HURON, S.D., July 21, 2016 – South Dakota Sen. John Thune was given the American Farm Bureau Federation’s “Golden Plow” award, which is the highest recognition the organization grants members of Congress. Sen. Thune received the award from AFBF President Zippy Duvall and South Dakota Farm Bureau president Scott VanderWal, who is also the vice president of AFBF.
Sen. Thune was nominated for the award for his commitment to the agriculture industry in the state and positive impact on policies that affect farmers and ranchers.
“Sen. Thune has been a tireless advocate and defender of agricultural policies that are important to South Dakota farmers and ranchers,” said VanderWal, a Volga, S.D. farmer. “He clearly recognizes the impact the agricultural industry has on South Dakota, nationally and globally. In addition, Sen. Thune consistently sets the ethical and conscientious bar, and is a common sense voice for agricultural constituents in Washington.”
Sen. Thune has been an advocate for farmers and ranchers as it relates to multiple transportation issues. During the 2014 winter and spring shipping season delays in the northern plains, Sen. Thune was very engaged with the Surface Transportation Board to instigate progress reporting and expanded accountability with rail companies. He then stewarded passage of S.808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 through the Senate.
And as Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Sen. Thune played a pivotal role in ensuring important provisions for agriculture were included in the long-term surface transportation bill.
Sen. John Thune has served on the House Ag Committee or the Senate Ag Committee every year since he was elected to Congress in 1997. He has helped write three farm bills. One of his big goals of the 2014 farm bill was to ensure that disaster programs for livestock producers were permanently authorized so funding would always be available.
“SDFB congratulates Sen. Thune for this high honor as it is well deserved,” said VanderWal. “We thank him for his dedicated service to agriculture and rural America.”
AFBF’s Golden Plow award recognizes members of Congress for distinguished agricultural leadership and support of Farm Bureau policies. Recipients are chosen based on having a philosophy or record that demonstrates a commitment to the private enterprise system, sound agricultural policies supported by Farm Bureau, fiscal conservatism, and reduced federal regulation of businesses and individuals.