South Dakota Corn Protests EPA Administrator Pruitt’s E15 Policy

On a sunny, calm June morning, you should typically find farmers out in the field, spraying or haying or otherwise working on the farm. It’s never a good day when tractors that should be in the fields take to the streets of Sioux Falls because things are going awry in Washington, D.C.

South Dakota agriculture feels strongly enough about E15 that more than 250 ag supporters gathered in Sioux Falls on June 13 for a tractor rally to direct their anger at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.

The rally was hosted by SDCGA in conjunction with Growth Energy, POET, American Coalition for Ethanol and South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association. The rally attendees heard from several speakers:

  • Troy Knecht, President, SDCGA
  • Kent Peterson, South Dakota State Representative, Assistant Majority Whip
  • Doug Berven, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, POET
  • Dusty Johnson, Republican candidate for South Dakota’s U.S. House seat

The speakers all reiterated farmers’ frustration with Pruitt’s obvious disconnect from President Trump’s agenda. Since Trump took office, he has promised action on E15—action that is now in Pruitt’s court.

In addition, these five organizations paid for a full-page ad in the Argus Leader, calling out Pruitt and clearly asking him to take action on E15—now. Other ads ran on key ag media websites and a social media campaign was conducted to get our message out there and pushed in Pruitt’s sphere.

We also shared audio news releases with nearly 200 broadcasters across the country to get the message out that South Dakota farmers aren’t going to sit back and wait around on Pruitt.

All of this immediate action worked. The Associated Press picked up a news story about the rally, reaching more than 30 newspapers from Maine to California, and Seattle to Florida. Follow-up media coverage of Pruitt’s South Dakota visit indicated that he got the message loud and clear—proof that the SDCGA is working hard on your behalf.

Your SDCGA is proud to have taken your message straight to the source—those in Washington, D.C., whose decisions and actions have a tremendous impact on your livelihood.

While we are off to a strong start, the work is not finished—and won’t be until E15 is available year-round. SDCGA will continue working hard for you and pushing South Dakota’s Congressional delegation to press on the Trump Administration to fulfill the President’s promises.

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