South Dakota’s largest agriculture association will have a new face at its helm, as Krystil Smit takes the title of Executive Director for the South Dakota Farm Bureau (SDFB).
“We are extremely excited to welcome Krystil Smit to the South Dakota Farm Bureau team,” stated Scott VanderWal, SDFB President and farmer from Volga, S.D. “She brings a wealth of experience, many talents, and the personality to work successfully with a wide variety of different people and stakeholders. Krystil also has the vision and foresight to look at the big picture and see what’s coming next. I’m confident she will help position South Dakota Farm Bureau to be influential and relevant for many, many years to come.”
“South Dakota Farm Bureau has long held a reputation of being a leading agricultural organization in the state, and I could not be more honored to join in that legacy as the new executive director,” Smit commented. “I look forward to building on past successes while joining with the farmers and ranchers of South Dakota to protect and move agriculture forward.”
Smit is a 20-year veteran of agricultural communications. She graduated from South Dakota State University in 1995 with degrees in Ag Journalism and Animal Science, then went to work as editor of the Tri-State Neighbor. In 2004, Smit joined the South Dakota Corn Growers Association / South Dakota Corn Utilization Council as communications director. For the past five years, Smit has worked with Paulsen Marketing in Sioux Falls as public relations director, envisioning and executing strategic projects for leading ag and industry clients.
Smit was born and raised on a farm near Davis, S.D. Today, she and husband, Phil, live near Davis and operate a diversified crop and livestock farm along with their three children: MiKayla (17), Kaleb (14) and Mariah (11). The Smits are a 4-H family. In addition to work, farm and family activities, Krystil serves on the board of directors for the Sioux Empire Fair, the Sioux Falls Stockyards Plaza, and the Sioux Empire Staters, an SDSU alumni group.
South Dakota Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general agriculture association, recently setting a new all-time membership record with 16,000 farm, ranch and rural families on its roster. SDFB members will gather in Pierre on Nov. 20-21 for the organization’s 98th annual meeting, including the annual grassroots policy-making session that is its highlight.
“There is no better industry to be involved with than agriculture, and I am dedicated to making South Dakota Farm Bureau the best it can be so our state’s progressive farm and ranch families can be supported, represented and empowered for the brightest possible future,” Smit added.
Smit takes the leadership reins from Wayne Smith, who retired as SDFB Executive Director this past June. Smit’s duties will begin on Oct. 12.