The Activities of the South Dakota Soybean Association
Posted By: Kevin Scott, South Dakota Soybean Association President
South Dakota Soybean Association has been very busy these last three or four months. In early December we hosted a well attended and producer friendly Ag Outlook. Ag Outlook draws soy related industry and farmers together in one big day, at about the time producers are making decisions for the next crop year. We also attract nationally known speakers who have something of value to give to each listener. The goal of the SDSA is to add value to the soy industry and Ag Outlook is a great venue for doing just that.
Various members of the SDSA board have also been busy going to leadership development training. The many things learned at these events are brought back to our state, discussed and used to keep us relevant and effective.
SDSA also attended numerous national events that help us develop a rapport with many of the leaders in government and private industry that are critical links in the success of soybean farmers. We attended the National Biodiesel Board annual meeting, the National Oilseed Processors Assn. meeting, the ASA Agribusiness Council meeting, the Commodity Classic (including ASA’s delegate sessions) and the ASA board meeting in Washington, DC. Being involved in these meetings help us become better educated and gain perspective on the issues and people that will have the most impact on our industry. Focus and clarity are crucial when presenting agricultural issues on a national stage. Visiting directly with the Secretary of Ag or South Dakota’s national legislative team in Washington is one of the most important things SDSA does. These conferences and meetings help your board to be more effective advocates for you.
SDSA also spent two days in Pierre while legislators were is session and visited with many of them about issues and bills of importance to our soybean farmers. Secretary of Ag Bill Even also spoke to our board about agriculture issues facing the SD legislature this year. A funding shortfall was at the top of his list. Many program cuts and fee hikes were discussed. After much negative talk at the start of the session, your SDSA board feels that the 2009 session ended fairly well. There were some positives and not too many negatives for the ag sector. Some of the credit will go to the Federal Stimulus bill, but much of the credit goes to the many friends of agriculture in the South Dakota legislature. SDSA thanks them for their efforts on SD Farmers’ behalf.
In short, we have been busy trying to add value to your operation. The SDSA and the South Dakota Soybean and Research and Promotion Council share a website that can be of value to your operation. It includes local news and many links to soy-related issues. We invite you to visit and hope you will find it to be a valuable tool for you. Visit at www.sdsoybean.org
Remember to be careful this spring. Slow down, enjoy the spring and lets grow some beans.
Kevin Scott, SDSA President