Governor’s Ag Summit Focuses on Future Opportunities and Challenges

July 14, 2017

The South Dakota Governor’s Agricultural Summit, held July 12-13, brought leaders in business, finance, education, government and production agriculture to Aberdeen, S.D. Much of the discussion focused on how to harness the industry’s potential for economic development.

South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers, in his state of agriculture address at the Summit, outlined what has been a difficult year for producers in the state. But, he stressed that recently-announced economic projects will add value to crops and livestock grown and raised in South Dakota.

An animal health panel looked at the challenges facing antibiotic use in animal agriculture and managing the impact of a foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S.

The economic panel included a livestock farmer and host of a nationally-syndicated ag program as well as a risk management expert. The upshot for the cattle market was that producers are not going to see record profitability in the livestock market in the short-term. The global corn market is tightening up, ethanol use continues to climb, and food, seed and industrial use is slowing.

Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) of Watertown was named the 2017 Governor’s Ag Ambassador Award recipient.

The first afternoon panel focused on succession planning and the need for family businesses to balance family control, shareholder liquidity and capital needs.

The final panel explored innovations in South Dakota agriculture that looked at biopharmaceuticals, aquaculture and technology to reduce farming’s environmental footprint.

What about next year’s Ag Summit? It will be July 11-12 in Rapid City.

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