Agriculture’s Opportunities Highlighted; Ag Ambassador Recognized

Posted: 6/30/2011



For Immediate Release: June 30, 2011

Media Contact: Alison Kiesz, 605-626-3272

Agriculture’s Opportunities Highlighted; Ag Ambassador Recognized

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, business leaders, elected officials and other industry professionals gathered in Sioux Falls this week to discuss the opportunities in agriculture and rural South Dakota.

The Governor’s Ag Development Summit fostered unconventional thinking and generated new ideas for agricultural development in the state.

“Agriculture is our No. 1 industry,” said South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones. “It truly is the backbone of our state economy, and it will take our continued determination, cooperation of resources, and collaborations of thought to drive our industry forward for the good of all South Dakotans.”

At a banquet following the Ag Summit, Dr. Dan Gee was presented with the first-ever South Dakota Ag Ambassador Award. The award was given to Dr. Gee for his contributions to South Dakota’s agriculture industry, including a 30-year career at South Dakota State University as a professor and coach of the livestock judging team.

Upon retirement from SDSU, Dr. Gee became the Executive Director of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership program. He developed the organization and trained a number of leaders for South Dakota’s most important industry.

“Dan has developed not only a number of leaders in various organizations, but he’s reshaped the way ag businesses are actually working,” noted Bones.

Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 143,000 South Dakotans.  The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.  Visit us online at or follow us on Facebook.


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