(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

The first question is “Why?”  On its face there seems to be little reason for a member of the 2008 Republican Presidential ticket to course the back roads of South Dakota.

The event was Field Day at Hefty Seed Company at their facility near Baltic in northern Minnehaha County.  Traditionally the event draws a wide swath of customers from around the nation.  Previous events have drawn producers from 24 states and a couple Canadian provinces.

On a dusty Thursday afternoon unscientific crowd estimates put the number at 10,000 souls who attended the event which included an appearance by Sarah Palin, a taping of the Ag PHD program, production agricultural seminars and free food.  Stress must be placed on the words estimates and unscientific.

As to the basis for a Palin visit to South Dakota, there are some legitimate reasons.  One of the more solid explanations comes from a letter to customers of the Hefty’s explaining that their goal was to educate Palin about agriculture.  Palin in turn would use her position to spread the message to others that have influence.  The appearance of the former Governor of Alaska was not to be political at all.

Virginia Got A Letter

From the rumor mill, here is another plausible theory.  More than a few folks voiced speculation that the Hefty family is tempted to dabble in politics.  The media exposure they already have in their agriculture platform gives them a recognition factor and credibility as successful business men.  Of course none of this is confirmed by any means, but when people start talking about it the mind can present situations favorable to a foray into the political world.