South Dakota’s 125th Anniversary

A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

On Nov. 2, 1889, at 2:40 p.m., President Benjamin Harrison signed South Dakota into statehood. Before signing the statehood proclamations for the two Dakotas, President Harrison instructed Secretary of State James Blaine to cover both proclamations under a sheet of paper. President Harrison signed both, and then shuffled them again so that no one, not even the President, knew which proclamation was signed first.

One hundred twenty-five years later, I can’t help but be proud of all we have accomplished.

Our farmers and ranchers survived the Dust Bowl, withstood blizzards, droughts and floods, and built an agricultural economy that is as strong as it has ever been.

This is the place where Gutzon Borglum and Korczak Ziolkowski found their stone canvases; where Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up in her “Little Town on the Prairie”; and where Kevin Costner let the world see the pride and culture of the Lakota people, against the backdrop of South Dakota’s breathtaking landscapes in “Dances with Wolves.”

This is the place where a well-digger named Peter Norbeck created one of the nation’s best state parks; where a quiet professor named George McGovern became a candidate for president and an advocate for the hungry; and where a high school dropout named Bill Janklow connected our schools to the Internet and made a university in Madison a leader in cybersecurity.

Our history is one of perseverance. In overcoming obstacles, we don’t merely survive; we prosper and achieve beyond anyone’s expectations. This is something country singer Kyle Evans understood when he composed a special tribute to our state twenty-five years ago. He wrote:

Where horses traveled dusty trails, fancy cars now drive on superhighways,
Where one-room cabins used to stand, modern high rise buildings line the skyways,
Where there once was just a mountain, today there are faces carved in stone,
And they represent the freedom of this South Dakota land we call home.

Let us never take for granted this lifestyle unequalled in this land,
Where a friend is still a true friend, always there to lend a helping hand,
Where religion is still our guideline and Old Glory will always be unfurled,
Where you’ll find old-fashioned values in a fast-moving modern day world.

As Mr. Evans perceived, our state has changed a lot since President Harrison signed that important document. But South Dakotans are still the same at heart – our values, work-ethic and neighborliness still remain. That’s what makes our state exceptional.

So let’s pause today to celebrate what we’ve already achieved; and tomorrow we’ll continue the trek forward in building upon what our forefathers began.

Happy birthday South Dakota!

South Dakota statehood celebration scheduled for November 1

A special event at the State Capitol to celebrate South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood will feature a performance by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.

The event will also include the rededication and lighting ceremony for the newly restored stained glass in the Capitol. The project to restore the historic stained glass skylights that began last year is expected to be completed in September when the final restored panels will return to the Capitol.

The statehood celebration event will take place at 7 p.m. CDT on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The event will be open and free to the public. General admission seating will be available with a ticketed reservation. The details and availability date for reserving seating tickets will be made available in the future. Standing room only will be available on the marble grand staircase and in the balconies above the rotunda floor.

Other Events on Nov 1:

First Lady Inaugural Gown Exhibit Rededication
A rededication of the newly refurbished First Ladies Inaugural Gown exhibit is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on the first floor. The event is free and open to the public.

Trail of Governors Statues Unveiling
The unveiling of the three latest statues of former governors by the Trail of Governors is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the rotunda. The event is free and open to the public.

Quilting Demonstration
The Stately Stitchers quilting club are hosting a quilting demonstration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lutheran Memorial Church.

The public is invited to help make quilted ornaments which will be used to decorate one of the Capitol Christmas Trees later that month. The theme of the Capital Christmas Trees is 125 Years of Christmas in South Dakota.

Gov. Daugaard’s Workforce Summit report released

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard is releasing the workforce summit report today as he travels around the state to share the findings.

The Governor is hosting six meetings today and tomorrow to share the results, outline the opportunity for cross-sector collaboration and provide an update of new state government strategies.

“Over 1,000 people provided input for this report. We heard from educators, community leaders, businesses and elected officials from all across the state,” said Gov. Daugaard. “We’ve been actively engaged in workforce efforts over the past few years. By exploring the new tools and strategies laid out in the report, we can improve those efforts at the state and local levels.”

Public meetings are scheduled for:

Tuesday, Sept. 2

  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. MDT at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn in Rapid City
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CDT at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. CDT at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown

Wednesday, Sept. 3

  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. CDT at the Brookings Days Inn Convention Center
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CDT at Mitchell Technical Institute
  • 3 – 4 p.m. CDT at the Sioux Falls Convention Center

The final report and previous Workforce Summit resources, videos and presentations are available at

Communities invited to celebrate 125 years of statehood

Gov. Dennis Daugaard is inviting communities to plan events to commemorate South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood this year.
Gov. Daugaard explained, “Our state’s 125th birthday is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our state, understand our history and heritage, and do something good for future generations.”
Local committees are encouraged to plan celebration events, promote local history and perform community improvement projects. Participating communities will be eligible for special commemorative highway signs and help with planning and promoting their local efforts.
Statewide events, such as a special wagon train from Yankton to Pierre in September and the placement of stained glass back in the Capitol Building, are currently scheduled to commemorate the anniversary. Other celebration events are also being considered. 
During South Dakota’s Centennial of Statehood in 1989, towns held special events and raised money to restore old buildings, build or improve city parks, upgrade swimming pools and athletic fields, and rebuild local museums.
“Twenty-five years ago, the local events really made an impact,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Donating your time to start a 125th community project may really make a difference for your town and for future generations.”
Becoming a “Statehood Celebration Community” involves forming a local committee, filling out an application form and brainstorming local celebration, history and lasting legacy ideas. Information packets have been mailed to cities and local historical societies. For more information, visit

Community events have already been planned for Beresford, Brandon, Canton, Garretson, Java, Madison, Pickstown, Pierre, Sioux Falls, Watertown and Yankton. Madison will be hosting a Pioneer Birthday Bash from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lake Herman State Park, while Sioux Falls is hosting a juried art exhibit and sale of original works of art by current and past residents of South Dakota at the Center for Western Studies at Augustana College. For more event information, visit

SD 125-1

Integra Plastics announces expansion in Madison


Integra owner Mick Green, LAIC Executive Director Julie Gross and Integra CFO Virg Garbers. Photo courtesy

Integra owner Mick Green, LAIC Executive Director Julie Gross and Integra CFO Virg Garbers. Photo courtesy

Integra Plastics, Inc. announced Friday at the Lake Area Improvement Corporation’s annual meeting that it will be expanding its Madison plant later this spring, with hopes of being fully operational by fall of this year.

“I am pleased Integra Plastics, Inc. chose to expand in South Dakota,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “Integra’s decision to grow its facility will bring business and tax dollars to South Dakota; importantly, it will also create more jobs for South Dakotans.”

According to LAIC Executive Director Julie Gross, Integra is planning to build across the road from its current facility in the Lakeview Industrial Park in Madison. Integra has been in Madison for more than 20 years and has been a longtime supporter of local economic development.

“Our company prides itself in providing our customers with superior products and quality customer service. Our decision to expand our Madison facility will only make that easier to do,” said Integra Chief Financial Officer Virg Garbers.

In 2009, HCPD presented Integra officials with an electric rebate for an expansion on its Madison facility.

In 2009, HCPD presented Integra officials with an electric rebate for an expansion on its Madison facility.

This latest expansion is not the first for Integra in recent years. In 2009, Integra qualified for a $16,000 electric rebate for the addition of four full-time employees and 20,000 square feet to its plant.

Integra Plastics, Inc. provides installation services, technical assistance and mechanical expertise along with its core business of fabrication and conversion capabilities. The company specializes in manufacturing specialty polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC sheeting. For more information, visit

Featured image courtesy