SD lawmakers meet with farmers to learn more about agriculture - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

SD lawmakers meet with farmers to learn more about agriculture industry

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South Dakota lawmakers went out to the fields Wednesday to learn more about the state's biggest industry from local farmers. 

"It's been 20 years since I've really been in the field and in a tractor and agriculture has changed so much with technology, I'm looking forward to see how they do things now," said State Representative Paula Hawks. 

State lawmakers visited the Christensen farmstead in Beresford to learn about their farming operation. 

"Having an understanding of how they feel about things and getting that information directly from people who are in the fields is really important because they're the ones who are the experts," said Hawks. 

"I welcome them anytime because the way this farm situation is, I think it's important for them to understand our agriculture, where it's going, how important it is for the state of South Dakota," said family farmer Marlow Christensen. 

As the number one industry in South Dakota, agriculture is at the forefront of many legislative decisions; it's why lawmakers are planning for the future of South Dakota farming. 

"Part of agriculture in South Dakota is communicating a vision for where were going," said SD's Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch. 

That means focusing on federal legislation like the farm bill and maintaining country roadways across the state. 

"We have to continually look at it to see what are we doing to improve our infrastructure…the farm to market roads in our state…because those roads don't magically repair themselves and its expensive," said Lentsch. 

"To just help them to be as successful as they can because when they're successful, the state of South Dakota is successful," said Hawks. 

The lawmakers also met at the Southeastern Farmers Co-op to learn about the market side of agriculture in the state.

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