Secretary Vanneman Announces Retirement; Lieutenant Governor Rhoden to Step In as Interim Secretary

Secretary Kim Vanneman, Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, publicly announced her retirement today. Her last day as Secretary of Agriculture will be May 8, 2020. Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden will step in as Interim Secretary of Agriculture.

“Kim and I have worked together on agriculture policy for almost twenty years, and she is a dear friend to me and to South Dakota agriculture,” said Governor Noem. “Her service has been invaluable for today’s farmers and ranchers, the next generation to follow them, and the state of South Dakota as a whole. While her title will change, she will continue to be a valuable advisor and advocate to me on behalf of South Dakota farmers and ranchers.”

Prior to her time as Secretary of Agriculture, Vanneman served as a director for Farm Credit Services of America, Farm Credit Council, Farm Credit Foundations, and FCC Services. She was a member of the State House of Representatives from 2007-2013, serving on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee all six years.

“I want to thank Governor Noem for the opportunity to serve as South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture. It has been an honor to work with the producers and agricultural organizations promoting, protecting, and preserving South Dakota agriculture,” said Secretary Vanneman. “The remote work model the past several weeks has made me aware of what I am missing out on with my family and operating our family farm. It’s spring—a time of new beginnings. It is time for me to spend more time home with family and focus on our 111 year old family farm.”

Vanneman and her husband, Clint, own and operate Vanneman Farms north of Winner. Their diversified operation includes row crops, small grains, feeder pigs, a commercial beef cow herd, and a feedlot. Kim and Clint have three children and four grandchildren.

“I also want to thank Kim for her years of service fighting for South Dakota agriculture,” said Lieutenant Governor Rhoden. “I realize these are big shoes to fill, but given that my life’s work has been in agriculture, I appreciate the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our state’s number one industry. My immediate focus will be on helping our state’s agriculture industry turn the corner following this pandemic, especially the meat producers who have become all too familiar with supply chain bottlenecks.”

“Lieutenant Governor Rhoden has been instrumental in helping South Dakota’s producers handle the fallout from the Smithfield situation,” said Governor Noem.  “He’s well-prepared to step into this role.  I know he’ll serve as the strong leader our agriculture industry needs right now.”

For more information on the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, visit sdda.sd.gov.

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