Grain Bins


South Dakota Corn Growers Association Holds Successful 38th Annual Corn Conference

Posted on February 05, 2024
Corn Conference 2024


Contact: Margaret Pennock, Director of External Affairs

Office: 605.334.0100 • Cell: 605.409.0030

Email: [email protected]

Sioux Falls, SD, January 25, 2024 – The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) 38th Annual Corn Conference held on Saturday, January 20th, was a resounding success with more than 500 individuals attending the day-long event.

Professional agricultural speakers including Tommy Grisafi, Eric Snodgrass and Kenneth Zuckerberg provided expert insights during the morning and afternoon sessions while Rob Sharkey, the Sharkfarmer, headlined for the evening banquet. In addition, Governor Kristi Noem, U.S. Senator John Thune and U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson shared comments with the crowd. In addition, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds was a special guest speaker on January 19th for a pre-conference joint SDCGA and South Dakota Corn Utilization (SDCUC) board event.

“The Corn Conference was a wonderful day and evening of celebration with our members and community friends,” SDCGA President Dave Ellens said. “This was our opportunity to share why SDCGA is a critical advocate for corn farmers. The fact that we had the state’s top four delegates join us is a testament to that.”

In addition, the SDCGA honored the following individuals and business with these awards:

Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award

The Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award honors lawmakers who are passionate about leading our state’s corn growers to the next level.

U.S. Senator John Thune

U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson

    Excellence in Public Outreach Award

    The Excellence in Public Outreach Award is given each year to an individual or organization who goes the extra mile in spreading agriculture’s story to the general public with fairness, accuracy and due diligence.

    Ariana Schumacher, AgWeek

      Excellence in Agriculture Award

      This honor goes to an outstanding individual or organization who exemplifies excellence in agriculture through significant contributions to the industry.

      AgPhD – Brian and Darren Hefty

        MVP in Agriculture Award

        The MVP in Agriculture Award honors an individual who has dedicated their career to advancing and advocating for the agriculture industry.

        Nate Franzén, President, Ag Banking Division, First Dakota

          South Dakota Corn Yield Contest winners were also recognized at the event, including:

          • Tom Arens of Yankton, Pioneer
          • Dwight Brenner of Armour, Pioneer
          • Ben Crick of Menno, Pioneer
          • Dennis Dehaan of Platte, Pioneer
          • Steve Hagena of Davis, Pioneer
          • Robert (Bob) Holzwarth of Hazel, Hefty Seed
          • Dana Johnson of Milbank, Pioneer
          • Eugene Johnson of Flandreau, Dekalb
          • Scott McKee of Hawarden, Pioneer
          • Nick Olson of Vermillion, Dekalb
          • Tyler Poeschl of Yankton, Pioneer
          • Kory Standy of Platte, Dekalb
          • Joey Waldner of Huron, Beck’s Hybrids
          • Kyle Wilhelmsen of Burke, LG Seeds
          • Harold Wipf of Scotland, Pioneer
          • John Yaggie of Yankton, Pioneer

          About South Dakota Corn Growers Association: Farmer Led and South Dakota Focused

          South Dakota corn producers formed the SDCGA membership organization in 1986 to serve as a collective voice on issues at the state and national levels. The state is divided into nine districts for representation. SDCGA board of directors are elected by fellow South Dakota corn producers from their respective districts. SDCGA meets annually to pass resolutions and hold board elections.


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