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Trip to Washington in support of farm bill: National Farmers Union holds annual legislative fly-in to Washington, D.C.

Posted: Friday, Sep 13th, 2013

South Dakotans taking part in the National Farmers Union’s annual legislative fly-in to Washington to urge support of the farm bill include, front row, from left, Doug Sombke of Conde; Kelsey Schnetzer of Wolsey; Erin Wilcox of Huron; Anne Tornberg of Beresford; LaQuita Schockley of Lemmon; Dallis Basel and Tammy Basel of Union Center; Olga Reuvenkamp of Elkton. Second row, Luanne Thompson of Virgil; Wayne Soren of Lake Preston; Larry Birgen of Sioux Falls; Jason Johnke of Centerville; Greg Bonn of Conde; B.J. and Kyla Richter of Britton. Back row: Kevin Thompson of Virgil, Gene Hoffman of Lemmon; Lynn Eberhart of Britton; Ron Slaba of Ludlow; Karla Hofhenke of Huron; Chad Johnson of Groton; Susan Wismer of Britton; James Murphy of Crofton, Neb.; Bradley Cihak of Tyndall; Mike Traxinger of Claremont; Rachel and Jeff Kippley of Aberdeen. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of South Dakotans spent Tuesday on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to pass a comprehensive, five-year farm bill. A total of 30 South Dakotans were among the nearly 300 participants from across the country to attend the National Farmers Union’s annual legislative fly-in to Washington, D.C.

“It’s such a critical time for us to be in Washington and meet with our lawmakers,” said South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke. “We’re nearing the expiration date of the farm bill extension and we’re asking lawmakers to get a farm bill passed before the end of the month.”

Much of the talk in Washington this week has been the situation in Syria. Farmers Union members are working to make sure lawmakers keep the farm bill discussions moving forward and don’t forget about the issue.

“We understand that Syria is a pressing issue right now,” Sombke said. “We’re working to inform members of Congress about the national security impact the farm bill has on our country. If we can’t grow our own food, our national security is at risk.”

South Dakotans met with members of Congress and their staffs throughout the day Tuesday, including members from states like Florida, Georgia, Arizona and others.

“It’s important for us to tell our story to people from across the country  that aren’t as familiar with agriculture,” Sombke said. “It gives us a chance to discuss these issues that are extremely important.”

The South Dakotans also met privately in separate meetings Tuesday with South Dakota’s congressional delegation, Sen. John Thune, Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. Kristi Noem. The fly-in runs through Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

For the complete article see the 09-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-12-2013 paper.

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