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Camps Emphasize Cooperating for a Brighter Tomorrow

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As S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) enters its 84th camping season its focus remains the same. Priority is placed on shaping the leaders of tomorrow, fostering engagement in rural communities and introducing youth to the many opportunities in agriculture. 

 "Camp is a place where kids can come to learn and grow as leaders in an engaging positive atmosphere," said Rachel Haigh-Blume, S.D. Farmers Union Education Director. "The lessons they learn today will stick with them for years to come as they take on leadership roles in their communities and future careers."

 SDFU hosts nearly 50 camps across the state each year for children ages 5 to 18. These camps work to fulfill a vital purpose for the future of rural communities by educating children on agriculture careers that often help them return home to their rural communities.   

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2018 S.D. Farmers Union Young Producer Event to be Held in Sioux Falls July 13-14

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Farmers, ranchers and their spouses are invited to the 2018 S.D. Farmers Union Young Producer Event to be held in Sioux Falls July 13 and 14 at no cost to members and $50 to non-members.

 "This event is one of the best programs we sponsor," says Chad Johnson, 45, a crop and cattle farmer and District 7 board member.

 Johnson shares how the Young Producers Event he and his wife, Michelle, attended a few years back made a positive and lasting impact on their family farm. During the event, they listened to an expert discuss farm and ranch transition and estate planning. After the event, Johnson invited the speaker to his farm to visit with his dad and mom.

 "Prior to the event, every time I brought up the topic of a transition plan with my parents, my dad would get uncomfortable and change the subject. It was kind of taboo," Johnson explains. "After we learned about the tax ramifications of not having a plan, we shared those with Dad and he was open to a discussion."

 More discussions and official paperwork followed. "We had our succession plan set up and some wills drawn up in case something happened," Johnson says. "It was a good thing too, because my dad passed away this July of cancer. I'm glad we had those talks out of the way, and out in the open with the family ahead of time, so we didn't have to worry."

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Celebrate Farm & Ranch Moms this Mother's Day

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As we reflect on the women who raised us this Mother's Day, South Dakota Farmers Union would like to celebrate the many women who support the state's No. 1 industry - farm and ranch moms!

 by Lura Roti for SDFU

"It's such a short time in their life and yours when you get to be with your kids and have an influence in their life. It feels like you blink and they are grown."

Karli McCance, Dallas, South Dakota, farm wife, and small business owner, mother of three, exchange mom to three    

 The more the merrier" would be a good phrase to describe Karli McCance's take on children.

 "The more kids around the better," McCance says. She explains that when her mostly grown children were young, many of their friends would want to spend time out in the country so, there were always a lot of kids hanging out on the family's Dallas farm.

 In fact, for several years, the McCance family welcomed exchange students through Education First. "Hosting an exchange student gives you a bond from across the world and brings other cultures into your home - we have gained several family members for life," says McCance, who serves as the local exchange coordinator, helping place students from other countries with families in their community.

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Current Farm Bill Doesn't Work For Farmers

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Column by Doug Sombke, President of S.D. Farmers Union 

 As South Dakota family farmers and ranchers we work each day to feed the families of millions of Americans. And yet, when I review our current Farm Bill, I am disappointed because it does not provide the protections we need to ensure that in disaster we are able to earn enough to feed our own families.

 Although many throughout the agriculture industry agree, some are afraid to say anything because they don't want changes to the current Farm Bill to take away what minimal protections are in place.

 I call on all of us to EXPECT MORE OF OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry and critical to our nation's national security. South Dakota Farmers Union, together with National Farmers Union calls upon our elected officials to create a Farm Bill that supports the population it is intended to serve.

 First, I ask Representative Kristi Noem to VOTE NO on the House farm bill in its current form. Please work to change the Farm Bill to better serve South Dakota's family farmers and ranchers.

 Together with Noem, I also call on South Dakota's Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune to encourage changes to the farm bill so that it does the following:

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SD Farmers Union Celebrates the Gonsoir Ranch Family of Groton

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By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union

 Kristen Gonsoir's first horse was a small, naughty pony a neighbor offloaded for the horse-crazed 5-year-old to love. When its cantankerous nature didn't deter their daughter's affection, Kristen's parents bought her the real deal - a mare named Cinnamon. 

 Kristen trained Cinnamon for 4-H reining competitions and by the time she was 12, the bourgeoning horsewoman was ready to try her hand at horse breeding.

 "I insisted my parents take me to a special equine reproduction clinic at SDSU. Here I was, not quite a teen, in a room full of adults. I took notes and asked questions," recalls the AQHA Professional Horseman, AQHA Specialized Judge, POAc Judge and Quarter Horse breeder. 

 Her parents helped her locate a stallion and Kristen found her calling. 

 "I have always loved horses, but it's the breeding that is my favorite part because it's the science aspect combined with horse aspect," explains the high school chemistry instructor and young grandma, who enjoys sharing her first love with her greatest love - her family - husband, Tim, son, Stan, 29, his wife, Madeleine, and grandson, Dayton, 2, and daughter, Joellen Miller, 22, and her husband, Jordan. "It was fun family time together, whether it's riding together or we're going to a horse show or rodeo." 

To read more, click here

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FFA Youth Team Up for Safety & Win

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Farm safety is not a topic to take lightly, explains high school junior, Peter Rausch.

 "I know from firsthand experience how dangerous working on a farm can be. I lost a friend to a farm accident," says Rausch, who holds his OSHA certification thanks to a course he took as part of his high school's Agriculture Education class. "It is always good to be aware of your surroundings and be as safe as you can for yourself and others."

 Rausch, a member of the Hoven FFA Chapter, was among more than 80 FFA members who participated in the S.D. Farmers Union Team Up for Safety Quiz Bowl during the 2018 S.D. State FFA Convention held in Brookings, April 14-16.

 Hoven FFA Chapter quiz bowl team is one of four that qualified to compete in the championship quiz bowl which will be held at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair during Farmers Union Day.

 The other teams who qualified include the following FFA chapters: Parker FFA, Tri-Valley FFA and Wessington Springs.

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SDFU Now Taking Nominations for 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Awards

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HURON, S.D. - During the Sturgis Rally, Jeff Kreun, the owner of Kreun Kustom, an upholstery shop that specializes in customized motorcycle seats and auto interiors, can be seen visiting with thousands of bike enthusiasts and taking orders. But to Kreun, custom upholstery is more than an income, he also uses his talents to engage teens.

 For several years now, Kreun has been involved in bike build projects designed to spark teens' interest in mechanics. He also helps engineering students from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology with contests.

 When asked why a small business owner makes time to help youth learn the skill of sewing he says, "I guess I see the world around us and most kids have a screen in front of them. I am appalled by this. It's exciting to see kids passionate about something tangible. When I see a kid light up when he creates something with his hands, it reminds me of myself when I was young."

 During the 2017 S.D. State Fair, S.D. Farmers Union (SDFU) recognized Kreun with the Dakota Rural Pride Award. Today, SDFU asks South Dakotans to nominate folks like Kreun, who give back to their communities, for the 2018 Rural Dakota Pride Award. Nominees do not need to be members of SDFU.

 Each year, SDFU recognizes five individuals who give back to their rural communities with the Rural Dakota Pride Award.

 "Rural communities depend on these everyday heroes. They are the people who do what needs to be done," says Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director of South Dakota SDFU.

 As an organization which supports South Dakota farmers and ranchers, Hofhenke explains that SDFU understands the integral connection between those who work in South Dakota's number one industry and their rural communities.

 "One survives with the other," she says. "Without thriving communities, it's difficult to encourage young people to return to their family's farm or ranch. Rural communities are key to the future of South Dakota's agriculture industry; which is why we like to recognize those individuals who help them thrive."

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Times Are Tough on the Farm & Politics Aren't Helping

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HURON, S.D. - Times are tough on South Dakota's family farms and ranches and politics aren't helping, says S.D. Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke.

 "As a farmer, I've been told to get my prices from the market, yet this administration is creating an atmosphere that reduces demand, pushing down prices for my commodities and launching a trade war with one of our largest soybean importers that will further hurt prices. All the while, the protections we do have in the current Farm Bill are being threatened," Sombke says.

 Sombke's comments are a response to the Environmental Protection Agency April 3 decision to exempt one of the nation's largest oil refining companies from complying with the Renewable Fuels Standard regulation, which will have a negative impact on the state's corn producers; the current trade war with China and, a threat made on federally secured crop insurance.

 As president of one of the state's largest agriculture organizations, Sombke visits daily with family farmers and ranchers who make up the state's number one industry of agriculture - and the conversations are discouraging.

 "The farm economy is bad, really bad right now. Farmers are going backwards fast. We need this administration to stop developing policies and strategies that create economic pain for our family farmers and ranchers and their rural communities," says Sombke, who understands what is happening to farmers because He is also a fourth-generation crop and livestock producer whose grown sons now manage the day-to-day activities of the family's Conde farm.

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Lake Area Technical Institute Joins S.D. Farmers Union for College Conference on Cooperatives

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HURON, S.D. - Traditionally, when cooperatives come to mind most people think agriculture. For Bailey Miles and other students attending the College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC) in Minneapolis that is far from the case.

 "This conference reminded me that cooperatives have so much variety and serve so many different purposes," says Miles, who is pursuing a commodity merchandising degree from Lake Area Technical Institute.

 Hosted by National Farmers Union, the three-day seminar works to accomplish just that.

 "Cooperatives play an important role in strengthening rural and urban economies and communities across the country. NFU's CCOC engages tomorrow's agricultural leaders in applying cooperative business principles and learning about opportunities available to them through the cooperative model," says NFU President Roger Johnson.

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S.D. Farmers Union Supports Rural Energy for America Program with Letter of Support

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National, regional and state associations and groups, including South Dakota Farmers Union, have signed on to a letter urging Agriculture Committee leaders and members in both the House and Senate to support the inclusion of the Rural Energy for America (REAP) program with increased or maintained mandatory funding in the next Farm Bill.
 
S.D. Farmers Union President Doug Sombke issued the following statement in support of the program:
 
“REAP has made tremendous impact on South Dakota family farmers, ranchers, small business owners and their ability to produce clean energy, cutting energy cost and stimulating development in previously struggling rural communities. Rural economies are being faced with a multiyear slump in the farm economy, so it is vital optional revenue streams are available to increase farm incomes. Increasing or maintaining REAP helps ensure that the programs benefits will be available to more rural South Dakotan in years to come.”

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S.D. Farmers Union Welcomes Rocky Forman to Serve as Member Services Coordinator

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Rocky Forman recently joined South Dakota Farmers Union as the Member Services Coordinator.

 "We are excited to have Rocky join our team. He has enthusiasm for service to South Dakota's agriculture producers and agribusiness people," says Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director.

 As Member Services Coordinator, Forman will organize the S.D. Farmers Union Young Producers Program, facilitate Farm Safety Trailer programming and engage in other outreach programming for members and non-members throughout South Dakota.

 "I enjoy helping people and look forward to sharing the South Dakota Farmers Union message of farm safety, as well as other agriculture-based programming with agriculture producers, their families and individuals throughout South Dakota," Forman says.

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S.D. Farmers Union Provides Professional Leadership Training Through REAL Program

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For Angela Hawkinson, the investment her community of Britton, South Dakota, made in her, has had a large impact on her life. She credits Britton with helping shape her into the person that she is today.

 "I was raised in my community and now I live in it and have built my life here," explains Hawkinson, who works in human resources and bookkeeping for Full Circle Ag. "This community has given me so much and I'm proud of this place. Now I feel like it's my turn to give back to it and invest in its future like it did in mine."

 To help her invest in her rural community, Hawkinson is furthering her leadership skills through the professional development program, Rural Economic and Leadership Development (REAL) program. Developed by South Dakota Farmers Union, REAL is designed to encourage and support rural professionals, like Hawkinson, by providing them with professional and leadership development.

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Farmers Union Celebrates the Feickert Farm Family of Aberdeen

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By Lura Roti for SDFU

 The second oldest of seven, Dennis Feickert grew up on a traditional 1950s South Dakota farm. His dad, Elvin, and mom, Christina, raised pigs, chickens, a cow/calf herd, a 30-cow dairy herd and corn, oats, wheat and hay.

 It was on this 1,200-acre McPherson County farm that a strong desire to work on the land and care for livestock was instilled in Dennis.

 "My passion and my love has always, absolutely been with the cattle and the land and the machinery. That is where my entire energies have always been focused," he says.

 Although the only career Dennis ever wanted was to be a farmer, when he graduated from high school, the family farm was too small. His dad was young yet and had a large family to support. "So, I moved to Aberdeen and began working for Dakota Farmer magazine and hated it - absolutely despised it," Dennis says.

 To emphasize how farmsick he was, Dennis tells this story. "It was summer. I would lay in our small apartment with the windows open to catch a breeze and I would smell alfalfa and I would go wacko, absolutely wacko."

 Because he couldn't change circumstances and he had a young family to support, instead of farming fulltime, at 21, Dennis joined the Aberdeen City Fire Department and built up a cow/calf herd as time, income and opportunity allowed.

 "I bought about 20 heifers at the sale barn and kept them at the kids' grandpa's farm. Then, we bought some 4-H heifers for the kids to show in 4-H and I rented some land and took a guy's cows on shares and kept a few of those heifer calves," explains Dennis, of the slow-but-sure way he built up the cow/calf herd to today's 180-head that he runs together with his son, Jason and daughter, Rebecca's cows.

 To have enough pasture and hay ground, Dennis rented or purchased small pieces of land close to Aberdeen. Then, in the mid-'70s, 40 acres of land just five miles from Aberdeen came up for sale. Dennis sold a duplex he had renovated and built a house and barn. He finally had his farm.

To read more, click here 

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S.D. Farmers Union Foundation Supports Future of Agriculture with Scholarship

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By Lura Roti for SDFU

 Improving the entire rural landscape through research that enables farmers to take a holistic approach to field management is the bold vision that drives Mike Bredeson, a South Dakota State University doctorate student and the recipient of the $2,500 South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship.

 "Our rural communities are struggling for many reasons. Agriculture is the foundation of rural communities. If we can bolster our agricultural producers by  helping them to diversify their operations, conserve natural resources and improve profitability, the result will be invigorated farm economies," explains Bredeson, a south-central Minnesota farmboy who is currently pursuing a doctorate in agroecology in the Natural Resource Management Department at SDSU.

 Supporting students, like Bredeson, is the reason South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation awards a graduate school scholarship each year.

 "Education is a focus of S.D. Farmers Union Foundation because it is key to the sustainability of agriculture and rural communities," says Doug Sombke, SDFU President and a fourth-generation Conde farmer.

 A full-time student, married to a full-time student, Bredeson said the scholarship means a lot to him and his family.

"t's enormous. Although I do receive a stipend for my research work, it's small. My wife is also a graduate student, so this scholarship means a lot to us as we pursue our dreams," he says.

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South Dakota's Matt Birgen Recognized for Years of Service to Agriculture with National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award

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Beresford farmer, Matt Birgen was recognized for his leadership and service to agriculture with the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award during the organization's 116th national convention held in Kansas City, Missouri March 4-6, 2018.

The National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award recognizes members for their outstanding leadership and service to family agriculture and to Farmers Union over the course of their lifetimes.

 "Matt is unselfish and very forward focused. He is always looking out for the common good," said Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President. "His vision and leadership on the Farmers Union Industries board is exactly why we are in a position to continue to support the future of South Dakota's family farmers."

 Birgen served on the board of directors for Farmers Union Industries for nearly two decades. The organization owns several businesses, the dividends of which go to help fund South Dakota Farmers Union along with four other Farmers Union organizations as well as National Farmers Union programming. Today, Birgen's son, Larry sits on the Farmers Union Industries Board.

 "Dad's influence encouraged me to give back and serve agriculture - he influenced all of us kids to get involved," said Larry, one of seven children Matt and his wife Maureen raised on their diversified family farm. "Being involved was just natural for dad. It is just something he does."

 At 88, Matt remains involved with the family farm, together with Larry and his nephew, Steve.

 Along with Farmers Union Industries, throughout his lifetime, Matt, a Korean War Veteran, has remained actively involved in his local VFW, serving in many leadership positions over the last six decades; he served on the Clay County Farmers Union board of directors for more than 50 years; served on the North Central American Milk Producers Inc. board; served as President of the Clay County Board of Mutual Insurance Association board; served on the board of directors of Trucktown Cooperative; and has made several trips to Washington D.C. to advocate for agriculture.

 "Our voice needs to be heard. Whether it's as a veteran or a farmer, I believe that if I don't participate, who will? My dad belonged to Farmers Union, he served on the board of directors, that is why I got involved," explained Matt.

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South Dakota Farmers & Ranchers Travel to Kansas City for National Farmers Union Convention

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More than 30 South Dakota family farmers and ranchers traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to develop policy advocating for agriculture during the organization's 116th national convention held in Kansas City, Missouri March 4-6, 2018.

"As a grassroots organization, Farmers Union truly gives family farmers and ranchers a voice," said Doug Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer and President of S.D. Farmers Union.

 He explains that the policy South Dakota delegates bring to the national convention was developed at the county level then voted on during South Dakota Farmers Union state convention. "What's voted on at the national level will be the policy our organization lobbies for in D.C.," Sombke explained.

Advocating for the future of South Dakota's number one industry is the reason Union Center rancher, Tammy Basel and her husband, Dallis left feeding and lambing chores in the hands of their adult sons and made the 12-hour drive.

 "Times are tough across ranch and farm country, we need to make our voice heard in D.C. and work together to make positive change here at home," said Basel who raises sheep and cattle.

 Other South Dakotans to attend the convention include: Doug Sombke, SDFU President, Conde; Karla Hofhenke, SDFU Executive Director, Huron; Christina Dexter, SDFU Legislative Specialist, Huron; Rachel Haigh-Blume, SDFU Education Director, Huron; Wayne Soren, SDFU Vice President, Lake Preston; Kirk Schaunaman, Aberdeen; Larry Birgen, Sioux Falls; Matt Birgen, Beresford; Hannah Sumption, Aberdeen; Dalton Gerlach, Stickney; Karly Schaunaman, Aberdeen; Jennifer Hanson, Britton; Brenna Johnson, Groton; Jim Brockel, Shadehill; Joseph Nugteren, Canistota; Bill Chase, Wolsey; Hank Wonnenberg, Dallas; Becky Martinmaas, Orient; Gail Temple, Clark; Lisa Snedecker, Woonsocket; Mark Snedecker, Woonsocket; Lynn Frey, Lemmon; Rocky Forman, Huron; Melissa Wonnenberg, Dallas; Taylor Sumption, Frederick; Marissa Holinka, Watertown and Lorrie Hanson, Britton.

 In addition to policy debates, South Dakota members celebrated Beresford farmer, Matt Birgen, 88, recognized for his leadership and service to agriculture with the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service Award.

 To learn more about the National Farmers Union Convention visit www.nfu.org.

More than 30 South Dakota family farmers and ranchers traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to develop policy advocating for agriculture during the organization's 116th national convention held in Kansas City, Missouri March 4-6, 2018.

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South Dakota Farmers Union Kicks Off Campaign to Raise Awareness of Farm Bill

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Fourth generation Frederick farmer, Taylor Sumption (second from left) with dad, John and brothers, Warren (far left) Chris, Eric and Mark. Sumption is among several family farmers asked to share their family's farm story as part of Farmers Union campaign to raise awareness of the need for a 2018 farm bill. To view the video, click here.

Enduring the worst economic slide in generations, South Dakota farm and ranch families need Congress to pass a farm bill in 2018 to strengthen the farm safety net.

"When it comes to the commodity markets, this is one of the worst years we have had in a long time," explained Taylor Sumption, a fourth-generation Frederick farmer who, together with his dad and four brothers, raise crops and livestock.

 Sumption's comments are echoed among farm and ranch families nationwide said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union.

 "Commodity prices are low, and net farm income is projected to be down $4.3 billion nationally this year. We need Congress to start working on a farm bill immediately," said Doug Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer and President of South Dakota Farmers Union. "Agriculture is South Dakota's number one industry - and it's hurting right now. Family farmers need to be certain of crop insurance and other programs in the farm bill, so they can plan accordingly with their lenders in this time of low prices."

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FFA Provides Personal & Professional Development

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By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

The original article ran in the February 2018 issue of the SDFU Union Farmer newsletter.

 More than 4,500 South Dakota FFA members will celebrate National FFA Week Feb. 17-24.

 Founded to provide farm boys with leadership skills in 1929, the organization continues to be among the premier leadership organizations for high school youth - but today, it serves urban as well as rural youth from a diversity of backgrounds.

 To understand how this 89-year-old organization continues to attract members and impact the lives of South Dakota's youth, South Dakota Farmers Union asked four members of the 2017-2018 state FFA officer team a few questions.

 The current officer team includes: President Dalton Larson; Vice President Clayton Sorum; Secretary April Hamilton; Treasurer Aaron Linke; Reporter Avery Gilchrist and Sentinel Elle Moon.

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Coffee: It's Good For The Soul A Look at This Time Honored Tradition

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By Lura Roti, for South Dakota Farmers Union

The original article ran in the February 2018 issue of the SDFU Union Farmer newsletter.

 As an agriculture journalist, I've been driving through rural communities across South Dakota for more than two decades. If I pull into a fuel station before noon and step inside, I nearly always witness coffee.

 Coffee, as defined in this article, is quite simply a group of men, dressed for the workday in coveralls or T-shirts - depending on the weather of course - hands around steaming mugs or pop cans visiting.

 When I, an out-of-towner, walk in, conversations nearly always wane. And, even though I don't say a word, I always feel as though I am interrupting an important meeting of sorts. Kind of the feeling I get if I arrive late for church.

 Other than that uncomfortable feeling, I didn't give these coffees much thought until I spent a November morning visiting with Peter Bisgard and his adult sons, Bob and Randy. While interviewing them about their family's Day County farming operation, the men mentioned that coffee with neighbors is part of their daily routine.

 They explained to me that this daily ritual has value beyond the social. "We used to meet every morning at a bachelor neighbor's house. After he died, and we didn't meet for about six weeks. We all missed it and realized that we get a lot of information by talking to neighbors," Peter said.

 He explained to me that whether it was discussing a new piece of machinery before making a purchase or sharing a bit of local news, the men felt their day went better when it began with coffee. Today, the men meet up in the basement of their rural church.

 After talking with the Bisgards, I began to think about the role coffee has in the lives of South Dakota's farmers and ranchers. The more I thought about it, the more eager I was to visit with other farmers and ranchers to learn about this time-honored tradition that I believe dates back to homesteading.

 Just last winter when I was reading the Little House series to my 7-year-old daughter, Parker, I noticed that several chapters included comments about the Ingalls family waiting for Pa to return from coffee at the General Store to provide them with information.

 Staying connected, especially during the winter months, is the reason Salem farmer, Jim Wahle heads to T & C's Pit Stop each morning.

 "It's the social aspect. I stop out here first thing in the morning, have coffee, catch up on current events and what is going on in the community," said Jim of the morning coffee routine he's kept nearly all his adult life.

 Brian Heinecke, agrees. A Sisseton crop and livestock farmer, Heinecke has been going to coffee with his dad, Richard, for as long as he can remember.

 Typically, the men meet up at a local C-store, but a few years back, when Richard was undergoing chemo and was confined to a wheelchair, a few guys would meet up in the Heinecke's kitchen.

 "It really meant a lot to dad. We're a small community where everyone checks in on everyone."

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S.D. Farmers Union Urges Leadership to Vote with Senators Thune & Rounds to Make Section 199A of Tax Code Permanent

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South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke urges Congressional leadership to follow Senators Thune and Rounds' lead and vote to make section 199A of the tax code permanent.

"As it is written, section 199A is scheduled to sunset in 2025 - it needs to be permanent if our farmers and cooperatives are to remain competitive in the global marketplace," Sombke said.

Under previous tax law, farmers using Sec. 199 were entitled to a deduction of up to 9 percent of net farm income. The overall limit was 50 percent of wages paid and a final limit of taxable income. It could not create a net operating loss.

"The Section 199A deduction is designed to level the playing field between corporations-which are now taxed at 21 percent while pass-through farmers, would be taxed at 37 percent," Sombke said. He added that corporate tax rates are now permanent, while rates for individuals and other small businesses, including co-ops, is temporary.

"199A expires in 2025. The goal of the current negotiations is keep the competitive balance," Sombke said. "Returning to Sec 199 is not an acceptable outcome, it must be enhanced to maintain the balance. There is no reason businesses of all types get a boost from reform, but coops must maintain what they previously had. Congress must also make Sec. 199A permanent."

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