Sombke to lead SD Farmers Union again

Doug Sombke, S.D. Farmers Union President. Courtesy photo

Doug Sombke was elected by the members of South Dakota Farmers Union to serve a sixth term during the organization’s centennial convention held in Huron Dec. 9 and 10, 2015.

“I feel truly honored to serve the membership of this great organization – these are South Dakota’s farmers, ranchers and rural citizens,” explained Sombke, a fourth generation Conde crop and cattle farmer who has served as the organization’s President since 2005.

Serving more than 17,000 family farmers, ranchers & rural citizens statewide

As president of one of South Dakota’s largest agriculture organizations, Sombke spends his days traveling across the state and nation advocating for family farms, ranches and rural communities, while his three now-grown sons manage the day-to-day farming operations of the family farm. All three sons also operate independent businesses which helps the farm sustain four families.

“It’s the next generation of young farmers and ranchers who inspire me – our state’s economic future rests in their hands because agriculture is our number one industry. They are the reason I put my all into this role each and every day,” Sombke explains. “When I was first asked to serve as President 10 years ago, the timing could not have been better. My sons were ready to become more active on the farm.”

Since becoming President 10 years ago, the organizations’ membership numbers have soared, reaching a 20-year high of 17,000 in 2015.

“Membership numbers increased in nearly every county throughout South Dakota – this is a clear sign that our organization is not only strong, but growing,” says Karla Hofhenke, S.D. Farmers Union Executive Secretary.

Hofhenke that as a grassroots organization, she and the rest of the state staff are led by Sombke and a board of agriculture producers. During state convention, three board members were also reelected. These members include; Wayne Soren, SDFU Vice President, Lake Preston; Jim Wahl, Salem; Lynn Frey, Lemmon; and Joel Keierleber, Colome.

–South Dakota Farmers Union