I haven't lived on a farm for almost 50 years. But I grew up on one, and I still consider myself a proud farm kid. Oh, I know things have changed. Heck, if I had to make my way on a farm these days I'd be lost. But I still love the folks that call the farm or ranch home.

South Dakota is a rural state. In fact, it's safe to say South Dakota is proudly a rural state. Agriculture is not only a significant part of Mount Rushmore State, it's the biggest part. Economically, culturally and in virtually every other way, when you say 'South Dakota' you're saying...farm. Ranch.

So just exactly how many farms and ranches call South Dakota home?

Well, one of my favorite websites is the thisisfarming.org site. They have what I would call the 'hard core' agriculture information and also the fun and interesting farm things that I peruse. And they were writing about how many farms and ranches were in the state. The number kind of surprised me after hearing through the years about how huge corporate farms were taking over the country.

It turns out that there are some 29,968 farms and ranches in South Dakota! That's a whole lot of tractors, planters, combines, and fence posts! I also found out South Dakota ranks first in the nation for bison inventory and sunflower production. Oh, and we're doing real fine too as far as honey goes.

The fields will start getting really busy pretty soon, so all you farm folks...you be careful. You're not only important for all of us, but we're also your friends and neighbors, no matter if we live on a farm or in a town or city.

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