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Farm groups should watch priorities

REVA, S.D. -- South Dakota Farm Bureau CEO Michael Held's criticism of bill HB1224 is a classic example of the political rhetoric propagating strife among South Dakota's livestock producer organizations. Through continued bickering and name calli...

REVA, S.D. -- South Dakota Farm Bureau CEO Michael Held's criticism of bill HB1224 is a classic example of the political rhetoric propagating strife among South Dakota's livestock producer organizations. Through continued bickering and name calling, our organizations are failing to address the important issues of how to encourage, assist and support the involvement of our next generations in agriculture. While we are busy keeping political score, our youth are rapidly exiting South Dakota for positions with better pay in less stressful nonagriculture industries.

HB1224 supports voluntary animal identification, which is just what Held and the Farm Bureau policy manual suggest their policy is. I think what this organization is alluding to is they are prioritizing political agendas above cooperatively working for the good of the South Dakota agriculture industry. Keep the fires burning, boys, and wonder where the next generation has gone while you were busy squabbling.

Held's second point in opposition to HB1224 is that this legislation is a nuisance bill. This ho-hum attitude is alarming, to say the least. It was the intent of the fathers of the Constitution to include the 10th Amendment to protect states' rights. For 233 years, our families have served and given the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms as set forth in the Constitution of the United States. If all South Dakotans choose to subscribe to this attitude of federal dominance, then it is only a matter of time before our legislative halls become silent and our state name will be cast to the history books.

As citizens of South Dakota and members of our respective organizations, we have a responsibility to ensure that our organizational leaders adhere to the policy book and, above all else, that they respect the laws of our country and the commitment of countless Americans who have fought for our freedoms. I am alarmed to think revenues from my investments in Held's organization may be used against my vocation.

I question if the majority of members is aware that the premiums they pay are facilitating political lobbying, which is contrary to organizational policy.

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Editor's Note: Meyer farms in Reva, S.D.

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