Tomorrow’s Ag Leaders Meets with SD Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill

Aug 22, 2022

At the end of July, the 2022 Tomorrow’s Ag Leaders (TAL) group spent their third session in Washington, DC, and met with Congressman Dusty Johnson and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds.
A few of the topics the group personally discussed with the congressmen included:

  • The need to seek a resolution of the current freight rail service challenges.

  • Support of pesticide policies based on sound science, transparency, stakeholder engagement, and a predictable registration process – versus current legislation that would abandon science for a more subjective approach.

  • Ensure that we have a strong domestic fertilizer production capacity while recognizing the critical importance of potash and phosphate and to include them in the Department of Interior’s 2022 list of critical minerals.

In addition to meeting with the congressional delegatation, the trip involved meetings with USDA, EPA personnel, The Fertilizer Institute, Agriculture Retailers Association, American Seed Trade Association, and the National Grain and Feed Association. Kansas and Iowa both have a TAL program, and much time was spent with their groups as well.
Kelli Erickson, Marketing and Finance Manager, is a part of the 2022 group. Here’s what she had to say:
“The visit to Capitol Hill was unforgettable. It is so imperative, as a local cooperative, to be involved with our congressional delegates because the decisions they make directly affect us and our member-owners. Being able to sit down with Johnson, Rounds, and Thune was a great opportunity to bring forth concerns that we have as a cooperative, as well as our local farmers, in hopes to ensure productivity of South Dakota agriculture, our economy, and local communities for years to come.
With the Farm Bill expiring in 2023, it was a great time to be in DC to discuss, listen, and learn about the proposed package for the upcoming year.
Working in finance, it was extremely interesting to visit with Zach Ducheneaux, Farm Service Agency’s Administrator, and learn about their direction on agriculture policy, farm marketing programs, and their outlook for the future.”

The TAL program is a leadership development program sponsored by the South Dakota Agri-Business Association. The program is designed to improve leadership skills of South Dakota men and women working in agri-business. Each year, the first session is held in January during the Ag Expo in Sioux Falls. The group then travels to Pierre in January/February, during legislative session, to dig into the South Dakota legislative process while meeting with the governor and other state government officials. Washington DC to follow, and the program concludes in the fall to cover business leadership and agribusiness advocacy training.
Pictured: SDABA's TAL class with Mike Rounds
Pictured: SDABA's TAL class with Dusty Johnson

Pictured: SDABA's TAL class with John Thune

Previous Full Circle Ag staff members that participated in SDABA’s Tomorrow’s Ag Leaders program:

2020 – 2021 Tony Lyren
2019 Casey Erickson
2019 Angela Hawkinson
2018 Eric Paulson

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