NASDA Member Spotlight: Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Department of Agriculture

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This week's NASDA Member Spotlight is South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers. Secretary Jaspers was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in June 2016.

How do you start your day?

I start most days with a good look at the South Dakota countryside out my patio window.  Then a check on the grain and cattle markets, the weather forecast and on to my email inbox.

What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have women at the table and in leadership roles?

Perspective.  Just as all of us as individuals are created differently; men and women are also programmed differently, much less the path each of us have taken thus far through life.  South Dakota is very fortunate to have many women who have taken on leadership roles within our agricultural industry. Their perspective is valued immensely.

As the chief agriculture official for South Dakota, where do you hope to see your department in five years?

In five years, I hope the South Dakota Department of Agriculture is known for its active leadership in promoting, protecting and preserving agriculture in South Dakota.

Why is the Farm Bill important to South Dakotans?

Located on the western side of the corn belt, South Dakota’s vast land base is highly dependent on the Farm Bill.  Crop insurance availability, with our volatile and unpredictable weather, is a must.  Conservation practices and programs are also widely utilized in South Dakota to protect the environmental and financial sustainability of our industry.  Research also continues to add value for us, always keeping us moving in a more positive and profitable direction.

In seven words or less, what is some advice you would offer your fellow agriculturalists?

Stay positive.  Look forward.  Keep striving.