News

30-For-30 Celebrates Home-Grown, Renewable Fuel in Pierre

July 28, 2016

South Dakota Farmers will be hosting a 30-For-30 event at Cowboy Country Store in Pierre (1619 N. Harrison Ave) August 3, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the benefits of fueling up with Premium E30.

 During the 30-For-30 event, drivers receive .30 cents for every gallon of Premium E30 purchased.

Fueling up with 30 percent blend of ethanol not only saves folks money, but it supports South Dakota's family farmers who market their corn to the state's many ethanol plants," explained Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.

 Sombke adds, "Premium E30 gives drivers of all makes and models a higher octane, renewable fuel resulting in increased fuel economy without the dangers of Benzene, a carcinogenic used to increase octane levels."

 Since the beginning, South Dakota Farmers Union has been a strong advocate for the ethanol industry. "We're a grassroots organization who is focused on supporting family farmers and ranchers," explains Kecia Beranek, SDFU Communications Specialist.

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Last Modified: 07/28/2016 8:19:47 am MDT


Farmers Union State Leadership Camp Promotes Friends, Self Confidence, Leadership & Cooperative Education

July 27, 2016

South Dakota Farmers Union State Leadership Camp is a summer tradition for Jonah Murtha, 17. 

 Since he was 12, the Parkston High School senior has made the trek west to Storm Mountain Center just outside Rapid City to spend a week engaged in hands-on cooperative education, personal leadership development and reconnecting with friends he has made from across South Dakota.

 "The people I have met here have become life-long friends," explains Murtha, who gained leadership experience serving as president of the camp's coffee cooperative. "Leadership camp has also given me a better understanding of cooperatives. I think they are very interesting because they help solve problems and provide necessities to rural communities."

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Last Modified: 07/27/2016 8:16:36 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Painter Ranch Family

July 25, 2016

South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Painter Ranch Family

By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

Running cattle on Harding County grasslands has been a part of the Painter Family legacy since 1895 when great-grandpa, Lewis Levi Painter, rode the open range as a horse wrangler for the CY Cattle Company of Texas.

“He ran a few cows with the main herd and squatted on this land until about

1910 when he filed homesteading paperwork,” explained Lewis’ great-grandson, Joe Painter, 56.

Like the four generations of Painters before him, Joe continues to run cattle and ride the range along with his wife, Cindy, and their two daughters, Jessica and Joey, and their families. Their son, PJ, 29, works as an attorney in Louisville, Ky.

“Having our kids return to the ranch is the best thing in the world,” says the Harding County rancher. “Otherwise, all those years of working extra hard to buy land and cattle would be for nothing. When you have the kids return home, you have someone to pass it on to and that makes everything worth it.” “It’s what we worked for all our lives,” Cindy adds.

When Joe mentions hard work, he’s not stretching the truth. It was 1983 when he and Cindy returned to ranch fulltime after college. “Interest was 18 to 24 percent. Money was impossible to come by. We didn’t spend a nickel unless it was absolutely necessary,” Joe says. “A neighbor’s ranch came up for sale, $30 an acre, but we had no money to buy it. That’s how tight it was in the 80s.” Cindy shared another example of a time that the bank loaned them money to purchase sheep but then wouldn’t loan them money to buy feed.

To read more click here 

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Last Modified: 07/25/2016 9:28:06 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

July 20, 2016

Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org.

 The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota's agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school.

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Last Modified: 07/20/2016 8:38:54 am MDT


30-For-30 Celebrates Home-Grown, Renewable Fuel

July 5, 2016

South Dakota Farmers will be hosting a 30-For-30 event at the Shell Station in Mitchell (2160 Highland Way) July 14, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  to celebrate the benefits of fueling up with Premium E30.

During the 30-For-30 event, drivers receive .30 cents for every gallon of Premium E30 purchased.

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Last Modified: 07/08/2016 2:14:48 pm MDT


Second Tuesdays Tune In To South Dakota Farmers Union Radio Show

July 1, 2016

Since 1915, South Dakota Farmers Union provides a voice to the states family farmers and ranchers. The century-old, grassroots organization continues its legacy with a radio show hosted on second Tuesdays during KELO Radio's It's YOUR AgriBusiness Hour (10-11 a.m. CST).

 "We're excited about this opportunity to connect with our consumers," said Doug Sombke SDFU President and fourth-generation Conde farmer. "Consumers are interested in knowing where their food comes from. As the numbers of family farmers and ranchers in our state continues to decline, the need to share our story increases."

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Last Modified: 07/01/2016 1:31:30 pm MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

July 1, 2016

Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at www.sdfufoundation.org.

 The Farmers Union Foundation Scholarship is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota to support South Dakota's agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school.

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Last Modified: 07/01/2016 10:44:12 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Links Farm & Ranch Families to Farm Safety Videos this Summer

June 6, 2016

South Dakota Farmers Union, in conjunction with National Farmers Union is working to raise awareness about farm and ranch safety issues and best practices through a series of 10 educational videos.

 "Farming and ranching is a family business - which means parents and their children are often working together during the summer months. It's great way to promote a healthy work ethic, but we cannot forget that this work can also be dangerous - no matter how old you are," said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President and fourth-generation Conde farmer.

 Sombke currently farms with his sons. He encourages farm and ranch families to take time to watch these videos to increase safety awareness. "We live and work on our farms and ranches, so it's good to have a reminder of the dangers so we can keep ourselves and the ones we love safe," Sombke said.

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Last Modified: 06/06/2016 3:13:53 pm MDT


Reminder South Dakota Farmers Union Golf Tournament is June 21 in Mitchell

June 6, 2016

Farmers Union will host the 2016 Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament June 21, 2016, at the Lakeview Golf Course in Mitchell (3300 N Ohlman St., Mitchell). 

 The tournament will be a four-person, 18-hole scramble. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. (CDT); shotgun start is at 9 a.m.

 All event proceeds benefit Farmers Union Education Camp Programs, Leadership Development Programs, Young Producers Group and Youth Farm Safety Awareness.

 To register a team and or to become a hole sponsor, contact Kecia Beranek, SDFU Communications Specialist at the South Dakota Farmers Union office at 605-352-6761, ext. 113 or kberanek@sdfu.org

Learn more about the Farmers Union Foundation Open Golf Tournament click here. 


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Last Modified: 06/06/2016 10:43:33 am MDT


South Dakota Farmers Union Celebrates the Symens Farm Family

May 23, 2016

South Dakota Farmers Union has served South Dakota farm and ranch families for more than a century. Throughout the year, we share their stories in order to highlight the families who make up our state's number one industry and help feed the world.

 By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

 This month, we're highlighting the Symens family who raise crops, purebred Limousin cattle and a feedlot near Amherst.

 "It's a garden spot ... if we get rain," says Paul Symens, 72, when describing the land his grandpa, Harm Symens, purchased in 1910 near Amherst.

 For more than a century, the Symens family has cared for and farmed the land, which today supports a diverse farming operation that includes cropground, purebred Limousin cattle and a feedlot managed by Paul, his two brothers, Irwin, 80, and John, 69, Irwin's son, Brad, 46, and Paul's son, Warren, 38.

 Since the beginning, rain - the lack of or over-abundance of - has played a significant role in the management decisions made by the Symens family.

 For Harm and his son, Wilbert, the Dust Bowl days made soil conservation and erosion control a focus of their field management.

 Irwin recalls a 1936 story of his dad planting corn in May which didn't sprout until September when it received its FIRST rain ... only to be killed by frost at 6-inches. "That same year dad mowed 160 acres of ground and all that grew was thistles. He stacked the thistles, mixed them with molasses and that's what he fed the cattle. That was the year I was born," says Irwin, who is the second oldest of nine children raised on the farm by Wilbert and his wife, Inga.

 Implementing novel conservation techniques, like tree belts and strip tilling, earned the family some fame when in 1936 Harm was featured in Cappers Farmer magazine under the headline, "Uncommon Effort Won Over Drought."

 Today, the Symens continue the legacy of conservation, managing their fields with minimal-till techniques to increase water infiltration and leaving half of all corn stubble in the field to build organic matter. The stubble removed from fields is used as bedding for cattle. It is then reapplied once it's been utilized as bedding. "At this point it's partially decomposed and has added nutrients of the manure," Warren explains.

 To read more click here.

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Last Modified: 05/23/2016 10:46:44 am MDT