Noem orders agriculture, natural resource department merger

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has issued an executive order to merge two departments overseeing the state’s agriculture industry and natural resources. The Republican governor’s order would create the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources that she billed as a “one-stop” shop for farmers and ranchers that would save the state money.

The legislature still has a say on the proposal. The merger becomes final in 90-days if neither chamber of the Legislature votes against it.

The South Dakota Farm Bureau praised the move while other farmer organizations that focus on conservation opposed the merger, saying it will impact the protection of resources including water, oil and soil.


January 21, 2021