Members of the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee recently attended a National Affairs trip to Washington D.C. Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, 2018.


The South Dakota group visited the state’s congressional delegation, received briefings on ag issues and met with officials from USDA and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) while in D.C.


“It was interesting to visit with elected leaders and their staff and realize how important our voice is to them,” said Matt Smith, SDFB YF&R co-chair. “They had lots of questions about what was going on back home, and our perspective on issues they are fighting for every day.”

The group primarily focused on policy issues of trade, lab based meat, healthcare and the farm bill during their discussions.


SDFB President Scott VanderWal, who also serves as AFBF Vice President, met with the South Dakota delegation in D.C. for a debriefing of their visits.

“President VanderWal gave us updates on issues he was working on while in D.C.,” said Smith. “It seemed that we were talking about similar topics, but using different angles to share with policy makers the impact on South Dakotans.”

YF&R members attending from South Dakota included: Matt and Kristy Smith, Hitchcock; Bryan Moes, Florence and Clay and Miranda Conry, Belle Fourche. Matt and Kristy Smith serve as the current SDFB YF&R co-chairs. Lowell Mesman, YF&R coordinator from SDFB also participated in the trip.


To learn more about South Dakota Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers visit