HURON, S.D. – South Dakota Farmers Union President, Doug Sombke says the efforts made by Sioux Falls Mayor, Paul TenHaken to protect families impacted by COVID-19 in the state’s largest city, could have a positive impact on families and food security across South Dakota.
“Mayor TenHaken’s efforts to keep families safe are a huge deal,” says Sombke of the April 14 announcement that even without the Governor’s support, the City of Sioux Falls will move forward to create isolation centers for those who are infected with COVID-19, but unable to isolate in their homes to prevent spread of the virus to their family and the community at large.
“As a family farm and ranch organization, Farmers Union has always put families first. And not just farm and ranch families,” says Sombke, a fourth-generation Conde farmer.. He explains that when it comes to food security, the definition of family expands. “Everyone needs to be healthy to make the food chain work.”
From farmers and ranchers who raise crops and livestock, to truck drivers who transport commodities, to South Dakotans working in processing plants, like Smithfield and grocery store workers – Sombke says for the food system to work, the health of everyone involved matters.
“COVID-19 is not just a Sioux Falls’ issue. Mayor TenHaken’s decision to move ahead with plans to slow the transmission of this virus are courageous and will help protect many South Dakota families,” he says. “What the city of Sioux Falls is doing today, to slow the spread will help contain the virus, and could prevent more cases from showing up in more rural areas of the state, like Mitchell, Groton or Wall.”
Press release from the SDFU