About

About

What is South Dakota Farm Bureau?

Who We Are

South Dakota Farm Bureau is a grassroots membership organization established in 1917 when the first county Farm Bureaus banded together to create the state organization and today represents more than 16,000 farm, ranch and rural families.

South Dakota Farm Bureau works every day to represent, uphold and improve our state’s #1 industry. We are a well-respected and effective voice in Pierre, representing the policies adopted each year by our members.

Mission Statement

Your Trusted Leader in Agriculture.

Who works for consumers, farmers, and ranchers in South Dakota?

Board of Directors

Back row (from left to right) are, Kent Vanderwal, Larry Stomprud, Chad Hanrahan, Lyle Nepodal, Richard Vasgaard and Scott Vanderwal. Front row (left to right) are, Norm Geigle, Stacy Hadrick, Wanda Blair, Cindy Foster and Michael Schmidt.

The South Dakota Farm Bureau is a grassroots membership organization controlled by its farmer and rancher members. These grassroots leaders are supported by a staff in the Huron, South Dakota headquarters and by field staff across the state. Each year, SDFB members elect leaders to represent them in their county Farm Bureaus and at the state level.

South Dakota Farm Bureau works every day to represent, uphold and improve our state’s #1 industry. We are a well-respected and effective voice in Pierre, representing the policies adopted each year by our members.

South Dakota Farm Bureau is governed by an 11-member State Board of Directors, including a President, Vice President, one representative from each of the state's 7 districts, the Women's Leadership team chair, and the Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee chair(s). See the current State Board of Directors roster.

Scott VanderWal, SDFB President

Scott VanderWal

Scott VanderWal is a third-generation family farmer from Volga, South Dakota. On their farm, Scott and his wife, Michelle, raise corn soybeans and do custom cattle-feeding and some custom harvesting. Scott and Michelle are both graduates of South Dakota State University and served on the South Dakota Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee for several years, including one year as Chairs. The couple also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation YF&R committee from 1992-1994, where Scott was elected Second Vice Chairman. Scott and Michelle are active in their church and community. They have two sons, Kyle and Austin.

Scott has been a member of the South Dakota Farm Bureau board of directors since 1997, including three years as Vice President. He was elected President of SDFB in June of 2004 and has held the office since. Scott's agricultural background includes an exchange trip to Germany in 1996, tours of the soybean “frontier” in Brazil in 2001 and 2006, and an agricultural trade mission to Cuba in 2004. More recently Scott has had the opportunity to travel to China and Switzerland to promote agriculture. He is a graduate of the South Dakota Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program.

SDFB Staff

Krystil Smit - Executive Director

Direct Line: 605-353-8051

E-Mail: k.smit@sdfbf.org

Lowell Mesman, Western Regional Manager and Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Coordinator

Direct Line: (605) 280-1319

E-Mail: lowell@sdfbf.org

Helen Geppert, Eastern Regional Manager

Direct Line: (605) 770-8581

E-Mail: helen@sdfbf.org

Brenda Dreyer, Marketing & Communications Director

Direct Line: (605) 353-8055

E-Mail: brenda@sdfbf.org

Julie Fritzsche, Office Manager & Administrative Assistant

Direct Line: (605)353-8052

E-Mail: julie@sdfbf.org 

Jackie Winegar, Accounting Specialist/HR Coordinator

Direct Line: (605) 353-8053

E-Mail: jackie@sdfbf.org

Donna Weber, Member Benefits Coordinator

Direct Line: (605) 353-8054

E-Mail: dweber@sdfbf.org 

Michael Held, Lobbyist

Direct Line: (605)350-0739

E-Mail: mheld@sdfbf.org

Renae Gebhart, Womens Leadership Team Coordinator

Direct Line: (605)430-0956

E-Mail: renae@sdfbf.org

Wayne Smith, Wetlands Specialist

Direct Line: (605)201-4262

E-Mail: wsmith@sdfbf.org

County Farm Bureaus

Grassroots Policy Development

The policy-development process begins at the county level when members bring forward Resolutions and vote on them at their county annual meeting. From there, approved Resolutions are brought to the state level and voted on by delegates at the South Dakota Farm Bureau annual meeting. Adopted resolutions then become part of official SDFB policy, under which the organization operates and for which it lobbies in Pierre at the State Legislature. Resolutions dealing with national issues go on for consideration by the American Farm Bureau Federation, to be voted upon by delegates from each state Farm Bureau at the annual AFBF national convention.

SD Farm Bureau District Map

South Dakota Farm Bureau Regional Managers Map

Get Involved

If you are a consumer or a farmer and/or rancher in South Dakota, you can get involved at the county level and make an impact on legislation at the ground level. Contact your SDFB County leader for more information on how to get involved.