Farmers, ranchers and ethanol supporters advocate for agriculture in Pierre
HURON, S.D. — More than 65 farmers, ranchers and ethanol supporters gathered in Pierre on Feb. 19 to advocate for agriculture and issues impacting the families and communities which support our South Dakota’s number one industry as part of South Dakota Farmers Union 2019 Legislative Day.
“For more than a century, our organization has worked to ensure South Dakota’s family farmers and ranchers’ voices are heard by state and national policymakers,” said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union president and fourth-generation Conde farmer. “Grassroots policy development is a large focus of South Dakota Farmers Union, and it’s the reason, many of our more than 16,000 members belong to this organization.”
Truthful labeling of petri-dish protein, support for rural, elder care facilities, industrial hemp and E30 top the list of topics the group discussed with legislators.
“Legislative Session is when we need to have our voice heard, because this is when decisions are made. There are several new legislators, recently elected, who we need to get to know. It’s important that they have the opportunity to meet farmers and ranchers to learn about their farming or ranching operations, so they can gain a clear understanding of how the decisions they make in Pierre impact our lives and livelihoods,” Sombke said. “And, like when I first started out in early 80s, times are tough again in agriculture. Our legislators need to gain an understanding of what ‘tough’ means, and, learn what they can do to help us.”
February 19 proclaimed E30 Day in South Dakota
South Dakota Farmers Union invited Glacial Lakes Energy Cooperative members and supporters to join them at the Capitol today, to thank Governor Noem for her dedication to the state’s ethanol industry. During her State of the State Address, Noem committed to fueling the state’s fleet with E30. And, during the Legislative Session Governor Noem proclaimed February 19 E30 Day in South Dakota.
For decades, South Dakota Farmers Union has advocated in Pierre and D.C. for policies supporting higher ethanol blends because of its positive impact on South Dakota’s agriculture economy, air quality and the fact this clean-burning fuel, enhances fuel octane levels, therefore E30 replaces the need for carcinogenic octane boosters.
“Farmers Union has been a strong partner in helping us advocate for higher ethanol blends because it’s good for South Dakota’s family farmers, ranchers and rural communities. And, let’s not overlook the clean air and health benefits,” explained Jim Seurer, CEO Glacial Lakes Energy Cooperative, pointing to a recent study conducted by the consulting group Life Cycle Associates, and commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association that finds greenhouse gas reductions from the use of biofuels has exceeded what the U.S. EPA has predicted by 37 percent.
To learn more about SDFU and the organization’s advocacy, visit www.SDFU.org.