SD Farmers Union convention tackles landowner rights, grassroot policy
Landowner’s rights and grassroot policy are major points of discussion at this year’s South Dakota Farmers Union Convention.
State and county officials met in Huron Thursday and Friday for the 108th annual event.
The convention brought members and guests from across the state to discuss issues facing the agriculture industry in the state.
Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden attended the event. He presented a report on a recent trade mission he took to Mexico. He said the state should start to look to other areas of trade.
“We felt like we would be the underdogs. They’d be looking down their noses at us. And it was very much the opposite. They came to the meetings and they had their hats in their hand, they were eager to visit, eager to talk about how we can expand our trade and the things we would bring to the table for them. So extremely encouraging that way,” said Rhoden.
After his presentation audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions. Joy Hohn is a Minnehaha County landowner. She asked a question on behalf of a group of landowners.
“We’re wondering your stance this year on eminent domain legislation for property owners, and also for taking local control away from the local government. Where they can help protect us," said Hohn. "What is your stance on that and will you be staying for the property rights panel at 2 p.m. to hear our concerns?”
Rhoden answered her first question directly.
“Well, its never been a secret for either Gov. Noem or myself in our current life or former lives as legislators, hers as a congresswoman, that we stand with property rights, and always have. And always will. As far as eminent domain, if your talking about the pipeline, that process has been in the hands of the PUC and it still is. And there is not a place for us in that discussion right now,” said Rhoden.
Rhoden did not attend the ‘taking back landowner rights’ panel discussion that took place directly after his presentation.
Brian Jorde is a lawyer who represented over a hundred landowners in the recent PUC trail hearings over eminent domain. He attended the landowners’ rights panel discussion via zoom. He said the most impact people can have who want change to eminent domain law is to show up in Pierre during legislation.