News from the Secretary

News from the Secretary by Larry Gabriel Who is the most important person not on the farm?

I recently wrote about the "most important" person on the farm or ranch. I did not hear much response from that column, but my wife liked it.

This week I would like to use my time to talk about people who, although not on the farm or ranch, make enormous contributions to our rural life in South Dakota.

These people are important contributors to an industry that has a $17 billion impact on the state's economy. That impacts every South Dakotan, and I feel the need to thank them.

It is more popular to bad mouth politicians than to thank them. But I know from personal experience that our Congressional delegation, governor and most members of our legislature want what's best for our farmers and ranchers. They dedicate large portions of their lives working for that.

They may not always agree about what is best, but I believe their hearts are in the right place when it comes to this subject.

Thank them, the next time you meet one.

There are a lot of jokes about farmers and bankers, some of them not too complimentary, and we have all seen the old movies with the stereotypical banker trying to steal the farm or ranch. The bankers I know are not like that. The agricultural lenders of South Dakota want nothing more than for you to succeed in your farming or ranching operation. Your success is their success, and they make an enormous contribution.

Thank them, the next time you meet one.

Agricultural organizations are another very large group of people who work behind the scenes and often without thanks. They track legislation, keep members informed, and perform lobbying or promotional work that no individual rancher or farmer could. They are too numerous to name, so I won't even try. But their work lends informed direction to the inevitable changes in our industry and rural society.

Thank them, the next time you meet one.

Now, I want to talk about a group that you might not associate with supporters of agriculture in South Dakota.

They don't issue press releases or call news conferences, but you would not be a farmer or rancher without them. You would not be free to choose that lifestyle. You would not have the right to own land, and you could not choose what to do with it if you did. Any money you earned would not be your own.

To me, the most important part of being a farmer or rancher is individual freedom. We wouldn't have any individual freedoms or rights without the men and women who defend our freedoms by serving in the armed services of our county.

Thank them, each and every time you meet one.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>