SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After the removal of the long-time executive director Lisa Richardson in July, South Dakota Corn now has someone to fill her role permanently. South Dakota Corn houses both the South Dakota Corn Growers Association and the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council.
DaNita Murray grew up on a farm in Milbank, graduated from SDSU, worked for many years in Washington D.C. and is now returning to her home state to start her new leadership role.
She has nearly two decades of experience in agriculture, ag law and policymaking on a national level, all important topics for SD Corn.
“You want to have somebody that is a strong leader and the knowledge comes obviously having the farm knowledge, the farm policy knowledge, knowing some of the things that corn farmers deal with on a day to day basis is important,” said Scott Stahl, SD Corn Growers Association President.
But, Murray admits she still has a lot to learn about being a voice for corn producers.
“I think that maintaining a connection between farmers, Pierre, Washington D.C., you name it, so that policy makers understand what’s going on as best as possible on a day to day basis is really important and it takes work, it’s hard and it doesn’t always get through,” said DaNita Murray, Executive Director of SD Corn.
They are excited to be hiring someone who is originally from the state.
“It’s always fun to see a homecoming and to see somebody that has those South Dakota roots be able to fill a role such as this,” said Stahl.
“The producers that I’ve kept in contact with through the decades in Washington have always served as a really great knowledge base frankly for me,” Murray said. “I mean my information, my knowledge that I have from the Hill and from USDA isn’t worth all that much, unless there’s a practical use to it and I understood how it applied to again the daily life of a South Dakota corn grower.”
“We are definitely excited for the future,” said Stahl. “We know that DaNita does provide the expertise needed and the technical knowledge needed on policy to be able to you know really benefit producers and work with our board to be able to make changes that are positive for growers all across the state.”
Murray will begin her new position on December 1.