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New Economic Development Commissioner Returns to 'Greatest State'

GOED Commissioner Scott Stern
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently appointed Scott Stern to take charge of the state's economic development efforts as Commissioner of the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development. He began his new role Aug. 29.

Stern is a businessman and a South Dakota native who worked for Stern Oil Company of Freeman, S.D., serving 14 years as vice president and general manager. For the past four years, Stern has worked a district sales manager for Petro-Canada America, a division of Suncor Energy.

Gov. Daugaard said Stern is in-tune with the needs of South Dakota businesses and will be an asset to the state.

“Scott Stern will be a great leader of our state’s economic development efforts. From his work building a small town family business, to his time working with major corporate clients, Scott understands why South Dakota is a great place to do business," Daugaard said.

"I am excited to return to South Dakota, the greatest state in the nation, to support and advance the opportunities with existing businesses and continue to welcome new prospects that want to make this state their home," Stern said.

South Dakota’s Dairy Industry Sees Continuing Growth

Processing and Production Spike Over Last Decade

Things are looking up in South Dakota’s dairy industry. Over the past decade, the cow population has increased by 43.75 percent milk production is up 64 percent.

“This nation-leading growth we are experiencing proves that South Dakota is a great place for both producers and processors to thrive,” said Paul Kostboth, Director, Division of Agricultural Development, South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA).

And, there is room for more development.

“Agriculture has long been the backbone of South Dakota’s economy. That, along with South Dakota’s business-friendly policies, tax environment and abundant natural resources really sets South Dakota apart as a great place for both dairy processing and production,” said GOED Commissioner Scott Stern.

In fact, the SDDA has contracted with a dairy consulting firm to define areas in the state that are best suited for additional dairy capacity investment. The study will also identify products such as butter, milk powder, and ice cream, that could be produced on a larger scale and further diversify and grow the state’s dairy industry.

“The State is committed to continuing a sustainable growth pattern across South Dakota’s dairy industry well into the future.” Stern concluded.

South Dakota Companies Among Fastest-Growing

Several South Dakota companies have made Inc. 500's list of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Congratulations to MarketBeat, Weisser Distributing, MJTerveen Construction, Epicosity, Secure Banking Solutions, onezerOne, Click Rain, Sterling Computers, and Taco John's!


Certified Ready Sites

Looking for a location? South Dakota has sites that are vetted and ready to go! To learn more, visit

Want to Meet?

Members of South Dakota's economic development team are available to meet at various trade shows in conferences throughout the year. Up next:
  • World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisc. - Oct. 4-8
  • SHOT Show, Las Vegas, Nev. - Jan. 17-20, 2017
Please contact Steve Watson if you are interested in arranging a meeting.

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This is a publication of the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Commissioner-Scott Stern; Deputy Commissioner-Aaron Scheibe; Marketing and Public Relations Director-Mary Lehecka Nelson; Editor and Designer-Jennifer Lambley. © Copyright 2016