the end of August. The report provides little good news for already struggling farmers and ranchers. The farm economy has been severely depressed for several years now, and farm income is expected to decrease another $9.8 billion, or 13 percent, in 2018. Other values don’t look promising either; as income plummets, production expenses are forecast to increase by $11.8 billion. And, according to ERS, “the farm business average net cash farm income is forecast to decline $16,600 (19.9 percent) to $66,700 in 2018. This would be the fourth consecutive decline since 2014 and the lowest average income recorded since the series began in 2010.” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson said that the ERS report is indicative of the problems family farmers and ranchers are facing. “Farm income has been cut in half over the past five years, and a majority of family farmers are currently earning negative

Union Farmer

farm income,” Johnson says. “Now, largely because of volatility in trade and depressed biofuel markets, there is no improvement in prices in sight.” Johnson urged Congress to act quickly to pass a strong farm bill. He also asked the administration to “deliver on its promises to support the RFS” as well as to provide “strong, fair trade agreements” and “long-term solutions to current trade market disruptions.” NAFTA Renegotiation Slowly Progresses After more than a year of renegotiations, President Donald Trump sent Congress notice of intent to sign an amended North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The announcement came just days after the U.S. and Mexico reached a deal on terms to replace NAFTA and is timed so that a finalized deal can be signed before President Enrique Nieto of Mexico leaves office on Dec. 1. The plan’s provisions will be established over the coming weeks and made public at least 60 days before it is signed. It can be formalized, at the earliest, 90 days after the notice of intent was sent. Canada and the United States have not yet come to an agreement, but the two countries have until Sept. 30 to negotiate. Since Trump announced his intentions to renegotiate NAFTA, National Farmers Union (NFU) has supported efforts to improve the deal and establish parameters that narrow our trade deficit, protect family farmers and ranchers from corporate consolidation, discourage offshoring of domestic jobs and maintain domestic sovereignty. To achieve this, NFU President Roger Johnson asked that negotiators either eliminate or reform the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, a policy that “encourages the offshoring of domestic jobs, undermines the jurisdiction of the U.S. and its trading partners, and is partly responsible for the consolidation of money and power into the hands of multinational companies.” He also emphasized that “improvements on behalf of American farmers and ranchers should not occur at the expense of farmers

Washington Corner

Continued on Page 30

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer From the President....

South Dakota

Share Your Story Today

J

ust this morning a local banker stopped by to visit about the impact tariffs, on top of the already low markets, are having on his clients. What he shared with me, lines up with the impacts on our family’s farm as well as what I have been hearing from other South Dakota farmers and ranchers. I asked him to share his story with our leaders in Washington, D.C., and spread the word, asking other bankers, to step up and request that the money coming from these tariffs go to ag relief. Those dollars should not go to the general fund. They need to go to farmers and rural communities that are being devastated by a choice that wasn’t theirs. Today, whether you’re a farmer who votes Republican, Democrat or any other party, times are tough. I take the role I’ve been elected to seriously. It is one of service to South Dakota family farmers and ranchers, who happen to represent both political parties. As a grassroots organization, politics does not drive our policy, our members do. Regardless of which party is in office, I believe it is my duty to speak up when something has a negative impact on our members. As I see it, the situation we are in is worse than any hurricane. Hurricanes are natural disasters. This is a disaster that was chosen by a President with no plan B. This was alluded to during our recent visit with Sen. Thune’s aides. They basically admitted the President started the trade war with no thought to the degree of which it would impact farmers. The results have far reaching impacts. The tariffs impact not only farmers, but bankers, implement dealers and Main Street businesses. The current situation reinforces the fact that when you grow something from the earth, everyone is touched by it. Sharing our stories in D.C. during the NFU Fly-In is always important – but, this year, it was huge. As we visited with Thune’s team, I was surprised to hear that as they traveled the state this summer, attending county fairs and the South Dakota State Fair, they said they had not heard of the challenges from farmers and ranchers. I didn’t ask it at the time, but the question I now have is, where did they spend their

WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

A PUBLICATION OF SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION

Doug Sombke SDFU President

time and who did they visit with during these fairs? Because, I spent time at the fairs in the hog, sheep and beef barns, where I heard plenty of stories of challenging times. I am disappointed in how Rep. Kristi Noem handled the recent presidential visit. Instead of taking advantage of this visit by President Trump to South Dakota to create an opportunity to show him how dire things actually are in agriculture, she simply stood by, while donors spent $5,000 to have their photo taken with the President. Who knows, if she had done her part, maybe introduced him to one or two farmers who are struggling, maybe his response would not have been so cold when he was asked by the KELO reporter what he wants to say to family farmers who may lose their farms this season. “Well, they would’ve lost them anyway because they were being hurt so badly by the trade barriers. We will tell you they are going to be in a very good position soon.” Supporting family farmers and ranchers is what Noem ran on – and continues to run on. It doesn’t matter what her party is, she represents all South Dakota farmers and ranchers. Just like SDFU membership represents both political parties, she should too. YOUR stories make a difference During the Fly-In, I was interviewed by KWAT. During the interview the reporter said, “I’m sure its great that you are out there so that individuals who used to be on farms or have families still working on farms, get to hear from people like you.” I said, “No, it’s even more important that we speak to people who have never been on a farm or never visited a rural community understand that we are people too and how important we are to this country.” Due to the fact that we don’t have a farm bill in place, and, we are in such a bad spot in ag today (the nicest way to put it) – again I’m going to say, we need a special package for agriculture relief. We need to ask that money from tariffs

From the President

South Dakota Union Farmer, ISSN 0745-8797, publishes 9 times per calendar year, with issues printed in February, March/April, May, June, July/August, September, October, November and December/January. Periodical postage paid at Madison, S.D. Karla Hofhenke, Publisher Lura Roti, Editor ~ Wendy Sweeter, Copy Editor Diane Martinson, Layout & Design

All information for publication must be submitted by the 15th of the month. You may submit items to address below or email items to: sdfu@sdfu.org 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 Rocky Forman...............ext 117 Member Services Coordinator Huron

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

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

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

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

Karon Rembold.............ext 111 Receptionist Miller

Kayla Stevens.................. ext. 118 Controller Miller

SDFU Board of Directors Doug Sombke.........President Groton Wayne Soren.. Vice President Lake Preston Terry Sestak.............. District I Tabor Lisa Snedeker........... District II Woonsocket 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 ~ Patty Edelburg, Vice President Darin Von Ruden, Secretary ~ Doug Sombke, Treasurer 202.554.1600 www.nfu.org

Continued on Page 30

Union Farmer

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

29


Union Farmer

Washington Corner

Continued from Page 28

across the border.” Rather than remove Canada’s dairy supply management system, which has “maintained a stable dairy market for the country’s dairy farmers and consumers,” Johnson recommended that the United States implement a similar policy for American dairy farmers. Additionally, Johnson reiterated that renegotiating NAFTA is an opportunity to reinstate country-of-origin labeling (COOL), which “empowers American consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and allows independent producers of high-quality, Americangrown beef to differentiate their products.” USDA Releases Details of Trade Assistance Package Nearly a month after the Trump administration first announced its intentions to assist farmers and ranchers affected by an escalating global trade war, the USDA provided greater details as to how and when the aid would be allocated. Though the White House initially promised up to $12 billion in assistance, the USDA’s plan accounts for only $6.3 billion. Should additional relief be necessary, the agency said the remaining $5.7 billion could be distributed at a later date. The USDA plans to use this money in three different ways. Starting Sept. 4, it will send incremental payments totaling $4.7 billion to producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, corn, pork, dairy and cotton through the Market Facilitation Program. These payments will be based on their 2018 actual production and subject to payment limitations. The vast majority of these payments – or approximately $3.6 billion – are expected to go to soybean farmers. A distant second, pork producers will receive $290 million. The agency will also purchase commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk through a Food Purchase and Distribution Program and authorize a $200 million Trade Promotion Program to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. Farmers are certainly in need of help, and this package is a good first step in providing it. However, for most, the payments will fall

significantly short of losses incurred. By some accounts, corn farmers have lost 44 cents per bushel due to trade disputes, but the expected payment of one penny per bushel will hardly put a dent in the damage. At $1.65 per bushel, the payout for soybean growers is slightly less grim, but still does not compensate for the by $2 per bushel drop in value. Rob Larew, National Farmers Union Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, expressed appreciation for the plan, saying that “it will begin to help many of those that are suffering the brunt of the retaliation from China and other trading partners.” But he reiterated the need for long-term solutions and strong markets. “This trade war has already caused irreparable, long-term harm to what were strong trade relationships for American family farmers and ranchers,” Larew says. He then urged the administration to “transition away from an ad hoc emergency aid strategy and to work with Congress to develop a legislative solution to low farm prices that keeps family farmers in business. While the current farm economy and outlook are bleak, the administration and Congress have the tools to protect family farmers over the course of this trade war.” ■ Current as of Sept.14

From the President

Continued from Page 29

goes to the American farmer and rancher. We need relief beyond the package the president put together. When we met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, he said there would be no more aid. That answer is unacceptable. I am currently in conversations with National Farmers Union, asking that they request a new, separate aid package. Make your voice heard In times like these, it is important that we have a voice. Farmers Union gives us a voice. And, I call on all of you to share your story with our South Dakota congressional representatives. We need to share our stories and let them know they have our support to make a difference for South Dakota agriculture. Encourage your banker, neighbors and friends to share their story with our congressional leaders as well.

Doug Sombke President SDFU

30

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Union Farmer

WWW.SDFU.ORG


Union Farmer

THANK YOU SDFU Dear Farmers Union, Thank you for sponsoring the South Dakota Summer Spotlight. We all enjoyed the ice cream and have been using the cups too! Thanks again, Paislee Carlson

Farmers Union signs available Show your Farmers Union spirit with a special Farmers Union sign. Available for a limited time, the sign makes a fun addition to the farm driveway, the side of a barn or even a statement piece in the house. The cost per sign is $10 or free with a 5-year or greater membership to Farmers Union. To get yours today, contact Membership Specialist Pam Evenson at 605-352-6761 ext 116 or at PEvenson@sdfu. org.

COOK’S CORNER

Order Your Own Copy of the Farmers Union Centennial Cookbook

Cookbooks are $10 plus tax and shipping. Contact Pam Evenson, 605-352-6761, ext 116, to place your order today!

Departings James Endres, age 86, of Watertown, passed away April 9, 2018. He is survived by his wife, Maxine, nine children, 24 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. *** John “Jack” Kuyper, 88, of Canistota, passed away May 10, 2018. He is survived by three sisters and many nieces and nephews. Jack also worked at the Farmers Union at Rumpus Ridge. *** Paul “Bud” Kieffer, 89, of Rockerville, passed away July 13, 2018. He is survived by one daughter, two sons, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Cold Vegetarian Pizza

Eleanor Steptoe, Miller, S.D.

2 pkg. crescent rolls 2 (8 oz) cream cheese ¾ c. mayonnaise ¼ c. milk 2 tsp. dill weed 1 ½ tsp. garlic salt Fresh vegetables, chopped Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Press crescent rolls into a jelly roll pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool. Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, milk, dill, and garlic salt. Spread mixture over the crust. Cover with chopped vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, onions, green peppers. Even olives work well for this. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 24 squares. WWW.SDFU.ORG

Union Farmer

4 Ways to Connect With Us! SOUTH DAKOTA FARMERS UNION mail to: sdfu@sdfu.org Like us for updates, photos, news, and so much more. https://www.facebook.com/ South-Dakota-Farmers-Union277721538812/ Follow us for the latest legislative updates and news. https://twitter.com/sdfarmersunion View videos at the South Dakota Farmers Union Channel. https://www.youtube.com/ user/sdfarmersunion

SDFU CLIP AND SAVE CALENDAR October 2018   2 Hand County Harvest Lunch   2 Spink County Harvest Lunch   3 KWAT Harvest Lunch   4 Wolsey Agtegra Harvest Lunch   5 Jerauld County Harvest Lunch   8 State Office Closed, Huron   9 KELO AM Radio Show, Sioux Falls   9 Andover Harvest Lunch, Andover Agtegra 10-12 Western Junior Livestock Show, Rapid City 11-12 S.D. Women in Ag Conference, Deadwood 13 District III Meeting, Watertown 16 Beadle County Harvest Lunch 23 Jr. REAL, Faulkton 24 Jr. REAL, Leola/Frederick 29 Jr. REAL, Gettysburg 30 Jr. REAL, Sully Buttes 31 Jr. REAL, Lyman County November 2018 13-14 State Board Meeting, Huron 15 Livestock Development Summit, Brookings 20 KELO AM Radio Show, Sioux Falls 22-23 State Office Closed, Huron 29-30 State Convention, Pierre December 2018   6-7 CHS Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN 11 KELO AM Radio Show, Sioux Falls 24-26 State Office Closed, Huron

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

31


Aberdeen Aberdeen Bison Bison Britton Brookings Brookings Brookings Buffalo Clark Doland Doland Faulkton Groton Huron Irene Irene Kadoka

Darrel Kessler J.R. Johnson Alan Voller Karen Voller Tom Farber Gary Ray Beth Reams Heidi Fields Jim Erk Lon Reidburn Bonnie Wagner Mark Rozell Dawn Melius J.R. Johnson Blaine Anderson Brendon Hansen Brian Hansen Donna Enders

229-3945 725-3003 244-7431 244-7431 448-5150 692-6735 690-3018 881-2830 375-3311 532-3299 635-6511 635-6511 598-6570 725-3003 352-2130 263-2121 263-3342 837-2144

Lemmon Marion Menno Mitchell Piedmont Pierre Rapid City Rapid City Rapid City Sioux Falls Sisseton Spearfish Sturgis Watertown Webster Webster Winner Yankton

Carrie Derschan Kevin Albrecht Brendon Hansen Ryan Leischner Ce Faulkner Mefferd Agency Black Hills Agency Kasey Keller Lewis Agency Jeff Nord Erica Steiner Sabers Agency Scott Sabers Todd Nichols Debbie Baumgarn Larry Baumgarn Jeremy Clay James Murphy

374-3462 941-0650 387-5555 996-9651 737-0463 224-4123 342-5555 343-4213 342-3585 338-5302 698-7316 642-8870 347-4507 886-9683 345-2640 345-2640 842-1556 664-2121

Sept. October 2018 Union Farmer  
Sept. October 2018 Union Farmer  
Advertisement