food supply


In The Moment ... June 30, 2020 Show 849 Hour 1

The Faith Temple Food Giveaway in Sioux Falls is seeing a sharp increase in the number of people who are in need of food. They recently announced their Coronavirus Hunger Initiative.

Jeff Hayes, Director of the Faith Temple Food Giveaway, shares details of this popular service which helps to fill the needs of people in the Sioux Falls area.


This story aired as part of SDPB's series on the food supply chain. 

The coronavirus pandemic highlights just how fragile our food supply chain is. The Smithfield meat packing plant in Sioux Falls has been one of the nation’s hotspots for COVID-19. The virus infected hundreds of workers and the plant is still coming back from a three-week shut down. 

The country’s food supply chain has faced serious tests this year. Pork producers learned that first hand in April, when several midwestern meat packing plants closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

A three-week shut down of Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls displaced about 300,000 hogs. And that has ripple effects across the industry.

It was mid-April when Brian Mehlhaff saw the writing on the wall.

Paul Schackow / SDPB

Rancher Rick Fox said there aren’t as many buyers for his cattle anymore, because the four major beef processors are so big they’ve pushed out competition. 

He said that drives down the price of cattle. 

Paul Schackow / SDPB

The coronavirus pandemic could be a pivotal moment for the beef industry, because it’s shining a new light on old problems. 

One of those problems is a lack of competition in beef processing. Four big companies control more than 80 percent of the industry. It’s called “packer concentration,” and it's been a sore subject with ranchers for more than 100 years. 

The Livestock Conservancy

May 8, 2018

In The Moment ... May 8, 2018 Show 332 Hour 2

Can a farm animal go extinct? What's the role of heritage breeds in modern farming and ranching? How does genetic diversity of livestock preserve the history of our nation and the future of our food supply?

Ryan Walker and Brian Larson, representatives of The Livestock Conservancy, answer those questions.


As a top industry in the state, agriculture is on the minds of many South Dakotan voters. U.S. Representative Kristi Noem visits Midday to provide her insight on agriculture as she represents local farmers and producers in Washington, D.C. She also discusses the ongoing search for a compromise regarding Country of Origin Labeling, the importance of food supply to national security, and how South Dakotans consistently farm beyond next year’s crop.