South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke, applauds the U.S. Court of Appeals for its support of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).
"The denial by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to the petition submitted by the multinational meat packers for a rehearing and supplemental relief on its challenge to enforcement of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) shows their continued support for farmers, ranchers and consumers," said Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde, S.D. farmer.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said the Oct. 20, 2014 ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) can be handled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and reminded lawmakers of the strong support by the public and in rural America for the popular labeling law.
"American consumers want to know where their food comes from, and America's family farmers and ranchers are proud to provide that information," said Johnson. "Nothing about today's ruling changes that rudimentary fact."
For many of South Dakota's rural communities, cooperatives have served as a lifeline to technology, products and services which have allowed local farmers, ranchers and businesses to grow and thrive.
"Co-ops have played an important role in our state's progress," explains Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. "When companies didn't want to invest in the infrastructure necessary to bring electricity, telephone service, fuel and agriculture inputs to the countryside, our state's farmers and ranchers banded together to form member-owned cooperatives."
South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke credits Sen. Tim Johnson for his role in protecting Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).
"Since the beginning, Sen. Johnson has been a champion for South Dakota's livestock producers who depend on COOL to inform consumers on where their meat comes from," said Sombke.
As the bill's original author, Sen. Johnson was instrumental in getting it passed. Today, despite repeated attempts by opponents of COOL to repeal the program during consideration of the farm bill, Johnson remains successful in maintaining the current statute in the final bill.
Locally produced, ethanol is a clean, renewable fuel which saves consumers nearly 30 cents per gallon at the pump compared to petroleum's unleaded.
"That's a savings of nearly $120 million annually," explains Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union. "Ethanol eliminates cancer-causing benzene and in the case of E-30, provides better performance. This is a product that is better for you, the environment and South Dakota's farming community."
South Dakota Farmers Union recently hosted the National Farmers Union Education Meeting in their state office in Huron.
The two-day conference focused on educational programming topics as well as provided Education Directors from across the nation with an opportunity to share their best practices and discuss ways to overcome challenges.
"We learn a lot from each other," explained Bonnie Geyer, S.D. Farmers Union Education Director and the event's coordinator. "Although each of our state education programs is unique, we all share the same focus - which is to provide rural youth with leadership and cooperative educational programming that is fun and captures their attention year after year."