Governor's Ag Summit

There’s a barn near Canton, South Dakota, where the cows are hard at work, but they’re not bred for making burgers or even milk. These cows are producing antibodies that could someday cure human diseases.

What’s going on in the SAB Biotheraputics barn is just one example of the diverse ventures that make up South Dakota’s agriculture industry. A tour of the Canton facility is the first agenda item for the two-day South Dakota Governor’s Agricultural Summit held July 10 and 11 at the Denny Sanford Premiere Center in Sioux Falls.

“We wanted to do something in the Sioux Falls area that maybe people haven’t been able to go to before … part of the industry people may not be familiar with,” said Tiffany Thompson, special projects coordinator who has been organizing the event since joining the South Dakota Department of Agriculture seven months ago.

The ag summit takes place in different parts of the each year. Hosting her first ag summit as governor, Kristi Noem will moderate a panel that focuses on the next generation of agricultural producers. The panel brings together young producers and ag professionals from different backgrounds and with different goals for the future, Thompson said. The goal was to show that not everyone as to come from a farm or ranch to get involved in the ag industry, she said.

Ag summit attendees will get an update on national level ag issues from one of Washington’s top ag officials. South Dakota State University graduate Stephen Censky, who serves as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture is the event’s keynote speaker July 10.

The summit is free to attend. Registration is open through Friday, June 28 at Walk-in registrations are accepted, too. Call Thompson with questions at 605-773-5711.

Wednesday, July 10

9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Tour of SAB Biotherapeutics, Lunch provided

1:45-2 p.m. – Welcome: Kim Vanneman, South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture

2-3:30 p.m. – What’s Driving Agriculture in the Year Ahead?: Sue Martin, president and owner, Ag & Investment Services Inc. and Mike Pearson, co-host of Ag News Daily

3:45-4:15 p.m. – Livestock Development Projects: What You Need to Know with Joe Fiala, community development director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development

4:15-5:30 p.m. – Agriculture Update from D.C. with Steve Censky, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

5:30-7 p.m. – Reception with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar

Thursday, July 11

7-8:30 a.m. – Breakfast

8:30-10 a.m. – Explaining Agriculture to Eaters: Three Simple Steps with Roxi Beck, director of consumer engagement with the Center for Food Integrity

10:15-10:45 a.m. – Great Challenges Bring Exciting Opportunities: Barry Dunn, South Dakota State University president

10:45-11:45 a.m. – The Next Generation of Agriculture Panel moderated by Gov. Kristi Noem with panelists John Eilertson, Animal Sciences – Industry Specialization, South Dakota State University; Taylor McMartin, 4-H Ambassador Treasurer, West Central High School; Calli Williams, Livestock and Farm Sales Producer, Fischer, Rounds & Associates; and Logan Wolter, Ag-Business, Mitchell Technical Institute

Noon to 1:30 p.m. – Governor’s Agriculture Ambassador Award Luncheon

1:30-2:30 p.m. – Emerald Ash Borer Town Hall

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor


Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska.