South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has proposed merging the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Lt. Governor Larry Rhoden provided an update at the South Dakota Farm Bureau Convention in Rapid City. He says there are many synergies between the two divisions.
While livestock permitting is a local control issue, he says the merger will enhance agricultural development efforts in the state.
Rhoden says combining the two departments also makes sense because of the positive impact farmers have on the land.
The merger can be done administratively by the Governor but the state legislature can still oppose it. So far many of the state’s farm groups support the proposal.