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January 29, 2014

Stockgrowers Applaud House Passage of Farm Bill

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauded the news that Congress voted 251-166 to pass the 2014 Farm Bill this morning. Representative Noem signed the conference committee report on Monday and voted to support the Farm Bill's passage in the House. The bill now moves to the Senate for a final vote.

President of the SD Stockgrowers Association, Bob Fortune of Belvidere said, "We are very excited to see that the House has now passed a Farm Bill and we're hopeful the Senate can follow suit to get this Farm Bill finalized. We thank Representative Noem for her support."

"South Dakota Stockgrowers is very supportive of this Farm Bill which protected Country of Origin Labeling and preserves the authority for USDA to complete the GIPSA rule for marketing reform. It also contains a strong livestock disaster program that will support our family ranches who are still rebuilding after the terrible blizzard in October."

According to Representative Noem, who authored the Livestock Disaster Program in the Farm Bill, the final disaster programs will reimburse producers up to 75% of the fair market value for livestock lost in natural disasters. The program will be retroactive for 2012 and 2013 and raise the cap to allow an individual producer to be eligible for up to $125,000 of compensation for livestock losses.

The provisions for Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) were kept in tact in the final Farm Bill after an aggressive campaign by opponents to gut the provisions that provide information to consumers regarding the origin of meat products at the grocery store. According to Fortune, "Stockgrowers have always strongly supported COOL because we are proud of the food that we raise, and because we believe that customers should know where their food is born, raised and harvested."

"We really appreciate Representative Noem's support for COOL and her leadership on the livestock disaster programs," said Fortune. "We're fortunate to have Rep Noem and Senators Johnson and Thune all working for this Farm Bill and supporting these provisions that are so important to our livestock producers."


January 22, 2014

Rancher Relief Fund Set to Distribute Additional $3.3 Million

Pierre, SD - Four short months after the devastating winter storm Atlas struck western South Dakota, the Rancher Relief Fund (RRF) is poised to disburse an additional $3.3 million to hundreds of livestock producers in the impacted area.

Cory Eich, President of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, noted, "We can't thank the Rancher Relief Fund donors enough. The outpouring of support from around the country has been gratifying and we're pleased to be able to distribute over $4 million back to the livestock producers of western South Dakota and neighboring states who lost animals in the early blizzard."

The Rancher Relief Fund distributed nearly $775,000 to impacted livestock producers prior to the application deadline of December 31, 2013. With more than 600 applications received, the SD Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (SDVOAD) will be working as quickly as possible to disburse an additional $3.3 million to the qualified applicants in the coming weeks.

All disbursements are based on criteria established by representatives of the founding livestock organizations. In order to qualify for assistance from the Rancher Relief Fund, applicants must demonstrate they are livestock producers and they must have lost a minimum of ten percent of their livestock herd.

"With approximately 600 applicants reporting losses of roughly 43,000 head of cattle, sheep and horses, we recognize the financial assistance from the Rancher Relief Fund will not come close to fully reimbursing the ranchers that suffered devastating losses. However, we know every little bit helps in the wake of the historic storm," said Bob Fortune, SD Stockgrowers Association President.

Tax deductible donations are still being accepted for the Rancher Relief Fund and can be made online by going to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation's website at www.giveblackhills.org.

Additional funding rounds may be provided to RRF applicants, depending on continued contributions. For answers to frequently asked questions or for more information on the Rancher Relief Fund, please visit www.ranchersrelief.org.


December 11, 2013

Bobbie Till Receives Beef Industry Scholarship 

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlewomen awarded the Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship to Bobbie Till during the 122nd Annual Convention on September 28. 

Bobbie is the daughter of George and Lisa Till from Dupree, South Dakota. She graduated from Dupree High School in 2012 and is currently in her second year at Black Hills State University where she is studying Veterinary Medicine. She plans to pursue an advanced degree and become a large animal veterinarian. 

Shane Kolb, Past President of the SD Stockgrowers presented Bobbie with the $1,000 scholarship and said, "What really stands out is Bobbie's dedication to working for causes and other people. Bobbie volunteers her time for things like children's shoe drives and tutoring events, cancer fundraisers, veterans' events, and a long list of other items that will surely make a difference in our communities. 

The Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship was endowed to the SD Stockgrowers and the SD Cattlewomen in memory of Guy Ham. Ham had a deep commitment to the education of young leaders in agriculture and was a strong advocate for higher education in agriculture. More information about the scholarship can be found by visiting www.southdakotastockgrowers.com.


 November 27, 2013

Ranchers Relief Fund Reminds Producers 
Applications are Open

 

Pierre, SD - During this Thanksgiving season, the Rancher Relief Fund administrators remind livestock producers that applications are still being accepted for financial assistance.

 

Bob Fortune, SD Stockgrowers President said, "Thanks to many, many donations large and small from within South Dakota and from all across the country, the Rancher Relief Fund has nearly two million to distribute to those impacted by the devastating October blizzard. As we take time to give thanks this week, we're thankful for those who have donated to the Rancher's Relief Fund."

 

If you are a livestock producer or know a livestock producer who was affected by the October blizzard, please visit www.ranchersrelief.org to complete the one page application or nomination form. The application and nomination deadline is December 31, 2013.

 

"Our goal is to provide financial assistance as quickly as possible to livestock producers who were impacted by the storm. Eligible applicants will have a lot of flexibility to determine how best to put money they receive from the Rancher Relief Fund to work in rebuilding their livestock operations," said Cory Eich, SD Cattlemen's Association President.

 

Funds will be distributed by the SD Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (SDVOARD) based on criteria established by the founding livestock organizations. A second funding round may be made available to applicants who have signed up before the deadline, depending on continued contributions to the Rancher Relief Fund and the number of qualified applications received.  

 

Tax deductible donations can be made online by going to the Black Hills Area Community Foundation's website at www.giveblackhills.org. For answers to frequently asked questions or for more information on the Rancher Relief Fund, please visit www.ranchersrelief.org.


November 15, 2013

Rancher Relief Fund is Accepting Applications for Assistance

Rapid City, SD -- The Rancher Relief Fund is now accepting applications for assistance from livestock producers impacted by the blizzard.

Representatives of the Rancher Relief Fund founding livestock organizations identified dual priorities for fund distribution - assist those who were hardest hit first and provide financial assistance to as many producers as possible. Based on these priorities, funds will be distributed through the SD Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (SDVOAD), which is comprised of a number of disaster relief organizations.

Assistance application forms are available online at www.RanchersRelief.org. An application deadline of Dec. 31, 2013 has been set in order to assess the number of applications and the severity of the needs of those applicants.

Bob Fortune, SD Stockgrowers President and Belvidere, SD rancher said, "The Rancher Relief Fund was established by livestock producers for the benefit of livestock producers who lost animals during the devastating October blizzard. We've identified experienced relief agency partners to assist us in disbursing the funds to those who need help."

The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund (RRF) was established by the SD Stockgrowers Association, SD Cattlemen's Association and SD Sheepgrowers Association at the Black Hills Area Community Foundation to provide support and relief assistance for livestock producers impacted by winter storm Atlas October 4-7, 2013.

"The outpouring of support for the West River ranchers who lost animals during the blizzard has been overwhelming. The response and fundraising for the Rancher Relief Fund has been a great team effort by the livestock organizations, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation and SDVOAD," said Cory Eich, cattleman from Canova, SD and president of the SD Cattlemen's Association.

Immediate release of funds to applicants prior to the deadline may occur with the most severe cases. A second funding round may be made available to applicants who have signed up before the December 31, 2013 deadline, depending on continued contributions to the Rancher Relief Fund and the number of qualified applications received.

Recommendations for families who may need assistance will also be accepted and nomination forms are posted at www.RanchersRelief.org. Future updates about the fund will also be posted at www.RanchersRelief.org.
About the Rancher Relief Fund

The fund will be administered by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation in cooperation with the founding livestock organizations for the direct benefit of the livestock producers impacted by the devastating early October blizzard. The Black Hills Area Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and will receive 1% of the fund proceeds plus any direct administrative costs associated with the fund.

A Steering Committee consisting of three representatives from each of the three founding livestock organizations established the eligibility criteria for affected livestock producers to receive financial assistance from the fund.

The South Dakota Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (SDVOAD) will work with the impacted families to determine eligibility for the Rancher Relief Fund and other disaster assistance programs and resources. SDVOAD will also be responsible for RRF disbursements to qualifying families.

About the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association
The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (www.sdcattlemen.org) is a member-driven organization working to advance and protect the interests of all cattlemen. SDCA works to facilitate a profitable business climate and promote environmental stewardship.

About the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association
The South Dakota Stockgrowers (www.southdakotastockgrowers.org) work to promote the independent livestock producers of South Dakota. SDSGA strives to preserve the viability of ranches and rural communities through proper legislation, property tax reform, school funding, and stewardship and land management.

About the South Dakota Sheepgrowers Association
The South Dakota Sheepgrowers Association (www.sdsheepgrowers.org) is the trade association for sheep producers in South Dakota, representing farm flocks and range operations. SDSGA focuses on lamb and fiber promotion on a state-wide basis and keeping members updated on issues affecting the sheep industry.


October 18, 2013

 

Funds for SD Ranchers available  
by calling 2-1-1 or 1-877-708-4357

Funds for SD Ranchers available by calling 2-1-1 or 1-877-708-4357 RAPID CITY, SD-October 18, 2013 - The organizations coordinating the SD Rancher Relief Fund at Black Hills Area Community Foundation (BHACF) announced that funds are available to meet the immediate needs of ranchers impacted by the blizzard of October 4-7, 2013. Livestock producers should call 2-1-1 or 1 877 708 4357 to request assistance.

"We want South Dakota ranchers to know that assistance is available for immediate needs such as fuel, groceries, or even travel for medical services," said Lisa Adler of Lutheran Social Services and President, South Dakota VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). The process for distributing additional funds to further assist ranchers who have experienced cattle losses will be developed and announced as soon as possible.

ABOUT THE SOUTH DAKOTA RANCHER RELIEF FUND The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund was established on October 8, 2013 by Black Hills Area Community Foundation to provide support and relief assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by the blizzard of October 4-7, 2013. The fund will be administered by BHACF in cooperation with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association and the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association for the direct benefit of the livestock producers impacted by this devastating blizzard. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 231, Rapid City, SD 57709 and online at https://www.giveblackhills.org/27677.

ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA VOAD South Dakota VOAD is a network of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster that work together to foster efficient delivery of resources to people affected by disasters. The focus of South Dakota VOAD is to facilitate coordination, communication, cooperation and collaboration.

BLACK HILLS AREA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION BHACF holds endowment funds, as well as donor advised funds and scholarship funds. Through its tax-exempt charitable status, BHACF enables people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about and programs that improve the quality of life in the Black Hills. Such participation can occur immediately or over time through estate planning. Since 2006, BHACF has distributed more than $2.6 million in grants and scholarships.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Black Hills Area Community Foundation should visit www.bhacf.org or contact Regina Jahr, Executive Director at bhcfoundation@rushmore.com or by calling 605.718.0112.

 

October 17, 2013

Community Gatherings Scheduled for  

South Dakota Livestock Producers

 

Ranch families are invited to attend any of three community gatherings in Union Center, Faith and New Underwood for a free meal and information about resources available as they look to rebuild their ranch operations in the wake of the blizzard.

 

Resources and information will be provided by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota State University Extension, other federal and state agencies, bank and loan officers, insurance agents, agricultural industry organizations, and mental health professionals.   

 

Gatherings will be held at the following dates and times:

 

Union Center Community Gathering

Friday, October 25, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Union Center Community Center - Union Center, SD

 

Faith Community Gathering

Saturday, October 26, 6:00 - 9:00 pm

Faith Legion Hall - Faith, SD

 

New Underwood Community Gathering

Monday, October 28, 6:00 - 9:0 0 pm

New Underwood Community Center - New Underwood, SD

 

 

These gatherings are a joint effort by SD Cattlemen's Association, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, and SD Stockgrowers Association with the support of other industry groups and local businesses.

 

 

September 9, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers to Host 122nd Annual Convention

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is set to host the 122nd Annual Convention and Tradeshow and will be joined by the SD Cattlewomen on September 27 and 28 at the Best Western Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City. The two-day convention will feature a long line-up of speakers and panelists along with policy discussions, annual business meetings for both organizations and several other activities.

Headlining the convention this year will be Jolene Brown, a champion for family agriculture and a family business consultant that is sure to keep everyone's attention. Jolene Brown understands the unique challenges facing parents, siblings, in-laws and "outlaws" who work together on multi-generational agriculture operations. She brings a humorous twist to the very serious business of estate planning and generational transfers on family operations. Her presentation will begin at 1:00pm on Saturday, September 28.

Friday's program will feature Margaret Byfield of the American Stewards of Liberty at 10:30am, discussing the issues of private property rights and the federal government as well as her father, Wayne Hage's legacy of private property rights. American National Cattlewomen President Barbara Jackson will speak at the Friday luncheon along with SDSU Dean of Agriculture Barry Dunn who will discuss the effort to build a new Cow/Calf research facility at their campus. Other topics and speakers on Friday include Mike Lees from SD DENR, Ty Eschenbaum - SD Dept of Ag Value-Added Ag division, Stockgrowers Executive Director Silvia Christen discussing 2014 legislative priorities, and a brand and theft committee meeting. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard will address the Friday evening banquet.

Saturday's events include a presentation by State Veterinarian Dr. Oedekoven and Courtney De La Rosa of the SD Dept of Ag discussing proposed Animal Welfare legislation, presentations by SD GF&P officials, and the annual business meeting of the SD Stockgrowers where members will vote on policy and board leadership. Featured speakers on Saturday will include SD Secretary of State Lucas Lentsch and United States Senator John Thune has been invited to address the evening banquet. The Convention will wrap up on Saturday evening with an awards banquet, scholarship presentation and a live auction fundraiser to benefit the work of the Stockgrowers throughout the year.

Activities for children including a pool party, and babysitting will be available to any convention attendees. There is no charge for the youth activities.

"We have a great agenda of guests and information this year and I invite everyone to join us in Rapid City," Shane Kolb, President of the SD Stockgrowers Association said. "Our annual convention is a great opportunity to celebrate the work we've done in the past year and plan toward the future of our organization.'

For a full agenda and details of the convention, please visit www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or call the SD Stockgrowers Office at 605-342-0429. Hotel Reservations can be made by calling the Ramkota at 605-343-8550 and asking for the SD Stockgrowers rate. Registration can be completed online or at the convention.


 

August 26, 2013   

Contact: 
Bill Bullard, R-CALF: 406-252-2516 
Anna Ghosh, F&WW: 510-922-0075 
Silvia Christen, SDSGA: 605-342-0429 
Kevin Dowling, WORC: 406-252-9672

Four Groups Petition for Permission to Defend COOL
Spurious Charges of Meatpackers Disputed by
 
Farm, Ranch and Consumer Groups

Washington, D.C. - Four groups representing, farmers and ranchers, rural communities and consumers filed court papers on Friday, Aug. 23, to defend mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) from a spurious lawsuit filed by the meatpacking industry. R-CALF USA, Food & Water Watch, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the Western Organization of Resource Councils petitioned the court to allow them to intervene and defend COOL. Country of Origin Labeling was included in the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills, but it has been under constant attack from domestic and foreign meatpackers that do not want consumers to know where their food is from and do not want to pay American farmers and ranchers a fair price for their livestock.

 

 "Our interest is in preserving COOL for generations to come," said South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) Executive Director Silvia Christen adding, "The COOL regulation that requires the meat labels to list each country where livestock was born, raised and harvested benefits U.S. cattle and sheep producers who can differentiate and promote American born and raised livestock in an increasingly international supermarket meat case."

 

 The meatpackers allege in their lawsuit that the final 2013 COOL rules violate their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech, that the labels were not specifically authorized by the Farm Bill and that COOL labels provide no benefit to consumers.

 

 "The meatpackers are demanding a first amendment right to deceive consumers by insisting on vague and misleading labels that do not let consumers choose all-American beef, pork and lamb products," said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. "Consumers overwhelmingly support, use and deserve Country of Origin Labeling because they want to know the source of the food they are feeding their families."

 

The meatpackers' filed their lawsuit to prevent the USDA from implementing the final 2013 COOL rules, which requires muscle cuts of beef, pork, lamb and goat meat to display where the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered and prohibits the confusing "commingled" mixed-origin label that has allowed meat from all-American born and raised livestock to be labeled as if it were a product of multiple countries, like "Product of USA, Canada" or "Product of Mexico, USA.

 

 "Retaining the USDA's 2013 rules as law of the land will ensure that a U.S. label stands for family tradition, quality, pride and a safe and wholesome product by allowing consumers to truly know when a product is born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States," said Wilma Tope, a rancher for 30 years near Aladdin, Wyoming, who submitted an affidavit in the suit and is a member of the WORC affiliate, the Powder River Basin Resource Council.

 

 The meatpacker alliance that filed the suit against USDA's 2013 COOL rules included nine trade associations, including one Mexican and two Canadian livestock-producer groups as well as six domestic meatpacker or meatpacker-producer groups. Tomorrow, the meatpackers will argue for a preliminary injunction to immediately prohibit the new COOL rules from going into effect.

 

 "Marketplace competition can no longer occur without COOL," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard adding, "In this global market, more imports from more countries are entering the U.S. each year and foreign meatpackers are trying to capture market share away from U.S. family farmers and ranchers. COOL allows U.S. cattle farmers and ranchers to highlight their product to U.S. consumers whom we believe will choose our exclusively U.S. produced product if they can identify it in the market. That's what this fight is all about: farmer and ranchers want competition while the meatpackers and their allies want to control the market."

 

The Motion for Intervention filed by R-CALF, FWW, SDSGA and WORC can be found here: http://www.r-calfusa.com/COOL/130826MotionMemorandumIntervention.pdf 

 

Contact:

Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA: 406-252-2516

Anna Ghosh, Food & Water Watch: 510-922-0075

Silvia Christen South Dakota Stockgrowers Association: 605-342-0429

Kevin Dowling, Western Organization of Resource Councils: 406-252-9672


 July 26, 2013

Editorial
Written By Vaughn Meyer
Rancher from Reva, SD

Striking Out the Beef Checkoff

As an appointee to the 106 member Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) I often wonder if I/we are spending your beef checkoff dollars in the best interest of beef promotion.  To begin this examination of our commitment to our fellow producers of investing your money wisely (all $40 million), let us review the Beef Board mission statement,   The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board is dedicated to improving producer profitability’ expanding consumer demand for beef and strengthening beef’s position in the market place.”  These 3 areas of concern are very straight forward and complement each other so to piece the puzzle together let’s begin with expanding consumer demand.

A very recent independent consumer poll conducted by the Consumer Federation of America documented that 87% of consumers prefer information concerning origin and production of the food they feed their families.  Farmers and ranchers also fought hard to establish Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) in 2002 to address consumer choices for a safe and wholesome product.  However on July 8th of this year the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board (NCBA) in conjunction with 7 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against USDA for its role in defending COOL in the eyes of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Keep in mind that 2 of the fellow plaintiffs were foreign organizations who are not only challenging U.S. producer and consumer rights to COOL but also attacking U.S. sovereignty.  Also keep in mind that the NCBA is the major contractor for the CBB and derives nearly 82% of its revenue from the beef checkoff.  Yes, you will hear screams of a monetary fire wall which separates checkoff and policy activities. However the bottom line is still that over $32 million checkoff dollars are invested annually in those offices and personnel who also work for the contractor that would rather promote corporate profits over producer family livelihoods and consumer choices.  In reality we are indirectly spending your checkoff dollars to include your contractor in a lawsuit against you and your right to identify and label your produce.   Checkoff dollars are supporting a contractor who places packer profits above consumer choices for a safe and wholesome diet for their families?  Does this sound like we are expanding consumer demand or linning packer pockets with your hard earned dollars?

For the next piece of the puzzle let’s examine our role in strengthening beef’s position in the market place.  This spring we released the results of a 2 year project to rename beef cuts in conjunction with the pork industry.   This was part of a $2.6 million authorization request by NCBA of which 83% were implementation fees for in house implementation by NCBA.  This aggressive NCBA request included ULTRA or Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards Labeling Term Review Application which when simplified helped to create generic meat names with pork.  Names like New York Strip Pork Chop which the pork industry ads are proclaiming as “a cheaper cut than beef”.   Don’t blame the Operating Committee as most were never informed of the details of this joint attempt to standardize protein cuts for what some believe as adding more value to lessor valued species!  Whatever the reason it worked as pork is laughing all the way to the bank        and cattlemen are staring at pickled cows feet.   Are we strengthening beef’s position in the markets yet? 

Examining the final piece of the mission statement, “improving producer profits”, is directly related to the first 2 pieces.  However if we look at the motives behind our contractor involvement in the lawsuit to make it convenient and profitable for foreign product to be included in the USA label then perhaps we have improved foreign producer profits.  Maybe that answers the question of why each morning we wake up to 33 fewer producers in the U.S. along with a dwindling cow herd equal to 1952.

To summarize our performance of investing your hard earned dollars wisely; I am afraid we have struck out on our mission statement and our commitment to cattlemen.  This is not necessarily due to a non-dedicated CBB board of directors but more often the result of the board being lead to the watering trough by a contractor driven by foreign and domestic corporate interests.  A contractor which due to its grandfathered status under the Act and Order believes they know best for you and your money.  A contractor which refuses to display pride for USA Beef, USA Cattlemen, the US Constitution and all US Veterans.

For comments on our performance or to reclaim your beef checkoff you may find contact information at

http://www.beefboard.org

Vaughn Meyer

Reva, SD


 

June 10, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers to Present Donation to RC Club for Boys

SD Stockgrowers Association Board of Directors will present a $2,500 donation to the Rapid City Club for Boys on Monday, June 10 at noon.  The SD Stockgrowers Association created the Educational Aid Trust in 1968 to benefit the Rapid City Club for Boys by providing for educational opportunities and scholarships.  Stockgrowers has continued to fund the account through donations from members and contributions at livestock markets. 

The presentation on will be made by the member of the SD Stockgrowers Board of Directors at the Club for Boys on Monday, June 10 at noon with a tour of the Club for Boys building to follow.

Media questions before the event on Monday can be directed to:

Bob Johnson, rancher from Porcupine and founding member of the Trust Fund.  605-455-2542

 Stockgrowers Board President Shane Kolb, rancher from Meadow. 605-786-3044

Scott Bader, Executive Director of the Club for Boys.  605-343-3500

Silvia Christen, Executive Director, SD Stockgrowers Assocation. 605-342-0429

 

June 10, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Invite Producers for Dinner

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is on the road, and they're inviting producers to join them for any of six dinners to be held across South Dakota next week. Meetings are scheduled to be held in Highmore, Mobridge, Isabel, Reva, Newell and New Underwood with a meal to be served and some great information to be shared. The meetings are free and open to the public.

"We're excited to invite everyone to join us for a meal and an opportunity to learn more about the issues facing our livestock industry," said Shane Kolb, President of SD Stockgrowers Association. "On the national level we're working on Country of Origin Labeling, marketing reform under GIPSA, and a variety of federal land issues, and we want to make sure that producers also know all the work that Stockgrowers does on policy right here in our state."

R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard will be the featured speaker presenting a variety of information about federal policy issues including the recent changes to Country of Origin Labeling Rules. Stockgrowers leaders will also be discussing recent state policy issues and answering questions from producers about predator control, oil and gas development issues, property tax policy, and other topics. Producers are encouraged to attend and ask questions.

Kolb stated, "Whether you're a member of not, we encourage anyone interested in the issues impacting the livestock industry to join us for a meal and some great information."

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 19

Highmore - Grand Lodge beginning at Noon.
Mobridge - Pizza Ranch beginning at 6pm

Thursday, June 20

Isabel - Sparky's beginning at Noon.
Reva - Community Hall at 6:30pm

Friday, June 21

Newell - TJ's Café beginning at Noon.
New Underwood - Steve's at 7pm


 

June 4, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Welcome Summer Intern

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association welcomed Kristen Fink as the 2013 Summer Intern on June 3. Fink just completed her Junior year at South Dakota State University in Brookings, pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Business.

Silvia Christen, Stockgrowers Executive Director commented, "We're very excited to have Kristen in the office with us this summer. I'm sure she'll have an opportunity to learn a lot about how our grassroots organization works and about the world of agriculture policy from the perspective of our members across the state."

"Growing up in western South Dakota has given me an appreciation for the dedication and devotion that farmers and ranchers have for agriculture." said Fink. "This is a unique opportunity to get an in depth look at a great organization. I look forward to working with the staff and members of the Stockgrowers to promote agriculture in South Dakota."

Kristen, daughter of Todd Fink and Brenda Fink, is a native of Prairie City. She graduated from Sturgis Brown High School in 2010, and will graduate from SDSU in May 2014.
Fink can be reached at the Stockgrowers office by calling 605-342-0429 or by emailing stockgrowers@midconetwork.com.

###
For over 120 years the mission of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged, "to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry." The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization representing 1,300 independent livestock producers on local, state and national policies that impact the livestock industry.


 

May 24, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers Applaud COOL Ruling

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is pleased with the USDA announcement of the final amended rule to Country of Origin Labeling in an effort to address concerns over the rules with our trading partners in Canada and Mexico. The new rule clarifies the United States labeling process for beef, poultry and pork while maintaining the integrity of Country of Origin Labeling on the grocery store shelf. 

Stockgrowers Marketing Committee Chairman, Vaughn Meyer made the following statement regarding the new COOL rule: 

"This week the USDA issued amended COOL rules bringing the United States into compliance with the long standing WTO complaint filed by Mexico and Canada. These new rules, which defend our right to proudly display our produce, are a win for livestock producers and family agriculture in the United States. The support for U.S. agriculture through these new modified COOL rules is a positive step toward reversing the past trends of declining family farms within our beef industry. These revamped rules will support our beef industry through greater consumer awareness of all levels of production and the demand for our superior quality product. These new compliance standards for COOL also maintain producer efforts to label their production and instills both family and industry pride of raising a safe and wholesome product. 

Labeling agriculture products is a win for produces and strengthens our consumers' choices as to the origin, growth and harvest of beef whether of domestic or imported origin. Additionally USDA support for U.S COOL among the WTO sends a strong message of protection for U.S. sovereignty as endeared to all U.S. citizens through the visions of our fore fathers and protected by our veterans. 

South Dakota Stockgrowers are extremely pleased with the support and defense for COOL by both the USDA and Senator Tim Johnson. Their efforts help to preserve the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, insure our nation's food supply and maintain the sovereignty and patriotic pride of United States citizens."

Vaughn Meyer ranches near Reva, SD raising purebred Angus Beef cattle with his son on their multi-generation, family operation.  He serves as Chair of the SD Stockgrowers Association Marketing Committee.


May 20, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers Thank Noem for Support of COOL

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauds Representative Kristi Noem for her leadership to defend Country of Origin Labeling during the House Agriculture committee meeting last week. The House Agriculture Committee was asked to consider an amendment that would have repealed Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) on beef, pork and poultry, an amendment that SD Stockgrowers Association strongly opposed.

"We appreciate that Representative Noem understands the importance of COOL and was able to help defeat the amendment to repeal COOL," said Shane Kolb, Stockgrowers President. "We are very happy that Representative Noem is on the record in support of Country of Origin Labeling."

The Farm Bill moved out of both the Senate and House Agriculture committees for consideration in the respective bodies before going to a conference committees for further deliberation. Stockgrowers have been watching closely for opposition to COOL which may likely be brought up again as the Farm Bill process moves forward.

Country of Origin Labeling was originally passed in the 2000 Farm Bill and labeling on beef, pork and poultry was put into place in 2008. Labels are now clearly visible in the grocery store shelves on those meat products. A recent WTO case created some controversy about the program when a tribunal ruled in favor of Mexico and Canada on claims that U.S. COOL laws provided a barrier to trade for their products. USDA is in the final stages of an amended labeling rule that would bring the United States into compliance with the WTO while upholding the COOL requirement.

Stockgrowers has long been a supporter of COOL and members have worked for years to defend and uphold the program. "Country of Origin Labeling has been a benefit to both producers and consumers. Its important to the people who purchase our product that they know where their beef comes from, and as a producer, I'm proud to have the U.S.A. Raised label on our steaks in the grocery store shelf."

Kolb concluded by saying, "Stockgrowers sincerely thanks Rep. Noem for her leadership on agriculture issues and we very much appreciate her support to defend our Country of Origin Labeling program."


May 10, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Call on Noem to Defend COOL

The South Dakota Stockgrowers called on Rep. Kristi Noem on Friday to defend Country of Origin Labeling in the 2013 Farm Bill mark up which is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday in the House Agriculture Committee.

"We ask that Rep Noem use her position as a member of the House Ag committee to lead the charge in defending Country of Origin Labeling," said Shane Kolb, Stockgrowers President. "Stockgrowers members have worked hard to get Country of Origin Labeling implemented and we hope that our Representative will work with us to defend it."

The House version of the 2013 Farm Bill was introduced this week and includes a provision that to study the economic impacts of COOL on beef, poultry and pork. However SD Stockgrowers are concerned that this simple provision is an attempt by opponents to invite future amendments that could strip COOL and possibly remove the labels that have been in place on food items since 2004.

"We are very concerned that Chairman Lucas's mark-up language includes a section on Country of Origin Labeling that we assume is a direct attempt to halt the implementation of COOL," explained Kolb. "There is no reason to study this program. Our producers want the program, our customers want the program and USDA has expressed their commitment to make the program work."

Kolb concluded by saying, "Stockgrowers appreciates Rep. Noem's leadership on agriculture issues and we are asking for her leadership to actively oppose any attempts to weaken or derail our Country of Origin Labeling program."


 

March 23, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Statement on Proposed 
Country of Origin Labeling Rules

USDA released their proposed rules to amend the United State's Country of Origin Labelin (COOL) law late last week. The amendments were made to the portion of the rule specifically pertaining to meat labels as a result of the World Trade Organizations (WTO) ruling that the rules discriminated against product from Canada and Mexico. The WTO ruling upheld the United State's authority to require labeling of food products and gave the U.S. until May 23, 2013 to amend the COOL rule.

Vaughn Meyer, Chairman of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association marketing Committee and independent rancher from Reva, SD made the following statement:

"We feel strongly that USDA and Secretary Vilsack have done the right thing by upholding COOL and strengthening the rules that let U.S. customers know where their meat products are born, raised, and processed. We are proud that our USDA chose to stand up to the WTO by continuing COOL which was enacted by the United States for the benefit of our citizens."

"These proposed COOL rules are a win, win for us as producers and for our customers. This rule ensures that producers can label and distinguish where our products were born raised and slaughtered. Providing that information will help customers to make confident decisions about the source and safety of the food they purchase for their families".

"USDA's proposal to amend these rules protects our right to know the origin of our food products. We encourage USDA to finalize and enact the proposed amendments to COOL."


 

March 7, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Seek Applicants for Summer Internship

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is currently accepting applications for a ten-week, paid, summer internship. This internship opportunity is available to any high-school graduate pursuing a degree at any university or technical school.

Applicants should be passionate about agriculture and be energetic, outgoing individuals with a desire to learn from and work with the volunteer members of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Interns will work in the Rapid City office of the Stockgrowers and be supervised by the Executive Director. Interns will perform various office tasks, create events and membership programs, and be given opportunity to learn about the policy making process by actively participating in the work of the association.

For more information about this internship opportunity, visit www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or contact Silvia Christen at 605-342-0429. Applicants for this ten-week, paid internship should submit a resume, cover letter and references to silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com no later than March 30, 2013.

 


March 5, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers, Cattlewomen Offer $1,000 Beef Industry Scholarship

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlewomen are currently accepting applications for a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Guy E. Ham. The scholarship is available to any South Dakota student having completed at least one year of post-secondary education and pursuing a career in an agricultural or agri-business related field.

This $1,000 scholarship is made possible by the generosity and gift of the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship in memory of Guy Ham and his commitment to the future of the agriculture industry in South Dakota.

Application information and details can be found by visiting www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or by contacting the SD Stockgrowers Assoc. at 605-342-0429. Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2013 and the scholarship will be awarded during the Stockgrowers Annual Convention on September 28, 2013.

Donations to the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship are gratefully accepted by the SD Stockgrowers Association for the purpose of continuing this scholarship program. Please contact Silvia Christen for more information about contributing to this scholarship.


 

March 4, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

SD Stockgrowers Join Effort to Support Humane Horse Slaughter

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association joined this week with other groups and individuals in a joint effort to counter the Humane Society of the United States' (HSUS) efforts to stop the humane slaughter of unwanted and unusable horses at a New Mexico slaughtering facility. Led by the International Equine Business Association (IEBA), the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) joined R-CALF USA, the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association (NMCGA), and several individuals filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit initially filed by Valley Meat, LLC (Valley Meat), against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"Valley Meats' facility has met all of USDA's regulatory requirements to begin operations at its New Mexico facility and should be granted USDA's inspection services under federal law," said Shane Kolb, President of SD Stockgrowers. "HSUS's attempt to require further permitting and environmental assessments is accomplishing nothing other than the continued inhumane treatment of these unwanted horses as they are being shipped to other countries for slaughter in facilities that do not meet our standards for safety or humane treatment."

The last U.S. equine slaughter facility closed its doors in 2007 after Congress banned USDA from funding the federally required inspectors at the facilities. Funding was restored and Valley Meats in Roswell, NM has been trying to open its facilities ever since. In its original suit, Valley Meat alleges that USDA is refusing to provide final inspection services for horse slaughter. The HSUS intervened in the lawsuit and made a motion to dismiss the entire suit in an attempt to block all horse slaughter in the United States.

SD Stockgrowers filed as an intervener in the suit this week, and in an affidavit filed with the court, argued that a continued ban on equine slaughter in the United States will lead to more inhumane treatment of unusable and unwanted horses that are currently being transported long distances to Canada and Mexico, are creating a burden for producers as those animals have no market value, and are increasingly dying, starving, or being abandoned at taxpayer expense.

"Stockgrowers is very disappointed that HSUS is willing to block the humane slaughter of horses while these unwanted animals continue to suffer during long hauls to other countries or even die abandoned and hungry on our private and federal lands," said Kolb. "We are proud to be a part of this lawsuit that supports the humane and dignified treatment of horses."


 

January 21, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Rep Noem to Present Farm Bill Update

South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) will host United States Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., at the Black Hills Stockshow in Rapid City Saturday, Jan. 26, to discuss the federal farm bill.

The Federal Farm Bill Update is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. MST on the Sutton Rodeo Zone located in the Ice Arena. Sutton Rodeo Company is donating the stage for the event. The farm bill discussion is free and open to the public.

"We thank Rep. Noem for her work on the House Agriculture Committee and look forward to hearing from her about the future of the federal farm bill," said South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke. "We need certainty in rural America and it is truly a shame that the bipartisan work of both the Senate and House Agriculture committees was wasted during the previous session of Congress, leaving farmers and ranchers with only an extension of the last farm bill."

Portions of the 2008 farm bill were extended until Sept. 30, 2013, after Congress failed to pass a five-year farm bill. The extension was included as part of the deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff." With the extension, a number of programs in the 2008 farm bill were terminated or do not include mandatory funding


 

January 14, 2013 

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Senator Thune Meets with Stockgrowers Leaders

The SD Stockgrowers Association hosted Senator John Thune on Monday, January 14 at their office in Rapid City. Senator Thune made the visit during his week long Townhall tour of South Dakota.

"It's always a nice opportunity to have Senator Thune with us to share the issues that are important to our members," said Shane Kolb. "We had some good conversations about everything from grassland management to drought programs and market reform for sheep producers."

Stockgrowers member Clark Blake, Buffalo, spoke at the meeting, and urged Senator Thune's support for restoring a portion of the money needed to continue adequate predator control programs for coyote management in the state. Blake and other producers told Senator Thune about the large numbers of calf and sheep losses that they have experienced due to the growing coyote population.

Marvin Jobgen of Scenic, discussed several of the issues impacting federal land management including property tax payments by the US land agencies, and a new proposal to introduce Black Footed Ferrets throughout western South Dakota and the Great Plains.

Stockgrowers also thanked Senator Thune for his support of the recent investigation by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration into the drastic decline of the Sheep and lamb markets in the U. S. Producers are facing prices that have fallen more than 50% since a year ago despite low supply and relatively steady demand. The GIPSA investigation is aimed at determining whether the lamb packers are using illegal practices to influence the markets against producers. Senator Thune and Rep Noem were joined by Senator Johnson recently in a joint effort to call for an investigation.

Other topics of discussion included the new Animal Disease Traceability Rule, beef checkoff reform, Country of Origin Labeling, and federal management of wolves in South Dakota.

Kolb concluded by saying, "We really appreciate the Senator's time and look forward to following up with him on these issues when he returns to Washington DC."


January 12, 2013

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Request More Time to Review Proposed 
Black Footed Ferret Expansion

SD Stockgrowers Association sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Dan Ashe requesting a delay to the FWS plan to reintroduce black-footed ferrets in 12 western states through the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The twelve states affected by the reintroduction plan are Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. The plan was officially submitted for comment just days before Christmas.

In the letter, Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb stated, "We believe that the timing of this comment period during the busy holiday season combined with the detailed nature of this proposal warrants an extension of the comment period to allow the potentially impacted individuals to fully review and understand the proposal before submitting their comments."

"The topic of Black Footed Ferret population expansion, tied so closely to the sustainable management of the prairie dog, has the potential to significantly impact the agriculture industry in all of the 12 states encompassed in this proposal. South Dakota's livestock producers could be substantially impacted by this new program."

The comment period officially ends on January 18, but Stockgrowers doesn't feel that allows sufficient time for producers and impacted organizations to fully research and comment on the proposal. "In order to ensure that the Fish and Wildlife Service builds a program with full understanding of the impacts, and to allow the impacted ranchers and communities to fully understand the proposal, we urged them to extend the comment period to a full 90-day timeframe."

A memorandum of understanding signed by the FWS, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) on behalf of 12 member states, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seems to be the starting point of this proposal. The first signature on the memorandum of understanding was obtained on September 12, 2012, yet the Federal Register notice was not published until more than 90 days later.

The proposal includes the introduction of a vaccine for the plague in prairie dogs, safe harbor agreements to allow for reintroduction of black footed ferrets on private lands to include grazing and conservation programs, and general intention to expand the area for Black Footed Ferret populations in the twelve states from Texas to North Dakota.

"Stockgrowers and the landowners that have been dealing with prairie dogs for a lot of years are very concerned about the impact of this proposed program. We understand that certain landowners may want to enter into the agreements proposed in this new program but we don't want their neighbors to have to deal with the consequences that come along with an endangered species that may not stay within the boundaries of that private land," said Marvin Jobgen, Stockgrowers board member and rancher from Scenic. "If my neighbor signs this agreement, suddenly I'm subject to an endangered species and have to live without the setback areas and prairie dog controls that are in South Dakota state law."

If you would like more information about this proposal, visit www.blackfootedferret.org or contact the Stockgrowers office at 605-342-0429.


 

November 19, 2012

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Joins Lawsuit to Defend COOL

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, on Tuesday, joined with R-CALF USA and the Made in the USA Foundation to become co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit to challenge the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) ruling that found the United States' Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law to be in violation of international trade rules.

Shane Kolb, President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers said, "Stockgrowers does not accept that a world court can dictate what laws we pass in our own country and we feel that this lawsuit is the way for us to force USDA and our lawmakers to stand up to the WTO and defend our producers by defending COOL."

"Stockgrowers have been involved with COOL since before it was included in the 2000 Farm Bill because we believe that given the choice, customers will buy USA raised products," said Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb, Meadow, SD. "COOL has given us the ability to differentiate our product from that of another country and our customers look for that 'USA' label when they go to the grocery store."

The original complaint filed Sept. 1, 2012 in the federal district court in Denver, Colorado, alleged the WTO ruling against COOL is null and void because Congress entered the WTO under the proviso that WTO rulings inconsistent with U.S. law shall have no effect. In addition, the suit alleged that the U.S. Agriculture Secretary and U.S. Trade Ambassador failed their respective responsibilities to uphold U.S. sovereignty by their failure to invoke Congress' proviso.

The original complaint also pointed out that it was a clear conflict of interest for the WTO to have appointed a Mexican national, who has represented Mexico in trade matters, to serve as a "judge" in the complaint that Mexico filed against the United States.

Along with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the Independent Cattlemen of Wyoming, Cattle Producers of Washington, indepzendent Mississippi cattle ranchers and R-CALF USA members Stanley, Chad and Tyler Scott, and the Organization for Competitive Markets also joined the suit.

The amended complaint adds a new cause of action: the failure of the U.S. Agriculture Secretary to properly follow his agency's rulemaking procedures. The suit alleges the U.S. Agriculture Secretary improperly included a loophole in the final COOL rule that allows meat exclusively produced from animals exclusively born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States to nevertheless be labeled as if it were a product of mixed origin, such as a product of the United States, Canada and/or Mexico.

"COOL is the law of our land and was passed into law by the Congress of the United States of America," said Kolb. "If other countries want to market their product here then they need to comply with our laws and label their products accordingly. Stockgrowers will continue to fight for the right to label our products."

The U.S. government and other defendants in the suit now have 60-days within which to formally respond to the complaint.


October17, 2012 

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers to Host Supper in Kadoka
Featuring R-CALF's Bill Bullard

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association invites all area producers for supper and a meeting on Thursday, October 25 beginning at 6:30pm at Club 27 in Kadoka. An informational meeting will follow the supper at 7 and is open to the public.

Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA, will be the featured speaker and will share information regarding R-CALF's recent lawsuit defending Country of Origin Labeling from the World Trade Organization. The lawsuit, filed by R-CALF USA and the USA Made Foundation, stems from the complaints of Mexico and Canada that the United States' Country of Origin Labeling laws discriminate against their products. The World Trade Organization agreed with those countries and is forcing the United States and USDA to comply with their international courts. The lawsuit by R-CALF and supported by SD Stockgrowers Association attempts to protect our sovereignty and the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling laws in support of United States producers and consumers.

Also of interest to producers will be a brief update on proposed changes to South Dakota Brand laws. Stockgrowers staff and board members will also answer any questions that members have regarding other topics that Stockgrowers are covering.

For more information contact the Stockgrowers office at 605-342-0429 or Bob Fortune at 605-344-2200.


September 28, 2012

Contact: 
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429
Email: silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com

Stockgrowers Host Successful 121st Convention

The South Dakota Stockgrowers' 121th Annual Convention and Trade Show wrapped up after three days of speakers and meetings to update members on policies, election of officers for the Association and adoption of several new policies.

"This year's convention was very successful and we were glad to see so many members and friends join us," said Shane Kolb, President of the Stockgrowers Association from Meadow, SD. "We had some very interesting speakers and had some very good discussions with our members about our policies and work as we look to the future of our industry."

Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA, started off the convention on Friday morning with a very informative presentation about a variety of issues impacting Stockgrowers policy on the national level. Among other things he updated Stockgrowers members on recent developments with Country of Origin Labeling, Beef Check-off reform, animal identification and the farm bill process.

SD Secretary of Agriculture Walt Bones gave the keynote address during the Awards Banquet and presented information regarding the Department of Agriculture's efforts to promote livestock production, specifically feeding capacity, in South Dakota. Bones also shared the results of the Key Leaders Roundtable planning session hosted in June to help guide the Department's priorities on items like water management, youth in agriculture, infrastructure development, zoning, research at SDSU and increasing livestock production.

George Chambers, President of R-CALF USA addressed the audience on Friday evening. His presentation urged producers to get involved in organizations like Stockgrowers and to represent their industry with pride. Chambers said, "The issues we face today will shape our children's ability to be successful in the cattle business. We need every producer to be 'all in' if we're going to keep moving forward."

Greg Hanes of the U.S. Meat Export Federation based in Denver spoke about his organizations efforts to promote beef in foreign countries. Hanes focused his presentation on the growing demand for beef in Asian countries where the consumer purchasing power is growing much faster than their ability to produce quality beef. He shared several very interesting facts about the export opportunities for US raised beef and comparison to other beef producing countries' capacity to grow their market shares. Joining Hanes was SD Senator Shantel Krebs who spoke about her recent trip to China.

The Brand Committee meeting featured a panel of speakers that included Brand Board members Scott Vance of Faith and Wanda Blair of Vale, and Brand Board Director Larry Stearns. The discussion focused largely on the proposed brand legislation and the recent fee increase for inspections. The Board is now proposing several additional legislative changes dealing with shippers permits, rodeo stock, and elimination of horse inspection.

The Wildlife Committee hosted the Wall FFA Ag Issues Team to present their research regarding the Adrian v. Vonk court case dealing with prairie dogs in the Conata Basin. The team of students will travel to the National FFA Convention in October after winning the State FFA contest last year. The students presented the case and answered questions about the case which attempted to hold the State of SD accountable for damages caused by the explosion of the prairie dog population and encroachment onto private lands.

Other speakers included Max Main, attorney from Belle Fourche speaking about oil and gas leases on private property, U.S. Congressional candidate Matt Varilek, Vicki Olson speaking about wilderness designations and coordination with local governments, SD Representative Stace Nelson, SD Cattlewomen, and Dr. Amanda Blair who spoke about her research on fetal programming in beef cattle.

Officers Elected

During the membership meeting, Stockgrowers members re-elected Shane Kolb as the President and Bob Fortune as Vice-president. This is the second one-year term for both men. Kolb is a rancher and brand inspector from Meadow and has been an active member of Stockgrowers for many years. Vice-president Fortune ranches with his family on their operation south of Belvidere and he serves as a member of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

Randy Volmer of Owanka was elected as Region 3 Vice-president. Marvin Jobgen will serve as Director from District 3, and Matt Kammerer of Rapid City was elected to represent District 8, replacing Craig Shaver whose term ended this year. Brad Bunker of Arlington replaced Joan Wollschlager as Director in District 17.

New Policies Adopted

Stockgrowers policy platforms that guide the Association throughout the year are adopted by members during the convention and this year four committees proposed policies to be adopted.

Cattlemen's Beef Board members Vaughn Meyer and Linda Gilbert spoke during the convention and explained the procedure that their committee uses to approve funding requests for Checkoff dollars to be spent. The Marketing committee proposed a policy that includes several specific points for reforming the Beef Checkoff to include more transparency and accountability from contractors and to call for the separation of the checkoff funds from policy organizations. The policy was adopted by the membership.

The Stockgrowers Wildlife Management Committee adopted a very comprehensive policy that seeks to address the funding mechanism in the State Prairie Dog Management Plan. The policy resolution adopted by the members calls on the State Dept of Ag and the SD GF&P to fully fund the management plan as required by the existing state law.

Stockgrowers also amended their agriculture land taxation policy to include strong call for the continued implementation of the production based property tax system with an allowance for the actual use of the property rather than a strict highest-and-best use approach currently being used.

Stockgrowers Honor Members and Present Awards

Bill Kluck of Mud Butte, Joan Wollschlager of Lake Preston and Scott Edoff of Hermosa were each presented with a Regional Workhorse Award. The award recognizes them for their dedication and outstanding work to represent Stockgrowers policy, recruit members, and support the work of the Stockgrowers Association.

Mike Maher received a new hat from Star of the West Hat Company and Larry Nelson received a Stockgrowers coat for recruiting the most members in the last year. Maher recruited 31 new members and Nelson recruited 23 throughout the last year.

Amanda Kammerer of Rapid City received a $1,000 Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship from the SD Stockgrowers Association and the SD Cattlewomen.

"This convention was a great example of the wide number of issues that our members are involved in and the policies that impact so many aspects of the ranching industry," said Kolb. "We appreciate everyone who attended the convention and all the businesses and individuals who donated to our auction and sponsored the events."


 

September 24, 2012

Contact:
Silvia Christen, Executive Director - 605-342-0429
Shane Kolb, President - 605-786-3044

SD Stockgrowers and Cattlewomen Award $1,000 Scholarship

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlewomen awarded the Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship to Amanda Kammerer during their convention on September 22.

Amanda Kammerer is the daughter of Matt and April Kammerer of Rapid City. She graduated Rapid City Central High School in 2011 and is now attending South Dakota State University in Brookings studying Animal Science. Amanda's goal is to complete her undergraduate degree at SDSU and pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine. She plans to be a large animal veterinarian serving rural South Dakota.

Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb presented Amanda with the $1,000 scholarship and said, "You've chosen a very difficult but important career for yourself. Stockgrowers is proud to do a small part to help you reach the goals you've set and we wish you the best of luck."

The Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship was endowed t the SD Stockgrowers and the SD Cattlewomen in memory of Guy Ham. Ham had a deep commitment to the education of young leaders in agriculture and was a strong advocate for higher education in agriculture. More information about the scholarship can be found by visiting www.southdakotastockgrowers.com.


 

September 4, 2012

Contact:
Silvia Christen, Executive Director - 605-342-0429
Shane Kolb, President - 605-786-3044

Stockgrowers to Host 121st Annual Convention September 21 & 22

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will hold their 121th Annual Convention and Trade Show on September 21, 22 and 23. The SD Cattlewomen will hold their Annual Meeting on Friday September 21. Both events will be held at the Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City, South Dakota and are open to the public.

Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb said, "This is going to be a great convention with a very interesting lineup of speakers. Our convention is open to the public and we invite everyone to join us for this event. I'm sure everyone will find something interesting."

The convention kicks off on Friday, September 21 with opening ceremonies and a Washington DC update from R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard. Continuing throughout the day are meetings and speakers regarding recent changes at the South Dakota Brand Board, Animal ID issues, impacts of Oil and Gas Development for landowners, discussions of the Beef Check-off program, and a presentation by the Wall FFA Ag Issues Team regarding Prairie Dog Management.

The SD Cattlewomen will hold their Annual Meeting at 9am on Friday morning. Anyone interested in the Cattelwomen's work should plan to attend this meeting and the Friday luncheon.

The two featured speakers for Friday's agenda include Greg Hanes of the US Meat Export Federation to talk about changing markets in Asia and Japan where USMEF is using Check-off dollars to market USA Beef and Mr. George Chambers, President of R-CALF USA from Georgia, will be the keynote speaker during Friday night's banquet.

On Saturday, the Stockgrowers Animal Health committee will hear from SDSU's Dr. Amanda Blair regarding her Fetal Programming Studies, and the Federal Lands committee will meet to hear from speakers who have been impacted by wilderness designations in counties in Montana. Stockgrowers Lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy and Exec Director Silvia Christen will also lead a discussion about Stockgrowers Legislative work during the summer and into the coming 2013 Legislative Session.

Saturday's luncheon will feature U.S. Congressional Candidates to answer questions from those in attendance and discuss their plans for Washington DC. US Representative Kristi Noem and her challenger Matt Varilek have both been invited to participate. The Congressional forum will be followed with an SDSU icecream social sponsored by the SDSU Westriver Ag Center.

Saturday at 2:30pm will begin the Stockgrowers Annual membership meeting to elect officers and board members, vote on policy changes and discuss any other business for the organization.

"Stockgrowers has always been a member driven organization and this membership meeting is your chance to participate." Kolb said, "Each of our members has an opportunity to be a part of directing Stockgrowers work in the year ahead."

The Convention will wrap up on Saturday evening with an awards banquet, scholarship presentation and a keynote address by South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture, Walt Bones. The Banquet will be followed by a live auction fundraiser to benefit the work of the Stockgrowers throughout the year.

"I'm very proud of the convention agenda for this year. I think we've got some great speakers lined up and I'm really looking forward to seeing all of our members and friends in Rapid City for our 121st convention," said Kolb.

For a full agenda and details of the convention, please visit www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or call 605-342-0429.


 

August 17, 2012

Contact:
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
SD Stockgrowers Association
605-342-0429

Roll-Over Auction to Benefit Stockgrowers

Faith Livestock Commission will host a Rollover Calf Sale Fundraiser to benefit the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association on Monday, August 20, 2012 during their Anniversary Sale in Faith, SD. A calf donated by Mike and Marcia Maher of Isabel will be auctioned off at approximately 12:30pm. Maher has asked that the proceeds of the Rollover auction be donated to the Stockgrowers Association and the other half can be donated to either R-CALF USA or United States Cattlemen's Association at the choice of the bidder.

Rollover calf sales are fundraising events put on by South Dakota Stockgrower members and volunteers to raise money for the organization. Those who wish to support the efforts of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association can bid on a calf, then donate the animal back so it can be auctioned off again and again, until bidding ceases.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization representing independent livestock producers on local, state and national policies that impact the livestock industry. For over 120 years the mission of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged, "to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry." The SD Stockgrowers represent approximately 1300 ranch families across the state of South Dakota.

Event Notice

Contact: 

Faith Livestock Commission
Scott Vance
Phone: (605) 967-2200

SD Stockgrowers Association
Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429

Date: August 20, 2012

Re: Faith Livestock Commission to Host
Rollover Calf Sale Fundraiser
12:30 p.m. MST - Monday, August 20, 2012
Faith Livestock Commission Company, Faith, SD

 

May 3, 2012

 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

 

Former GIPSA Chief to Address Independent 
Cattle Producers in Dakotas

 

In only his second and third appearances since stepping down from his federal post in January as Administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), J. Dudley Butler will be in the Dakotas this month to inform cattle producers about the future competitiveness of the U.S. cattle industry.

 

Hosted by the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (IBAND), the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA), and R-CALF USA, Butler will first speak to area cattle producers at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16 at the Kist Livestock Auction in Mandan, North Dakota. At 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 18, Butler will speak to area producers at the Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, Fort Pierre, South Dakota. The public is cordially invited to attend both meetings.

 

Butler was considered the last of the team of reformers appointed by the Obama Administration to put an end to antitrust and anticompetitive practices in the U.S. livestock industry. His resignation was preceded by Christine Varney, former chief of the U.S. antitrust division for the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

While at his federal post, Butler proposed a rule to clarify and finally implement provisions within the 90-year-old Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 that prohibits the nation's meatpackers from harming independent livestock producers through unfair, deceptive and discriminatory cattle-buying practices.

 

Butler said his proposed rule contained provisions to "prevent actions by the packers, swine contractors, and live poultry dealers against family farmers and ranchers such as retaliation, fraud and bad faith, just to name a few."

 

But, his proposed rule met a firestorm of opposition, both from the meatpacking industry and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). The rule's opponents submitted industry-sponsored economic studies claiming the rule would cost the industry and the economy almost $2 billion. However, USDA's chief economist, Joseph Glauber, stated in a memo that the meatpackers' onerous cost estimate was based on a false assumption. He stated the meatpackers' study "inaccurately claims that the proposed rule 'relieves plaintiffs from the burden of proving competitive injury."    

 

Congress was nevertheless swayed by the meatpackers' study, despite its inaccuracies, and in an unprecedented maneuver, it cut all funding available to Butler to issue a final rule.

 

"Independent cattle producers are being misled by the NCBA's and the meatpackers' old rallying cry that they and the rest of the cattle industry do not want the government to regulate their industry," said Butler adding, "But, what they are not telling producers is that the unregulated control by the meatpackers over independent producers is far more overreaching and more oppressive than any government regulations. Just look at the one-sided contracts now prevalent in the poultry and hog industries.  

 

"Opponents to my proposed rule want to sell the industrialized model of vertical integration, but I wanted to preserve the independent producer model," concluded Butler.

 

Kenneth Graner, President of IBAND and R-CALF USA member, will donate a cow and Allen Badure, member of both the SDSGA and R-CALF USA, will donate a yearling to be auctioned off in rollover auctions held in conjunction with the Kist Livestock Auction sale on May 16 and the Fort Pierre Livestock Auction sale on May 18, respectively, with proceeds going to support each of the sponsoring organizations. The meetings will be held in the evenings following the sales.

 

"Cattle producers deserve to hear first hand how the proposed GIPSA rule was derailed and what is likely in store for those of us who are still engaged in the business of ranching," said Graner, adding, "These meetings will give producers a chance to learn first-hand about the power struggles that are shaping the future of our industry and what they need to do to ensure the outcome of that struggle is one that allows us to continue ranching as independent producers.

 

"We are excited to host former GIPSA Administrator Dudley Butler in South Dakota so that our producers can understand the struggles that Dudley and others faced in their fight to help us reform our livestock markets," said Shane Kolb, President of the SDSGA. "The fight for fair and competitive markets in the cattle industry did not go away when GIPSA rules weren't implemented. The lack of competition in our livestock markets will continue to have a significant impact on the viability of our family farms and ranches. We have to continue pursuing these policy changes for the future of our rural communities."

 

"About 250 people attended Dudley Butler's recent presentation in O'Neill, Nebraska, and we are still receiving calls from producers who said it was one of the most informative and eye-opening meetings they had ever attended," said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard, "If you're in the ranching business and want to stay, these are must-attend meetings."


 

April 27, 2012

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

Livestock Disaster Protection Act Supported by South Dakota Stockgrowers

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association strongly support the Livestock Disaster Protection Act introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem on Thursday.  The bill would extend the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), and the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP) which were authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill for another five years as well as provide coverage for the current fiscal year since the programs expired in 2011.

“We commend Rep Noem for her leadership to ensure these important programs for our livestock producers,” said Shane Kolb, President of the Stockgrowers Association.  “We appreciate her support of our cattle and sheep industry with this legislation.”

“Natural disasters, whether floods, drought or winter storms, have a major impact on the economy of our state and on the livelihoods of our family livestock producers.  The Livestock Disaster Protection Act will provide a reliable safety net for livestock producers who face catastrophic disasters.  Thank you to Rep Noem for pursuing this legislation.”


 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429
April 16, 2012

Stockgrowers Call on USDA to Continue Reform of Beef Check-off Program

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association sent a letter to US Dept of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week calling for additional reform to the Beef Check-off program.

In the letter to Secretary Vilsack, Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb said, "We feel strongly that producer confidence must be restored to the Beef check-off program in order to continue the program as a benefit to producers."

The Beef Check-off program is a federal mandate that requires one dollar of every beef animal sold in the United States to be paid for use to promote and research beef. The promotion and research work is contracted to private organizations, mostly the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and their affiliates.

South Dakota Stockgrower members have become wary of the Beef Check-off program after recent audits found a lack of transparency and inadequate firewalls to separate producer check-off funds from the NCBA's private work as a lobby organization. Those lobby efforts have often been in conflict with the policies supported by other producer groups including Stockgrowers. Additionally, the legislation that governs the Beef Check-off program explicitly denies the use of check-off moneys for any lobbying by any contractor.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult for our members to justify sending their hard earned dollars to a contracting organization without more substantial assurance that the money is being separated from any lobbying efforts."

"At a time when the United States Beef herd is experiencing its lowest numbers ever, and consumer confidence is being repeatedly shaken through issues like the lean finely textured beef discussion, we need a strong beef promotion program working for producers more than ever." Kolb closed the letter by saying, "We feel that these changes would make significant strides toward restoring producer confidence and support for the Beef Check-off program.

The Stockgrowers Board of Directors have called for reforms to include: 
1. Amending the Beef Promotion Act by 1) allowing the Cattlemen's Beef Board to become a completely independent and freestanding organization, and 2) lifting the 5 percent cap on CBB administrative costs so it can finances its own independent meetings without assistance from or coordination with any policy organization. 
2. An amendment to the Beef Promotion Act that would limit any one organization from being awarded contracts that equal more than fifty percent of the total check-off dollars in any calendar year and that no portion of the beef check-off dollars awarded to such an organization be used to pay for any portion of salaries or benefits of people employed by a policy or lobbying organization or of an individual consultant or lobbyist. 
3. A change in policy that accomplishes 1) a complete separation between any policy organization and Federation of State Beef Councils to provide for complete check-off accountability, 2) an increase in check-off fees to be tied to a two-year periodic producer referendum on the check-off program, and 3) the beef check-off program should be housed with other mandatory check-off programs under USDA.


 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429
April 10, 2012

Stockgrowers & SD Cattlewomen Accepting 
Applications for Scholarship

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and the South Dakota Cattlewomen are currently accepting applications for a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Guy Ham.  The scholarship is available to any South Dakota student having completed at least one year of post-secondary education and pursuing a career in an agriculture or agri-business related field.

This $1,000 scholarship is made possible by the generosity and gift of the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship in memory of Guy Ham and his commitment to the future of the agriculture industry in South Dakota. 

Application information and details can be found by visiting www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or by contacting the SD Stockgrowers Assoc. at 605-342-0429.  Applications will be accepted until August 1, 2012 and the scholarship will be awarded during the Stockgrowers Annual Convention on September 22.

Donations to the Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship are gratefully accepted by the SD Stockgrowers Association for the purpose of continuing this scholarship program.  Please contact Silvia Christen if you would like to make a contribution to this scholarship.


 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429
March 24, 2012

Stockgrowers Applaud Grazing Improvement Act 

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association was pleased to learn that the Grazing Improvement Act of 2012 was introduced by Rep. Labrador of Idaho with the support of South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem last week. Among other things, the Grazing Improvement Act would allow grazing permits on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands to be renewed while environmental analyses are ongoing.

"We thank Representative Noem for her support of this legislation that will give considerable stability to the ranchers who depend on these grazing leases for their livestock," said Shane Kolb, SD Stockgrowers President from Meadow, SD. "The Grazing Improvement Act will ensure that ranchers can make management decisions for their operations based on a continuity of grazing permits." 

The Grazing Improvement Act will codify current rider language that allows BLM and the Forest Service to continue issuing grazing permits while environmental impact analyses are completed. Without this language, permit holders are at the mercy of year-to-year appropriations bills and legal proceedings that have created an enormous back log of grazing permit applications. 

"This language provides stability to ranchers without making any changes to the BLM or Forest Services ability to properly manage public grasslands. Those agencies would still be able to work with ranchers to adjust grazing levels, adjust annual stocking rates and make management decisions to protect the natural resources of our grasslands." 

According to a statement by Rep. Labrador, the Grazing Improvement Act of 2012 would: 

  • Extend Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service livestock grazing permits from 10 to 20 years. 
  • Codify appropriation rider language to require expired grazing permits to be renewed under existing terms and conditions until the renewal process is complete. 
  • Allow the Secretary to issue a categorical exclusion under NEPA if the decision by the agency is to continue current grazing management under the permit. If minor modifications to the permit are made, the categorical exclusion by the Secretary must be based on satisfactorily monitoring the allotment and the absence of "extraordinary circumstances." 
  •  Codify appropriation language that allows the appropriate Secretary to set the priority and timing for environmental analysis regarding grazing permit renewal. "
  • Apply Section 5 of the Administrative Procedure Act's (APA) formal adjudication procedures for a "hearing on the record" to the Forest Service. Also applies the APA's formal adjudication procedures to BLM grazing permittee or lessee appeals. 
  • Provide for a stay of decision by the appropriate Secretary regarding grazing permits or leases except in situations where an emergency regarding the deterioration of resources exists. "
  • The legislation also allows trailing permits to be categorically excluded from NEPA.

 

  Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429
March 30, 2012

Brand Board Votes to Raise Inspection
Fees Despite Produce Objections

The South Dakota Brand Board voted to increase the brand inspection fee by twenty-five percent in a 3 to 2 vote during their meeting on Wednesday.  The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association voiced their opposition to the proposed fee increase arguing that the fee increase was not warranted at this time.

"We are very disappointed in this vote from the Brand Board," said Bob Fortune, vice-president for the Stockgrowers Association. "The Brand Board's projected income is based on inspecting 1.44 million head while the actual number inspected this year is about 100,000 more meaning they will have more income and they have a $250,000 reserve fund at their disposal. This budget does not need a fee increase."

In their testimony, Stockgrowers noted concerns from producers including lack of availability of local inspectors, lack of transparency in the current brand board reports, a need for more oversight in managing sale-barns inspections efficiently, as well as noting that the current budget, including pay increases to the inspectors, can be met with the current 80 cent inspection fee.

"The brand board didn't even acknowledge the testimony we presented for making improvements to the brand inspection program, they ignored the producer opposition and voted for the increase," said Fortune.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, South Dakota Livestock Markets Association and South Dakota Farmers Union spoke against the fee increase. There was no proponent testimony given.

The proposed fee increase will next be heard by the Legislative Rules and Review committee in May and must meet their approval before taking effect.

Stockgrowers complete testimony is available by request from the SD Stockgrowers office. Please contact Silvia Christen at 605-342-0429 or email silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com.

 


 

  Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

Stockgrowers to Host Coffee Tour

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will be on the road in early February to visit with producers in Watertown, Aberdeen, Mobridge and Ft. Pierre. Any Stockgrower members or interested producers are encouraged to attend the events, ask questions, and share their ideas on policy issues and the work of the Stockgrowers.

Tuesday, February 7 Stockgrowers will host a booth at the Watertown Farm Show near the Supreme Row arena. Wednesday, February 8 Stockgrowers will be at Hub City Livestock in Aberdeen serving coffee and cookies during the sale. Mobridge Livestock will host the Stockgrowers on Thursday during the sale.

"Stockgrowers is excited to get out and hear from producers in the northeastern part of the state," said Silvia Christen, Executive Director for the Stockgrowers. "We invite everyone to stop by and visit with us when we're in your area. We really want input from everyone and look forward to meeting you."

Of particular interest to ranchers will be information regarding bills pending in the current legislative session including Stockgrowers priorities, Country of origin labeling and free trade agreements and animal identification proposals currently pending at USDA.

For more information about this meeting, contact Bob Mack 605-881-5907, Wayne Nelson 605-493-6789 or Ernie Mertz at 605-285-6568. The South Dakota Stockgrowers can be reached by calling 605-342-0429.


Event Notice

Contact: Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange
Phone: 1-800-894-8684 or
Silvia Christen, SD Stockgrowers Assoc, Executive Director
Phone: 605-342-0429

Date: February 9, 2012

Re: Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange to Host
Rollover Calf Sale Fundraiser
1:00 p.m. MST - Thursday, February 9, 2012
Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange - Belle Fourche, SD

Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange will host a Rollover Calf Sale Fundraiser at approximately 1:00pm, Thursday, February 9, in Belle Fourche SD. A calf will be auctioned off, donated by Stockgrowers and R-CALF USA members Larry and Sandra Nelson of Buffalo.

Rollover calf sales are fundraising events put on by R-CALF USA and South Dakota Stockgrower members and volunteers to raise money for the organizations. Those who wish to support the efforts of R-CALF USA and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association can bid on a calf, then donate the animal back so it can be auctioned off again and again, until bidding ceases. The proceeds of this auction will be split between both organizations.

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization representing independent livestock producers on local, state and national policies that impact the livestock industry. For over 120 years the mission of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged, "to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry." The SD Stockgrowers represent approximately 1300 ranch families across the state of South Dakota.

R-CALF USA is a one-member/one-vote organization. Voting members must own cattle. Activities carried out by R-CALF USA for the benefit of the U.S. cattle industry are funded exclusively by the independent cattle producers who pay their membership dues and by cattle producers, main-street businesses, and other individuals who participate in and contribute to fund-raising events.

R-CALF USA works on various issues that affect independent U.S. cattle producers, such as country-of-origin labeling, livestock price reporting, animal health concerns, captive supplies and packer ownership of livestock, as well as various trade agreements.

 


  Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

 

Stockgrowers Applaud Johnson and Thune Support of COOL

 

A bipartisan group of 19 U.S. Senators led by South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson, and including Senator John Thune called on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to appeal the recent World Trade Organization decision that limits consumers' right to choose high-quality products from United States producers.

 

"Stockgrower members have been strong supporters of Country of Origin Labeling which lets our customers make informed decisions about where the food that they feed their families comes from," said Vaughn Meyer, Marketing Committee chair for the South Dakota Stockgrowers.  "Stockgrowers are proud to see that Senators Johnson and Thune are standing up for our producers and consumers by asking that this decision be appealed."

 

Country of Origin Labeling was implemented as part of the 2008 Farm Bill which required that all raw food products be labeled with country of origin information to provide consumers with more information about their food choices.  The law requires both imported and domestic food items to be labeled, but Canada and Mexico took the labeling law to the WTO claiming that the U.S rules discriminate against specifically imported beef and pork products.

 

"We can not understand why the United States is not allowed to label products for our citizens when Canada, Mexico and many of our other trading partners require the same labels on products in their own countries,"  said Meyer.  "Stockgrower members are very angry about this decision from WTO and we hope that our USDA and USTR will appeal this ruling,"

 

"Thank you to both of our Senators for their efforts to uphold our Country of Origin Labeling laws and appeal this ruling by the WTO."

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

 

Stockgrowers to Host Supper in Kadoka

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will host supper and a meeting on Wednesday, December 7 beginning at 6:30pm at Club 27 in Kadoka. The public is invited to attend.

Of particular interest to ranchers will be information regarding the proposed Animal Disease Traceability program currently pending at USDA. Stockgrower Animal ID Committee Chair Kenny Fox and other Stockgrower members will be presenting information about how this program will impact South Dakota ranchers. The comment period for the Animal Disease Traceability program ends on Friday, December 9.

Additionally, Stockgrower members will be sharing information regarding the child labor laws for agriculture, discussing the recent WTO ruling on Country of Origin Labeling and answering questions from producers regarding a variety of Stockgrower policy issues.

For more information contact the Stockgrowers office at 605-342-0429 or Marvin Jobgen at 605-993-6601.


 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

Stockgrowers to Host Area Meetings

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will be on the road at the end of November hosting a series of meetings in Union Center, Reva, Isabel and Lemmon. Everyone is invited to attend and participate in the discussion at these meetings.

State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven will be speaking at the meetings in Isabel and Lemmon. Additionally, Stockgrower Animal ID Committee Chair Kenny Fox will be presenting information regarding the latest proposal by USDA to implement a national animal identification program.

Of particular interest to ranchers will be information regarding the proposed child labor laws that would limit family corporations from hiring their own children and ban 14 and 15 year olds from doing most ranch work including riding horses to gather livestock. The rules propose other limits on young people to drive and operate tractors, working around livestock and children working in bad weather conditions.

Coffee and bars will be served at 1pm on Tuesday, November 29 at the Union Center Community Room in Union Center, and supper will be served at 6:30pm at the Reva Hall in Reva. On Wednesday, November 30, Stockgrowers will serve lunch at 11am at Sparky's in Isabel, and supper will be served at 5:30pm at the R-Bar in Lemmon.

For more information about this meeting, contact Gary Deering at 605-985-5343, Linda Gilbert at 605-375-3281 or Vaughn Meyer at 605-605-866-4426.


 

 

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

Stockgrowers Disappointed in GIPSA Rule 

No meaningful reforms for cattle industry yet

Shane Kolb is the President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. He ranches with his family near Meadow, SD. 

"We are deeply disappointed in the modified GIPSA rule that was sent to the Office of Management and Budget last week. After 16 months of work and waiting for USDA to act on this rule, the independent ranch families in South Dakota deserved more. While the final rule does provide some protections to the contract poultry growers, it does nothing for the cattle industry. 

The provisions that would have reformed packer to packer sales, defined competitive injury of producers, and created definitions for unfair practices do not seem to be in the final rule. These critical parts of the proposed GIPSA rule are still sitting at USDA and it is becoming increasingly important that USDA finalize the entire GIPSA rule. We feel strongly that these are critical reforms for cattle producers in South Dakota." 

Vaughn Meyer is the chair of the SD Stockgrowers marketing Committee and ranches with his family near Reva, SD. 

"South Dakota cattle and sheep producers were short-changed last week when the USDA forwarded portions of the GIPSA rules on livestock marketing to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The version as presented contained many long awaited protections for the poultry and pork industry but was stripped of marketing protections for beef producers. 

The original directive to establish agriculture marketing protections (GIPSA Rules) was authorized to USDA by congress under the 2008 Farm Bill. The USDA decision to yield to the pressures of big business by not enforcing the Packers and Stock Yards Act will have a profound negative impact on the survivability of our livestock producers in the United States. 

The lack of current protections for our industry is definitely not the end of this endeavor for fair, open, transparent and competitive markets for farmers and ranchers. South Dakota Stockgrowers, representing family livestock producers, along with many other producer organizations have worked tirelessly to include producer concerns for fair and open markets which will keep farm families and our main street businesses viable for future generations. 

The omission of beef measures in the current proposals intensifies the responsibility of independent producers to work cooperatively and relentlessly to ensure a future for family production agriculture and a safe- affordable food supply for our urban consumer friends."

.


October 19, 2011

Contact: Silvia Christen, Executive Director
Silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: 605-342-0429

Stockgrowers Pleased by New GF&P Policies

The Stockgrowers thanked Governor Daugaard and Game Fish and Parks Secretary Jeff Vonk this week for the newly announced changes to the GF&P policy directing the entry of their officers on private land.

In a letter to the Governor, Stockgrowers President Shane Kolb stated, "Your leadership on this issue has helped to address many of the concerns of private landowners and this new policy for GF&P is a significant step forward."

"The requirement of Conservation Officers to seek permission from landowners before entering private land and the practical approach taken to direct Conservation officers in making compliance checks near roadways, pasture gates and along previously traveled routes are all very much appreciated," said Kolb.

The new policy instructs Conservation officers to limit their intrusion onto private property whenever possible, make efforts to contact landowners for permission to access land, and to avoid interrupting hunting and fishing activities when approaching hunters. The policy does not do anything to limit or restrict Conservation Officers' access to private land if they suspect illegal activity.

According to Kolb, Stockgrowers feel that these changes will make a difference for private landowners. "We thank Secretary Vonk and Governor Daugaard for listening to our concerns and issuing this new policy."


 

October 13, 2011

For Immediate Release
Contact: Silvia Christen
605-342-0429
South Dakota Stockgrowers Association

Stockgrowers Honored by Rasmussen Family

The Stockgrowers Association was honored with the presentation of an original oil painting by Bob Schryvers in memory of the late Skee Rasmussen during the Stockgrowers Convention. The painting depicts a horse and rider looking over the Badlands at sunset and was presented by the Rasmussen family.

Skee's wife Jan and children, along with their families were on hand to make the dedication. Jan presented the painting, saying "Skee looked at this painting often in his last weeks and we can't think of a better place for it to hang than at the Stockgrowers office. Skee was always a dedicated member of the Stockgrowers and was very proud of his service to this organization."

Skee Rasmussen spent his life ranching with his family near Belvidere and served as President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association from 1986 to 1988. He became a member in 1956 and began serving on the Stockgrowers board of directors in 1974 overseeing several controversial movements with the State Brand Board and nationally with the Beef Check-off in that time. Throughout his life, Skee served on a variety of local, state and national boards and committees always focused on service to his local community and the agriculture industry. In 1999 he was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in recognition of his exceptional record of service to agriculture.

Past President Bob Johnson accepted the painting on behalf of the Stockgrowers and shared fond memories of working with Skee over their many years in leadership with the association. Johnson said, "Skee was someone who always threw his whole heart into his work. He helped me a lot when I was President of the Stockgrowers, and was a faithful, hardworking member of our organization. We were lucky to have him and are honored to have this painting to remember all that Skee did for us."

The painting is on display at the South Dakota Stockgrowers office at 426 Saint Joseph Street in Rapid City.


October 10, 2011

Contact: Silvia Christen, 
silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
Phone: (605) 342-0429

Stockgrowers Welcome New Executive Director

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association welcomed Silvia Christen to the position of Executive Director on October 1. Christen has been working for the Stockgrowers Association as Development Director since 2009 and takes the place of Margaret Nachtigall who retired in September.

Shane Kolb, Stockgrowers President from Meadow said, "We're very happy to have Silvia moving into the executive director's position and I am confident that she will do a great job representing the Stockgrowers."

"Growing up on my own family's farm I saw just how important it is that we fight for our rural communities and family agriculture." said Christen. "We've got a lot of work ahead and it's going to be a challenge, but I enjoy working for the Stockgrowers membership and I'm excited for this new opportunity."

Christen is a native of northern Missouri where she grew up on her family's diversified crop and livestock operation near Green City. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri and has lived in South Dakota since 2006.

Christen can be reached at the Stockgrowers office by calling 605-342-0429 or by emailing silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com.

###
For over 120 years the mission of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged, "to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry." The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization representing 1,300 independent livestock producers on local, state and national policies that impact the livestock industry.


September 27, 2011

For more information contact Silvia Christen at:
605-342-0429 or silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Wrap up Successful Convention

The South Dakota Stockgrowers' 120th Annual Convention and Trade Show wrapped up on Saturday after four days of speakers and meetings to update members on policies, election of new officers for the Association and adoption of several new policies.

"We had a great convention this year with some really impressive speakers as well as a great turnout of members and supporters," said Kenny Fox, immediate past President of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

The keynote address from USDA Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Reform Edward Avalos was a highlight of the convention. Avalos spoke immediately and directly to the proposed GIPSA rule which the Stockgrowers Association strongly supports. He stated that a final rule would likely be completed this fall and thanked producers for submitting over 61,000 comments for consideration in the process.

On the new Animal Disease Traceability proposal, Avalos admitted that the proposal was receiving opposition. He urged producers to offer constructive criticism, and said, "We need comments. I promise you that those comments are going to guide how we publish the final rule."

George Chambers, President of R-CALF USA addressed the audience on Thursday evening. His presentation urged producers to get involved in organizations like Stockgrowers and to represent their industry with pride, integrity and enthusiasm for the work and the policies that keep ranches operating in rural America.

The Brand Committee meeting featured a panel of speakers that included Brand Board members Scott Vance of Faith and Wanda Blair of Vale, Brand Board Director Larry Stearns and DCI Agent Scott Rechtenbaugh. The discussion centered mostly on the possibility of new legislation pertaining to inspection fees and shippers permits. Rechtenbaugh was also able to update members on the recent transfer of the Brand Investigators to the Dept of Criminal Investigation.

Bill Kluck, Senator Larry Rhoden, and Meade County Director of Equalization Kirk Chaffee discussed the state's production-based property tax system. Kluck expressed several concerns about the implementation of the law especially in regard to the livestock/grazing land. Chaffee explained how his office tries to work with landowners and Senator Rhoden spoke about the legislative process. Rhoden said, "We knew this property tax system was going to take some tweaks and we're dedicated to looking at those suggestions, but I still think that the production-based system is what needed to be done."

The Wildlife Committee hosted Tony Leif of the SD Game Fish and Parks Department who talked in detail about the prairie dog management plan and the new law allowing hunting of coyotes from snowmobiles. Leif stressed the importance of informing the public about the requirements for the new snowmobile laws.

Officers Elected
Members elected Shane Kolb as the President and Bob Fortune as Vice-president for one year terms. Kolb is a rancher and brand inspector from Meadow and has been an active member of Stockgrowers for many years. Vice-president Fortune ranches with his family on their operation south of Belvidere and he serves as a member of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

Kolb said, "It's an honor to be elected to serve as president of this association and I'm looking forward to working with all the members to keep the organization moving forward."

Marvin Jobgen of Scenic was elected as Region 3 Vice-president. Brad Reis of Winner was elected to represent district 14, replacing Jim Murphy whose term ended this year. All other board members continue to serve in their respective positions.

New Policies Adopted
All of Stockgrowers policies are adopted by members during the annual meeting and this year was no exception with four committees presented policy to the membership for adoption.

Marketing Committee Chairman and Cattlemen's Beef Board member Vaughn Meyer, Beef Industry Council member Bob Fortune and Beef Industry Council Director Ron Frederick answered questions almost exclusively on the recent controversy surrounding the national Beef Check-off program. Meyer said, "We really appreciate that Ron Fredrick took the time to answer questions and talk with our producers about the check-off program." The Committee did adopt several policies regarding transparency in the Check-off program.

The Ag and Natural Resources Committee adopted policy to reaffirm a producers private property right to convert grazing land to cropland but called for producers who convert virgin prairie to crop land to be ineligible to receive federal crop subsidies and federal crop insurance payments for those tracts of land.

The proposed rule for the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program was a hot topic throughout the convention as Stockgrowers members and the Animal Health and ID Committee continue to voice concerns about the implementation of a national program that does not currently recognize the hot-iron brand as a primary method of identification. The membership adopted policies regarding this program which strongly state Stockgrowers opposition to the ADT as proposed.

Stockgrowers Honor Members for Service
Kenny Fox of Belvidere completed his two-year term as President of the Association on Friday. He was honored with a picture slideshow presentation of his family ranching operation as well as photos from the various meetings, issues and projects he oversaw during his term. Fox was presented with custom spurs in appreciation for his work and received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the membership. Fox thanked his wife Roxie and his family for all their support and said, "It's been an honor to serve as President of this organization."

Mark DeVries of Belvidere, Vaughn Meyer of Reva, and Ken Halligan of Pierre were each presented with a Workhorse Award. The award recognizes them for their dedication and outstanding work to represent Stockgrowers policy, recruit members, and support the work of the Stockgrowers Association.

Willie Cowan accepted an award on behalf of Ft. Pierre Livestock and the Smith family honoring the late Johnny Smith for his "dedication to the Stockgrowers Association, the independent livestock industry, and the producers whose livelihoods depend on it".

Margaret Nachtigall was given a standing ovation in recognition for her dedicated work for the Stockgrowers Association as she leaves her position with the Association. Senator Tim Johnson honored Margaret with an official document from the Congressional Record stating, "Margaret's service to the SD Stockgrowers Association spans many years and has had a significant impact on the association and its members." Members presented Margaret with a custom belt buckle and a bouquet of flowers in appreciation of her work.

"This convention really highlighted some of the best of Stockgrowers members and our work as an association," said Shane Kolb, newly elected President of the Stockgrowers. "We thank everyone that made this convention possible from our many members to the many businesses who sponsored the event."


September 18, 2011

For more information contact Silvia Christen at:
605-342-0429 or silvia.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Association Plans 120th Convention & Trade Show

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will hold their 120th Annual Convention and Trade Show on September 21 - 24 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox, Belvidere said, "Our convention, as with all of our meetings, is open to the public. In fact we encourage consumers as well as ranchers, farmers, and business people to come on in. There is something for everyone!"

Fox stated that "One of the most important parts of the Convention is the Annual Meeting which begins at 1:30 on Friday. This is a member-driven organization and this annual meeting is where the members set the stage for the coming year. So if you are a member, or if you would like to be a member, please plan to attend this meeting and let your voice be heard."

According to Executive Director Margaret Nachtigall the convention kicks off with a combination Past Presidents and Cattlewomen's 60th Anniversary dinner September 21.
Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the ever popular Yvonne Hollenbeck, Clearfield, SD as she recites poetry and delights her audience with the humorous side of being a ranch wife.

Nachtigall said, "We have a great lineup of speakers and vendors this year. We are excited to be able to bring Edward Avalos, USDA Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs from Washington, D.C. This is of special interest to the livestock industry since he oversees the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration all agencies involved in the Livestock Industry. Mr. Avalos will be speaking at the Recognition Banquet Friday at 6:30."

"We have a gold mine of speakers close to home also. For instance, we have 4 panels offering information. Thursday at 8:15 the Property Rights Committee will address the new production based property tax with rancher Bill Kluck, legislator Larry Rhoden and Meade Co Director of Equalization, Kirk Chaffee. Then at 9:30 the Brand and Theft Committee will visit with Livestock Auction Owner/brand board member Scott Vance and SD Brand Board Executive Secretary Larry Stearns."

"Bill Bullard R-CALF CEO, always a very popular speaker will be addressing convention attendees at 10:45 on Thursday during the Animal Health & ID Committee meeting. He most certainly will be updating us on the new Animal Disease Traceability program. And R-CALF President George Chambers Carrollton, Georgia is another very informational communicator and will be on deck with us as our Thursday night dinner speaker."

"At lunch on Thursday we'll see a video of the Argentina/Chile trip last year and hear about the upcoming trip to Ireland from Silvia Christen and Bill Walsh.
The Marketing Committee meets at 1:30 Thursday with our third panel consisting of rancher Bob Fortune, Belvidere; rancher Vaughn Meyer Reva, SD; and Beef Industry Council Executive Director Ron Frederick, Mission, SD. I'm quite sure this panel will discuss and answer questions regarding the Beef Checkoff - another very interesting panel".

"Thursday afternoon we will be privileged to hear Tom Troxel, Executive Director of the Black Hills Multiple Use Coalition as he speaks to the Federal Lands Committee at 2:30".

"Following the Thursday afternoon coffee/tea break we will hear Tony Leif, Pierre, SD, Director of Game Fish and Parks Wildlife Division."

As we move in to Friday, we are honored to have as our Inspirational Breakfast Speaker, Pastor Harold Delbridge, Red Owl, SD. He brings the Message in country language and is not only a minister, but a rodeo announcer, auctioneer and just all around good ranch neighbor. If you haven't heard Harold speak, don't miss this."

"Jeri Lynn Bakken, Lemmon, S.D. is Regional Community Organizer for the Western Organization of Resource Councils and will be bringing her message on trade to the Trade Committee Meeting at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Jeri Lynn speaks with a passion for her work."

"Our fourth committee with a panel is the Ag & Natural Resources Committee meeting at 9:15 on Friday. Members of that panel are: Bob Budd, Lander, Wyo with Wyoming Wildlife & Natural Resources Trust; rancher Ray Gilbert, Buffalo, SD and Dan Rasmussen, Belvidere, S.D., all experts on grazing programs. This will be a very informative program for anyone who needs the optimum output from their land and still improving it.

"10:45 Friday Dr Barry Dunn, Dean of Ag & Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University will speak to the Education, Taxation, Legislation Committee. Dr Dunn while having an extremely long list of accomplishments and degrees, mostly in agriculture, is still know to many as a West River rancher. He is a very interesting speaker."

Nachtigall said "this convention is an educational experience as well as a fun time - we have an ice cream social following Friday's lunch - we have a silent auction with items at each sponsor booth - we will have an exciting live auction following Friday night's banquet.

If you play a musical instrument, bring it along. There may be a chance for an impromptu jam session on Thursday night."

Fox stated that "besides having a great group of speakers for this year's convention, we also are proud of a long list of sponsors - both banner sponsors and vendor booth sponsors. We will allow plenty of time to visit each and we urge you to do so. Please thank them and give them your business - they are who make this convention possible."

For more information or a copy of the agenda please call the office at 605-342-0429; email the Stockgrowers at Stockgrowers@midconetwork.com or go to our website at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org


 

September 8, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Applaud Senate Appropriations Committee

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association today applauded Senator Tim Johnson and other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee for not including language which would prevent the funding of the implementation of USDA's Packers and Stockyards GIPSA rule.

According to Stockgrowers Vice President Shane Kolb, Meadow, SD the US House, apparently succumbing to packer-lobbyist pressure, recently passed their Appropriations Bill with language that prohibited funding for finalization of the
(Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act) GIPSA rule.

Kolb stated that the GIPSA rule is the result of a 2008 Farm Bill directive that required USDA's GIPSA Administration to write rules to clarify and provide enforceability of the 91 year old Packers and Stockyards Act.

Kolb said "this is a huge vote of confidence, from the Senate, for our farmers and ranchers especially in view of the fact that the meat packing industry is working extremely hard to kill this rule. However, we need to be vigilant and supportive of this 2010 Senate Appropriations Bill as it moves through the channels."

Stockgrowers were also extremely pleased to learn that the Senate Appropriations Bill did not include the requested $150 million for the Manhattan, Kansas construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility which was to be moved from Plum Island, New York. Stockgrowers have long objected to moving such a laboratory to the center of livestock country.


September 8, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Applaud Senate Appropriations Committee

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association today applauded Senator Tim Johnson and other members of the Senate Appropriations Committee for not including language which would prevent the funding of the implementation of USDA's Packers and Stockyards GIPSA rule.

According to Stockgrowers Vice President Shane Kolb, Meadow, SD the US House, apparently succumbing to packer-lobbyist pressure, recently passed their Appropriations Bill with language that prohibited funding for finalization of the
(Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act) GIPSA rule.

Kolb stated that the GIPSA rule is the result of a 2008 Farm Bill directive that required USDA's GIPSA Administration to write rules to clarify and provide enforceability of the 91 year old Packers and Stockyards Act.

Kolb said "this is a huge vote of confidence, from the Senate, for our farmers and ranchers especially in view of the fact that the meat packing industry is working extremely hard to kill this rule. However, we need to be vigilant and supportive of this 2010 Senate Appropriations Bill as it moves through the channels."

Stockgrowers were also extremely pleased to learn that the Senate Appropriations Bill did not include the requested $150 million for the Manhattan, Kansas construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility which was to be moved from Plum Island, New York. Stockgrowers have long objected to moving such a laboratory to the center of livestock country.


September 2, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

SD Stockgrowers Offer Ireland Agriculture Tour

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is hosting an exciting, ten-day Ireland Agriculture tour from April 30 to May 9, 2012 and is accepting reservations for the trip. The unique tour includes visits to Irish dairy, sheep and cattle farms, two horse studs, and a cheese processing facility as well as tours of the Blarney Castle, traditional Irish villages, and the Atlantic coastline.

"This is an amazing way to experience Ireland that most people will never have the opportunity to do and we're very excited to share it with everyone," said Silvia Christen, Development Director for the Stockgrowers Association. "This tour is customized for Stockgrowers and takes us to the romantic castles, historic cities and rural landscape of Ireland, but we'll also be out on several different farms and actually talking with Irish producers."
The tour will travel across Ireland from April 30 to May 9, 2012 with stays in Dublin, Galway City, Cork, County Clare and a traditional rural village. Also included in trip are a tour and tasting at the Middleton Whiskey Distillery and the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

A detailed itinerary for the entire tour can be found at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or by calling Silvia at 605-342-0429. For reservations, please contact Leslie Bowman at Dakota Travel by calling 605-341-0744.
"This is going to be a very fun and exciting trip," said Christen. "I'd encourage everyone to take a look at the schedule, and give us a call if you have any questions."

Cost of the trip is $2494, and includes all hotel stays, breakfast each morning, most evening meals, all activity and tour fees, professional tour guides, and all transportation in Ireland. Airfare is not included. Travel to and from the USA can be arranged from anywhere in the USA when making a reservation for the tour. A non-refundable deposit of $800 is required when making a reservation. Reservations will be taken as long as spaces are available and until January 31, 2012.


August 3, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Sturgis Rally Beef Promotion Event to be Hosted by Farmers Union, Stockgrowers Association

HERMOSA, S.D.- South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association will host a beef promotion event Sunday, August 7 through Tuesday, August 9 during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The two agriculture groups will sell beef kabobs at Heartland Convenience Store, 24713 S Highway 79, Hermosa, S.D.

"We have an incredible opportunity to get beef into the hands of people from across the country and from around the globe," said SDFU President Doug Sombke. "Hundreds of thousands of people will travel through our state during Rally Week, and it gives us a chance to show them what Midwestern beef tastes like."

The groups will be selling kabobs from a tent near the convenience store from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. August 7-9.

"Many of these bikers are coming from outside of South Dakota, and we want to share the good story of agriculture with them," said South Dakota Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox. "We raise the best beef in the world, and this is our opportunity to share our story with people from across the country and around the world."


 

August 1, 2011 

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at: 
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com 
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Comment on Motor Carrier Requirements for Agriculture

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association recently commented on three separate issues as requested by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the applicability of certain regulations for Farm Vehicles and Off-Road Agricultural Equipment.

1. A regulatory guidance on the distinction between interstate and intrastate as it pertains to products moved from the farm to an instate venue and later shipped out of state. Stockgrowers comment stated that products moved within the state and later moved out of state would not be under interstate commerce for the farmer/rancher. The producer should not be subjected to interstate regulations even though his product may have been included in interstate commerce by another party.

2. Agricultural producers are exempted from CDL (Commercial Drivers License) requirements. The question posed: Should tenant or share-crop operators also be exempted since they are indirectly compensated by proceeds from the operation. Stockgrowers Comment: Tenants and share-crop operators should be exempted the same as the landowner unless they are also part of a commercial trucking business.

3. Should off-road farm equipment and implements of husbandry operated on public roads be considered Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) and subject to the Agency's vehicle safety regulations. Stockgrowers comment: We believe farm and ranch equipment, used in the operation of the farm and ranch, but not for the purpose of transporting people or material to another location should not be subject to Motor Carrier regulations; should not be considered Commercial Motor Vehicles, and should not be subject to the Agency's vehicle safety equipment regulations. This equipment is necessary for farm and ranch operation and periodically must be moved from one location to another. In South Dakota an orange slow-moving-vehicle sign is placed on the back of the equipment to warn other drivers. This should be sufficient for the short time these implements are on the road.

South Dakota Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox, Belvidere said "We are strong supporters of local control and firmly believe the intrastate commerce should be left in the hands of our State government, not combined with Federal control in interstate commerce. We also strongly support the basics of agriculture and we urge the Department of Transportation to continue the agricultural exceptions in the Motor Carrier Rules and Regulations."

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer rmembers determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


July 22, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at: 
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com 
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org 

South Dakota Stockgrowers at High Plains Western Heritage Center

South Dakota Stockgrowers President, Shane Kolb, Meadow, SD, Stockgrowers Past Chief Brand Inspector, Jim Reed, Belle Fourche, SD and Stockgrowers' Executive Director, Margaret Nachtigall, Owanka, SD participated in the "Riding for the Brand" night, at the High Plains Western Heritage Center at Spearfish, SD on Thursday evening.

All three members spoke following musical and cowboy poet selections by Ken Cook and Paul Harris. Kolb explained that branding is not a new idea since evidence of branding was actually done long before the birth of Christ. He then brought branding history up to the 1880's. At that point Jim Reed explained the need for brand and asked the audience what would happen in a large mingled herd of cattle if none were branded. He continued with history to the present.

Nachtigall followed up with an article she had written titled "What does Your Brand mean to You?" and a poem "Ridin for the Brand" by Ray Pepin, Belle Fourche.

Nachtigall said the Stockgrowers agreed that it was a fun evening and would like to say thanks to Peggy Ables, Francie Ganje, and crew for the invitation and the chance to tell our story.

The High Plains Western Heritage Center is located just South of Exit 14 near Spearfish, SD, and is home to thousands of memorabilia from the days of riding the range to the present. Once a month a show is provided in the theater with special guests from all over the country. Icing on the cake is a free piece of pie at Perkins with your ticket from the show. - # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer rmembers determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


 

June 23, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Request Correction in U.S. Hearing Record

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association recently sent a letter to Debbie Stabenow Chairwoman of the United States senate committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry requesting her to insert a correction into the record of the June 28, 2011 "State of Livestock in America" hearing in Washington, D.C.

According to Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox, Belvidere, "Senator Pat Roberts, Ranking Member of the Committee either knowingly or unknowingly made some false statements in the hearing regarding GIPSA's (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) Administrator, J. Dudley Butler."

Fox said the letter stated:

"Mr. Roberts, in reference to GIPSA Administrator J. Dudley Butler, stated "Mr. Butler made a career out of suing many in the livestock and processing sectors. To be perfectly blunt, the rule as proposed look like a trial lawyer's full employment act. Better yet, I'll read a quote from the Administrator - Administrator Butler - regarding the core of the material in the rule. His quote: 'that's a lawyer's dream, a plaintiff lawyer's dream.' He was a plaintiff lawyer.

Madam Chairwoman, I'm sure you are well aware that this "quote" made by J. Dudley Butler approximately a year ago was in reference to the content of the Packers and Stockyards Act as it now stands, without the proposed GIPSA Rule, not in reference to the content of the proposed Rule as Mr. Roberts stated.

Mr. Butler's actual comment as he described his intentions for clarification of the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act was: …..Looking at it from the standpoint of sections 202 A and B, when you have terms like unfair, unreasonable, or undue prejudice, that's a lawyer's dream, a plaintiff lawyer's dream. We can get in front of a jury on that without getting thrown out on what we call summary judgment, because that's a jury question.
But the real thing now in trying to solve the problem quickly is not only to address
the market issues, but to define some of these terms, to put parameters around
them. What you can do, what the company can't do, what has got to happen in
the marketplace."

For these reasons the South Dakota Stockgrowers respectfully request you to bring a correction to the official record of the June 28, 2011 United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, "State of Livestock in America" hearing, by introducing Mr. Butler's actual comment as stated above."

"Fox said "the South Dakota Stockgrowers stand in support of Administrator Butler and Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack as they work to bring about a fair marketing system as requested in the 2008 Farm Bill."


 

June 23, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or 
margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

SD Stockgrowers Applaud Congresswomen

The U. S. House of Representatives recently passed the Fiscal Year 2012 Ag Appropriations Bill which included an amendment that will prohibit the funding of the proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act) Rule. Finalization of the proposed GIPSA Rule, which was published on June 22, 2010, will strengthen the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act whose purpose was to prevent the market manipulation and unfair trade practices of the huge meat packing industry and to provide a fair market for independent livestock producers.

South Dakota Stockgrowers are quite concerned with the passage of the bill with this amendment, but are encouraged by the support of Congresswomen Kristi Noem and Marcy Kaptur. Stockgrowers' Marketing Chairman, Vaughn Meyer, Reva, SD explained it thus:

"Thank You Congresswomen Noem and Kaptur.

Often on a dark night a shining star will appear brighter than the others as if to rekindle optimism and provide guidance with its presence. Recently U.S. cattle producers witnessed this extraordinary leadership during the debate of the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (HR 2112) during which Democratic Congresswomen Marcy Kaptur from Ohio single handedly represented producer interests against the overwhelming monopolistic practices of our meat packing industry.

Congresswoman Kaptur not only stood her ground against the century old oppression of livestock producers by the packing industry but she also reminded her congressional colleagues that this attempt to defund the proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection Packers & Stockyards Act) rule was similar to their recent meat packer allegiances to deprive consumers of labeling information of their food.

Congresswomen Kaptur also warned her 217 Republican oppositional colleagues that their desire to kill the GIPSA rule will imperil the economic well-being of our nation's independent livestock producers. She related to the scenario of negative ramifications for the economic viability of our nation as well as a dwindling abundance and safety of future U.S. food supplies.

Kaptur stated," So on behalf of the millions of farmers, ranchers and independent producers, I pledge to continue this fight and to prevent a similar 8 years of delay and confusion on USDA competition rules in the meat industry."

The South Dakota Stockgrower's Marketing Committee is proud to recognize South Dakota Congresswomen Kristi Noem as a local shining star who also voted to fund the proposed GIPSA rule and reverse the loss of nearly 12,000 farm families annually. Both Congresswomen Noem and Kaptur serve as inspirational advocates for rescuing family agriculture from the grips of the large corporate packing industry entities.

The South Dakota Stockgrower Association, representing our states livestock producers, has worked tirelessly to assist with the implementation of the GIPSA rules to reinstate fairness and competition once again to the market place. We appreciate the exemplary leadership roles of congresswomen Kaptur and Noem in taking a stand for family production agriculture and the revitalization or our rural main street businesses."

Meyer concluded his statement by saying, "The Stockgrowers recognize the long overdue necessity of the GIPSA rules and we also respect the wishes of the majority of our congressional leaders as they instructed the USDA through the 2008 farm bill to draft measures to return fairness to the market place. We believe the time is right for producers to rally behind these 2 courageous congressional leaders and preserve our heritage for our children and grandchildren."

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer rmembers determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


 

June 8, 2011

For more information contact:
Margaret Nachtigall at: 605-342-0429 or 
margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
 
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

SDSGA Pleased with Congresswoman Noem's Appointment

South Dakota Stockgrowers were pleased to learn that Congresswoman Noem has been appointed to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee.

Stockgrower President Kenny Fox, Belvidere, said "As agriculture is South Dakota's largest industry it is very important that we have representation on the ag committee. Congresswoman Noem is a rancher who understands the many issues that we face as ranchers everyday and that is reassuring to me to have a fellow rancher who can educate her colleagues on our point of view."

Noem, who is also Freshman Liaison to leadership, will be involved in the making of the 2012 Farm bill. South Dakota Stockgrowers along with many other South Dakota livestock organizations will be looking to her for representation in that area.

Although she has been approved by the House Republican Steering Committee and will wait for the full House Republican Conference to ratify the appointment, the SD Stockgrowers are assured Noem will receive the ratification and certainly look forward to working with her.


May 24, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Ask Noem to Stand for Producers

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association sent a letter to Congresswoman Kristi Noem on Wednesday, asking for her help to keep the rule-making process on track for the proposed changes to the 1921 Packers & Stockyards Act, known as the proposed "GIPSA Competition rule". The proposed rule seeks to clarify portions of the Packers and Stockyards Act that have allowed multinational meat packers to manipulate market prices through unfair trade practices.

Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox said, "We very much appreciate that Rep. Noem has chosen to not be a part of the recent efforts to stall the proposed GIPSA rules, and we are asking that she stand up for our ranchers by helping her colleagues understand how important these rules are for livestock producers."

In the letter to Rep. Noem, Fox said, "We have been and continue to be in steadfast support of the GIPSA Competition rules to keep fairness and transparency in the market place for independent farmers and ranchers. Now, opponents of the proposed GIPSA rule are trying to further stall the process through the appropriations process.

The House Appropriations Ag subcommittee voted on Tuesday to include a provision that would restrict any funds from being used to further the implementation of the proposed rules. But, Fox stated that it would be unacceptable to cut the funding now.

"The 2008 Farm Bill required that USDA draft these rules," Fox said, "USDA did just that. They drafted a rule, went through an extensive public comment period, conducted an economic study, and now we're waiting for the final rule to be published. Congress needs to let USDA complete this process and finalize these rules that will clean up the livestock markets."

"The effort to strip funding now would quash all the effort on the part of thousands of producers who support these rules and waste the resources that USDA has already committed to completing these rules in a timely and responsible manner. We hope Rep. Noem will stand with us on this."

Fox ended his letter to Rep. Noem saying, "We strongly urge you to do whatever is within your power to work with your colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to see this language stricken from the appropriations bill and allow the GIPSA rule-making process to be completed."


May 23, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Applaud Johnson's Livestock Marketing Fairness Act

SD Stockgrowers Association applauds Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) for introducing of the Livestock Marketing Fairness Act which would level the playing field between ranchers and the packer-owned cattle by amending the 1921 Packers and Stockyards Act. Senator Johnson is joined by Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Jon Tester (D- MT) in this bi-partisan effort to end certain anti-competitive, forward marketing contracts and ensure that ranchers have access to a fair marketplace.

"We very much appreciate Senator Johnson and his colleagues for their leadership in introducing the Livestock Marketing Fairness Act," said Kenny Fox, President of the SD Stockgrowers Association from Belvidere. "This legislation will allow producers to continue choosing the best methods for selling their livestock whether through forward contracts or auction markets, with full access to the marketplace."

The SD Stockgrowers Association has voiced strong concerns about the increased concentration in the livestock packing industry where only four firms now control over 80% of the beef processed in the U.S. each year. "A growing number of packers also own or control the live cattle through forward contracting agreements making it possible for them to buy from themselves whenever they deem the prices to be too high in the sale- barn, and stop us from getting a true price discovery in the marketplace."

Stockgrowers President Kenny Fox concluded his statement saying, "We thank Senator Johnson for introducing this legislation which will keep our livestock markets strong and provide our ranchers with the information they need to make the best business decisions based on an open, competitive market."

According to the Offices of Senator Tim Johnson the Livestock Market Fairness Act would:

  • Require marketing agreements to have a firm base price derived from an external source. This guarantees that local contract prices are not subject to manipulation by packer owned herds.
  • Call for future forward contracts for livestock (cattle, hogs and lambs) to be traded in public markets where buyers and sellers can witness bids and make their own offers. This openness ensures market competition through multiple offers.
  • Exempts producer owned cooperatives, packers with low volumes and packers who own only one processing plant. This exemption targets the source of price manipulation and ensures that the business practices of small family-owned processors are not impacted by the law.
  • Guarantees that trading is done in quantities that provide market access for both small and large livestock producers.

May 20, 2011


For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Thanks Congresswoman Noem

At a time when many freshmen legislators are following the path on least resistance and learning the ins and outs of big time corporations, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association appreciates South Dakota's lone Representative, Congresswoman Kristi Noem for standing up to big meat packers and their deep pocketed lobbyists by not signing on to Representative Jim Costa's dear colleague letter designed to kill the proposed new GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration) rule.

The Packers and Stockyards Act was enacted in 1921, but a lack of rules made the new Act basically unenforceable. The 2008 Farm Bill directed USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) to write rules that would produce a workable, enforceable law.

According to Stockgrowers' President Kenny Fox, Belvidere "the new rules not only make the law more enforceable, but it levels the playing field for farmers and ranchers who are now at the mercy of an unfriendly market place. The new rule will bring transparency to the market place as well as better market access."

Fox said " we definitely appreciate Congresswoman Noem for taking a stand for the livelihood of South Dakota's livestock producers."


April 29, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Senator Thune Staff Members Meet with South Dakota Stockgrowers Association

Several South Dakota Stockgrower Directors came together Thursday to meet with Senator Thune's Washington D.C. Ag Staff member, Lynn Tjeersdma and Rapid City Staff member, Mark Haugen to discuss news and views over coffee at the Stockgrowers Office in Rapid City.

Stockgrowers' President Kenny Fox, Belvidere, and Director Bill Kluck, Mud Butte, discussed the new Animal Disease Traceability Framework (ADTF). Kluck explained the "need for USDA to follow the suggestions set forth in the multiple-organization meeting conducted in 2009 to set up guidelines for the new ADTF". He stated "that group had asked that feeder cattle not be included in ADTF until the breeding age cattle were moving smoothly through the program., but that there are indications of bringing feeder cattle into the framework in the near future."

Fox stated "there is talk of not using the hot iron brand as one of the official means of identification for cattle shipped in interstate commerce in the ADTF". He said "the importance of keeping the use of a registered brand when accompanied by a brand inspection certificate from a recognized brand inspection authority as an official identification method for cattle shipped in interstate commerce as it is a permanent identification that remains on the animal when tags fall out, or are cut out, or ears are frozen off and that 14 states now depend on the hot iron brand for ownership identification purposes."

The new proposed rules for the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Act (GIPSA) are important to the Stockgrowers. Fox asked for Senator Thune's support.

Stockgrower Director David Niemi, Buffalo, expressed the "need for restoration of funding for the aerial predator program in Western South Dakota. The program has been funded with earmarks which expired this year and we would like to see the funding come from within the budget."

Craig Shaver, Director from Sturgis area also commented on the need for a safe way to coordinate the large planes flying in the area where ranchers are flying in their day to day ranch activities. He stressed the danger of turbulent air from large and fast planes in the proposed Expanded Powder River Air Force Training Area."

Shaver was also concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was planning changes in allowable dust particles in farming operations that would be a huge disadvantage to farmers and ranchers.

Tjeersdsma and Haugen said they would look into these concerns and report back to the Stockgrowers.

President Fox "said we appreciate the opportunity to sit down at the table and discuss our issues with Senator Thune's staff members.

Stockgrowers' Development Director, Silvia Christen wound up the meeting with a brief summary of the agri-tourism project she is building for the Stockgrowers

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


April 22, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

SDSGA Supports Congresswoman Noem's First Bill

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association supports Congresswoman Noem on her first bill introduction as a United States Congresswoman. Representative Noem recently introduced a bill to temporarily prohibit revision of any regulations regarding nuisance dust in areas where it is regulated under State, tribal, or local laws.

According to Stockgrowers' Vice President Shane Kolb, Meadow, SD "'nuisance dust' in this bill is defined as that generated from natural resources such as dirt roads, agricultural activities, windblown dust and other activities generally conducted in rural areas."

Kolb stated that this bill titled the "Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011" will protect farmers and ranchers from any over regulated directives that often do more harm than good"

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association appreciates the fact that Representative Noem's first Congressional bill is in regard to agriculture.

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


April 12, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Thank Senator Johnson

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association thanks Senator Johnson for his appeal to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack for reinstatement of funding which has been stripped from South Dakota's aerial predator program.

In his letter to Secretary Vilsack the Senator stated "As you know, a cooperative program has been developed between the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (SD GFP) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services for the purpose of ensuring adequate resources are available to respond to, and mitigate, livestock losses and damage to crops and other property caused by wild animals. This is a critically important program for livestock producers in South Dakota."

South Dakota producers for many years have depended on this federally funded program which allows the SD GFP to manage coyotes and other predators in areas of high predator population.
Spring is an especially vulnerable time due to calving and lambing in these areas. Coyotes will often kill sheep or calves even though it's not for food. It maybe just for the fun of chasing, or to teach pups to hunt. But whatever the reason they must be managed.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has learned that some funds for this purpose have been distributed to other states, however none has been allocated for South Dakota.

Stockgrower's President Kenny Fox, Belvidere, said "We certainly appreciate anything Senator Johnson can do to restore the predator control funds to South Dakota."

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer rmembers determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


April 12, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:
605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com
www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Appreciate Efforts to Restore Aerial Predator Funding

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association appreciates the work Senator Thune and Congresswoman Noem have done in an effort to restore the aerial predator funds. These funds were earmarked funding that were lost in the restructuring of Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Division of Wildlife Services (APHIS's WS ) program.

According to Stockgrower's President Kenny Fox, Belvidere, Wildlife Services funds have been allocated to different states in different amounts.

Fox stated "It is extremely unfortunate that these funds are no longer available, especially at a time of year when our young livestock are so vulnerable - not to mention the impact this will have on young wildlife."

Fox reiterated that "funds from this service for the predator control program should be divided equally among states." "We certainly appreciate Senator Thune and Congresswoman Noem for the letter sent to US Secretary of Agriculture requesting a reversal of the present funding process."

- # # # -

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer rmembers determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. For more information please contact at www.southdakotastockgrowers.org or phone 605-342-0429


March 2, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:

605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com

www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

South Dakota Stockgrowers Board Meets with Governor Daugaard

South Dakota Stockgrowers enjoyed a meeting with Governor Daugaard in conjunction with their regular Quarterly meeting in Pierre , on Friday February 18.

Following their board meeting Stockgrowers Directors met with Governor Daugaard at the Capitol. The Governor explained his budget cuts and reasons for such, answered questions and heard from some of the directors who had specific items of interest.

Dave Niemi, Buffalo area Director spoke specifically on Eminent Domain and explained the need for reclamation of the areas and the care of abandoned  lines such as pipe lines etc.

President Kenny Fox, Belvidere asked for support from the State government regarding the new GIPSA rule which is now in the hands of US Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA.  Although thousands of comments were submitted in support of the rule, it is still being attacked by the large meat packing industry.

Larry Nelson spoke on the open fields doctrine which is actually the subject of a new bill in the legislature at this time.  The Governor said he is familiar with the open fields problems and that it is one of the areas that he is presently working on.

The Stockgrowers were extremely pleased with the hospitality and ability to sit down and visit with the Governor regarding many of the issues of importance to South Dakota livestock producers.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association looks forward to a good working relationship with Governor Daugaard and his administration.

 


March 3, 2011

South Dakota Stockgrowers Welcome Senator Johnson

Friday, February 25th several South Dakota Stockgrower directors and staff were pleased to have  the opportunity to meet with Senator Johnson at his office in Rapid City

Several issues of concern to the Stockgrowers were brought forth at the meeting including those from Vaughn Meyer , Stockgrowers’ Marketing Chairman, Reva , SD who discussed the proposed GIPSA (Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration) rule.  He also shared some concerns regarding the present Beef Check-Off Program. 

The GIPSA rule has been proposed by direction of the 2008 Farm Bill in an effort to put some teeth into the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&SA).  It was enacted in 1921, but without proper rules for enforcement.

South Dakota Stockgrowers are especially appreciative of the fact that Senator Johnson is such a strong supporter of agriculture and our livestock producers.  Long being a proponent of competition in the market place and the need for the new rules, he advised that he would be working with some of his colleagues on those issues. 

Other issues of concern included the proposed Wilderness area in the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands and Multiple Use Areas versus Wilderness areas.  Director Chance Davis , Belle Fourche explained his understanding that the original intent of Congress was multiple use not wilderness.

President Kenny Fox spoke on the Animal Identification Program stating that Dr. John Clifford Deputy Administrator of APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service). wants to identify all cattle, including feeder cattle, across state lines.  Fox said that is not what a coalition of livestock organizations agreed to last year.  He requested that the Senator (who is on the Appropriations Committee) work to not supply funding for the program.

Senator Johnson was asked about his thoughts on the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill by Vice President Shane Kolb , Meadow, SD.  The Senator said the starting date is March 17th and stated that the Farm Bill will probably receive a lot of budgetary pressure this year.  He said “my question is when there’s only so much money how do we make the best of it?” One of the replies to the Senator’s question was “can we somehow use a cost of production formula.”

Silvia Christen, Development Director, Rapid City explained to the Senator how an agri-tourism program which will benefit of the Stockgrowers and provide a second income for participating farmers and rancher and benefit the rural economy in South Dakota.

President Fox stated “We’re always pleased to meet with Senator Johnson who’s positive attitude and genuine concern for agriculture makes our job a little bit easier.”

- # # # -

For over 120 years the mission of South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged “to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry”.  For more information visit www.southdakaotastockgrowers.org or call 605-342-0429


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: February 9, 2011

CONTACT: Silvia Christen - (605) 342-0429

ATTACHED: Class photograph

Agritourism Business Course Graduates 38 in Kadoka

Thirty-eight individuals from across western South Dakota celebrated the completion of a five week Agritourism business planning course held in Kadoka.   Graduates of the course, Agritourism: Your next cash crop?, received certificates, and announced the creation and expansion of at least fifteen agritourism businesses on Tuesday night.

Elizabeth King of White River took the class and said, “I started this class with just an idea in my mind, and now I have a plan and am ready to talk to the bank.  This has been a wonderful course.”

“This has been an excellent course.  I would recommend anyone interested in agritourism to take this course,” said Thesa Ireland of Kadoka. 

“Stockgrowers is very proud to be able to bring this kind of business support to our ranching families, and we’re excited at the potential that these new businesses have to not only support our working ranches, but also to spur economic growth in our rural communities,” said Silvia Christen, Development Director for the Stockgrowers Association.  “We wish all of our graduates the best of luck in their businesses and we look forward to seeing them succeed.” 

Fifteen of the families attending the course, including King, announced new or expanding businesses ranging from trail rides and working ranch vacations, to hunting excursions and nature tours.   The course consisted of five, weekly classes each emphasizing topics such as cash flow, pricing a product, liability and insurance, marketing, webpage design, and developing an experience for the customer.

“These businesses are all at different levels of development.  Some of them are just taking shape and others have already been operating for years.  But, with this class, they are as ready as they’ll ever be to start and operate their businesses and I’m confident that we’ll see great things from these individuals,” said Christen.

Jan Jantzen who facilitated the course said, “Each of these graduates have spent twenty hours in class, thinking about the type of experiences they can provide, how to market themselves, how they want to package and price that experience, and how to do it in a way that makes sense for their ranching operations.  I congratulate these individuals for taking the initiative to enroll in this class and I’m very excited to see what they accomplish.”

The course was supported by the SD Stockgrowers Association, the South Dakota Community Foundation, the Black Hills Area Community Foundation, the Badlands/South Central Enterprise Facilitation, and the Badlands and the South Central RC&D Councils serving Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, Mellette, Shannon, Todd, and Tripp counties.   The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is planning to host more of these classes throughout 2011.  For more information about enrolling contact Silvia Christen by calling 605-342-0429.

 

PHOTO CAPTION:

Graduates of “Agritourism: Your next cash crop?” announced the expansion or creation of fifteen businesses on Tuesday, February 8 at the Club 27 Restaurant in Kadoka.

Front Row: Left to Right:  Chaney Scofield - Martin, Terry Ireland - Kadoka, Silvia Christen, Stockgrowers staff from Rapid City, Thesa Ireland - Kadoka, Tammy Prang - Kadoka, Beverly Berry - Kadoka, Lura Kirkpatrick of Midland.

Standing: Left to Right:  Jay Yohner – Martin, Michael Greegan – Martin, Marcy and Bart Ramsey –Philip,  Elizabeth King – White River, Carrie Weller – Kadoka, Caleb Crew – Philip, Holly Clement – Kadoka, Jud Huston – Kennebec, Diana Melvin – Ft. Pierre, Jim Berry – Kadoka, Brett Prang – Kadoka, Jason Schoch – Martin

Not Pictured: Emily Bull Bear – Kyle, Andrea Fanning – Martin, Austin Forney – Lakeside, NE, Patricia Hummond – Marting, Bruce McKee – White River, Virginia Mueller and Virgil Rust – Batesland, Charlie Prokop – Kadoka, Paul Roghair – Kadoka, Cristen Roghair – Okaton, Stephanie Sharp – Long Valley, David and Alaina Stangle - Philip, Brandon Vevig – Draper, David Hauck – Martin, Tami Mueller – Martin, Jewell Bork – Murdo


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011

Contact: Margaret Nachtigall , 605-342-0429

Stockgrowers Pleased with Brand Board Appointment

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association was pleased to learn that Scott Vance of Faith has been appointed to the State Brand Board. 

“We congratulate Scott Vance on this appointment and we are very much looking forward to working with him on the Brand Board,” said Kenny Fox, Stockgrowers President. “We also want to thank Governor Daugaard for appointing Scott to this Board.”

Vance is the co-owner and manager of Faith Livestock Commission Company and has been a strong advocate for the South Dakota livestock industry.  Vance will succeed Tom Conger of Buffalo Gap who has served on the Brand Board since 2004.  Conger served two 3-year terms on the board.


January 17, 2011

For more information contact Margaret Nachtigall at:

605-342-0429 or margaret.sdsga@midconetwork.com

www.southdakotastockgrowers.org

Stockgrowers Pleased with Governor’s Decision

The South Dakota Stockgrowers are very pleased to learn of Governor Daugaard's decision to move brand investigators to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation under the authority of the state Attorney General.

The Stockgrowers believe this move is good public policy. It will result in improved training for brand investigators and provide the opportunity for more efficient work force management. We believe this move will result in more successful prosecutions of brand law violations.

"This is a great move for South Dakota livestock producers who are protected by the brand inspection program." said Stockgrowers' President Kenny Fox. " South Dakota 's brand inspection program is an essential tool in safeguarding livestock against theft. Putting the brand investigators under the DCI will make those investigators more effective and that's good for producers."

Past President Ken Knuppe said "The Stockgrowers have promoted this change for many years and we are pleased to see Governor Daugaard take the initiative and institute this constructive public policy."


January 3, 2011

Agritourism Business Course Still Accepting Applications

Applications are still being accepted for an agritourism business planning course to be held in Kadoka.  The course is set to begin on Tuesday, January 11, and will meet every Tuesday for five consecutive weeks, ending on February 8.  Classes will be held in Kadoka alternating between Jiggers Restaurant and Club 27.  Enrollment for the course costs $100 and each additional person from the same family or business costs only $50.  Enrollment is limited to the first 35 applicants.

“Agritourism: Your next cash crop?” is a five day course designed to provide farmers and ranchers with the tools needed to successfully start or expand their own agritourism operations.  It is being offered by the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Badlands/South Central Enterprise Facilitation and the Badlands and South Central RC&D Councils.

“We are excited to offer this course in Kadoka, and there are still a few spots open in the class,” said Silvia Christen of the South Dakota Stockgrowers.  “If you’ve ever thought about starting an agritourism business like hunting, ranch vacations, trail rides or anything that might bring travelers out to your ranch, I’d really encourage you to take this class and develop your idea.”

To learn more about the course, or to enroll today, visit www.southdakotastockgrowers.org, or call the Badlands RC&D Council, (David Vinson) at 605-685-1239, ext 4 or South Central RC&D Council at 605-669-2404 ext. 4.

The Badlands/South Central Enterprise Facilitation is a project of the Badlands RC&D Council and the South Central RC&D Council serving Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Jones, Mellette, Shannon, Todd, and Tripp counties.  South Dakota Stockgrowers is a statewide organization that has worked for over 120 years to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry.