Sutton Adds Silvia Christen as New Finance Director

Billie Sutton, candidate for South Dakota Governor, announces Silvia Christen, former Executive Director of the SD Stockgrowers Association, has joined the campaign as finance director. Christen will head up all fundraising efforts and manage the budgetary operations of the campaign.

Christen said, “I’ve had my thumb on the pulse of South Dakota policy for years, and I’ve been so impressed with Billie’s ability to build coalitions and work for common sense solutions. I’m proud to join the Sutton campaign and ready to continue my work for a stronger South Dakota from this new capacity.”

A Rapid City resident, Christen has served as the executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association for the past seven years. While earning a degree from the University of Missouri in Ag Economics and Rural Sociology in 2005, Christen conducted research on ag policy and rural development in the US and South Africa.

Her resume includes previous involvement with the Vote Yes Rapid City campaign, local and regional elections, the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee, and several other service organizations in the region and state. She was an integral part of the disaster recovery efforts following the 2013 Atlas Blizzard, and she was named the Black Hills Stock Show’s Ag Business Person of the Year in 2015.

Christen will work to continue the unprecedented fundraising success the Sutton campaign has achieved so far in this election cycle.


China Hits U.S. Agriculture with Retaliation

China placed a 25 percent retaliatory tariff on multiple U.S. goods, including sorghum. The retaliatory tariff also applies to U.S. soybeans, cotton, wheat, vegetables, beef, pork and others and will go into effect on July 6. This action was in response to the U.S. issuing a 25 percent tariff earlier today on 1,102 Chinese goods.

Today’s tariff announcement comes a month after China terminated anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into U.S. sorghum, which ended the 178.6 percent duty. The newly enforced 25 percent tariff will bring higher prices for Chinese consumers who purchase over half of U.S. sorghum exports. National Sorghum Producers Chairman and Nebraska farmer Don Bloss issued the following statement:

“National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, have already seen the market uncertainty and price fluctuations that occur when China retaliates on U.S. goods. We urge President Trump and the Administration to move forward with constructive trade negotiations that will end tariffs on U.S. agriculture, especially during times of existing economic stress.

“We understand the grave impact tariff decisions can inflict on producers. American farmers depend on trade with China, and these tariffs will have devastating effects on U.S. agriculture. We greatly value our business relationship with Chinese buyers and hope to see this win-win relationship move forward. We have witnessed the Administration’s efforts in positive trade negations in the past that lifted sanctions on U.S. sorghum and hope to see similar efforts going forward.

“National Sorghum Producers will continue to work with and encourage officials to achieve long-term trade solutions with China. Protecting our markets remains the No. 1 priority for U.S. sorghum farmers and the agriculture industry.”


Carney Joins Activities Foundation Board

By Dana Hess
For the S.D. Newspaper Association

The former executive director of the South Dakota High School Activities Association will join the board of directors of the SDHSAA Foundation.

Wayne Carney will join the foundation board as a non-paid member according to Dave Stevens of Mitchell, a member of the foundation board who provided an update to the activities association’s board of directors at their Thursday meeting.

Carney was instrumental in the formation of the foundation during his tenure as executive director.

“Quite frankly, the foundation has had a hard time getting started,” Stevens said, adding that the organization would benefit from Carney’s experience.

Stevens said the foundation has a balance of $382,000 with $10,300 available to distribute in grants.

According to Stevens, the foundation would like to form a distribution committee consisting of four foundation board members, three association board members and SDHSAA Executive Director Dan Swartos as a non-voting member.

The appointment of the board members from the association will likely take place at the group’s August meeting.

Late in Carney’s tenure as executive director, the association’s corporate sponsors asked that their donations be redirected to the foundation. While they all initially stayed with the association, First Premier Bank/Premier Bankcard has decided to take its yearly donation to the foundation.

At its Thursday meeting, the SDHSAA board welcomed a new banking sponsor, Dakotah Bank, which signed a five year agreement to make yearly donations of $75,000 to the association. Corporate sponsors receive a variety of marketing benefits for their donations.

The association’s other corporate sponsors are Sanford Health, Farmers Union Insurance, Billion Automotive and the South Dakota Army National Guard.




Brooke Swier Schloss of Swier Law Firm was recently honored as one of the “Top 25 Women in Business” by Prairie Business magazine.

Now in its fifth year, the award honors successful businesswomen in North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Minnesota. The award emphasizes professional achievement, community contributions, and work-life balance.

“I am so honored that Prairie Business magazine recognizes the accomplishments of professional women in our region,” said Brooke Swier Schloss. “As the mother of two small daughters, I am thrilled to tell them ‘Look at the opportunities you have to chase your dreams.’ I am humbled to be part of such a successful group of businesswomen.”

“We are very proud of Brooke’s achievement in being named one of the ‘Top 25 Women in Business for 2018,” said Scott Swier. “She is the epitome of a dedicated professional and selfless volunteer.”

A reception was held on Thursday, May 17, in the Dakota Ballroom at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo, to celebrate the 2018 Top 25 Women in Business.

Coyotes Nab Second-Straight Showdown Series

The South Dakota Coyotes have topped the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 14-13 to win the annual South Dakota Showdown Series presented by South Dakota Corn for the third time in the last four years. The official announcement was made Wednesday by South Dakota Corn Utilization Council officials.

The South Dakota Showdown Series is a point-based athletic and academic competition between the two in-state university rivals.

The Yotes outscored the Jacks 11-10 in athletic competitions for the second-straight year to keep the traveling trophy in Vermillion. Those points were decided by head-to-head competitions and Summit League Championship finishes in 17 men’s and women’s sports. Both programs scored the maximum three points allotted for academic achievement by compiling a student-athlete grade-point average above 3.0.

“I am so proud of all our student-athletes and coaches and happy for Coyote fans,” said University of South Dakota Director of Athletics David Herbster. “Maybe more impressive than that is how our schools have played a part in helping the South Dakota Corn Council and Feeding South Dakota generate $70,000 to feed those in need. That’s teamwork and the biggest win.”

Feeding South Dakota, the Series’ philanthropic partner, will be able to provide 280,000 meals for adults and children throughout the state because of the $70,000 generous donation from South Dakota Corn. Funds were raised throughout the year at a variety of activities, including the “Get Off the Bench” campaign. Now in its second year, the campaign took place at USD-SDSU rivalry games during the 2017-18 season where fans were encouraged to support the overall goal to provide funding in the state’s fight against hunger.

“Through this continuing partnership with Feeding South Dakota, our state’s farmers are making a commitment to provide hundreds of thousands of nourishing meals to individuals and families who are less fortunate,” said South Dakota Corn’s Teddi Mueller. “The Showdown Series and other events throughout the year raise awareness of the state’s needs and generate a substantial amount of money to ensure South Dakotans do not go hungry. We are all partners in this meaningful cause.”

Fans can visit,, or to track progress and see point totals. Spearheading the initiative between the athletic departments and South Dakota Corn are Coyote Sports Properties and Jackrabbit Sports Properties, the multimedia rights holders for USD athletics and SDSU athletics, respectively. Both are properties of Learfield, which manages multimedia rights for nearly 130 collegiate properties around the country.

A breakdown of the scoring follows:

South Dakota (14)
3 – cumulative GPA above 3.0
2 – volleyball sweeps Summit series 2-0
2 – women’s basketball sweeps Summit series 2-0
1 – women’s cross country
1 – men’s basketball splits Summit series 1-1
1 – men’s swimming and diving
1 – women’s indoor track and field
1 – women’s tennis
1 – men’s golf
1 – women’s outdoor track and field

South Dakota State (13)
3 – cumulative GPA above 3.0
2 – football
1 – women’s soccer
1 – men’s cross country
1 – women’s swimming and diving
1 – men’s basketball splits Summit series 1-1
1 – men’s indoor track and field
1 – softball wins Summit series 2-1
1 – women’s golf
1 – men’s outdoor track and field

Showdown Series History
2013 – SDSU wins 14-13
2014 – SDSU wins 18-9
2015 – USD wins 14-13
2016 – SDSU wins 16-11
2017 – USD wins 14-13
2018 – USD wins 14-13

How to Pick a Perfect Steak

Written collaboratively by Amanda Blair, Holly Swee, and Adam Rhody.

As grilling season is getting into full swing many grillers are in search of the perfect steak. With so many different options out there it’s good to have plan before you head out to shop. Type of steak is a personal choice so if you know your preferences for flavor, tenderness or marbling that’s a good place to start. If you’re unsure we’ve put together a quick guide for finding the perfect steak to try.

Traditional Steak Options
A general rule of thumb is the more expensive the steak is the more tender it should be. But finding a great steak really depends on what you like. If your top priority is tenderness, a Tenderloin – also known as a Filet or Filet Mignon – is a great option. If you’re after an extremely flavorful cut a Sirloin should be on your list. Ribeyes and Strip Steaks have great beef flavor and are also tender. One reason that Ribeyes and New York Strips are so flavorful is the amount of marbling. Marbling is the small flecks of fat within the meat. The amount of marbling determines the grade. The USDA beef grades you will typically find in grocery stores or at restaurants are Select, Choice, and Prime and these are also related to price. Select cuts will have the least amount of marbling and Prime will have the most and typically be the most expensive.

Other popular beef items for summer grilling are fajitas and kabobs. Grocery stores will sell these items, but you can save a little money by cutting them yourself. A sirloin works great for kabobs since it is a tender, lean cut. For fajitas, try a beef skirt steak or flank steak that you can grill whole and slice thinly across the grain.

New Value Cuts
Speaking of price, the beef industry has developed several new value cuts over the past few years including the Flat Iron, Denver Cut, and Chuck Eye Steak. These cuts have great flavor and tenderness and generally sold at retail for less than more traditional steaks such as the ribeye. However, since they’re new to the market they may not always be available at retail so if you can’t find them ask your butcher or grocer, they are worth a try. The Flat Iron in particular is gaining popularity because it is very tender and flavorful, but they’re sold in the meat case cut a couple different ways. One cutting method results in an oval shape with a long section of connective tissue down the middle, which can lead to tenderness issues. The more preferred cutting method results in a rectangular shaped flat iron.

Lean Beef Options
Beef is a great option to add to your diet because it contributes important nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc. There are also plenty of lean beef options that can be incorporated into a balanced diet. In fact, there are over 37 cuts that meet the government guidelines for lean. Many popular cuts in the meat case qualify as lean such as Flank Steak, Tenderloin, T-Bone steak and 95% lean ground beef. A good rule of thumb is to look for the word loin or round in the name and that usually indicates a lean cut. The American Heart Association has also named 9 fresh lean cuts of beef that meet the Heart Check-mark certification.


National Guard to Host 34th Annual Golden Coyote Exercise

The South Dakota National Guard will host its 34th annual Golden Coyote training exercise in the Black Hills June 9-23 to provide military units with relevant training opportunities in support of overseas contingency operations and homeland defense.

Created in 1984 with the cooperation of the National Forest Service and Custer State Park, this year’s exercise will allow about 2,100 service members to conduct combat-support and service-support missions in a realistic training environment and provide valuable services to the public.

There will be about 30 military units from 10 states and two foreign nations (Denmark and Canada) participating in the exercise from multiple branches of military service – Army, Navy and Air Force – working together to create an invaluable training experience. Participating units conduct military operations, train on their equipment and employ tactics, and complete various humanitarian missions and engineer projects that help improve the forest and infrastructure of many communities.

Local residents receive numerous benefits from the many engineer projects conducted during the exercise. Units transport timber to Native American communities that use it as firewood, conduct building construction, repair and upgrades, identify hazardous wilderness areas and make them safe for public use, and resurface local roadways that have fallen into disrepair.

Units participate in many training tasks and battle drills such as combat patrols, urban combat operations, land navigation, first aid, casualty evacuation and convoy operations. This provides a valuable opportunity for units to train on skills needed for any future overseas deployment.

Residents should be aware of an increase in military traffic throughout the region and in the communities of Rapid City, Hill City and Custer and can expect an increase in noise levels due to military training. Aircraft will be operating throughout the area and will respond to real-world emergencies during the exercise and remain in an all-hours-ready status. The public is asked to remain at a safe distance from all moving military vehicles and aircraft to prevent injury to personnel or damage to property.

United States Supreme Court Sides with Religious Freedom Case Joined by Jackley

Attorney General Marty Jackley announced the United States Supreme Court, in support of a Colorado cake artist’s constitutionally protected right to religious freedom, has reversed a civil rights commission ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

“I’m proud to have stood with my fellow attorneys general to take a stand for religious freedom in this historic case,” Jackley said. “This is a victory for South Dakota, and I will continue to fight for the rights of all Americans to express their faith.”

Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, appealed a state court decision he lost after he declined to create a cake because of his deeply-held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

The Court recognized, the Commission’s treatment of Phillip’s case violated the State’s duty under the First Amendment not to base laws or regulations on hostility to a religion or religious viewpoint.

South Dakota joined a 20 state coalition of Attorneys General in an amicus brief in September 2017.


The 32nd Anniversary of the Spirit of Dakota Award will be celebrated in Huron this fall. The Spirit of Dakota Award Society is seeking nominations. The recipient will be announced at a banquet at the Huron Event Center on Saturday, October 6. The nine-foot bronze statue in front of the Event Center created by internationally known sculptor Dale Lamphere of Sturgis, is the inspiration for this award.

The 2018 Spirit of Dakota Award honoree will be chosen by a state-wide Selection Commission including First Lady Linda Daugaard of Pierre; Glenna Fouberg, Aberdeen; Julie Garreau, Eagle Butte; Jean Hunhoff, Yankton; Tona Rozum, Chair, Mitchell; Suzette Kirby, Sioux Falls; Marsha Sumpter, Kodoka; Ginger Thomson, Brookings; Judy Trzynka, Watertown; and Bev Wright, Turton. The nomination process is open to all interested individuals or organizations who wish to recognize an outstanding woman in their community.

This award is presented to an outstanding South Dakota woman who has demonstrated vision, courage and strength in character and who has made a significant contribution to the quality of life in her community and state. The nominee does not need to be a native of South Dakota, but must be a living resident of the state. There is no age criterion for this award.

Past recipients have included community leaders in business, government and civic organizations and have been described in newspaper articles as “the cream of the crop in terms of South Dakota’s best.”

Nomination forms are available by contacting the Huron Area Chamber of Commerce, 1725 Dakota Ave S, Huron, SD 57350 (1-800-487-6673) or online at

Sustained Effort Needed to Reduce Infant Mortality

South Dakota’s infant mortality rate increased in 2017, according to new data released today by the Department of Health. There were 12,128 births in 2017 and 94 infant deaths for a rate of 7.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.

The state reported its lowest ever American Indian infant mortality rate of 8.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. The white infant mortality rate was 7 deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2016, South Dakota reported a rate of 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births. Although the state’s infant mortality rate increased in 2017, the average infant mortality rate for the five-year period from 2013 to 2017 is the lowest ever recorded at 6.5 deaths per 1,000 live births.

“Infant mortality is a complex and multi-faceted issue, and the latest data demonstrates that sustained effort is needed to ensure more South Dakota babies celebrate their first birthday,” said First Lady Linda Daugaard, who chaired the 2011 Governor’s Task Force on Infant Mortality. “We must continue to promote safe sleep guidelines for infants, help pregnant women stop smoking and encourage early prenatal care.”

South Dakota data shows babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday if their mothers smoke during pregnancy. In 2017, 12.6 percent of pregnant women smoked while pregnant, down from 19.4 percent in 2007. The data also shows 72.2 percent of pregnant women in South Dakota received prenatal care in the first trimester.

“Infant mortality is considered a gold standard for measuring the health of a population,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health. “The Department of Health, in cooperation with partners, is committed to offering statewide services and providing community support to improve the health of all South Dakotans.”

The First Lady noted the state’s Cribs for Kids program has distributed 9,759 safe sleep kits to families in need since its launch in 2012. The kits include a Pack ‘N Play crib, sheet, infant sleep sack, pacifier and safe sleep educational materials.

Learn more about healthy pregnancies and safe sleep guidelines at