Cooperatives Remain Relevant to South DakotansBy Doug Sombke, President SDFU, October 9, 2018 Supporting the cooperative mission by providing policy support as well as cooperative education to rural youth has been a large focus of South Dakota Farmers Union for more than a century. It continues today because cooperatives remain relevant to South Dakota's rural communities, farmers and ranchers, serving as a lifeline to technology, electricity, water and many necessary products and services. Because cooperative boards are made up of members, elected by the members, member/owners' needs are heard, understood and addressed. Unlike a corporate model, where the bottom line is often the only consideration, cooperatives remain a fair platform where members' interests are come first. Annual meetings are open to members and our vote counts. And, because cooperatives are member-owned, the more business done at the cooperative, the greater the share in profits. Which also means, even during tough times, we all share the burden - spreading the risk and better insuring today's cooperatives are around to serve us into the future.