Gov. Noem calls for merger of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Departments
PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order Tuesday to merge the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to become the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, or DANR.
Noem says the merger will simplify life for South Dakota Agriculture producers by creating a one-stop shop in the state. She adds it will also save taxpayers money through streamlining processes and eliminating redundancies.
Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden said in Pierre Tuesday, the movement displays the state’s commitment to agriculture and keeping regulations low.
“We’re not interested in expanding the department because it’s a regulatory agency and one of our goals is to keep the regulations as low as possible,” said Rhoden. “But we’re always looking for opportunities in the state where our ag industry outpaces the number two industry by tenfold. We are obviously very dedicated to seeing our ag producers survive and prosper.”
Rhoden previously served as interim ag-secretary and will continue as an agriculture ambassador. The current DENR Secretary, who is also acting Ag Secretary, Hunter Roberts, will serve as secretary of the new DANR.