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SOUTH DAKOTA

Availability of labor is becoming tighter and more competitive. Officials of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator at Rosholt, South Dakota, describe how in the spring of 2022 they offered $30 an hour for truck “tender” drivers, moving fertilizer and inputs to farms, but got no applicants. They were grateful for local trucking firms stepping up during the vital period, but understandably at a higher cost for the farmer-owned company.
Rural Americans, who die by suicide at a far higher rate than residents of urban areas, often have trouble accessing mental health services. While 988 can connect them to a call center close to home, they could end up being directed to far-away resources.
For the fifth year, Agweek reporter Mikkel Pates reprises his Flags On Farms feature for Independence Day, featuring flags of the United States on farms and agribusinesses in the region. This year, our featured vignette is from a former grain elevator at Andover, South Dakota, with a 30-by-60 foot U.S. flag painted on it.
Attendees to a recent meeting at a small country church on the border of Minnesota and South Dakota found armed guards at the church entrance. Then someone saw an AR-15, prompting a visit by the sheriff. It's the latest development in a battle for the soul of Singsaas Church near Astoria, South Dakota. The conflict pits a divisive new pastor and his growing nondenominational congregation, who revived the old church, and many descendants of the church's old families, worried about the future of a pioneer legacy.

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Amid wide national variability, abortion rates have remained relatively stable in Minnesota and North Dakota since 2017, while falling sharply in South Dakota. Abortion travel is likely behind the variations.
Reporter Mikkel Pates describes how the May 12, 2022, derecho wind storm hit close to home. He helped his brother, who farms near Volga, South Dakota, clean up building damage.
The Amnesty report calls for full restoration of tribal jurisdiction over crimes committed in Indian country, and increased funding for prosecution, law enforcement and health care.
A key piece of evidence in this case stemmed from the discovery of Pamela Dunn's engagement ring.
When a person goes missing, law enforcement is often stuck in a problematic position. Without a body, it can be difficult to prove a crime existed. That means justice, however obvious it may seem, is often not achieved. For the 2001 missing persons case of Pamela Dunn, that’s not exactly the story.
Anne Waltner, Parker, South Dakota, left a full-time career as a concert pianist and educator to join her parents’ farming operation. Along the way she married, had triplet daughters and survived cancer. Of her journey and life, she says: “Can you think of anybody luckier than me?”

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More than 70,000 homes and businesses remained without power across the region early Friday as damage assessment and cleanup continued after the second straight night of widespread severe weather.
With a solid business plan, hard work and enthusiasm, agritourism can be an option to stay on a farm and create added income, all while providing others a connection to agriculture.
“It was a good day on the river. We mixed it up a bit today,” Austin Earley said of the fishing tactics that he used to reel in five walleye weighing in at a combined 18 pounds.

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