Daschle praises Vermillion's pursuit of economic progress U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle praised Vermillion for aggressively pursuing economic opportunities. Daschle was the keynote speaker at the Vermillion Development Company's annual banquet, held Wednesday, June 2, at The Prairie. by David Lias Sen. Tom Daschle told a capacity crowd at the Vermillion Development Company�s banquet Wednesday that communities like Vermillion must gain a sense of unity to continue to be successful in the future.
�In this state, along with volunteerism, it�s important that we look beyond what separates us to those things that unite us,� Daschle said in his keynote speech at the banquet, which was held at The Prairie. �We need to look toward the spirit of community that I feel when I come to Vermillion.
�I think that what you have to do to succeed, regardless of whether we�re talking about a town or a state or a country, is to create opportunities that might not be there were it not for the fact that you are willing to come together and overlook differences,� he added.
Daschle, the minority leader in the U.S. Senate, said Vermillion has the vision and willingness to set aside short-term differences to work together.
He added that the Vermillion Development Company, which has been active now for over 30 years, �is both a product of Vermillion�s vision as well as a source of that vision.�
The economic gains made in Vermillion in the past couple years, including the location of major employers such as Polaris and Gateway here, �didn�t just happen,� Daschle said. �They weren�t an accident. And we celebrate those successes not content to simply sit on our hands and be content with what we�ve done.�
He told the banquet audience that future successes will be determined in a large measure by a willingness to think in new and different ways.
�That�s another reason why I believe this city will continue to do so well,� Daschle said. �You�re not afraid of innovation. You�re prepared to think new. And what�s happening here is evidence of that already.�
He said his travels throughout the state have revealed the emergence of �two South Dakotas� in recent years.
�The first South Dakota is the one that is growing, and the second South Dakota is one that is not,� he said. �The first South Dakota is one where the economy is diversified, where people are moving in and communities are growing. Business is booming.�
Daschle said the I-29 corridor, from Watertown to North Sioux City, is part of the growing South Dakota.
�Then there�s the other South Dakota, the South Dakota that is hurting, and it�s been hurting badly for some time,� he said, adding that high unemployment and large population losses are common in several South Dakota counties.
�The farm crisis as it plays itself out on livestock and grain alike is having a profound impact on the second South Dakota,� Daschle said. �One of the things that makes Vermillion so fascinating to me is, as we try to determine our future as a state, how do we address those two South Dakotas?
�When I come to Vermillion, I think this is where the two South Dakotas come together,� he added. �I see on one hand your economy influenced by what�s happening in agriculture. But at the same time, you are reaping some of the benefits of the new economy.�
For example, Vermillion currently is the second lowest unemployed city in the whole state.
Daschle said the state�s agricultural sector can be improved through improved risk management, an aggressive international trade policy, more competition in the agriculture industry, and more value-added processing.
�A strong economy is not just for Vermillion and it�s not just for our state,� he said. �A strong farm economy is something that�s essential to our own national security.�
Daschle praised Vermillion for aggressively pursuing economic opportunities.
�It�s no accident that Polaris is here, or Gateway,� Daschle said. �I see a positive attitude when I come here.�
He added that Vermillion is willing to invest in its own future, and is poised for future developments in telecommunications by becoming linked to the World Wide Web.
�You have a huge competitive advantage in a large measure because you�ve made that happen,� Daschle said.