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.
This month, we’re highlighting the Greenway family who raise crops and operate a wean-to-finish hog and cow/calf operation near Mitchell.
By Lura Roti for SDFU
A $200 scholarship from the Davison County Pork Producers in 1984 launched Mitchell farmer, Brad Greenway, on an ag advocacy journey which has placed him in front of thousands of consumers coast-to-coast and around the world sharing his story.
“That scholarship got me involved,” explains the third-generation pork producer.
Brad’s engagement in Davison County Pork Producers motivated him to become active in the S.D. Pork Producers Council (he served as president from 2005-2007), as well as the National Pork Board and the advocacy training program called Operation Main Street.
After providing Brad with training on how to share his farm’s story and how to put together presentations, Operation Main Street took the legwork out of advocacy by scheduling speaking engagements with local civic organizations, dietetic groups, county commissioners, and schools, as well as national and international sharing opportunities.
Since he started sharing his story in 2005, Brad has presented to more than115 groups.
Brad explains that putting a face to the food produced makes all the difference.
“I spoke to a big anti-ag/anti-big ag group, and following my presentation a woman in the back stood up to say that after hearing me speak, she trusted me when I said that animal comfort is a priority for us and we take care of our pigs. Then she asked, ‘How do I know that other farmers are doing the same thing?’ This is why advocacy is so important.”
“Even though we're very busy, it's important for farmers to share with consumers how we are growing food and why we do what we do," explains Peggy, who makes time to post photos on Facebook and Twitter as well as serve as a spokeswoman with Soybean Council’s Common Ground advocacy group.
“Terms like ‘factory farming’ are put on farms like ours because of misperceptions. We need to dispel myths and remind consumers that 98 percent of all farms are still family-owned.”
Brad adds that even farmers and ranchers who don’t feel they have the time or feel comfortable presenting, can do their part by making sure their neighbors and friends understand what they do on the farm. “Zoning issues come up because our neighbors simply don’t know what is going on,” Brad says.
He adds, “Today there is such a disconnect among consumers as each generation is farther removed from the farm. Even here in South Dakota - we drive 8 miles off the farm to Mitchell and there are plenty who don’t know what we are doing here on the farm.”
Brad and Peggy have a lot to share. To learn more about the Greenway family and view a video as well as an online photo gallery, click here.
Twenty-six family farmers, ranchers and Farmers Union members from South Dakota joined with some 275 farmers and ranchers from across the nation in Washington D.C. for the National Farmers Union (NFU) Fall Legislative Fly-In Sept. 12-14, 2016.
"We are facing some challenging times on farms and ranches across South Dakota right now. This Fly-In provides an excellent opportunity for those of us who are actively involved in the day-to-day operations on our farms and ranches to visit with Congressional leaders about the issues we face and ways they can provide support," explained Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.
The annual event allows Farmers Union members from across the country to meet directly with lawmakers, USDA leaders and other administration officials to discuss issues important to family farmers and ranchers.
On Election Day 2016 South Dakota voters will have an opportunity to vote for fair elections by voting 'yes' for Amendment T.
Amendment T is a ballot measure sponsored by #SDRightThing2Do Coalition which South Dakota Farmers Union supports. Amendment T puts voters back in charge of their elections, explains Matt Sibley, South Dakota Farmers Union Legislative Specialist during a panel discussion hosted by the agriculture organization today at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
Fair food is known for its tempting aromas - not its bargain prices. Today however, more than 1,000 fairgoers filled their bellies for just a $1 during the South Dakota Farmers Union Farmers Share Luncheon held at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
The hearty meal, consisting of a pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, potato chips and milk, is designed by Farmers Union to clearly demonstrate to fairgoers how much of the grocery store price tag South Dakota's farmers and ranchers take home after harvesting the crops or livestock they raise.
Each year, South Dakota Farmers Union recognizes individuals who give back to their communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Today, during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair, the following South Dakotans were recognized:
Bryan Breitling, Miller; Doug Edwards, South Hand County; Sharon Wilson, Black Hawk and Tim Pravecek, Winner.
McCook Central FFA Chapter won the championship round of the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held today during Farmers Union Day at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron.
McCook Central FFA Chapter is one of four FFA Chapters which placed in the Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl held in conjunction with the 2016 South Dakota State FFA Convention this April in Brookings.
Team members of the McCook Central FFA Chapter include: Cole Grasma, Melissa Lauck, Jordan Scheier and Leslie Kolbeck: Other FFA Chapters who competed and their team members include: Viborg/Hurley FFA Chapter, team members include: Alison Knutson, Logan Slack, Abby Hora and Annie Wirth: Sunshine Bible FFA Chapter, team members include; Chris Hass, Evan Lopez, Shelby Belmare and Titus Deal: and the Lyman FFA Chapter, team members include; Sage Mowery, Conrad Mohr-Eymer, Eli Fanning and Grant Stewart.