I talk a lot about the American Dream. Unfortunately, that’s unusual these days. To me, the American Dream was an ideal that was embedded in my heart since I was a child. I think that had a lot to do with growing up on the farm. It was tough work, but one of the best lessons my parents taught us kids was that life isn’t easy.
The road to success isn’t paved by anyone but yourself. Sure, others can help – but you have to work hard to attain it yourself. There is something so inherently American about being self-taught and self-starting – about making decisions and solving problems as you go. As my dad always said, “we don’t complain about things, we fix them.”
That’s the mindset of so many of our farmers across the state of South Dakota. Their job is tiring, it’s often thankless, but they still get up every single morning and get to work. Our farmers show what South Dakota grit and grind is all about. They’re some of the hardest workers I know. And I figure the least I can do is protect their industry.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Travis Mockler, a local ag producer near Centerville, South Dakota. Travis grew his independent farming operation into a diversified farming enterprise where he raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and stock cows, in addition to providing a custom haying service.
Folks like Travis truly embody the American Dream. But that success comes with its own challenges. Travis’ ag operation was previously sued by a liberal activist group with a nuisance complaint. Fortunately, he was able to get back on his feet. I want to prevent South Dakota farmers from having to endure those kinds of struggles in the future.
That’s why I signed legislation to preserve agriculture in South Dakota. This new law will keep our farmers protected from frivolous claims that can delay development and increase costs for producers.
South Dakota farmers have built ag into a $32 billion industry. It accounts for one in every five jobs in the state. We need to make sure we can pass this thriving industry down to our kids and grandkids. That’s why This legislation is so important to preserve the future of agriculture.
I hope that future generations can learn the same lessons that my parents taught me on the farm – that our rural way of life continues to instill the value of building the American Dream in so many young hearts. In my experience, I have come to find that preserving agriculture also preserves patriotism. And we need a whole lot of both of those nowadays.
Growing up, I always thought God must really love farmers. Just look at how often sowing and reaping are mentioned in the Bible. Now, I’m more convinced than ever that’s true. It does take incredible faith to be in a profession where so much is out of your control. South Dakota farmers are literally feeding America – and the world – every single day. And when I look at our state’s rolling hills and ag land and think about the hard work of our people, I’m sure that God has a hand in it all.