SDFU, Governor Noem at odds over merger of Agriculture, DENR Departments (Audio)

January 19, 2021

HURON, S.D.–The South Dakota Farmers Union opposes the plan from Governor Kristi Noem to merge the Ag Department with Environment and Natural Resources.

President Doug Sombke says they’re now working with lawmakers to write a bill that puts the State Agriculture Secretary position on the ballot rather than have that position appointed by the Governor.

Sombke was asked if he’s concerned that by electing the State Agriculture Secretary it would place that decision in those far removed from agriculture.

Sombke says merging DENR with the Agriculture Department won’t really save much money and overall is a bad idea.

Governor Noem says Farmer’s Union opposing an idea of hers is nothing new….

Sombke says they will testify against the merger legislation whenever it’s introduced.