Walt Bones, South Dakota’s secretary of agriculture and a Parker, S.D. farmer, feeder, and dairyman, said something interesting the other day about all the time farmers and rancher spend volunteering and otherwise serving their communities.
“It was about this time last year when I was contacted by a member of the governor’s search committee and asked if I would be interested in serving South Dakota’s agriculture industry [as secretary of agriculture],” he wrote. “I recognized it was an unbelievable opportunity, but I also realized what a life changing commitment this would be.”
“When the governor’s chief of staff asked me to send him a resume, I had to scramble. Working on our farm has been my career. Accepting this full time position came with a lot of soul searching and a lot of support from my wife and family. I knew this meant being away from our farm during calving, planting and harvesting and away from a group of people that I’d worked with every day for the last 40 years.
“But that is what we do here in South Dakota and in agriculture. Everywhere I go I meet producers that give of their time to serve in elected or volunteer positions -- county commissions, township boards, water boards, church boards, the Brand Board, the State Fair Commission, Animal Industry Board, commodity and farm organizations, the local cooperative board, the Legislature -- the list goes on and on.”
“I don’t know if anyone keeps a tally on all the hours spent … all of you are taking time away from your families and operations, giving input and support to ideas and programs that make our industry, our state and our nation a better place to live….I would like to say thank you for all you do.”
Amen to that.