Paulsen Re-Energizes Livestock Development for Rural Electric Cooperatives

November 19, 2018

How important is livestock development to South Dakota’s economy? Important enough to bring South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, South Dakota State University (SDSU) President Barry Dunn and 350 young farmers together for the first-ever Re-Energizing Livestock Development Summit.

The daylong event, hosted by the region’s Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives on November 15, at the SDSU Performing Arts Center in Brookings, appealed to farm families and community leaders interested in learning more about emerging livestock development opportunities in their communities.

Paulsen was instrumental in conceiving, planning and facilitating the event for East River Electric Power Cooperative, the wholesale power provider for 24 local Touchstone Energy Cooperatives in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.

“Attendees left the summit with a much better understanding of the opportunities and growth potential offered by livestock development along with the tools and information they need to make decisions on their farm or in their communities,” said Mike Jaspers, business development director for East River Electric Power Cooperative.

The Livestock Development Summit addressed key issues, including the most effective and responsible ways to move forward and connect farmers, leaders and businesses in the industry. It also presented attendees with a better understanding of the challenges, opportunities and growth potential offered by livestock development across the region.

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and SDSU President Barry Dunn served as keynote speakers at the free event, which also included expert panel discussions such as:

  • Economic impact panel
  • Young farmer and agribusinesses panel
  • Siting, zoning and permitting panel
  • Financial panel

Financial capital is a major sticking point for many livestock operations looking to expand. With that in mind, a financial panel discussed how to access the right capital to help ensure long-term viability and profitability.

The event concluded with an opportunity to network through one-on-one and small group discussions with the panelists and other industry experts.

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