South Dakota farm family.

Why Farmers Care About Sustainability

Hungry for Truth is about connecting South Dakota families with the farmers who grow your food. We love taking trips to the farm to show you how farm families care for their crops and animals and encourage conversations. It’s all part of helping you feel confident about the food you eat.

Some of our favorite stories focus on sustainability because being environmentally friendly is so important. Over the past 30 years, soybean farmers across the U.S. have increased soybean production by 46 percent while reducing energy use by 35 percent, soil loss by 47 percent and water use through irrigation by 33 percent. Read the report.

While we address how farms are becoming more sustainable, we don’t often focus on why they care about it. The why is family. Yours and theirs. Everyone thrives when our children have access to safe food and a healthy environment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Hear it straight from these South Dakota farmers.

“It’s important to me to use the best practices for our kids and the families who depend on us for food. Healthy food comes from healthy soils. We can’t deplete our resources if we want our children to continue eating safe and healthy food.”

Jamie Johnson, farmer from Frankfort


Jamie Johnson smiles in her soybean field.

“Sustainability is our number one priority. I’m a fourth-generation farmer, and my son is the fifth. This land is what and who we are. It is our livelihood. Protecting it from chemicals, water and soil erosion: That’s our job, and it’s one we love. As farmers, protecting the environment is our goal because we want to leave the land in better shape for the next generation.”

Paul Casper, farmer from Lake Preston

Paul Casper on his South Dakota farm.

“It’s not just better for our land, animals and the people who buy our meat. It’s also a way for our family to keep doing what we love.”

Kristy Freeland, rancher from Rapid City

Kristy on her ranch near Rapid City.

“For me, it’s such a privilege to watch my kids grow up on the farm. They are the sixth generation on our farm, and you can tell their passion for agriculture comes from within. There’s nothing more rewarding than teaching my children what has been passed down to me through the generations and see them grow to appreciate the land that provides for us.”

John Horter, farmer from Andover

John Horter and his son Dane walk through their farm near Andover.

Food isn’t the only reason farmers protect the land and water. Family activities like hunting and fishing are also part of family fun. Here’s one story.