Senator John ThuneWith the Senate in recess in honor of Presidents Day, I had the opportunity to travel across South Dakota and meet with people in all parts of the state. While these meetings covered a wide range of topics, including improving law enforcement and education in Indian Country, many visits demonstrated the economic development and job creation that is taking place across the state.
South Dakota is fortunate to have many entrepreneurs and small businesses. There are many reasons South Dakota is a great place for people to live and do business, and it is exciting to see more and more businesses opening up all the time.
South Dakota is not just for small businesses either. I was in Vermillion where I had the privilege of touring the Polaris Distribution Center. Last year, Polaris announced that they would be expanding the Vermillion distribution center and increasing its capacity by 50 percent. This means more jobs for the area, not to mention an increase in South Dakota’s value as a state with economic growth potential.
Visits to Yankton and Parker also demonstrated how South Dakotans are using entrepreneurship to make a living for themselves and create jobs for others. I appreciate seeing these communities grow and am excited about the new businesses that are putting down roots in our smaller towns.
One of the highlights of my travels was a visit to the Woodland Cabinetry plant in Sisseton. For more than a decade, Woodland has been building beautiful cabinets that have garnered a national reputation while employing many in the Sisseton area. It gives me great pride to know that South Dakotans are working hard to make a product that is so widely appreciated.
While agriculture has long been our state’s economic engine, even agriculture is evolving. Value-added agriculture, biofuels production, and wind development are changing the way South Dakota farms. I have been working hard in the Senate as a member of the Agriculture Committee to ensure that South Dakota continues to be a nationwide leader in agricultural production.
As your Senator, creating jobs in South Dakota is one of my top priorities. Whether it is creating more opportunities for value-added agriculture or creating conditions in which small businesses can thrive, I consistently take ideas back with me to Washington to ensure that the Federal government is putting policies in place that encourage economic growth in our great state.