Members of the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB) gathered recently in Pierre for their organization’s 98th annual meeting, electing leadership for the largest general agriculture association in the state. Scott VanderWal was re-elected President of the South Dakota Farm Bureau for his sixth term.
“It’s a great privilege to represent the members of South Dakota Farm Bureau as their President, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve another term,” VanderWal said. “With less than two percent of the American population actively involved in agriculture and with regulatory and activist pressures mounting, there has never been a more important time to have a strong voice for agriculture. Farm Bureau represents farm and ranch families across this great state and nation, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
VanderWal is a third-generation family farmer from Volga, S.D., who raises cattle, corn and soybeans with his father, son and extended family. Through his role as SDFB President, he serves on the boards of the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture.
Richard Vasgaard of Centerville was re-elected to represent Farm Bureau’s District 1 on the SDFB Board of Directors, and he was also re-elected to his position as Treasurer. Larry Stomprud of Mud Butte was re-elected to represent Farm Bureau’s District 5. Mike Schmidt of Dell Rapids was re-elected to his position as Secretary on the SDFB Board.
Stacy Hadrick of Faulkton was elected to the SDFB Board of Directors for her first term to represent Farm Bureau’s District 4. She takes the seat of Jeffery Gatzke of Hitchcock, who retired after serving for the available eight years.
Farm Bureau has a very vibrant Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) program, providing leadership and growth opportunities for young people in agriculture ages 18 to 35. During SDFB’s 98th annual meeting, Chad and Kathy Hanrahan, young producers from the Milesville area, were elected Chairs of South Dakota’s YF&R Committee. The Hanrahans will have one seat on the SDFB Board of Directors to represent the YF&R Committee.
Nick and Bekah Ihnen of Tulare were elected Vice Chairs of the YF&R Committee. Eric and Ida Sander of Prairie City completed their one available year as YF&R Chairs and now will represent Farm Bureau’s District 5 on the Committee.
Cindy Foster of Fulton was re-elected Chair of the SDFB Women’s Leadership Team and will continue to serve as its representative on the SDFB Board of Directors. The women’s team heads up outreach and education activities for Farm Bureau, making videos, books and curriculum available to South Dakota schools and communities to learn the story of today’s agriculture.
South Dakota Farm Bureau is the largest agriculture association in the state, representing more than 16,000 farm, ranch and rural families. Nationwide, Farm Bureau represents 6.1 million member families.