Speaking of agriculture and corporations, let’s all sign up for the Governor’s Agriculture Summit, scheduled for Deadwood July 9–10. The corporate sponsors will spring for attendees to ride around the Black Hills all Thursday, including a stop at the Crow Peak Brewery in Spearfish for samples.
Once properly lubricated, Ag Summiteers will spend Friday hearing the best in industry propaganda. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch will start the show Friday with the usual boosterism about agriculture as South Dakota’s largest industry. Super PAC starter Brian Klippenstein will take the mic to warn against the evils of animal activists. Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes will focus on international trade opportunities, although if coaxed, he may speak in favor of efforts by the government and McDonald’s to reduce antibiotic use in livestock. In a stunning reversal of usual practice, the Governor will allow Jeff and Jolene Stewart to talk about their 11-acre berry farm near Wagner and opportunities for local agriculture sales. But then we’ll get back with the program with swine expert Dr. Steve Meyer, who will likely provide the gloss of scientific and economic affirmation to South Dakota’s push for CAFOs CAFOs everywhere.
Aside from the Stewarts’ Aronia Acres, the Governor’s Ag Summit promises to continue Pierre’s focus on Big Ag. But hey, at least there will be beer.