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Broadcaster Press 3 January 30, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com Working Toward A Farm Bill That’s GFP Commission Makes Changes To Limited Done Right And On Time Draw Preference Points By Sen. John Thune For folks who haven’t been following my “Thune Farm Bill” effort in the Senate, thanks to the help of stakeholder groups and individual farmers and ranchers throughout South Dakota, we made significant progress last year as we laid important groundwork for the 2018 farm bill. The current farm bill expires this fall, and one of my top priorities for 2018 is ensuring the next farm bill is done right and on time. Last March, I announced that I’d be introducing multiple individual farm bill proposals that cover most sections of the overall bill. My goal was simple. I wanted to put pen to paper early on in the process – beginning more than one year ahead of the deadline – so we could start having a discussion about items that could be included in the new bill. By starting this conversation early, we would be able to get ahead of the game, and I’m glad we did. The first proposal I introduced last year would create the Soil Health and Income Protection Program, or SHIPP for short. It’s designed to be a new voluntary income protection program for farmers that would help meet the production and soil health needs in today’s agriculture economy. The new program, which offers a short-term alternative to the popular Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and its long-term requirements, is widely supported. Scott VanderWal, the president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau, called it “commonsense” and said it had the potential be a “helpful tool” for South Dakota farmers. Shortly after I rolled out SHIPP, I introduced a set of proposals that would greatly improve how easement programs are managed by adding flexibility to CRP and creating new options for other easement programs. My legislation would boost the CRP acreage cap to 30 million acres, which represents a 25 percent increase, and it would create a new target acreage enrollment for each state based on historical enrollment. South Dakota is expected to lose nearly 60 percent of its existing CRP acres during the years covered by the 2018 farm bill, so it was clear to me that some changes needed to be made. From there, I introduced numerous other proposals that would, among other things, simplify the Agriculture Risk Coverage-County payment process for multi-county farms, require a mandatory crop acreage base update, improve eligibility for disaster-related diseases under the Livestock Indemnity Program, accelerate the availability of Livestock Forage Program assistance for counties in the D2 Drought Monitor category, increase the effectiveness of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act, and improve the National Environmental Policy Act. We closed out 2017 with a proposal to expand the sodsaver initiative, which I first authored in the 2008 and 2014 farm bills, for nationwide implementation. In 2018, we picked up right where we left off. This month, I introduced a bill that would help individual Native American ranchers by providing them with premium assistance for grazing loss crop insurance and disaster assistance eligibility for horses that are owned for personal use when natural disasters strike. Taken as a whole, these bills represent some of the most extensive farm bill policy recommendations that have been introduced this Congress. Again, and I can’t emphasize it enough, we wouldn’t be here without the hard work and dedication of the men and women in South Dakota’s agriculture industry who provided their advice and suggestions along the way. As we approach this fall’s deadline, they’re needed now more than ever. One South Dakotan’s Purple Heart Story, 73 Years Overdue By Sen. Mike Rounds One of the important services that our Senate office provides to South Dakotans is assistance in dealing with federal agencies. Over the past three years that I’ve been in office, we have helped countless South Dakotans navigate the bureaucracy of the federal government. With such a large population of veterans living in our state, we often work with different agencies on behalf of veterans. In some cases, we’re able to assist veterans in receiving overdue ribbons and commendations that have been lost in federal paperwork. We recently had the honor of helping a veteran from Flandreau receive a long overdue Purple Heart Medal. Sylvan Vigness honorably served his country in World War II. On April 1, 1945, Mr. Vigness was serving onboard the U.S.S. Hinsdale when it was hit by a kamikaze during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Mr. Vigness lost sight in his left eye after the attack, and is permanently blind in that eye as a result. Amid the chaos of the attack, the medical records onboard the ship from that day were lost or destroyed, and because of that, Mr. Vigness was denied the Purple Heart for decades. The Vigness family has spent the past 25 years seeking a Purple Heart for Mr. Vigness, working with my predecessors in the Senate to obtain this long overdue medal. The request was continuously denied because the Navy was unable to locate his medical records from the time of the attack. When the Vigness family contacted our office to look into obtaining the Purple Heart, we began putting together witness statements from his shipmates, along with other materials related to his service and subsequent eye injury. We then sent a letter to the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, requesting the medal for Mr. Vigness, and I had an opportunity to speak directly to the Secretary about it at the Pentagon. On January 17, 2018, Secretary Spencer notified my office that at his request, under the direction of the president, Mr. Vigness, now aged 94, will finally receive the Purple Heart. Mr. Vigness is a hero who bravely defended his country in World War II, and is fully deserving of the Purple Heart Medal. We’re thankful to him for his service, and we’re thankful to his family and friends for not giving up on seeking this recognition for him. Like Mr. Vigness, the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States make incredible sacrifices to defend our freedoms and our way of life. I’m extremely grateful for the president’s personal interest in directing that special attention be paid to getting veterans their overdue medals, as well as for Secretary Spencer, who personally reviewed Mr. Vigness’ medical records and personal statement and awarded him the Purple Heart. If there are other veterans and families in South Dakota who are seeking to obtain a medal or award, please reach out to our office and if we can, we’ll try to help with that effort. Call or stop in to our Pierre, Rapid City or Sioux Falls offices any time. Location information and phone numbers can be found on our website, www.rounds.senate.gov. Vermillion Optimist Club To Sponsor Oratorical Contest For Students The Optimist Club of Vermillion is encouraging area students to speak their minds about the topic “Where Are My Roots of Optimism?” as part of the Optimist International Oratorical Contest for the 2017-2018 year. The Vermillion Optimist Club will judge the local students’ speeches based on content and presentation to determine the top two winners. The winners will receive a $50 gift card and the winning speeches will be sent to the Zone 7 competition on April 7, and possibly the District 35 competition in Watertown April 27 & 28 for the opportunity to win college scholarships. Winners of the District level will be eligible to compete in a regional competition in St. Louis Missouri at Saint Louis University. Winners of the regional contests will compete in the World Championship also held at Saint Louis University. Students could possibly win up to $22,500 in scholarships! The contest is open to students under the age of 18 as of Oct. 1, 2017. “As they prepare for their future, many of our local students need experience expressing their thoughts and opinions to an audience,” Club President Dennis V. Steffen said. “The Oratorical Contest challenges them to do just that and also offers an opportunity for scholarships. In this way, our club hopes to bring out the best in each of them and help them achieve their goals for the future.” The club sent their winner on to the District 35 competition last year. The club contest will be held on Tuesday March 27 at the W.H. Over Museum Sletwold Hall at 6:30 p.m. The speech must also be sent in a Word document to President Dennis V. Steffen at dennisbigd2000@yahoo.com, the application and a copy of the birth certificate. Students wishing to participate in the oratorical contest can find out more about the contest by contacting the club at 605-760-3034 or at the above e-mail. Optimist International is one of the world’s largest service club organizations with 93,000 adult and youth members in 3,200 clubs in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean and throughout the world. The Optimist Oratorical Contest is one of the organization’s most popular programs, with more than 2,000 clubs participating annually. Carrying the Mission Statement “By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in youth, our communities and ourselves,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at www.vermillionoptimist.club or facebook page. Also go to the www.optimist.org site and access the contest information under the Who we are tab. The Green Wynot Nebraska Bar & Grill New Owners Michele & Travis Koehler Hours: Formally the Green Diamond Wednesday: 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm Watch for food and drink specials! Thursday: 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm Friday: 4:00 pm - 1:00 am Saturday: 11:00 am to 1:00 am Sunday: 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm Doors open at 6:00pm Quality Workmanship, Reasonable Rates Since 1983 CLINT TUCKER 624-4621 PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission rejected a petition to increase the minimum length limit for muskie and tiger muskie fisheries in South Dakota. Instead, the GFP Commission proposed changing the harvest restrictions for these fish from a statewide 40 inch minimum length limit and a daily limit of one fish, to a catch and release only. A petition was submitted to the GFP Commission requesting that the length limit for harvesting a muskie be increased from the current 40 inches to 50 inches. Currently, South Dakota has five lakes that are managed for this fish species. They are Lynn and Middle Lynn in Day County, West Highway 81 in Kingsbury County, Sinai in Brookings County and North Island Lake in McCook and Minnehaha counties. Muskie populations in these lakes are supported by stocking 9-12 inch fish every other year. Muskies over 50 inches have been documented in lakes with a longer history of muskie management, such as Lynn Lake. The GFP Commission will consider adopting the catch and release regulation on March 1-2, 2018, at the Pierre RedRossa Convention Center. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held March 1 at 2 p.m. CST. Individuals can also provide written comments on commission rule proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or via email to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006 TODD’S ELECTRIC SERVICE “The Line To Power” Design/Build • Fiber Cabling • Commercial • Residential Service Calls • Boom Truck with Auger • Trenching Serving the Beresford and Vermillion Areas 1-800-560-2518 1221 Cornell St., Vermillion, SD • 605-624-5642 201 NW 13th St., Ste. 3, Beresford, SD • 800-560-2518 Pair of Businesses For Sale in Wakonda! The Wakonda Hotel & Bar – “The Pit” Huge Potential for Hotel Use, Apartments, Bed & Breakfast or More! Asking $149,000 Adult Saturday, February 10th •Interior •Exterior •Commercial •Residential GFP Commission Proposes Catch And Release Rule For Muskellunge Turn-Key Bar & Restaurant Business Bunyan’s 5th Annual PRECISION PAINTING PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission changed the way preference points effect 36 limited draw seasons at their January Commission meeting. The Commission decided to take the number of times a person is in the draw and cube that number (number of preference points + 1 for the current application). This adjustment is intended to provide those hunters with a higher number of preference points a greater chance of drawing a limited license than currently exists. “The drawing will, essentially, be run the exact same way as before,” said GFP licensing supervisor, Shon Eide. “We will still have the same breakdown of preference point pools for every season, however, now we will cube the number of times the person’s name is in the draw before that draw is run." While this will improve the odds for people with a higher number of preference points drawing a license, it will not guarantee them a license. “This doesn’t change the drawing to a true top down preference point system,” Eide said. “A hunter with the most preference points would still not be guaranteed a license before another hunter with less preference points who is in the same draw pool, but their odds of drawing a license would be increased over someone else in the draw pool with fewer preference points.” The cubing of preference points also does not impact the price of preference points or the number of preference points a hunter can acquire in any given year. The cubed preference point system will first be applied to the 2018 elk and Gavin’s Point paddlefish snagging drawings and then used for all limited draw seasons. It will not be used for special buck, Francis Case paddlefish snagging or spring turkey drawings until 2019. For a more information on preference points, please visit https://gfp.sd.gov/preference-points/. Bring your sweetie and enjoy the evening – DJ & Raffles Proceeds to benefit Vermillion After Prom Party Bunyan’s Bar and Grill Bring in a canned good to benefit the local Food Pantry and recieve a free raffle ticket. 605.624.9971 • 1201 W Main • Vermillion The Eagle Stop Convenience Store & Gas Station Turn-Key Station fully Equipped! Several Updates in the Last 3-Years! Asking $110,000 To View Either of These Properties, contact Mike Girard at (605) 661-7167 or mike@girardauction.com See tons more details and several more photos at www.GirardAuction.com!
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