Third-generation farmer Lars Herseth of Houghton has been an agricultural leader for years and is a strong advocate for the ethanol industry. To acknowledge his dedication and hard work, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association has honored him with the group’s Excellence in Agriculture Award.
Herseth received the award Jan. 22 during the association’s 25th annual meeting and banquet in Sioux Falls. The award honors an outstanding leader who exemplifies excellence in agriculture through significant contributions.
Herseth raises corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa, and has a small cow/calf operation. He is president of the American Coalition for Ethanol and has been an avid promoter of E15, blender pumps and flex-fuel vehicles. He is passionate about South Dakota Corn Growers and served on the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board from 1998 to 2006.
“Lars has been a leader in shaping agricultural policy and has touted the importance of a strong national and state commitment to agriculture and home-grown, renewable fuel. He has delivered a loud and clear message on behalf of South Dakota farmers and ethanol producers,” said Gary Duffy, SDCGA president. “As a passionate farmer, elected official and ethanol representative, he has worked tirelessly for years to support and promote the agriculture industry.”
Herseth serves on the board of directors for Northern Growers LLC, a group of shareholders behind the Poet Biorefining-Big Stone ethanol plant. He also is an investor in the locally owned ethanol plants Glacial Lakes Energy LLC of Watertown, Redfield Energy LLC of Redfield, and Granite Falls Energy LLC of Granite Falls, Minn.
He served in the South Dakota State Legislature for many years, representing Brown and Marshall counties in the House of Representatives from 1975-1986 and in the Senate from 1989-1996. He held various leadership positions, including House minority leader, Senate minority leader, and Senate pro tem. He ran as the Democratic candidate for governor in 1986.