Rep. Charlie Hoffman – Guest Columnist

As a state representative in District 23, it is my mission to ensure our farmers have the support they need to continue feeding and fueling the world. I pay close attention to the trends affecting the industry and listen intently to the concerns of corn growers like my brother.

I am consistently fascinated with how the agricultural industry in South Dakota and the entire state’s well-being are interconnected. Farming in South Dakota contributes $32.5 billion annually to our economy, 132,105 jobs, and more than $497 million in state and local taxes. Still, as is the case with any industry, there comes a time when we must adapt to remain successful. 

The emergence of ethanol is an excellent example of agriculture’s evolution. Through exciting innovation, ethanol producers created a new market for corn, drastically boosting demand. Today, this industry consumes nearly half of South Dakota-grown corn and represents a reliable market for farmers. It is a critical resource for the South Dakota agricultural community and our state’s economy, but challenges like small-refinery waivers, COVID-19 and now electric vehicles are forcing ethanol producers to look for new ways to compete in the future.

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