NFU Says USDA Can Make Any Necessary Changes Necessary to Bring COOL into Compliance with Today's Mixed WTO Ruling

October 21, 2014

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the Oct. 20, 2014 ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) can be handled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and reminded lawmakers of the strong support by the public and in rural America for the popular labeling law.

"American consumers want to know where their food comes from, and America's family farmers and ranchers are proud to provide that information," said Johnson. "Nothing about today's ruling changes that rudimentary fact."

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Last Modified: 10/21/2014 8:09:15 am MDT

Celebrate South Dakota's Cooperatives: Member-owned & Member Led for Almost a Century

October 14, 2014

For many of South Dakota's rural communities, cooperatives have served as a lifeline to technology, products and services which have allowed local farmers, ranchers and businesses to grow and thrive.

"Co-ops have played an important role in our state's progress," explains Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. "When companies didn't want to invest in the infrastructure necessary to bring electricity, telephone service, fuel and agriculture inputs to the countryside, our state's farmers and ranchers banded together to form member-owned cooperatives."

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Last Modified: 10/14/2014 7:40:25 am MDT

SDFU Supports Sen. Johnson in Efforts to Protect COOL

October 9, 2014

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke credits Sen. Tim Johnson for his role in protecting Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

"Since the beginning, Sen. Johnson has been a champion for South Dakota's livestock producers who depend on COOL to inform consumers on where their meat comes from," said Sombke.

As the bill's original author, Sen. Johnson was instrumental in getting it passed. Today, despite repeated attempts by opponents of COOL to repeal the program during consideration of the farm bill, Johnson remains successful in maintaining the current statute in the final bill.

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Last Modified: 10/09/2014 7:40:41 am MDT

Yellow Dime Day Celebrates South Dakota's Ethanol Industry

October 8, 2014

Locally produced, ethanol is a clean, renewable fuel which saves consumers nearly 30 cents per gallon at the pump compared to petroleum's unleaded.

"That's a savings of nearly $120 million annually," explains Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. "Ethanol eliminates cancer-causing benzene and in the case of E-30, provides better performance. This is a product that is better for you, the environment and South Dakota's farming community."

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Last Modified: 10/08/2014 12:12:16 pm MDT

SDFU Hosts National Farmers Union Education Meeting

October 7, 2014

South Dakota Farmers Union recently hosted the National Farmers Union Education Meeting in their state office in Huron. 

The two-day conference focused on educational programming topics as well as provided Education Directors from across the nation with an opportunity to share their best practices and discuss ways to overcome challenges. 

"We learn a lot from each other," explained Bonnie Geyer, S.D. Farmers Union Education Director and the event's coordinator. "Although each of our state education programs is unique, we all share the same focus - which is to provide rural youth with leadership and cooperative educational programming that is fun and captures their attention year after year."

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Last Modified: 10/07/2014 8:13:35 am MDT

National Farmers Union Awards Sen. Tim Johnson with Golden Triangle Award

September 19, 2014

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, presented Sen. Tim Johnson with the Golden Triangle Award on behalf of National Farmers Union (NFU) during the NFU Fly-In held in D.C. Sept. 8-10, 2014.

"It is truly an honor to recognize Sen. Johnson for his leadership and support of policies that benefit America's family farmers and ranchers," Sombke said. "This is not the first time Sen. Johnson has been recognized by National Farmers Union with this award, but since he is retiring, sadly, it will be the last."

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Last Modified: 09/19/2014 8:52:56 am MDT

NFU Praises Bipartisan Senate STB Reform Bill Introduction

September 15, 2014

National Farmers Union (NFU) praised Sens. Thune (R-SD) and Rockefeller (D-WV) for the introduction of a bipartisan bill that would improve the functioning of the Surface Transportation Board and ensure that the agency is more responsive to the needs of its many customers.

“I commend Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Thune for addressing this important issue on behalf of our family farmers and their cooperatives’ shipping commodities,” said Doug Sombke, chairman of NFU’s legislative committee and president of South Dakota Farmers Union. “After several STB hearings throughout the past year it's extremely gratifying to know STB and the U.S. Congress are listening to our concerns,” he said.

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Last Modified: 09/15/2014 11:41:37 am MDT

South Dakotans Heading to Washington Sept. 6-10 for National Farmers Union Fly-In

September 2, 2014

More than two dozen South Dakotans will travel to the Nation's capital Sept. 6-10 to visit with lawmakers about issues important to South Dakota's farmers and ranchers.

South Dakota Farmers Union members will join with hundreds of agriculture producers from across the nation as part of the National Farmers Union 2014 Fly-In.

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Last Modified: 09/02/2014 10:34:41 am MDT

South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates Local Heroes with Rural Dakota Pride Awards

September 2, 2014

Today South Dakota Farmers Union recognized five South Dakotans for giving back to their rural communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award.

"One survives with the other," said Karla Hofhenke, South Dakota Farmers Union Executive Director, of the integral connection between those who work in South Dakota's number one industry and their rural communities. "Without thriving communities, it's difficult to encourage young people to return to their family's farm or ranch. Rural communities are key to the future of South Dakota's agriculture industry; which is why we like to recognize those individuals who help them thrive."

Selected through a nomination process, the 2014 Rural Dakota Pride Award recipients include: Cindy Wilk, Huron; Jeff Kieser, Wessington Springs; Alan Vedvei, Lake Preston; Nick Nemec, Holabird; and John Wheeting, Groton.

Read on to learn how these individuals contribute to their rural communities.

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Last Modified: 09/02/2014 10:32:11 am MDT

.34 Cents for Lunch! State Fair Farmers Share Luncheon Informs Public on What South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Really Earn

September 2, 2014

Pushing a shopping cart through the grocery aisle, who hasn't felt sticker shock from time to time?

Fairgoers had an opportunity to learn just how much of that price tag South Dakota's farmers and ranchers take home after harvesting the crops or livestock they raise during Saturday's Farmers Share Luncheon hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union during the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.

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Last Modified: 09/02/2014 10:22:12 am MDT