Adopted September 2020

The SD Association of Cooperatives proactively represents cooperatives and their members on legislative, regulatory, and educational issues by adding value through a unified voice.
State priority areas:
SDAC will work with state legislators, government officials, and other organizations, including Ag Unity, to promote and protect the interests of cooperatives and their member owners. We support reasonable tax policy, reliable energy and transportation infrastructure, sound education, and responsible agricultural development.  
1) Government Relations
a. Support effective co-op statutes and policies 
b. Develop and maintain good working relationships with government officials at all levels of government. 
c. Develop coalitions to find solutions to issues facing our cooperative members
2) Taxation 
a. Promote sales tax fairness, including maintaining appropriate exemptions for agricultural inputs
b. Support fair taxation for all classes of property, including ag land 
c. Support reasonable education funding

3) Infrastructure
a. Support adequate funding and regulation to maintain the safety and capacity of an efficient road, bridge and rail system
b. Advocate for access to reliable and affordable electric and telecommunications services statewide
c. Support territorial integrity for rural electric cooperatives

4) Education
a. Provide relevant training and education opportunities for cooperative board members and staff
b. Educate the public about the value of cooperatives through activities such as Co-op Month and the Cooperative Hall of Fame
c. Work with the Board of Regents to support the College of Agriculture at SDSU and the inclusion of cooperative economics in business economics courses
d. Support the state’s secondary career and technical education institutes and vocational programs
e. Support FFA

5) Agricultural development
a. Support value-added agriculture and the work of the Value-Added Development Center
b. Support precision agriculture technology and programs
c. Promote reasonable zoning regulations 
d. Provide flexibility for farmers and ranchers to utilize a variety of business structures 
e. Support efforts to find and develop new uses through biotransformation for South Dakota agricultural products

6) Environment
a. Support reasonable regulations under the general permit for livestock feeding
b. Promote water management policy that protects property rights and provides reasonable access
c. Promote reasonable regulations governing use of agricultural inputs

7) Energy
a. Support all forms of energy needed for agriculture, including wind and alternative ag-based bio fuels
b. Urge use of sound science in making decisions about environmental, safety, or economic issues surrounding development and use of all energy sources

Federal priority areas:
SDAC will work with our state’s Congressional delegation and NCFC to ensure the value of farmer cooperatives is recognized by Congress and the Administration.  We support the Capper-Volstead Act, and ask that administration of the Act remain vested in the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  We will focus on issues that allow farmers, through their cooperative memberships, to:
  • Improve their income from the marketplace
  • Strengthen their bargaining power
  • Maintain access to competitive credit sources
  • Compete effectively in the global economy
  • Capitalize on new marketplace opportunities, including value-added processing
  • Manage risk
  • Access technical assistance and other services
  • Support passage of legislation to make Section 199A a permanent part of federal tax code
  • Support passage of the SECURE Act to address the overcharging of premiums by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for rural cooperative “multiple-employer” pension plans