SD Department of Agriculture

Mike Jaspers Appointed Head of Agriculture

Jun 9, 2016
Governor's Office

Governor Dennis Daugaard has appointed a new Secretary of Agriculture. The new hire has experience in government . . . and on the farm.

Mike Jaspers grew up in South Dakota and operates farms on the eastern side of the state. He served in the state legislature for 8 years and was the state director for the USDA’s Rural Development. Jaspers says receiving the position is an honor and he wants to push forward to help producers.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Survey crews are training for a time when the emerald ash borer finds its way to South Dakota trees. The exotic insect feeds on black, green or white ash. The trees have no defense against the beetle. State, local, and federal agencies are collaborating on a practice exercise in Sioux Falls.

State forester Gregory Josten says to claim South Dakota has escaped the emerald ash borer so far isn’t necessarily true.

"We don’t know for sure that it’s not here, but we have not found it here yet," Josten says.

The South Dakota Agricultural Foundation has announced the establishment of an endowment fund within the South Dakota Community Foundation. The focus is on investing in the future of the ag industry in the state. Initial partners have committed $1.5 million to this effort over the next five years. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch and Stephanie Judson, president of the SD Community Foundation, join Midday to talk about the endowment … its genesis, its goals, and its potential impact on family farmers/producers throughout the state.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Farmers and ranchers in South Dakota must decide whether to save the money they make from crops and livestock or reinvest it. The growing season is well underway for South Dakota farmers, and ranchers are watching markets as they raise their animals. 

Record commodity prices for corn and soybeans are gone, and that has some farmers keeping their money in the bank instead of spending it on upgrades and new equipment. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch says growers remain cautious.

South Dakota Farmers Rank High

Aug 27, 2013

South Dakota farmers rank in the top 10 in the nation in the production of more than 15 crops.  A recent report from the federal Agriculture Department shows that South Dakota is tops in the production of bison and second in the production of honey, flaxseed, proso millet and sunflowers.  The state is in the top 10 in many other major crops including wheat, corn, soybeans and oats.  South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says the latest statistics show that the state remains an agricultural powerhouse even without a large population.

Fighting Mountain Pine Beetles

Aug 26, 2013
Farm & Livestock Directory

Last week, Governor Dennis Daugaard announced that more than 240,000 acres have been surveyed for Mountain Pine Beetle infestations since the Black Hills Forest Initiative began two years ago.  As a result of the surveys, crews have "cut and chunked" or otherwise treated 335,000 trees on private and state land.  Almost 1,900 landowners have participated in the initiative's cost-share program.  The South Dakota Departments of Agriculture and Game, Fish and Parks have contracted with several Black Hills area conservation districts to hire an average of 50 seasonal employees to keep ahead of c