Agriculture United for South Dakota is a coalition of farm organizations formed in 2005 with a goal of keeping family farms and ranches growing. Founding organizations of AUSD includes the South Dakota Cattleman's Association, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, and the South Dakota Soybean Association. The South Dakota Dairy Producers joined the group in 2009 followed by the South Dakota Poultry Industries Association in 2010.
Ag United works toward promoting and advancing farm and ranch families and rural communities with four guiding principles:
- Developing communications on the connection between farm life and South Dakota's economic and social well-being.
- Engaging those who do not tell the truth about agriculture and food production.
- Educating consumers about the importance of food production.
- Providing assistance to South Dakota farmers and ranchers.
Why was Ag United created?
South Dakota's farmers and ranchers face many challenges. The legislative and regulatory environment impacting the growth of agriculture in South Dakota has grown increasingly complicated. Shrinking margins, fierce competition and more demands from consumers have created additional challenges. Combined, they have formed a business model requiring farm families to make changes in their operations to maintain a traditional standard of living.
Along with those challenges comes the need to educate the increasing population that has become 2 or 3 generations removed from the farm. The growing disconnect between farm and fork means farmers and ranchers need to be active in telling their story and how they care for the land, environment and their livestock. With many animal rights and special interest groups sharing inaccurate portrayals of American Agriculture, farm families have recognized the need to share their stories and what really happens on today's farms.
How is Ag United structured?
Ag United is led by a 14 member board of directors. The board includes 7 producers and the Executive Directors of the organizations that make up Ag United.
How is Ag United funded?
Ag United receives funding from a variety of sources, including member organizations, agriculture-supporting businesses and individual donations.