JUNE 4, 2018 - VOL. 54 No. 8

Chair's Column
New Members
Member Anniversaries
Cover Story
Other News
Faces & Places
Ribbon Cuttings
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Celebrating Agriculture

Each year the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Division recognizes a Farm Family of the Year and an Agri-Business Citizen(s) of the Year. A subcommittee of the Agri-Business Division nominates deserving families and agri-business citizens to be considered for the award and the voting members of the Agri-Business Council choose the winners.

The 2018 Farm Family of the Year is the Loewe Family of Lennox, South Dakota. Sylvia Wolters, Pipestone System, is the Agri-Business Citizen of the Year. Both the Loewes and Wolters will be recognized at the Mayor's Round-Up & Sale of Champions at the Sioux Empire Farm Show. The Farm Family also shares their expertise by sitting on the Chamber's Agri-Business Division Council for a year.

The annual Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Sioux Empire Farm Show is a celebration of the importance of agriculture in the region. As a $25.6 billion industry in South Dakota, agriculture directly impacts the Sioux Falls area economy.

The Sioux Empire Farm Show is hailed as one of the largest feeder steer shows in the region. Six breeds of cattle compete for the $12,000 Supreme Row purse. The show features the best regional market livestock shows and sales and plenty of commercial exhibits.

The Chamber partners with Midwest Shows, Inc., from Austin, Minnesota, for the commercial exhibitor farm show events called the "Sioux Falls Farm Show." Together, both shows are featured as the "Sioux Falls Salute to Agriculture."

The success of the Farm Show is directly related to the efforts of several area businesses, individuals and producers who devote their time and talents. More than 30,000 people attend the Sioux Empire Farm Show each year, with an estimated economic impact of $3 million. The Sioux Empire Farm Show recognizes the many ways agriculture has impacted the economy, local citizens and the entire community.

Loewe family honored as
2018 Farm Family of the Year

By Wendy Sweeter
For the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

The Matt and Paula Loewe family is the 2018 Farm Family of the Year. The family farms near Lennox, South Dakota. Matt and Paula Loewe, along with their children, Madeline, 15; Kathryn, 11; and Allison, 7. Photo by Wendy Sweeter.

Matt and Paula Loewe made their way to Lennox, South Dakota, after the farm manager position came open for South Dakota State University Foundation's Opportunities Farm in 2001.

At the time, Matt was ready to defend his thesis in agronomy when he found out about the opening.

"We moved here two days after Matt defended his thesis," Paula said.

Matt got his undergraduate degree in animal science and a master's degree in agronomy from SDSU and grew up on a feedlot operation near Le Sueur, Minnesota. Paula has her bachelor's degree in ag business and grew up on a cow/calf operation near Britton, S.D. The couple met when Paula was a sophomore at SDSU and Matt had come back to school for a semester. Then he went back home and they married a month after Paula graduated.

Through 2015, they managed the farm for the SDSU Foundation as the Opportunities Farm. Today, they rent the nearly thousand acres of crop and pasture land from the foundation and feed cattle in the feedlot.

Matt continues to team teach an SDSU class and does farm tours from time to time.

The Loewe Family
Matt and Paula Loewe and children Madeline, 15, Kathryn, 11, Allison, 7

Lennox, SD

Types of crops:
Corn, soybeans and alfalfa

Types of livestock:
Cow/calf herd

"Starting in 2015, we bought anything that moves and then we rent the farmland from the foundation. The land is still theirs. I still do class projects," Matt said.

The farm is permitted up to 999 head in their feedlot that features three different approaches to feeding cattle - an open-air lot, monoslope barn and covered lots. While they do not need to be permitted, they like the advantages it provides in the case of disaster.

"The permit isn't a bad thing for you. There's a fair amount of liability you get covered for with this permit," he said.

"When we had the flood a few years ago (2014), we called in and said this was a natural disaster. They know we had this happen. You have somebody behind you right away," Paula said.

The Loewes raise mostly corn and soybeans, but have started planting some rye. Matt has started selling rye into the cover crop market.

"I can say it's not for everyone to just grow a field of rye and think you're going to sell it into the cover crop market and do great," he said. "It's a little bit challenging there to get it to the right hands."

Paula works part-time at Security State Insurance in nearby Chancellor as office manager and doing bookwork. She also helps with bookwork at the farm.

Three years ago they had their first calf born on the farm. Their oldest daughter, Madeline, now 15, started her own cow/calf herd with her first 4-H heifer. To get started, she got a loan-grant from the bank in Chancellor as part of their junior herdsman program.

"We let her do that and expand her herd because that's the girls' college plan - their cow herd," Paula said.

In addition to Madeline, the Loewes' youngest daughters include Kathryn, 11, and Allison, 7. All of the girls are involved in 4-H in Turner County. While Allison isn't old enough for the traditional 4-H program, she has embraced being a cloverbud - the 4-H program for children younger than 8 years old.

Madeline enjoys showing beef and Kathryn has gotten into showing sheep. The two youngest care for the family's chicken flock.

Besides 4-H, Madeline is an active member of the Lennox-Sundstrom FFA Chapter at her school. She was recently selected as the district president and named to the all-state parliamentary procedure team.

The Loewes like raising their kids on the farm because they are outside exploring.

"We both grew up on farms and I just think it's a different way. My kids are outside doing things," Paula said. "I think they get this whole other experience. They get to roam around."

They like to include the girls with things around the farm to prepare them for life.

"By including your kids in stuff they can do to their abilities, I think is important," Matt said.

Matt likes farming as a career since you do not leave home for work. Working on the farm allows the children to see what their father is doing for his job.

"You just hear people say kids don't know how to work today. I tell the girls look at your dad works really hard. They see that strong work ethic. They can model themselves after that. You can work hard, but make time for your family too," Paula said.

Wolters honored as
2018 Agri-Business Citizen of the Year

By Wendy Sweeter
For the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Sylvia Wolters stands in front of the Pipestone Discovery Barn on the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. Photo by Wendy Sweeter.

Sylvia Wolters believes in showing consumers what happens in agriculture.

Wolters has been named the 2018 Sioux Empire Farm Show Agri-Business Citizen of the Year.

With 16 years of experience with Pipestone System under her belt, Wolters' focus turned toward public relations and consumer outreach four years ago. She works with the South Dakota Pork Producers Council and the Minnesota Pork Producers Council to bring modern agricultural practices to consumers.

"If it's about bringing modern agriculture and its transparency to classrooms and students and the public, that's what I do," Wolters said.

After a couple of years of kicking around how to tell the farm story, Wolters decided on reaching out to the Sioux Empire Fair about putting up a building to bring the farm to consumers. She noted the Pipestone Discovery Barn at the fair received tremendous support for the fair board so they quickly got the building in place before the start of the fair four years ago.

"They were very, very receptive and positive from the get go. I couldn't ask for a better partner in this project,"she said.

During the fair, Pipestone provides three sows who are ready to farrow - give birth - as well as farmer educators, student interns and displays. Wolters also coordinates with Midwest Dairy Association and local dairy producers to provide cows who are ready to calve and with Dakota Layers for chicken and egg exhibits.

Husband, Terry; Children, Bailey (Austin) Galbraith (27) and Blake Wolters (20)

Bachelor's degree in animal science, Washington State University

In addition to the animals, Wolters also plants corn and soybeans along the south side of the building for fairgoers to view "our Sioux Falls farm."

As part of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Division, Wolters has enjoyed meeting and learning from the different members of the group.

"I really appreciate the spectrum of individuals in that group. It helps with insight to what the business community in the Sioux Falls and surrounding area (are thinking) and help bridge that transparency to modern agriculture into our urban business communities," Wolters said.

Pig production was not something Wolters necessarily saw herself entering into as a college student at Washington State University. Growing up on a 600-head ewe and 3,000-head feeder lamb operation in western Washington, she set her sights on a degree in animal science from Washington State. After graduating, she and her husband, Terry, took jobs with the Pig Improvement Company and moved to Kentucky.

After working in Kentucky, they were transferred to Iowa and then South Dakota. While in South Dakota, her husband continued working for the company while she purchased a grocery store and restaurant. She ran those until they moved to Pipestone when they both started working for Pipestone System.

Today, the Wolterses have invested in ownership of some pig farms and live on 150 acres in the Pipestone, Minnesota, area.

While Wolters is in charge of the Pipestone Discovery Barn during the fair, she recognizes that it is a team effort.

"It's not a one person project. Transparency in ag needs to be spearheaded by someone, but there's a huge team of people that do this," Wolters said. "And it's not just the Discovery Barn here in Sioux Falls. We have the Ag Adventure Center at the state fair."

Pipestone System and Dakota Layers work together to provide information to visitors of the Washington Pavilion during National Ag Day in March. She also opens up the discovery barn during Family Fest held at the fairgrounds in July. Wolters is also working with Ground Works and Ag in the Classroom to spread the message of modern agriculture.

"While the Discovery Barn kicked it off and opened a great big door, it's also not the only thing that we do," Wolters said.

2018 Sioux Empire Farm Show Schedule

Tuesday, January 23   4:30
Ribbon Cutting-Expo Building
4H/FFA Invitational Calf Shows

Wednesday, January 24   8:00


Market Swine Show
Angus Show
Simmental Show
Simmental Sale
Angus Sale
Ribbon Cutting-Convention Center

Thursday, January 25   8:00



Hereford Show
Charolais Show
Red Angus Show
Limousin Show
Hereford Sale
Charolais Sale
Red Angus Sale
Limousin Sale
Feeder Heifer Show
Market Lamb Show

Friday, January 26   9:00
Supreme Row Judging
Market Goat Show
Market Beef Show
Feeder Steer Show
  6:30 PM Mayor´s Round-Up &  Sale of Champions
$12,000 Supreme Row Cash Awards Presentation, Benefit Auction for SEFS Junior Exhibitor Scholarship
Sponsored by Tri-State Neighbor, Wells Fargo Bank and Campbell Supply Co. Best Western PLUS Ramkota Hotel Exhibit Hall Cost: $45 per person. Tickets available at Farm Show office.

Saturday, January 27   6:30
Collegiate Livestock Judging Contes Youth and Open Rabbit Show
4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest
Breeding Heifer Show
4-H/FFA Livestock Judging Contest Awards
Pony Pull
Draft Horse Pull
Cost: $8 Adults, $4 Grades 1-12;
Ages 6 & under FREE
Tickets available at event

Commercial Exhibits in the Expo Building, the Sioux Falls Convention Center and the Arena open daily Wednesday & Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. & Friday until 4 p.m. This schedule is subject to change


2018 Sioux Empire Farm Show Mayor's round-up & sale of champions

Whether you are returning to your agricultural roots or getting your first introduction to South Dakota's largest industry, the Mayor's Round-up & Sale of Champions is a fun way to support agriculture in our region.

Agriculture is South Dakota's No. 1 industry, generating annual revenues of $25.6 billion. By participating in the Mayor's Round-up & Sale of Champions, you show your support for the regional agricultural community.

Bring your friends and co-workers to enjoy a great prime dinner and the camaraderie of other members of the Sioux Falls business community celebrating agriculture.


When you purchase livestock at the Mayor's Round-Up & Sale of Champions, your company will be recognized in the Tri-State Neighbor and Chamber News magazine. Business representatives who bid on the Grand and Reserve Champions and 3rd place market livestock for each animal species will have their photos included.


The Sale of Champions is a big incentive for producers to attend the Sioux Empire Farm Show. In 2017, more than $75,000 was paid out to 25 market livestock producers in cash awards and bids. By showing financial support yourself or through your business, you support agriculture and promote the region's largest market and purebred livestock show. A successful Sale of Champions encourages these livestock producers to return to the Sioux Empire Farm Show in future years.

Mayor´s Round-Up &
Sale of Champions

Friday, Jan. 26
Best Western PLUS
Ramkota Exhibit Hall

5:30 p.m. Social
6:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Program/Auction

Cost: Individual tickets are $45/per person with reserved tables of eight, includes prime rib dinner

RSVP Valerie Willson or
call (605) 373-2010.


The Sioux Empire Farm Show draws exhibitors from more than 20 states and brings more than 30,000 people to Sioux Falls annually. An estimated $3 million is brought into the greater community through the five-day show.


Buyers who participate in the Mayor's Round-Up & Sale of Champions are paying a premium to the market livestock producer - which means you are not purchasing the animal on which you are bidding. This dollar amount is in addition to the market price they receive for their animal. The Sioux Empire Farm Show is a terminal show so all livestock sold at the Mayor's Round-Up & Sale of Champions will go to slaughter.

Livestock is auctioned by the head. This means the dollar amount you bid is the dollar amount you pay. Livestock can be purchased by cooperative bidders. Partnering with another business is a great way to bump up the premiums for the producers.

All buyers at the Mayor's Round-Up & Sale of Champions will get their photos taken with the producers and the animals and will receive the commemorative photos at an appreciation banquet later in the year.

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