When my grandfather, Martin Daugaard, and several of his siblings immigrated to the United States from Denmark in the early 1900s, they came to South Dakota to capitalize on the opportunities available to them in agriculture.
More than a century later, technological advancements, science-based production techniques and a commitment to innovation have resulted in even greater opportunities for economic development in this growing industry.
That's why I'm excited to host the 2013 Governor's Ag Development Summit on Wednesday, June 26, at the Ramkota in Pierre. The purpose of the summit is to bring together a variety of perspectives to examine ways we can strengthen and improve the agriculture industry. There is still time to register, and I invite anyone with an interest in enhancing our state's No. 1 industry to contact the South Dakota Department of Agriculture at 605-773-5436 to save a space.
This year's theme -- "A Call to Action" -- reminds me of the life-changing decision my grandfather made a century ago to leave his home country and seek a new life in the United States. Rather than remain in Denmark, he took a risk and acted to seek a better future.
Our agriculture industry faces the same choice: do we stand by and continue to do what we've been doing, or do we push forward with initiative and a determination to succeed?
This year's Ag Development Summit will build upon the key leader round table events of past years and provide a forum to discuss the ways in which the agriculture industry can continue to thrive. Our state has all the necessary components to build this important economic sector for the next generation; we need only to take advantage of them.
Like my grandfather, a host of our state's farmers, ranchers and agribusiness people have answered the call to action. The 2013 Governor's Ag Development Summit can help us build upon our past successes and find new opportunities for the future. I hope to see you there!