Noem issues executive order merging Agriculture Department with DENR

January 20, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has issued an executive order to merge two departments overseeing the state’s agriculture industry and natural resources.

The Republican governor’s order created the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources that she billed as a “one-stop” shop for farmers and ranchers that would save the state money.

While the influential South Dakota Farm Bureau praised the move, other farmers organizations that focus on conservation opposed the merger, saying it impacted the protection of resources including water, oil and soil.