SDDP moves to support the creation of the DANR

The SDDP board of directors during yesterday’s board meeting officially took a position of supporting the merger of the Department of Ag with the DENR to create a new department the Department of Ag and Natural Resources.  The agenda item included lengthy and rigorous discussion with the farmer led board debating a variety of views on the merger and potential impacts.  At the conclusion of the discussion, consensus was reached to take the position of support.

The letter of support was also used to position dairy as significantly impactful to economic development in South Dakota and also instill that dairy and all farmers are environmental leaders and part of the solution moving forward in conservation and sustainability efforts.

Still to this point, many of the concerns in the agriculture community revolve around limited early communication on what the merger means for farmers and a lingering concern regarding the transition of business development out of the former Department of Agriculture.  These points were thoroughly discussed during the meeting.  In the end, several positives were identified and also a commitment that SDDP would continue to lead an effort to identify a leading point person for an advocacy role for production agriculture whether this position was in government administration or a leader established by collaboration with commodity organizations and other businesses invested in agriculture.

By taking a lead position of support, South Dakota Dairy feels that dairy is now and will continue to be a priority with state leaders.  Recent communication with state officials gives indication that they better understand that dairy is one of, if not the fasted production agriculture sector in growth for South Dakota and the dairy voice is being heard. 

Because there was concern over the limited communication leading up to the merger from the state, the SDDP board felt it was critical to inform the membership not just of the position of support but also include an offer to answer questions producers have on the merger.  Please contact myself or any board member you have connections with regarding this position.