Agriculture is everything, bringing South Dakotans together for the first Ag on the Square event

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Soybeans, corn, wheat, and cattle all make up South Dakota's strong agricultural base.

Main Street Square hosted the first Agriculture on the Square event to teach the community about the impacts of ag on our everyday lives.

Although South Dakota is one of the country's top producers for these products, local farmers and ranchers have had a difficult year.

Agriculture is the number one industry in South Dakota, so how do locals describe ag?

"Oh my gosh, ag is everything, you know, it's the backbone of why we have clothes, food, shelter," said Brad Lindblom, third-generation rancher.

"Our lifestyle, as well as we are really basing everything you find in the grocery store comes from ag, all over the nation," said Cassity Goetz, Rodeo Queen.

"A staple in life because you know, you eat fruit, you're wearing clothes, your socks might be made out of wool, the beef is coming to your table, the milk you drink is coming from a cow, so if you really think about your lifestyle, agriculture is a part of that," said Tif Robertson, volunteer for Agriculture on the Square.

But our farmers and ranchers are facing major challenges throughout the state.

"Some of the factors out East are these floods that have flooded out the corn and soy beans and out West here we're fighting really low cattle prices right now," Lindblom said.

There is a cultural shift.

"It's dwindling, our ag culture, not everybody's there, we have a lot of smaller crowds at rodeos than when I was a lot younger," Goetz said.

There's also a generational shift.

"We are facing our elder generation that are not ranching anymore and it's been hard for the younger generation to get into agriculture," Robertson said.

Which is why the community came together for the first "Agriculture on the Square" event to learn how ag impacts our everyday lives.

"Right now is a really rough time for farmers and ranchers, so I think it's time for people in South Dakota to really pull together and show the support for them," said Peggy Schlechter, South Dakota State University Extension.