Investing in South Dakota... All Year Long

Posted: 10/14/2010

Posted By:  Steve Dick 

We're just days away from the beginning of another pheasant hunting season in South Dakota.  On behalf of South Dakota farm and ranch families, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to hunters traveling to our state during this hunting season.  

South Dakota has become a leading destination for pheasant hunters thanks to the beauty and bounty of our state's natural resources.  The economic impact of these visitors is significant. South Dakota Games, Fish and Parks reports that pheasant hunters spend about $219 million each year.  This spending means jobs and income for South Dakota residents. In total, South Dakota hunting generated almost $100 million in salaries, wages and business owner's income, and created 4,500 jobs.  These numbers are important, especially in challenging financial times.  

And while we appreciate the impact of the hunters who enjoy our state's bounty for a few days each year, let's not overlook the thousands of South Dakota farm and ranch families who spend 365 days a year caring for their land and animals, delivering an affordable and nutritious food supply... and driving our state's economic engine.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service reported that South Dakota agriculture producers spent $6.1 billion to raise their crops and livestock in 2008.  A large percentage of those expenses were with local businesses and service providers, strengthening communities across the state. 

A 2009 report from South Dakota State University showed that agriculture employs 173,101 South Dakotans, or more than 40% of all jobs in the state. In total, agriculture has a $21.3 billion economic impact on the state, by far the leading driver of South Dakota's economy.  

We'll continue to welcome pheasant hunters with open arms.  But maybe this year, say an extra "thank you" to the farmers harvesting corn and soybeans or caring for their livestock.  Long after pheasant season is over, they'll be investing in their businesses and communities and keeping South Dakota's economy running.


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