New Online Editorial Submission: “Field of Dreams” by Tom Kuechenmeister

My fellow South Dakotan’s, the time is now.

Do you remember the movie Field of Dreams? Was it not said “build it and they will come”? Sometimes you have to take a chance, you have to allow the door of opportunity to be opened. This is the case with hemp farming in South Dakota.

You have heard the Governor use the bully pulpit of local media to exploit the negatives, you have heard the governor use the threat of executive power as well as use the executive power to prevent the door of opportunity from being opened unto South Dakota’s farmers, you have witnessed the governor use the scare tactic of the cost of regulating, but have you heard of the benefits the opportunity could provide?

Most of the discussion on hemp is about oils but the question Forbes presented was if hemp is the next opportunity for cottons, fuels, woods, and plastics? By opening one door of opportunity how many other opportunistic doors may be able to be opened? How could the doors of diversity of agricultural products be used to benefit South Dakota farmers and communities through production pricing? Hemp could also be grown with little use of pesticides and would provide a much better environmental situation regarding runoff into lakes, streams, and rivers allowing for better land conditions for the next generation of farmers, hemp would be beneficial to the Bees which are a necessary part of our eco system. These are some of the benefits that you likely have not heard from the bully pulpit of media as used by a governor opposing such opportunistic values!

As opportunity knocks, when the door of opportunity is left closed, the value of the opportunity, the value of economic benefits is greatly decreased. The ability to grow hemp in South Dakota could be much like the planting of a tree of life. As the tree grows it has the ability to branch off in different directions, a product that has the ability to be used in many different types of production from items inside your house to the clothing or the reusable bags you carry and the paper for your printing needs. The value to the eco system from the bees to the carbon removal to the cleaner water and better soil. These are just some of the things already recognized that hemp provides and who knows what else the future may bring?

The governor has made the claim, as tried to use the scare tactic of cost relating to regulations, but will those cost not already be incurred with South Dakota needing to allow hemp to be transferred through the state per the Federal Government actions? And what about the cost benefit of allowing hemp, and manufactured products of hemp to be created in South Dakota? The other question you need to ask yourself is why the governor has estimated the cost so high? Is it because the governor plans to over regulate an industry that would be better served by minimal government regulation and more self applied industry regulation? These are all questions the Governor should be asked and required to answer.

This my friends is why your actions, your voices, your desires of economic choices and successes are needed. This is why it is time to GROW GREEN SOUTH DAKOTA.



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