2014 Governor’s Agricultural Summit: Opportunities and Challenges

June 20, 2014

South Dakota agricultural thought leaders examined the present and future opportunities and challenges facing agriculture in South Dakota at the 2014 Governor’s Agricultural Summit in Deadwood. Paulsen Public Relations Directors Bryan Bjerke and Krystil Smit took part in two days of events and networking.

It began with a Black Hills Ag Tour that highlighted special projects of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. The first stop was a wild land fire demonstration, showing the work done by firefighters in both prevention and fire suppression.

The second stop was among ponderosa pine trees affected by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. There was information about the history of the problem, the extent of the current problem and what is being done to combat it.

The final stop was the Belle Joli Winery, for a wine tasting and champagne production demonstration.

The following day’s session began with a welcome from South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch.

There was a “Farm Bill Update: What Choices Will You Make,” from Michael Scuse, the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under Secretary Scuse talked with Paulsen about the good news about agricultural trade.

One of the keys to agricultural development in South Dakota is the health of the state’s infrastructure. A county commissioner, state senator and the director of the Soy Transportation Coalition talked about investments in transportation and what it means to agriculture.

The final forum of the Summit looked at environmental and regulatory issues facing agriculture, and economists looked at “What’s Ahead for South Dakota Agriculture?” that covered a wide range of issues and questions that will help shape the future of agriculture. Purdue University professor of agricultural economics Brent Gloy said there is one region of the globe to pay special attention to going forward.

Each year, the Summit brings together leaders in business, finance, education, government and production agriculture to demonstrate agriculture’s comparative advantages. This year was no exception as the Summit brought ideas and opinions aimed at continuing to grow agriculture’s potential for economic development.