Governor introduces new S.D. Ag Ambassador

Farm Forum

“This Ag Summit is a unique opportunity to share ideas, reflect on the past year and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the industry and to look forward to what is ahead,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in welcoming those attending the S.D. Governor’s Ag Summit, this year held in Deadwood.

“Agriculture is vital to the future development of the state of South Dakota,” Daugaard said. “Ag is bedrock of the economy, the touchstone of the future.”

He noted that for the families who work the land, ag is more than a job, it’s a passion and a lifestyle that defines the state. Despite the 2012 drought, the ice storm last spring, Winter Storm Atlas, floods and tornadoes affecting fields and farms and homes, those in South Dakota continue to persevere.

Daugaard reported that in the last five years, the state’s economy has grown by 25 percent, led by the strong ag industry.

The state exports more than $3.6 billion of products, led by Canada and Mexico, with China offering the largest area of potential growth. He said that China has the untapped potential to benefit the state’s producers. The state will continue to develop relationships, as the country is interested in learning and providing new markets in China.

“I believe the future of ag is bright,” Daugaard said. He said he was struck by the staying power of words written in the FFA creed in 1928. One of the optimistic paragraphs refers to “better days through better ways.” Daugaard said, “That’s even more relevant today than it was in 1928.”

Daugaard introduced this year’s Ag Ambassador, Brad Greenway of Mitchell.

“I have to say that I love doing what I’m doing,” Greenway said. “I love being part of the farm. Thinking back, I got started with a scholarship from the S.D. Pork Council for $200. Then they put me on the council for the next 30 years. But it was very much appreciated. It got me involved in the pork business and speaking out.”

Since then he’s been a part of Operation Mainstreet, going out to talk to people about what we do in agriculture. He said those conversations go a long way in providing understanding of the industry.