Our Voice: Ranking new opportunity for South Dakota

Farm Forum

South Dakota has been ranked as the top state for business by CNBC.

That is great news for the state. To get nationwide recognition such as this should cause all businesses seeking a first or new home to ask one question:

Why South Dakota?

This is important because most businesses might not have even viewed South Dakota as an option. We live here and know how good it is to do business in this state.

A new door of opportunity has now opened for our state. And the best news is that it opened free of charge and it is someone other than ourselves singing our state’s praises.

Hopefully, we can make a lot of hay out of this while the sun is shining.

It comes with challenges, such as keeping up with competitive wages, housing and infrastructure. That’s what builds and maintains a strong workforce, which is needed to be efficient and successful at business.

This is the first time South Dakota has been ranked No. 1, according to

The ratings were based on cost of doing business, economy, infrastructure, workforce, quality of life, technology and innovation, business friendliness, education, cost of living and access to capital.

South Dakota’s point total was the highest since CNBC began keeping score in 2007.

The second best state for business was Texas, while North Dakota was third. Rounding out the top five were Nebraska at fourth and Utah and Virginia tied for fifth.

School board election Tuesday

The Aberdeen Public Board of Education election is Tuesday.

There are three candidates for two open seats: Todd Kolden and incumbents Linda Burdette and Duane Alm. The election had to be moved from June 4 to July 16.

That change was made because the district failed to post a notice of vacancy for the open seats. The mistake will cost the district between $10,000 and $15,000, as well as force the city to pay a bit more for the cost of the election June 4.

We hope whoever is elected Tuesday can help prevent such a costly mistake in the future. The devil is in the details, so attention must be paid to these little things, before they come big things.

We also hope voters will turn out for the election.

Food stamp program is a sensitive issue

Earlier this week, the U.S. House passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending.

The GOP leaders scrambled to get the bill to the floor Thursday and gather enough votes this week after making a decision to drop a politically sensitive food stamp section of the bill and pass legislation that contained only farm programs.

The plan faced opposition from Democrats, farm groups and conservative groups. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia navigated his colleagues to a 216-208 vote by convincing Republican members that this was the best chance to get the bill passed.

Maybe it is time to break up the farm bill and move some things out, and let the bill stand on its merits.

Dropping things to get a bill passed is not always the best plan, however.

Has the food stamp portion been a deterrent to getting the farm bill passed, or has it helped coalesce support that the bill might not get so readily in years when government spending and subsidies are so scrutinized?