Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Infrastructure & Zoning Committee

Infrastructure & Zoning Committee
February 26, 2013  -  1:00 PM
Conference Call

Members Present
Members Absent
Ty Eschenbaum, SDDA
Dusty Anderson
Todd Kays
Steve Rommereim
Paul Brandt
Bob Wilcox
Bob Thaler
David Skaggs, SDDA
Karl Jensen
Katie Konda, SDDA
Erin Cortus
Lester Mueller

Mike Traxinger

Cory Eich

Stephen Pohl

The meeting began with introductions by the six members that made the call.  Following that, the group reviewed the notes from the last meeting.  Being 2 months out from the first meeting, good discussion and perspective followed regarding the POSTIVES/CHALLENGES and IDEAS previously listed.

One topic that was brought up was the Governor’s Livestock Development Initiative that is a hot topic right now with SD Dept of Ag and SD State University Teaming up to give over 30 presentations across the State on the idea of the “Next Generation of Livestock Production.”   As in pertains to this specific committee, we hope that more people are in engaged with the idea that Livestock Development = Economic Development, but with any type of development: there are zoning processes and infrastructure issues that need to be addressed.

Questions were asked regarding further explanations on some of the IDEAS and OBJECTIVES, but as a group we agreed that we had accomplished vetting our thoughts on both in the previous meeting fairly well.

Our next step was to further our plans on our three main objectives:

1)     Define & Determine what infrastructure is essential for agricultural development
2)     Establish funding mechanism to support necessary infrastructure
3)     Education and Resources
a.      Develop a standard list of available resources  and contact information for involved agencies  and organizations
b.     Develop training module for interested counties
                                                    i.     Customizable templates for decision making/flow charts
                                                   ii.     How to run a formal meeting
                                                  iii.     Updating comprehensive plans to include agricultural friendly  policies

1)      Objective #1       We spent the majority of our time discussing this initiative.  Our thought is to use the resources that we all have available to use collectively to form some baselines figures so the stakeholders within the state:  zoning committees, county commissioners, policy makers, township boards, etc. have at least a basic starting place when discussing the impact of a new livestock or ag development project. 

This objective would speak to the local roads issue we are hearing about from local townships when a new ag project is proposed.  We see this idea progressing in four steps:

1.      Impact of New Development
a.      i.e.:  5000 sow barn development = X average truckloads @ Y average lbs per load @   Z  times per week @ BLANK Intervals throughout the year (constant, seasonal, etc.)
b.      This basic formula will be also be established for beef and dairy operations, as well as for row crop operations for comparison
c.      Bob & Paul volunteered to develop livestock project numbers.
Ty will run the grain numbers.
2.      Minimum Road Standard
a.      Ty will reach out to SD DOT to gather their insight on any road standards, studies,  ↑ traffic = ↑maintenance formulas, etc.
3.      Maintenance Schedule
a.      If you can gather any information from the first two steps, that will give us an idea of the increased maintenance associated with increased traffic, tonnage, etc.
4.      Cost
a.      This is what we are really looking for through this process.  We fully realize that there are infinite variables: weather, current condition of road, surface type, traffic vs. time of year, etc.  However, our thought is that if we can develop a baseline formula to at least give the stakeholders a starting point, the figures can be adjusted up or down for a specific project.

2)      Objective #2       This objective was briefly discussed, mainly with the idea that there are folks working on this issue and showing support and offering information to these individuals & groups would be the best utilization of our time.
1.      The following bills provided by our Ag Policy Analyst, Katie Konda, are still alive in the Legislature and pertain to infrastructure & zoning.  We discussed the basis of these bills briefly,  please read through if you like.  The SD Dept of Ag will continue to watch these and report on their outcome at the next meeting.

allow regional intergovernmental cooperation for sewer utilities and to provide for the establishment of rates and charges.
permit townships to levy a capital improvement property tax for highways, secondary roads, bridges, and culverts
establish a local government road improvement grant fund for the purpose of serving new agricultural facilities and to make an appropriation therefor.
authorize township boards to increase the front foot assessment for road maintenance, repairs, and improvements and to revise certain provisions concerning road districts established by townships.

3)      Objective #3       We believe that through this objective, we can have the greatest positive impact on the local zoning process.
1.      Todd Kayes & SDDA staff plan to meet in the next couple of weeks to further discuss the idea of using Todd’s planning district as the pilot district to pull Dept. of Ag, SDSU, SD Planner’s Assoc.,  and all other resources together to put on a 2-3 hour training session for the county/zoning boards within Todd’s District.
2.      If successful, we believe this could be duplicated to other planning districts fairly easily.

As we wrapped up the meeting, we discussed the first week in May as a potential time to hold our next meeting.  Ty will send out the same poll as before to make sure the time selected works for the most members as possible.

Meeting Adjourned.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Water, Natural Resources, Energy Minutes of 02/14/13

Key Leaders Roundtable (KLR)  Subcommittee Meeting
Group 3: Water, Natural Resources, Energy
Minutes of 02/14/13

Members Present: Angela Ehlers, Jeff Zimprich, Mark Tubbs, Marlee Cordell, Michael Schmidt, Peter Bauman, Richard Vasgaard, Paula Gregg.

Members Absent: Courtney De La Rosa, David Niemi , Duane Schneider, Jim Faulstich, Kathy Zander, Laron Krause, Mike Traxinger,  Myron Williams, Silvia Christensen, Wayne Smith.

1.         Angela Ehlers, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:00 pm. CST. Members present answered the roll call. A roll call of members present was called. There was a roll call of the members present.

It was discussed to send future email attachments as a word or excel file so the text is easier to read.  Committee members may provide a mailing address to SDDA to have the minutes, needs assessment, and action work plan USPS mailed to them.

2.         Committee members were asked for discussion on the minutes, needs assessment, and action work plans. Do they reflect the committee’s action, direction, and discussion? These are working papers meant to capture the flow of our work and what we want to present at the Governor’s Ag Summit and Key Leaders’ Roundtable in June 2013. Members are encouraged to chat via email with the group regarding any of the objective topics.

It was discussed to revise Objective 5 sub point to clarify “Loss of native sod and wetlands” by adding language “due to conversion to row crop agriculture.”

3.         Angela Ehlers will provide a written report summarizing the status of House and Senate bills that she is tracking through the Legislative process for SDACD. As of the meeting date, there were no specific bills that committee members wanted to discuss. If any bills come up in the closing weeks of Session that any committee member feels we should discuss, members are asked to send an email to the group to begin a conversation.

4.         Angela Ehlers will arrange with DENR to present water right laws and monitoring at the next meeting.

5.         Pete Bauman reported that he received positive feedback from SDSU Extension Services that they can and could serve as a clearinghouse of information for land owners, especially regarding invasive species. The topic of surface use agreements may be a little outside their arena of expertise. They currently do not have an extension specialist on energy. They may add a conservation topic tab to the website.  At an upcoming meeting, Pete will demonstrate SDSU Extension’s website IGROW.ORG and the committee can give feedback about how IGROW can be used to accomplish the objective.

SDSU Extension Services would like more vision and detail from committee as to what information should be included or needed for a land surface use clearinghouse. It would be helpful if any committee members could write a paragraph explaining, from the ag producer’s perspective, what is the issue and why it is a concern.

Mark Tubbs offered to provide Pete with some information specific on this subject.

Marlee Cordell told about her personal experience, as a land owner in Harding County, of how difficult it was to get information about surface use agreements.  The companies leasing the ground have the experience and legal knowledge to negotiate different leases with each landowner. Many of the lease provisions are protected by confidentiality, thereby making it difficult for neighboring landowners to share information. It is up to each land owner to research what is the best way to handle their lease. However, the landowner often lacks the time, knowledge, and the expertise to negotiate lease conditions to best protect their land and interest. Marlee said it required hours and hours of personally visiting with other people who have been through it.  At no time were they ever referred to a government agency where they could ask questions and gain information. The landowner needs a feasible way to research and obtain information.

The committee discussed whether this is a needed function of SDSU extension or a lack of a service provided by a State government office. We need to find out whether someplace in state government (ie. AG Consumer Protection, PUC, NRCS,DENR, LRC) already is a resource for landowners to ask questions relating to land use and surface agreements. Angela will contact the LRC Summer Study and Paula will contact AG Consumer Protection and PUC about what service they may provide.

6.         No report on subsurface agreements.

7.         The committee discussed whether SDSU Extension should have an energy field specialist. The idea to add this as an action step under Objective 1 will be further discussed at the next meeting.

8.         No other business was discussed.

9.         The next meeting will be a Video Teleconference (VTC) and will include a presentation by DENR. The NRCS has 4 VTC sites located in Brookings, Huron, Pierre, and Rapid City. Tentative dates are March 11-13 or March 18-20.

10.       Meeting Adjourned at 3:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Paula Gregg, Finance Program Specialist, SDDA.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Value Added Processing Committee Meeting 2-13-13

Minutes of 2/13/13 KLR Group 5: Value Added Processing Committee
Members Present: Alison Kiesz, Terri LaBrie, Bob Weyrich, Carolyn Rudebusch, Lester Moeller, Keith Underwood, Katie Hendrickson, Krystal Smit, and Cheri Rath.
Members Absent: Brad Bonhorst
Katie Hendrickson, Paulson Marketing, indicated that Alicia DeGeest has removed herself from the Committee and Katie and Krystal Smit will be taking her place on the committee.
Chairman of the Committee, Bob Weyrich, discussed the purpose of this 2nd meeting to discuss the objectives and action items from the 1st meeting.  All committee members were to get Brad Bonhorst a list of resources and financing for value added projects and potential gaps in those resources.
Bob discussed the email he sent out earlier today regarding a good start to these resources.  Discussion was held on additions to these resources and the lists we came up with for resources and financing:
Market development resources:
·        Commodity groups and their international networks
·        Food Export Association of the Midwest and their contractor network
·        USDA and the network of international posts and personnel (Ag Trade Offices and Attache’)
·        State Department of Agriculture
·        SD Value Added Ag Development Center
·        Northern Crops Institute
·        Food Processing Center
·        SD Universities and Colleges
·        SDSU Extension
·        Enterprise Institute
·        American Association of Meat Processors
·        FFA and High School Vo-Ag programs
·        Co-Ops and private sector businesses
·        Marketing Firms
·        Ag United

Funding Resources available are:
·        SD Department of Ag and loan programs and specialist assistance;
·        SD Department of Ag grant programs like SCBG
·        GOED
·        SD Value Added Ag Development Center
·        SBA
·        Ex-Im Bank
·        Private Banks
·        Private Investment/Venture Capital
·        USDA grants and Loans/Rural Development
·        Val-Ad Services / Local Development Corp
·        Relatives
Discussions regarding a resource directory for whom to get help from at certain stages of a project.  This could be on the SDDA website, etc.
There’s a need to come up with a consistent message and then get this out in the public through press releases/communication staff, etc. as well as the resource directory.
Action plan for the next meeting will be to get the resources to Brad Bonhorst to complete the directory.  We got a good start at this meeting, but perhaps once we take in this new information, we can add to this list.
Another action item is for all committee members to be thinking of a consistent message and bring ideas to the next meeting.  The SDDA started a new livestock campaign which uses the tag line, “It’s time to grow in South Dakota”.  Maybe we can use this or a part of this to get all resources in ag – whether commodity groups, etc – to use this message or a part of this message in their marketing to promote value added.
Who is our target market for this message and what is the message going to be.
Next meeting will be early to mid-March and Alison will follow the same format with the survey to schedule this next conference call meeting.
Meeting Adjourned.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

SD Ag in the Classroom and SD Farm Families Host Essay Contest



For Immediate Release: Feb. 5, 2013  
Media Contact: Ann Price, 605-853-6040 

SD Ag in the Classroom and SD Farm Families Host Essay Contest

PIERRE, S.D.- South Dakota Ag in the Classroom (SDAC) and South Dakota Farm Families (SDFF) are hosting an essay contest for third and fourth grade students across South Dakota.

The topic for this year’s contest is “How Agriculture Impacts Me Every Day.” The winning student will receive a classroom pizza party hosted by SDFF, a visit from a local agricultural producer, and a certificate. The winning essay will be published on SDAC and SDFF websites and Facebook pages.

“By having to do some research before writing about the impact agriculture has on their everyday lives, youth are enlightened as to just how many times each day they experience some aspect of agriculture, even if they don’t live on a farm,” said Ann Price, Executive Director for SDAC.

“South Dakota dairy and hog farmers have been visiting classrooms as a part of Ag United’s ‘National Ag Week’ activities for six years now,” said Kelly Nelson, Outreach Director for SDFF. “We are excited to be partnering with South Dakota Ag in the Classroom to add the essay portion to the Ag Week activities.”

Third- and fourth-grade teachers are encouraged to utilize this contest as a writing exercise for their classrooms.

“Entire classrooms can submit essays,” Nelson said. “The more students from a single classroom who enter, the greater the chances that room will be having pizza for lunch one day.”

“This contest was designed to meet the Common Core standards for writing,” Price added. “Teachers can use this as a practice activity before the Dakota STEP tests. They can refer to the entry blank on the website to see exactly what standards are being met.”

Any third- or fourth-grade student in South Dakota can enter. Entries are due March 1, with the winner announced March 15 on the SDAC and SDFF Facebook pages.

Entry forms can be found on the SDFF ( and SDAC ( websites. Students should submit their 100-250 word essays by March 1 to Ag Week Essay Contest, c/o South Dakota Ag in the Classroom, PO Box 402, Miller, SD, 57362 or e-mail them to with the subject line “Ag Week Essay Contest.” Contact Price at or 605-853-6040 with questions.

Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating more than $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 122,000 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 and Twitter.