Updates from SDFB President Scott VanderWal
I am sure this finds a lot of us in the same frustrating situation trying to work around the weather to get our harvest in. Between the mud, wet crops and even snow in some parts of the state, it is sometimes difficult to keep a positive attitude. We have been through hard times before, and we will get through this as well. I encourage you to keep talking to people and realize you are not alone.
I also hope you are planning to get away from the farm for a bit and join us in Sioux Falls for our upcoming convention, Nov. 22-23 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel. It is a good opportunity to see old friends and pick up some optimism from other people. In addition to the important policy decisions we will be making, the staff has some great educational speakers and activities planned that will help all of us in our day-to-day operations.
On the AFBF level, our biggest priority right now is getting the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) passed by Congress. There are a lot of distractions going on in Washington, D.C. that are taking attention away from critical issues for our industry, like the passage of USMCA.
Another issue AFBF has been following closely is the small refinery waiver program. We felt we had made progress a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately when the details came out, it was apparent that EPA’s supplemental proposal needs a lot of work. To learn more about this, here is a link to an article done by AFBF that shares our current situation and about an upcoming comment period. https://www.fb.org/news/small-refinery-waiver-plan-leaves-much-to-be-desired
On the state level, last month I, along with SDFB Executive Director Krystil Smit met in Pierre with members of DENR and the Governor’s staff to begin a discussion on livestock zoning and the need to make the regulatory environment friendlier for livestock expansion. I believe we made a good first step and got a lot of people thinking more about this issue. We are also continuing dialogue with state and national NRCS over Swampbuster and wetland regulation issues.
I am really looking forward to getting together with our members in Sioux Falls in a couple of weeks at our state convention. It will be interesting, informative and fun, which is something we all need right now. Until then, I wish you safety and success out in the field.