Dusty Johnson brings an energetic and optimistic style to Washington as South Dakota’s lone voice in the U.S. House of Representatives. A “policy guy,” he works hard to be a knowledgeable and value-added member on issues related to his two primary committee assignments: Agriculture, Education & Labor.
Committee on Agriculture – A recognized leader in issues related to rural America, agriculture, and welfare reform, Dusty was grateful to receive the unusual honor of being named ranking member of the Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee as a freshman. This panel allows him to focus on how SNAP Food Stamp program reforms can better prepare Americans for a life beyond poverty and on ensuring that all aspects of the Farm Bill are successfully implemented. Dusty also serves on the Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee.
Committee on Education & Labor – Dusty is involved with workforce development issues on the full committee and focuses on healthcare and other employer benefit issues as a member of the subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. His seat on the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee (with jurisdiction over low-income heating assistance, work incentive programs, and poverty programs) allows him to pursue his passion for reforming welfare.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Dusty served as vice president for Vantage Point Solutions, a South Dakota-based engineering and consulting firm specializing in rural telecommunications. Vantage Point has more than 200 employees and helps rural providers design, build, and operate broadband systems in 40 states. Dusty is an expert in state and national telecommunications policy, especially Federal Communications Commission reform efforts and the transformation of the Universal Service Fund.
Public Service Experience
In 2004, Dusty was elected statewide to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. He worked with his colleagues to maintain a fair and reasonable regulatory environment, facilitating the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars into rural energy and telecommunications infrastructure. In 2010, Governor Dennis Daugaard asked Dusty to serve as chief of staff, the chief operating officer for much of state government. In that role, Dusty oversaw many of the Governor’s top projects and initiatives, especially those related to infrastructure and public safety.
Dusty grew up in a large working-class family in central South Dakota. He has degrees from the University of South Dakota and the University of Kansas. Dusty has been an active community volunteer, having served as a Sunday School teacher, adjunct faculty member at Dakota Wesleyan University, and president and board member of Abbott House, an agency serving abused and neglected children. He lives in Mitchell with his wife and three sons. As a family, they enjoy hiking, camping, hunting, and reading.