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Merwyn Walter

Merwyn Walter
Merwyn Walter

Eminent Farmer

County: Miner

Merwyn Walter has been a long-time agricultural leader in his community, county and state. The results of his leadership are evident in Miner County and across South Dakota.

Walter helped organize the Miner County Crop and Livestock Association in 1941 and was elected the first chairman of the organization. He helped organize the Soil Conservation District in Miner County in 1952. He also served on the State Water Management Board. The county small-grain test plot has been located on his farm for several years.

Walter was elected to the South Dakota Legislature from 1964-1976. He served on the Commerce, Insurance and Judiciary committees. He was one of the prime sponsors of funding for the swine complex built on the State Fair grounds. He introduced a bill to provide for no tax to farmers on the purchase of feed, seed and fertilizer. He was the first lay person to serve on the State Bar Disciplinary Board.

Walter served on the local draft board for many years. He also circulated petitions and collected funds for the organization of REA. He served on the county school board from 1955 until 1964 and helped with statewide school reorganization.

His farming operation included raising purebred Poland China hogs. He was elected to the Poland China Board of Directors. He also raised purebred Shorthorn cattle, served as state chairman of the South Dakota Shorthorn Breeders Association and was instrumental in organizing the Shorthorn Lassie Association.

He has been very active in his church and is serving on the second six-year term as trustee, has been a delegate to state church meetings several times and has served 10 years on the State Presbytery Stewardship Committee and Mission Funding.

He is an active member of the Howard Community Club. Walter has held various offices in the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star and was recognized for 50 years of membership, commitment and community service as a Mason.

Walter was honored by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture for 50 years of farming.

Merwyn and his wife Audrey are the parents of one son, Robert of Rapid City.