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Lt. Governor to temporarily fill in for retiring South Dakota Ag Secretary

Kim Vanneman, left, and Larry Rhoden
Kim Vanneman, left, and Larry Rhoden(KSFY)
Published: May. 5, 2020 at 1:46 PM CDT
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The South Dakota Secretary of the Department of Agriculture has announced her retirement, and a familiar face will temporarily fill her shoes.

Sec. Kim Vanneman publicly announced her retirement on Tuesday. Her last day will be Friday.

Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden will step in as Interim Secretary of Agriculture, according to state officials.

Prior to her time as Secretary of Agriculture, Vanneman served as a director for Farm Credit Services of America, Farm Credit Council, Farm Credit Foundations, and FCC Services. She was a member of the State House of Representatives from 2007-2013, serving on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee all six years.

“The remote work model the past several weeks has made me aware of what I am missing out on with my family and operating our family farm," Vanneman said, via a press release. "It’s spring—a time of new beginnings. It is time for me to spend more time home with family and focus on our 111 year old family farm.”

Vanneman and her husband, Clint, own and operate Vanneman Farms north of Winner.

Rhoden said his immediate focus will be to help the state's agriculture industry turn the corner following this pandemic, especially meat producers impacted by shutdowns of processing plants like Smithfield Foods.