By Lura Roti for South Dakota Farmers Union
Jeff Kippley, Aberdeen farmer and National Farmers Union Vice President, announced his run for a second term of service during the South Dakota Farmers Union State Convention held Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 in Huron.
“There is more work to do, so I hope you elect me again so I can continue to work hard for you,” Kippley said.
Members first elected Kippley to serve as National Farmers Union Vice President in 2022 during the National Farmers Union Convention. They will have another opportunity to elect him during the 2024 National Farmers Union Convention held in Scottsdale, Arizona March 10-12.
“Jeff Kippley has been such a great addition to National Farmers Union,” said Doug Sombke, President of South Dakota Farmers Union and Treasurer of National Farmers Union. “His background as a farmer and an accountant is valuable in the national boardroom and in the offices of D.C. policymakers.”
The same day he announced his run for a second term, South Dakota family farmers and ranchers elected Kippley to serve as Vice President of South Dakota Farmers Union. Sombke said he looks forward to serving with Kippley on the state and national level because Kippley is serving for the right reasons.
“Like all of us serving in Farmers Union leadership, Jeff is a family farmer who wants a better future on the farm for his kids,” said Sombke, who farms with his three grown sons. “Policy changes need to be made to ensure fair prices for crops and livestock so the next generation can earn an income farming and ranching.”
Jeff and his wife, Rachel, have four children: Noah, 17; Titus, 15; Aaron, 11 and Moriah, 9.
Advocating for policy to support fair prices for farmers & ranchers
Kippley raises crops and cattle together with his dad, John, wife, Rachel and their four children near Aberdeen. But like so many family farmers and ranchers across the nation, the Kippley farm income is not enough to support their family. So, together with family, the Kippleys own a tax preparation service. Rachel also works off the farm as the Fair and Park Manager for Brown County.
“As tax advisors, we see the numbers behind many family farms and ranches. And it’s not just our family farm that needs off-farm income to stay afloat financially – it is the majority of family agriculture producers,” Kippley said.
As National Farmers Union Vice President Kippley will continue to advocate for:
· Price Transparency
· MCOOL (mandatory country of origin labeling)
· Landowner Rights
· Higher ethanol blends like E30
“Policy changes need to take place soon, so our children can earn a fair living on the family farm or ranch,” Kippley said.
A farmer fighting for farmers
Over the last two years, Kippley has traveled across the nation to meet with Farmers Union members. He has worked to grow membership and guarantee the voice of farmers and ranchers is heard by policymakers in D.C.
“Although family farming and ranching operations in other parts of the U.S. may not look like they do in South Dakota – regardless of commodities raised or size, the challenges we as family farmers and ranchers face do look much the same,” Kippley said. “When I meet with policymakers, I make sure they understand that they are talking to a family farmer about real issues impacting family farmers and ranchers. It is important the policies put in place for agriculture producers actually work for us.”
To learn more about Jeff Kippley, visit www.sdfu.org.