The South Dakota Department of Agriculture last month named the winners of the Resource Conservation Speech Contest that it co-sponsors with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the state's conservation districts:

  1. Shanae Doerr of Aberdeen won first with a speech celebrating government spending. She praises President Obama's $51.5-million effort to combat carp and Governor Daugaard's $8-million fight against the pine beetle.
  2. Emily Meier of Aberdeen won second by emphasizing the role of government, specifically our state conservation districts and weed and pest boards, in protecting productive agricultural land.
  3. Logan Hattervig of Carthage won third by touting the social, environmental, and economic benefits of planting trees.

So at least two out of three kids understand that government plays an important role in sustaining a healthy planet and a healthy capitalist economy. Well done, South Dakota education system!