“Why do you care about ag, you represent Rapid City?”

I started out my ag adventures this week at Alderson Farms in Hartford to hear about their beef feedlot operation, with innovations in feeding techniques, resulting in well fed, healthy stock, and efficient and effective processes that are beneficial to the environment.

Next stopped out at Cherry Rock Farm in Brandon, had a delicious lunch from the Big Orange Truck and a tour of their crops of pumpkins, sweet corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, melons and more along the Split Rock River.

All day Friday was spent listening to topics on supply and demand factors shaping agricultural markets, the financial condition of the US farm sector, riparian buffer strip initiative, policy updates, current ag topics, and heard from Scott Assman and Alex Heim of Dakota Pure Bison in Mission.

After a quick (but legally paced) drive back to Rapid City, I headed down Fairburn way to 777 Bison Ranch on Saturday. I use bison for stew, spaghetti, manicotti, and of course hamburgers! Healthy and delicious! This week concluded at Cleghorn Hatchery to discuss fish species sustainability and distribution throughout South Dakota.

Agriculture is the foundation of South Dakota’s economy. Legislators need to be educated, informed, and involved. You can’t “be” for economic development and not “be” for agriculture.

If you know a farmer or rancher that would be interested in having me stop out send me a message at Jessica.castleberry@sdlegislature.gov

Thank you to all of our producers and processors, you keep our country strong! #sdagproud