While Annette Bosworth Pleads for cash…… Apparently, she’s left the country.

So, how does someone under indictment for several felonies leave the country for Haiti? Don’t they take their passport or something? Or have I been watching too much Law & Order?

I bring this up, as that’s where Dr. Annette Bosworth, who has been pleading with people to send her $400,000 for her family’s expenses, claims to be now on a medical mission. At least, according to her Facebook page.


What do you think about her going overseas while she faces criminal charges in South Dakota?

Thune Pressures Vilsack for Answers on Undetermined Wetlands Backlog and CRP Mid-Contract Management

Thune Pressures Vilsack for Answers on Undetermined Wetlands Backlog and CRP Mid-Contract Management

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today questioned U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack at a 2014 Farm Bill implementation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee about Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Mid-Contract Management policies and a backlog of undetermined wetlands in eastern and northeastern South Dakota.

Video of Thune’s remarks and questions can be viewed here.

CRP mid-contract management guidelines:

CRP land must be managed to control weeds and undergrowth by removing the vegetative cover once or twice during the lifetime of the contract. USDA has been requiring many South Dakota CRP participants to burn the vegetative cover or harvest it and destroy the hay.

“South Dakota producers received letters last year telling them that the residue they removed must be destroyed,” said Thune. “Over the years, this has resulted in literally of thousands of tons of feed that could have been put to use instead of being burned. I have requested in a letter that you either allow this residue to be donated with no reduction to the CRP annual payment, or if used by the participant that an annual payment reduction would be assessed. You responded in a letter that this concern would be addressed in future CRP policy changes. The question I have is can you assure me today that CRP participants will no longer receive letters requiring them to destroy residue removed during mid-contract management – on any CRP practices?”

Backlog of Undetermined wetlands in South Dakota:

The 2014 Farm Bill included a provision that requires farmers to meet conservation compliance rules on their land in order to be eligible for crop insurance premium assistance. Farmers need wetland determinations from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to ensure tiling, ditching, and other water management practices meet NRCS conservation compliance rules. South Dakota has the highest number of undetermined wetlands in the United States.

“We’ve had for several years now, farmers in eastern and especially in northeastern South Dakota have been faced with flooding and drainage issues and thousands of requests have been made to NRCS for wetlands determinations so they know how to manage their land and still meet the conservation compliance provisions,” said Thune

“According to the most recent South Dakota NRCS report we still have more than 2,000 undetermined wetlands in the state – which is three times or more as many as in any other surrounding state.

“Farmers are concerned, our state’s farm and commodity organizations are concerned, and I believe the South Dakota NRCS office staff is making an effort to reduce this backlog – but so far Mr. Secretary, the results just haven’t materialized. I requested last summer a meeting and there were some personnel from NRCS headquarters that attended in Aberdeen, and we had more than 350 farmers there, which tells you kind of how important this issue is to them. I know [the NRCS staff] came back to Washington having heard first-hand the frustrations of some of these farmers due to the backlog. My question is: what more can you do at headquarters do to help get this wetlands determination backlog under control?”


Thune on Keystone Veto: Misguided Presidential Priorities

Misguided Presidential Priorities

John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement on President Obama’s veto of the bipartisan bill to approve the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline, which is supported by 62 senators and 270 representatives:

“It’s disappointing but not surprising that the president has yet again chosen his far-left environmental base over American jobs and opportunity.”


Rounds: President ‘Thumbed His Nose’ at American People

Rounds: President ‘Thumbed His Nose’ at American People

MikeRounds official Senate WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today expressed his disappointment in President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL legislation.

“Once again, the President has chosen to appease the far-left wing of his political base instead of doing what’s best for the American people,” said Rounds. “Our Keystone legislation is an important jobs, infrastructure and energy bill that received widespread, bipartisan support in Congress. In his veto, he has thumbed his nose at the American people who overwhelmingly support the project, our Canadian allies and the economic growth of our nation.”

The State Department has issued five environmental impact studies, all of which showed Keystone is not expected to have any significant effects on the environment. In South Dakota, the pipeline would mean more tax money for schools.  It would also free up our railways, allowing South Dakota farmers to ship their grain to market in a faster, more cost-effective way.


Press Release: Noem Statement on President Obama’s Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Noem Statement on President Obama’s Veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today issued the following statement after President Obama issued a veto on S.1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act – a bill that passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support:

“The President’s veto on Keystone was a veto on jobs, revenue for cash-strapped South Dakota counties, and much-needed relief on the roads and rails that are currently crowded with oil transit. This pipeline is a commonsense place to start as we work toward a stronger energy economy, because it’s a place where Republicans and Democrats, the House and the Senate, and the overwhelming majority of Americans can find common ground.  But the President vetoed that opportunity.  I am hopeful this is not the end of the road for the pipeline and remain committed to doing all I can to see Keystone through.”


NRA Backed measures on Concealed Weapons being heard Killed in Senate Judiciary today (Updated, with votes).

I’m listening in this morning to the measures backed by the National Rifle Association as they’re being heard in Senate Judiciary this morning, after they both successfully moved through the House of Representatives.

HB 1096, An act to revise certain procedures for issuing a permit to carry a concealed pistol and
HB 1116, an act to repeal and revise certain provisions relating to the requirements for a permit to carry a concealed pistol taken together would drastically alter laws on how concealed weapons are carried in the state, both in terms of the nature of background checks and how concealed weapons are carried and stored in the state.

House Bill 1116 was opposed by the Administration in the House.

…..  And it looks like both of them were sent to the 41st day by committee members.

How did House Bill 1096 fare?

HB 1096, Senate Judiciary, Deferred to the 41st legislative day
Bradford Yea Heinert Yea Monroe Nay
Rusch Yea Vehle Yea Novstrup (David) Yea
Tieszen Yea
Ayes 6 Nays 1 Excused 0 Absent 0

And House Bill 1116 fared about as well, except on this measure, Mike Vehle appeared long enough to speak against, and then leave….

HB 1116, Senate Judiciary, Deferred to the 41st legislative day
Bradford Yea Heinert Yea Monroe Nay
Rusch Yea Vehle Excused Novstrup (David) Yea
Tieszen Yea
Ayes 5 Nays 1 Excused 1 Absent 0

Thune, others raise alarm over Obama Administration’s attack on the beef industry.

In case you weren’t paying attention to Senator Thune’s column this week, it brought up an early alarm that many ag State representatives are feeling over the Obama administration new dietary guidelines which seem to be going on the attack against the Beef industry:

Prime ribEvery five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. A recent advisory committee report recommends to the agencies what should be included in the new dietary guidelines. The nearly 600-page report leaves lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet, which is not only a great concern to dietitians who support consumption of lean red meat but is also concerning for the South Dakota livestock industry.

This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has promoted limiting meat consumption. As you may recall, in 2012, USDA sent an in-house newsletter encouraging employees to participate in “Meatless Mondays” while dining in USDA cafeterias. The newsletter went on to attack the production of meat in the U.S., saying that meat production has “a large environmental impact,” and that an employee should “help yourself and the environment” by not eating meat.

It is hard to believe that the very agency tasked with promoting agriculture would encourage people not to eat meat.

Read it here.   And it’s not just Senator Thune. In a story yesterday at foxnews.com, they had a broad national picture of what the dietary guidelines mean to the country’s beef producers:

The report, which is open for public comment for 45 days, will be used by the government not only to mold dietary guidelines but also used as the basis for government food assistance programs as well as school lunch programs, worth an estimated $16 billion annually.

The North American Meat Institute slammed the report, calling it “flawed” and “nonsensical.” Members of the meat industry as well as those from soda makers, say the panel has gone “beyond its scope.”

Dr. Richard Thorpe, a Texas physician and rancher, told FoxNews.com that he is disappointed in the panel’s recommendations and said “it’s absurd the committee would suggest the reduction of meat, or red meat, in the American diet.”


Part of the problem, Thorpe says, is that the government is telling Americans they should also consider the sustainability of their food. That, for some, translates to eating less meat and loading up on vegetables and plants.

“Legumes should be a mainstay of an American diet?” Thorpe said, adding that it would take a wheelbarrow full of spinach to meet the same amount of iron in a serving of beef. He added that iron found in beef is not equal to iron in spinach, and that beef’s iron is more absorbable.

According to a June 2014 study in the journal Climatic Change, the average meat-eater in the United States is responsible for almost twice as much global warming as the average vegetarian and almost tripled that of the average vegan.

Read it here.

If you want to read the report for yourself, or better yet offer comment and ask why they’re attacking the consumption of meet by the Obama Administration, here’s the pertinent information from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

As announced in the Federal Register [PDF – 181KB], the “Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” is now available. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments to the federal government on the Advisory Report. Written comments will be accepted online through midnight E.D.T. on April 8, 2015.

HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015. Meeting registration will open on or around March 9, 2015.

If you don’t want them to kill the beef industry, and increase the price of hamburger even more than the record price increases being experienced for beef because of shortages, take a minute, and give them your written comments.

Otherwise, if you’re so inclined, the Public Oral testimony will be held in Bethesda Maryland, which is about 1300 files as the crow flies from Pierre. (I’d encourage our Representatives in Washington to press that they vet this report in the heartland as well as the beltway.)

Newspaper editorial blasts Brookings School Board, drawing at least one candidate to run.

This editorial was on the front page of the Brookings Register last week, possibly prompting at least one candidate to immediately file papers to run for the Brookings School Board:

How does it benefit the citizens of the Brookings School District when its elected representatives attempt to cover up the fact they’ve forced the superintendent to resign?

“I have no comment on that,” school board President Marysz Rames told the Register’s education reporter two weeks ago when he attempted to get the untold details of the story. “That’s a personnel matter.”


So, while all the superintendent’s professional responsibilities have been eliminated, he’s still collecting more than $11,000 a month through June 30. That’s at least $55,000 for five months of non-duty as a powerless drone.

By our reckoning, that’s more than $115,000 of taxpayer money the board has been willing to spend to rid itself of DeGroot. Doesn’t that demand some kind of explanation?

By the way the matter was handled, it’s obvious the school board wanted to keep the circumstances hidden from the public. Why?


DeGroot’s termination, the settlement agreement, the document details were all handled outside of public scrutiny which leads one to wonder if the decisions made by the board were in compliance with the state’s open meeting laws. We’ll never know about that, either.

Read it all here.

As noted, it looks like that article was the tipping point for at least one new candidate for the office, who cited some of that controversy as a reason why she got in the race:

She added that it felt like the right time with “some current issues and related uncertainties” that have recently happened with the Brookings School District and school board following Superintendent Roger DeGroot’s termination.

   “If I have the honor of serving on the school board, I will always look at all of the information and options while basing my decisions on what’s best for the district as a whole,” she said. “I hope to increase family, teacher and staff involvement with school board matters.”

Read that here.

The deadline to file petitions for the office is Friday.