South Dakota Farm Bureau directors gather for board meeting

Farm Forum

Huron — The South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) Board of Directors gathered for a meeting in Fort Pierre on January 26.

Four new appointments were made to the SDFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee including John and Megan Shubeck, District I; Riley and Kiley Schwader, District II; Tom and Katie VanderWal, District III; and Charles and Heather Maude, District VI.

The directors discussed legislative issues with Mike Held, SDFB lobbyist. Held says the numerous provisions for funds to improve public highways and bridges conflict with SDFB policy. However, SDFB does support the Governor’s proposal with the condition that the 2 cents per year increase in road fuel tax has a sunset.

“The directors voted to support the Kansas Farm Bureau involving the consequences of the Lesser Prairie Chicken being put on the endangered species list,” said Wayne Smith, SDFB executive director.

Closer to home, the statewide wetland mitigation banking or exchange project was discussed by the directors.

“The wetland mitigation banking project is being funded in part by the Conservation Innovation Grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service,” said Smith. “The SDFB is contracting with EcoAsset to help with this project.”

Smith added that there is some opposition to the State Off Sight Methods for delineation of wetlands.

“Incorrect use of color tone must be corrected before support will be considered,” said Smith. “Comments by members have been encouraged.”

In other news, the directors are exploring ways to build the principal of the SDFB Scholarship Foundation, which offers $1,000 scholarships to student members. The SDFB Scholarship Foundation is managed by the South Dakota Community Foundation. Scholarship applications are due March 15.

Another application deadline that is closely approaching is for the Leopold Conservation Award, which is March 6. All members are encouraged to apply.

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