Grain Bins


SDCGA President Pens Op Ed, "Fighting for Your Future"

Posted on March 10, 2023
Dave Ellens Combining

Fighting for Your Future

Why now is more important than ever to be a Member of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.

If you don’t feel the need to be part of a grassroots commodity group, take a few minutes to read this to find out why we need you in our corner.

I joined the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) in 2014 and got elected to the Board in 2019. Today I’m serving as the President. I didn’t expect to be in this role but I’m sure glad this is where I ended up. I’m a third-generation corn and soybean farmer from Madison. Just like my friends and neighbors who also farm I believe this is a great way to make a living and I’m proud to raise my four daughters understanding where their food and fuel comes from as well as the hard work that’s behind production agriculture. But believe me when I say that farmers are as a group shrinking in size in our great country, that is indeed a fact.

Why does all this matter?

When Congress starts laying out their policies that affect the agricultural community, who do you think they look to for direction? They look to commodity groups. This past January, U.S. Senator John Thune hosted his Farm Bill Roundtable for all South Dakota commodity groups. This was our opportunity to provide our insight as to what we feel are important policy points specifically for South Dakota corn farmers. Important things like protecting crop insurance, increasing reference price and loan rates, modernizing the Farm Bill safety net through a mandatory base acre update, and increasing maximum loan rates for farm ownership programs at FSA. Did you know that more than 40% of the Representatives serving in the U.S. House of Representatives have never voted on a Farm Bill? And I guarantee you many have never stepped a foot on a farm. If we aren’t able to represent corn farmers uniquely in South Dakota, who would?

When a derecho destroyed our grain storage facilities in 2022, the SDCGA stepped up to get CCC funding for farmers who were devastated from this natural disaster. March 9th, the USDA announced that eligible farmers in South Dakota will be able to apply for a cost share to rebuild their on-farm storage.

These are just a couple of extremely important reasons why we need you as part of our organization. Simply put, the more Members we have the more we can effectively engage in situations that not only affect us today but for generations to come.

It’s easy to join and it probably costs less than it would to spend a night out on the town, but it sure makes a lot bigger impact. Hope to see your name on the roster at our next Annual Meeting.

Dave Ellens, SDCGA President

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