Department of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $5.5 million to provide broadband services to rural areas in central South Dakota. 


This is part of the $550 million Congress is allocating to the ReConnect program, which gives federal funding to facilitate broadband implementation in unserved and underserved areas in the United States. 



Governor Kristi Noem’s merger of the state Departments of Agriculture and Environment and Natural Resources is being pitched as making state government more efficient.

Not everyone is convinced by the consolidation.

The move comes a few months after Kim Vanneman resigned as head of the Ag department in South Dakota. Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden served as interim secretary.

Now, the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Hunter Roberts, will head up both departments, now called Agriculture and Natural Resources.

News: July 27 - Aug 2

Aug 2, 2019

After recent hearings on SNAP benefit eligibility requirements, the USDA issued a rule to reform the process; Representative Johnson discusses these changes. Kevin McNew, chief economist with the Farmer's Business Network, talks the impact of the new farm aid package. The CEO of Blue Dasher Farms explains “Regenerative Ag.” The senior advisor for South Dakota's Department of Agriculture discusses the 2019 Agricultural Economic Contribution Study. And, as always, the political junkies discuss this week's political news. 


In The Moment ... July 31, 2019 Show 627 Hour 1

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture says even during down times, agriculture continues to thrive.

The 2019 Agricultural Economic Contribution Study shows an economic contribution of $32.5 billion from the state ag industry. And while the number of farms in the state declined by 6% since 2012, livestock inventory is on the rise.

Rick Vallery joins In The Moment. He's the senior advisor for South Dakota's Department of Agriculture. 

SD Fertilizer Runoff And The Gulf Dead Zone

Jun 24, 2016

Oceanographers fear that this year the Gulf of Mexico could see its largest dead zone ever recorded. 

Researchers attribute the massive annual die off of fish around the Mississippi delta to fertilizer runoff from agriculture in the Great Plains.

Officials in South Dakota say they recognize this problem and are taking action.