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Renewable Energy Powers Up SD Farmers Union Convention

February 8, 2010

HURON, S.D. - The South Dakota Farmers Union will hold its annual convention this Friday and Saturday in Huron.
Farmers Union president Doug Sombke says renewable energy - especially wind power - will be a big topic. It's growing in the state, he adds, but too slowly.

"At some point in time, we are going to need to address how we do promote these issues to be more profitable for the state. But getting the industries here, of course, is the first thing. The South Dakota Wind Association, which South Dakota Farmers Union formed with other organizations, is a big step in the right direction."

He says climate change and energy legislation is bogging down in Congress, but despite that, renewable energy can forge ahead at the local level.

"One thing we need to do is concentrate on what we can do locally, too. When I was over in Copenhagen for the climate change summit, I found that the communities over there, the countries over there, take it a lot more seriously than we do."

Sombke says there are some real benefits for South Dakota from the developing wind industry.

The convention also will include discussion about struggling livestock prices and the conversion of pastures into production crop land, Sombke adds.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD