Panelists Discuss the Upcoming Farm Bill During Rural Issues Discussion at the State Fair

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South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) gave rural community members the opportunity to join the conversation on the upcoming Farm Bill during a panel discussion hosted today at the State Fair.

As the 2014 Farm Bill is set to expire in September 2018, farmers and ranchers of South Dakota are left to wonder how the new legislation will impact their own livelihood, public health and local economies. Included in the three-person panel discussing these concerns were S.D. Farmers Union President Doug Sombke, National Farmers Union Government Relations Representative Matt Perdue and S.D. Farmers Union Vice President, Wayne Soren.

  "As the biggest agriculture fair in South Dakota, the State Fair is a great place to host this discussion because it brings people together from all over the state," Doug Sombke, SDFU President explained. "SDFU knows how much the new Farm Bill will impact the farmers and ranchers we represent. To be a better voice for them, we have to hear their concerns and the issues facing their operations."

 Sombke expressed the importance of discussions that let individuals voice their experiences, needs and concerns with previous and upcoming Farm Bills.

 "As the Farm Bill is being developed, new issues arise," said Sombke. "This panel is a great opportunity to discuss what was good in the last farm bill and what needs to be better in the next Farm Bill.  People are also given a great opportunity to speak directly to our state representatives." 

 Sombke was joined in discussion by Matt Perdue, National Farmers Union Government Relations Representative.

 "We have to communicate to Congress that the 2018 Farm Bill should be written to meet the needs of farmers, ranchers and consumers and not based on arbitrary budget cuts," Perdue said.

 Rural Issues Discussion

Prior to the 2017 State Fair, S.D. Farmers Union hosted several Rural Issues Discussions with family farmers and ranchers in rural communities across the state. For more information on the upcoming events and Farm Bill, visit

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