After working in other states where there is a lot of wheat and fallow ground, the newest member of the Regional Extension staff says, It's nice to be back in corn and soybean country.
Kim Dillivan, 52, started as Crops Business Management Field Specialist about a month ago. He joins staff at the Brown County Regional Extension Center in Aberdeen.
According to Dillivan, he is basically an ag economist hired to work with producers with crops to analyze their situations. Mark Rosenberg in the Aberdeen office deals with agronomy and weed science while Dillivan's duties will be looking at farming from the business standpoint. Potentially, Dillivan will be looking at the marketing of grain using the futures market and cash sales.
Ag economics with the supply and demand side of farming and how international trade fits into the picture affects ag more and more each year, he said. The exports market is becoming larger, and we are more interconnected. What happens overseas has a huge impact on local producers.
Dillivan's background combines years of teaching ag economics, ag marketing, ag finance and ag policy in Tennessee, Missouri, Wyoming and North Dakota. Most recently he was an Extension agent in Colorado for 2 years.
He grew up among the corn and soybean fields of west central Iowa, near Jefferson. He attended Iowa State University for a degree in ag business and then got a master's degree in ag economics at Wyoming. His Ph.D in adult education at the University of Tennessee focused on self directed learning, looking at how to present information to adults.
The overall goal of Extension is to be a connection between the producer and South Dakota State University, Dillivan said. We're to provide information to help producers be more profitable and more efficient. We're a way to take some of the ideas developed on campus to the producer. We also are in touch with the production side of ag to find out issues that need more research.
As he gets to know people across the state, Dillivan said he'll learn about the communities and develop programs to work with the producers. That may include something like a marketing club. He hopes to help facilitate discussions to learn better ways to address economic issues and tap into local knowledge.
We want to empower producers and take advantage of their knowledge, Dillivan said, I'll be in Aberdeen but travel across the state to focus most on where crops and forage are produced.
He has been attending events such as DakotaFest and meeting with folks from Natural Resources Conservation Service. He also is trying to get a feel for the issues in the state and figure out how he fits into how things work.
Dillivan and his wife, Mary, have 12-year-old twins, Grant and Natalie, who are looking forward to moving to the Aberdeen area. They are currently living in Wyoming.
Dillivan can be reached at Kim.email@example.com or at 605-626-2870.