News

Youth Develop Leadership Skills during South Dakota Farmers Union 2015 State Leadership Camp

July 30, 2015

Rural youth from 27 counties across South Dakota attended the 2015 South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp held at Storm Mountain Center just outside Rapid City.


 During the week-long camp, youth who have completed the seventh grade through high school developed leadership and communication skills as they organized and operated five cooperative businesses.

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Last Modified: 07/30/2015 11:33:51 am MDT


S.D. Farmers Union President says Proposed New Language Ventures too Far from Policy of Country of Origin Labeling

July 24, 2015

New language tied to today's Transportation Funding Bill could dramatically impact the strength of current Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislation, said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President and a Conde, S.D. farmer.

 

"The new language diminishes COOL's ability to protect American consumers - it basically means that retailers no longer need to label where meat comes from," explained Sombke, of the language introduced by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Hoeven (R-ND) and tied to today's Transportation Funding Bill.

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Last Modified: 07/24/2015 7:07:59 am MDT


S.D. Attorney General's Office Provides S.D. Farmers Union with Title & Explanation Ahead of Schedule

July 15, 2015

Today, the S.D. Attorney General's Office provided South Dakota Farmers Union Board of Directors with the title and explanation language for the Constitutional Amendment addressing Legislative Redistricting.

 

Board members are pleased with the prompt response of the Attorney General's office in processing their request ahead of schedule.

 

"Now is the time to act," said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President. "A nonpartisan, Redistricting Commission empowers voters allowing them to choose their legislators, not the other way around. With the guidelines established in the Constitutional Amendment, this new commission will end the harmful practice of gerrymandering and restore voter participation in South Dakota."

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Last Modified: 07/15/2015 10:10:27 am MDT


Three South Dakota Teens Receive National Office within National Farmers Union

July 6, 2015

Three South Dakota teens were selected to serve on Farmers Union National Youth Advisory Council during the 2015 National Farmers Union All States Leadership Camp held in Bailey, Colo. this June.

 The students include: Jesse Carlson, 17, a Faulkton High School senior and son of Scott and Amy Carlson; Kiana Brockel, 19, a graduate of Bison High School and the daughter of Kelvin and Jean Brockel; and Alexandra Farber, 18, a graduate of Britton-Hecla High School and daughter of Tom and Lori Farber.

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Last Modified: 07/07/2015 8:55:40 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Extremely Disappointed With APHIS Decision to Allow Importation of Beef from Areas with Foot and Mouth Disease

June 30, 2015

South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, joins with the National Farmers Union organization in stating his extreme disappointment over the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) decision to allow importation of fresh and chilled beef from regions of Brazil and Argentina which have a history of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

 "I cannot imagine how APHIS could make such a ruling. This move has potentially devastating consequences for American family farmers and ranchers," said Sombke, also a fourth-generation Conde cattle producer. "I have toured these countries and witnessed first-hand how their health standards fall short of the health standards required of, and implemented by, U.S. cattle producers.

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Last Modified: 07/07/2015 8:43:19 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union joins with National Farmers Union Assures Senate There Remains a Viable Path Forward to Save The Law, Satisfy WTO

June 15, 2015


 South Dakota Farmers Union is disappointed with the June 10 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

 "The National Farmers Union President said it best, this was a 'disappointing, knee-jerk overreaction'" said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President, quoting NFU President, Roger Johnson.

 Moving forward, Sombke urges the U.S. Senate to continue its thoughtful handling of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute. "We are working with Rep. Noem to ensure that our members, South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and consumers don't lose COOL completely," Sombke said. "We are positioning ourselves to fight another day - which is better than having no ground for COOL at all.

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Last Modified: 07/07/2015 8:56:35 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Kolousek Farm Family

June 8, 2015

South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Kolousek Farm Family

Celebrating a century of service to South Dakota's farm and ranch families, throughout 2015, South Dakota Farmers Union will highlight members who farm or ranch with their families each month. For the months of May and June, South Dakota Farmers Union features the Kolousek family who raise cattle and farm near Wessington Springs.

 by Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

Shadowing an engineer for a few days his sophomore year of college was all the exposure Scott Kolousek needed to realize he would be happier building a career on his family's Wessington Springs cattle and crop farm.

"That experience saved me a lot of time pursuing the wrong degree. I quickly figured out that I didn't want an office job, so I switched degrees and graduated with a General Agriculture degree from South Dakota State University," says the fifth generation farmer.

His dad, Dick, also an SDSU graduate, can relate. In 1976, he returned to farm with his dad, Pete, and brother, Raymond. "I enjoy the independence farming provides. I'm able to make my own decisions, work in the fresh air and watch crops and calves grow - this has been a good career for me - so much better than an office job."

Click here to read more

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Last Modified: 06/08/2015 12:02:03 pm MDT


South Dakota Sheep Producers Raise High Quality Wool & Improve Rangeland

June 8, 2015

South Dakota Sheep Producers Raise High Quality Wool & Improve Rangeland

By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union

"There is nothing cuter than a baby lamb," Tammy Basel says as she tears down the last of her lambing pens and walks through a cloud of newly shorn ewes surrounded by their babies.

Following in the footsteps of her grandmother, homesteader, Carrie Wilcox Funell, the fourth-generation South Dakota sheep producer, grew up caring for the flock, which, along with quality meat, has been bred to produce superior wool. "The wool from my sheep is the finest quality and is used for military uniforms - I guess that's one way I give back to my country is through the wool I produce for uniforms."


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Last Modified: 07/07/2015 8:45:17 am MDT


Farmers Union Camp Prepares Generations of Leaders

June 8, 2015

 Farmers Union Camp Prepares Generations of Leaders

 Growing up, chores and fieldwork kept Lorrie Hanson busy on his family's Claremont farm during the summer months. Farmers Union Camp was one of the few exceptions.

 

"I couldn't wait for camp. I developed friendships I still have today; plus, as I got more involved and served on the Junior Advisory Council, I gained valuable leadership skills which have served me well as an adult and single dad," explains the 37-year-old father of five.

 


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Last Modified: 06/08/2015 10:28:13 am MDT


Farmers Union Urges Noem to Speak Out Against Repeal of COOL

June 4, 2015

Farmers Union Urges Noem to Speak Out Against Repeal of COOL

 

A bill to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) is expected to be on the House floor next week. South Dakota Farmers Union urges Representative Kristi Noem to speak out against the repeal of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

 "For the rights of South Dakota's farmers, ranchers and consumers, we ask Noem to take a stand and speak out, on the House floor, against the House Bill that would repeal COOL," said Doug Sombke, South Dakota Farmers Union President and a fourth-generation Conde cattle producer.

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Last Modified: 07/07/2015 12:55:33 pm MDT