There are many things happening that lead me to be hopeful about South Dakota’s future, especially in the realm of economic development. Overall, 2017 was a great year in terms of economic development wins. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development helped facilitate deals that total over $735 million in investment and are expected to create more than 1,400 jobs.
Last July, we broke ground on the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility at the Sanford Underground Research Facility — the old Homestake mine. This Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment will fire a beam of neutrinos from Fermilab near Chicago to huge detectors at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead. The experiment hopes to unravel one of the great mysteries of the universe: the oscillation of neutrinos. This experiment will require a $400 million construction investment in Lead that will have an economic impact of nearly $1 billion.
We also broke ground on a major soybean processing facility in Aberdeen. When complete, AGP’s soybean plant will be the largest investment in their history, with capacity enough to process 20 percent of South Dakota’s soybean crop.
In Sioux Falls, we supported Gage Brothers, a 100-year old South Dakota manufacturer, as it launched a new $40 million facility. We supported BalCon Enterprises’ plans to construct a 22,500 square foot processing and warehouse facility in Elk Point, a project that will add 22 full-time jobs. In Beresford, we secured a commitment from Hendrix Genetics to build a $25 million commercial turkey hatchery, creating 79 new jobs. The facility will hatch over half a million baby turkeys every week.
There were many other business expansions in 2017, including OtterTail Power in northeast South Dakota, Red’s All Natural Foods in North Sioux City, B9 Creations in Rapid City, Applied Engineering in Yankton, Performance Pet Products in Mitchell, Great Plains Processing in Yankton, Aero Trailers in Watertown and Harvard Integrations in Tea.
This year, 2018 began with a major announcement from AgroPur of a $250 million expansion in Lake Norden. When complete, this expansion will increase the plant’s daily milk processing capacity from 3 million pounds to more than 9 million pounds, equal to the output of an additional 85,000 cows.
We see success because South Dakota allows businesses to prosper. We have a low tax burden — no corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no business inventory tax, no personal property tax or inheritance tax. We also have low costs and reasonable regulations.
It is also thanks to the hard work of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and our economic development partners throughout the state. They do the work of identifying prospects from around the country and selling our state and our communities. More often, they work with local businesses to help them expand. By keeping South Dakota a business-friendly state, I’m confident 2018 will be even better.