HURON - South Dakota Farmers Union, a nearly century-old family farm organization, will sponsor a wide range of activities during 'Farmers Union Day' at the South Dakota State Fair Saturday, Sept. 1. Activities the annual Farmer's Share Luncheon, a debate between the candidates for the state Public Utilities Commission, birthday cake to honor the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other events.
Activities begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Freedom Stage when the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation and Farmers Union Insurance honor the 25 recipients of the 2012 Insuring a Brighter Tomorrow scholarships. The recipients will share $25,000 in scholarships funded by Farmers Union Insurance agents. Each recipient will attend a college, university or technical school in South Dakota this fall.
At 11 a.m., The SDFU Foundation will honor the 2012 recipients of the Rural Dakota Pride Award. Individuals are nominated based on volunteerism in their local communities and then selected by the foundation to receive the award.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the tent near the Freedom Stage Farmers Union will host its annual Farmer's Share Luncheon where people can get a full meal for a suggested donation of just $1. They will also learn what the farmer's share of the retail food dollar really is. Last year, for a pulled-pork sandwich on a bun, baked beans, chips and milk the farmer's share was less than 40 cents.
At 1 p.m., U.S. House candidate Matt Varilek will discuss agriculture issues at the Freedom Stage and answer questions from the audience. Varilek had agreed to debate his Republican opponent, Rep. Kristi Noem, but the congresswoman declined to attend the debate.
The United States Department of Agriculture is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and Farmers Union will provide free birthday cake in the tent near the Freedom Stage. USDA officials will also be on hand to talk with attendees.
From 3:15-4:30 p.m. on the Dakotaland Stage, candidates for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission will participate in a debate. South Dakota Farmers Union and the South Dakota Rural Electric Association are co-hosting the event. All five candidates have confirmed their attendance and will take the stage together to discuss where they stand on issues the PUC deals with which affect consumers. The public is invited to attend and will have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions.
Anyone wearing Farmers Union apparel will be eligible to sign up to win a free desktop computer. Kids who bring their Farmers Union junior membership card will be able to sign up to win a Kindle Fire. Winners will be drawn at 2:30 p.m. on the Freedom Stage. You must be present to win both prizes. You must be wearing Farmers Union apparel at the time of the drawing to win the computer.
For more information on Farmers Union Day, visit http://www.sdfu.org .