The South Dakota Cattleman | Beef Month 2024

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South Dakota Cattleman

The official publication of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association

Beef Month Edition

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Calendar of Events

May: Celebrate Beef Month!

May 30 - June 6: Young Cattlemen's Conference | CO, NE, OH, & Washington, D.C.

June 22: SDCA Board Meeting & South Daktoa Cattlemen's Foundation Prime Time Gala | Sioux Falls, SD

July 8 - 10: NCBA Summer Business Meeting | San Diego, CA

August 20 - 22: Dakota Fest | Mitchell, SD

Advertising Opportunities

The South Dakota Cattleman is published six times a year and sent to SDCA members including beef producers, beef industry supporters, property owners, allied industry partners, as well as state and local government officials with a circulation over 1,000.

Advertising deadline is the 5th of the month prior to publication�

The SDC A e-newsletter, The Cattle Guard, is emailed to all SDCA members every week� The Cattle Guard contains updates and news from SDCA, industry partners, and NCBA.

Follow us on our social media platforms to stay informed of the latest SDCA news, events, and information

To advance the interests of South Dakota Cattlemen through representation and promotion of the beef industry

To be an organization where members can work together to protect their interests; seek solutions to industry problems; provide a unified voice, and to build the good will, esteem, and recognition the industry deserves

South Dakota Cattlemen's Association In Every Issue From the Cattle Pen 4 The Cattleman's Outlook �������������������������������������������������������������� 9 The Vice President of Membership's Outlook ��������������������������� 27 SDCA Working for You ������������������������������������������������������������������� 24 Affiliate Spotlight: Sioux Basin Cattlemen's �������������������������������� 26 For the Cattlekids ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� 31 Features Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle ������������������������������������������ 6-7 Traceability: Beyond the Conspiracy �������������������������������������������� 10 Being a Good Neighbor in Good Times & Bad ������������������������� 11 Cyber Security in Agriculture 13 The Power of Partnership to Combat Food Insecurity ���������� 14-15 Member Spotlight: The Sanders Ranch ���������������������������������������� 16-17 From the Chairman's Desk ������������������������������������������������������������ 22 Farm Policy Updates for Livestock Producers �������������������������� 25 Association & Industry News 2024 Leopold Conservation Award Recipient �������������������������� 12 Meet Your South Dakota Beef Industry Council ����������������������� 18 The National Beef Checkoff ���������������������������������������������������������� 20-21 Managing a Legacy Ranch with the Allure of the West 28-29 sdcattlemen SDCattlemen
Mission Vision Magazine cover by
okay It's to not be okay. May is mental health month and the SDCA wants you to know that it's okay to not be okay. What's not okay is to keep it bottled up. Be a good neighbor and check on your neighbors. 24/7 Farm and Rural Stress Helpline: 1-800-866-4336 Helpline Center: dial 988

SDCA Leadership

Warren Symens, President

Craig Bieber, Vice President

Vaughn Thorstenson, Secretary/

Jake Harms, VP of Membership

Eric Jennings, Past President

Regional Representatives

Bryan Gill, Northern Region

Troy Hadrick, Northern Region

Drew Edleman, Northeast Region

Nick Wilkinson, Northeast Region

Colby Olson, Southeast Region

Austin Havlik, Southeast Region

Casey Heenan, Southern Region

Kory Bierle, Southern Region

Britton Blair, Western Region

Devin Stephens, Western Region

org Communications & Outreach org Ad Index Farm Credit Services of America Front Inside Cover Boa Safra Ag 8 South Dakota Beef Industry Council 18 Rush-Co 26 South Dakota Corn 27 Ward Laboratories, Inc 30 Pellett Technology USA 30 Endovac Back Inside Cover Liphatech Back Cover

From the Cattle Pen

The saying goes, “choose your friends carefully but don’t worry about your enemies, they will choose you ” Choosing the organizations and friends who speak for us and in support of us is never more important than it is now�

In late April, SDCA Vice President Craig Bieber and I attended the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Legislative Conference in Washington D C and advocated on behalf of SDCA members. Believe me, there were people there talking about everything under the sun during the busy season when people from around the country come to Washington D�C � to advocate for their cause � I ran into two gentlemen in town to speak to lawmakers about anesthesia and a lady who is in waste management� And somewhere amidst the mass of humanity, there were people speaking unfavorably about what folks like you and I do for a living, what our families have been doing successfully for generations� I’d stop short of calling them enemies for obvious reasons, but the point remains -- we don’t get to decide whether someone is organized against us�

Our pitch on behalf of SDCA, and as an affiliate of NCBA, focused mainly on Farm Bill issues and the need to get a bill done this year after putting it off last year�We weren’t asking for handouts for the cattle industry, we simply asked that the Farm Bill rules put every sector of agriculture on an even playing field, and we were certainly not stumping for a livestock title in the bill�

During our visits with Congressman Dusty Johnson, Senator John Thune, and Senator Mike Rounds, we discussed topics that center around conservation. Ranchers are often forced to compete with the government for grass, on federally managed lands and for programs as seemingly harmless as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Last year, SDCA pitched an idea that would assist landowners with fencing and water development and help young ranchers rent conservation acres without having to pay the high prices that CRP affords. The speed of bureaucracy in Washington D�C � left that idea languishing in a budget office somewhere. When any land is idled, the small towns and rural communities around them begin to die Fuel, fence, insurance, feed, and other inputs no longer needed to be sold on those acres Since conservation is the center of that conversation, the most important point to make is that cows are the solution � The cow completes the ecosystem involving grass, water infiltration, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat � Working lands including cattle are far more valuable than idle lands �

The week before taking the trip, we received word that

the National Agricultural Statistics Service plans to change which cattle numbers get reported – reporting numbers only once a year versus twice per year We communicated to our congressional delegation that this is concerning because the lack of reporting can have a ripple effect for producers � Futures, risk protection, and buying and selling decisions are often based on cattle numbers

Another important part of the conversation was traceability, which is a hot button issue right now The fact is, it’s not a matter of if there’s a catastrophic animal disease in cattle, it’s when� Trace back to the source should happen at the speed of communication, not the speed of paperwork� Our message was that a comprehensive program, funded through the USDA, would help prevent the closure of state and national borders to cattle, as well as, God forbid, the euthanizing of herds, like what has happened in the poultry industry The importance of the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank was also part of that discussion.

Our message to Congress concluded with a call to not gut the Farm Bill of Livestock Risk Protection. This subsidized risk protection program puts cattle producers on a closer to level playing field with other commodities and is a widely used risk management tool that protects farmers and ranchers�

You can be certain there are other groups speaking to our lawmakers trying to put programs and laws in place that would severely inhibit our ability to continue doing what we do Animal agriculture is often attacked as the culprit for what’s wrong with our food system and our climate�There are groups of people who propose to know what’s best, claim that none of the things I mentioned above are needed, and that our member organizations are not to be trusted� You can give anyone a microphone and a check, and they’ll stomp, holler, and whine about who’s doing you wrong Or, you can be an active part of a member organization that is built from the ground up, whose policies are decided by the folks out in the country putting their life’s work into their farms and ranches, so that one generation can continue to follow the previous� That’s sustainability, and that’s the true story of how we move our industry forward

SDCA and NCBA are at the forefront, speaking for their members through the leaders you’ve put in place, telling the truth to those who can affect policy and our livelihood� I’ve written before that a lie can travel around the world twice while the truth is tying its shoes � We’re speaking for you, because if we don’t, someone else will and they’ll spread a message that doesn’t have a leg to stand on

4 Beef Month

Allied Industry Members

Prime Members

Corporate Members

Choice Members

Select Members

Standard Members

Supporting Members

The South Dakota Cattleman 5
Aaladin Cleaning-Revier Pressure Washers Creative Ag Production Solutions, LLC Dakota National Bank Diesel Machinery, Inc DNB National Bank First Fidelity Bank For-Most Inc. Millborn Seeds OLS Tubs, Inc� Renner Corner Locker Ritchie Industries RockVeterinary Clinic SD Trucking Association Steele Financial Services, LLC The Nature Conservancy VIRBAC White Insurance P&C Inc.
3D Security, Inc Animal Clinic, Ltd - Winner Bankwest, Inc. - Pierre Bryant State Bank C-Lock, Inc Cattlecents Consulting, Inc Chase Consulting Deer Equipment De Smet Veterinary Service De-Tye Vet Supply, Inc Ed's Produce Farmers & Merchants State Bank Feldhaus Trucking, Inc First National Bank - Ft. Pierre Huron Veterinary Hospital Kingbrook Rural Water System, Inc. Lilac Lane Media Liphatech (Rozol) Lyle Signs Inc Moly Manufacturing LLC / SILENCER Montrose Veterinary Clinic NDEco Rivers Edge Bank Sioux International Sioux Nation, LLC Statewide Ag Insurance - Winner Summit Carbon Solutions US Premium Beef Y-Tex Corporation
Allied Industry Membership information available online at sdcattlemen�org
Agtegra Cooperative Central Farmers Cooperative Custom Genetic Solutions Dakota Ethanol, LLC Elanco Floyd's Truck Center / Floyd's Kubota Nutrient Advisors Rush-Co


A Tasty Tradition

The Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle shines a spotlight on the culinary creativity of downtown restaurants and attracts locals and visitors alike who eagerly await this annual mouthwatering event �

The first Burger Battle started with seven restaurants in January 2014, with the goal of revitalizing a usually quiet month in the restaurant industry with a lively and engaging event. Burgers were chosen as the focal point of the competition due to their widespread appeal and endless variety of flavors and styles. The simplicity of burgers also makes it easier for participants and judges to evaluate them

The competition has rapidly expanded to include 37 eateries that have enthusiastically embraced the Burger Battle tradition, serving up tasty burgers with a side of friendly competition. Restaurants participating in the battle must be members of Downtown Sioux Falls and are required to present a new burger creation for the competition, ensuring a fresh and exciting experience for attendees. Burger enthusiasts rate each burger on flavor, patty, toppings, bun, and presentation, assigning up to five points per category� The rating are all entered through the Downtown Sioux Falls Digital Passport on their smartphone � The burger with the highest average points at the conclusion of the battle is then declared the champion!

The community’s enthusiasm has been a driving force behind the Burger Battle’s success. With its growing popularity, the event attracts more participants and visitors each year, resulting in a substantial contribution to the economic impact of the Sioux Falls area. In 2024, the Burger Battle contributed an estimated $2�9 million of economic activity� This includes the revenue generated by participating restaurants, and the boost in foot traffic and business from both locals and visitors eager to sample the variety of burgers�

The Burger Battle supports the local agriculture industry by encouraging collaborations between restaurants and local producers� Many participating restaurants prioritize using locally sourced ingredients, such as South Dakota beef, in their burgers. Restaurants proudly highlight this local sourcing as a selling point when promoting their burger creations� The emphasis on local ingredients results in burgers that are not only delicious, but also thoughtful, highlighting a respect for quality ingredients and good food among consumers�

The Sioux Falls Downtown Burger Battle is celebrated tradition, showcasing the diverse culinary skills of local restaurants and promoting the vibrant food scene in the rea� It continues to grow and leave a lasting impact on the local community and economy, making it a mustattend event for burger enthusiasts throughout the state �


2024 DTSF Burger Battle Winner

Crawford’s Bar & Grill won the DTSF Burger Battle for the second consecutive year� The winning burger, The Gold Standard, was served on a ciabatta bun crusted with smoked mozzarella cheese and featured a 6-ounce prime beef patty with jalapeno bacon, boursin cheese, peppadew jam, crispy onion straws, homemade ginger pickles and arugula tossed with spicy vinaigrette �

“In total, Crawford’s has participated in the Burger Battle for eight years. Our process changes from year to year, but we try to find something that inspires us,” said Daniel Myers, Crawford’s Bar & Grill General Manager and Executive Chef. “The number of new faces we see at the restaurant is amazing and a lot of them become regular customers�”


participating restaurants marks the highest particpation in burger battle history� burger brawlers that tasted and rated all 37 restaurant entries�

Remedy Brewing Company had the highest single location burger sales of

burgers sold, with 3,647 burgers sold at Crawford's Bar & Grill.

The South Dakota Cattleman 7


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At Boa Safra, we have a team that works on Soil Fertility Load reports daily, and we work with landowners like you across the country.


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The Cattleman's Outlook

Craig Bieber, Vice President

In the whirlwind of farm and ranch life, finding time for essential tasks can feel like a challenge Yet, amidst the chaos, it's crucial for us as officers to prioritize engagements that impact our livelihoods as cattle producers and members of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA).

This spring,I had the privilege of representing SDCA at two meetings, each offering invaluable insights into the issues shaping our industry

In March, I attended the South Dakota Grasslands Summit, a gathering of diverse organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving our prairie ecosystems � The presentations, particularly those by Lyle Perman and Anthony Bly, shed light on the economic implications of grasslands management� It became clear that advocating for policies that support grassland retention is paramount to ensuring the longevity of our industry I urge those interested in delving deeper into this topic to explore the recordings available on

April brought the opportunity to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Legislative Conference, where I, along with fellow SDCA members, engaged with congressional representatives, including Congressman Dusty Johnson and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds. Our discussions covered critical issues such as the Farm Bill, animal disease traceability, and vaccine bank funding� I was heartened by the receptiveness of Senator Rounds and his staff, who emphasized the importance of our presence in Washington, especially during the "fly-in season" when so many groups are in town to advocate for their industry

During our trip to Washington, D C , representing the SDCA, an incident occurred that warrants discussion � Amidst the flurry of meetings and discussions, a seemingly innocuous event took an unexpected turn, shedding light on the challenges we face as advocates for the cattle industry�

In one meeting, we took a photo, which was subsequently posted on Senator Thune's Facebook page While the intent was to capture a moment of engagement and collaboration,the aftermath

revealed a troubling comment that struck a chord with me � called cowboys" were seeking funds for RFID ear tags/ chips in all U.S. cattle. This statement reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues at hand� It's disheartening to encounter individuals who dismiss the perspectives and contributions of those within the cattle industry, simply because they disagree with certain policies or proposals�

To provide context, USDA has been considering regulation related to animal identification, including variations on the use of Electronic Identification (EID) tags. It's essential to recognize that such proposals undergo rigorous debate and consideration, with input from various stakeholders, including organizations like SDCA �

It's worth noting that SDCA's position on these matters has been misrepresented by certain groups who fail to grasp the policymaking process� Contrary to these misinterpretations, our goal is not to blindly advocate for any particular policy but to engage in constructive dialogue and seek consensus that aligns with the interests of our members and the industry as a whole �

In our meetings on Capitol Hill, we were encouraged to continue to amplify our voices We were reminded of the importance of clarity and unity within our community� Moving forward, I am committed to ensuring that our perspectives are heard loud and clear, and that misrepresentations are addressed with facts and understanding�

As advocates for the cattle industry, it's imperative that we stand united, despite differing opinions, and work towards solutions that benefit our industry's future.Together, we can navigate the complexities of policymaking and advocate for policies that uphold the interests of cattle producers across the state and beyond�

If you'd like to discuss these topics further or have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email or text. Your input and engagement are invaluable as we work towards a brighter future for South Dakota's cattle producers -- both members and nonmembers alike�

The South Dakota Cattleman 9
Bieber, fellow South Dakotan, Audrey Cope with Thune's office, and Symens. Bieber, Senator Thune, and Symens.

Traceability: Beyond the Conspiracy

We have all heard the saying “can’t see the forest for all the trees” used when we focus on one or two of the parts that make up an issue and overlook the bigger picture. I think the recent flurry of interest in the traceability issue is a good example of that. Don’t get me wrong, the particulars of the proposed traceability program are important� Having a secure place to store the data, identifying which cattle are going to be required to have an electronic identification tag, and knowing who will be responsible for the cost, are all important to producers. But we are spending so much time dissecting and complaining about the program that we are losing sight of what is important What is important is that we have an animal traceability program that quickly and efficiently tracks cattle movements from state to state so that when we need to contact trace their movement, we can limit exposure to the nations cow herd� As an industry, we should be working together to accomplish that goal instead of exploiting individual parts of it to generate negative feelings in the program��

There seems to be no shortage of conspiracy theories surrounding the use of EID for a national identification program� Some of my favorites include the fear that the packers, the government, or other entities will gain the ability to know how many cattle there are and where they are � One theory is that data collected and stored from EID will be used by to estimate greenhouse gas emissions and then cull cattle where emissions are high� Other conspiracy theorists claim that having EID will allow the packers to know the age and class of cattle in the nation and then use that information to anticipate the future supply of fat cattle several years down the road The theorists seem to ignore the fact that we all already have access to survey data that identifies the current number of cattle and

their location� We can see the number of heifers being slaughtered which gives us a good idea of future numbers We also currently have the technology to count the number of cows in a pasture by taking an aerial photo of the cows and using computer software to count the cows in the photo� EID isn’t going to provide a new opportunity to track cattle inventory out on pasture � The ability to determine cattle inventory has been around a few years and apparently isn’t posing a threat to the cattle industry�

Forgotten in this discussion is the fact that we already have a national identification system, it is just not using the most current and best technology available When your heifers are vaccinated for brucellosis, the tag numbers are reported to the state Animal Industry Board (AIB). Putting in an EID brucellosis tag instead of a metal tag isn’t going to change that�

Those of us who ranch in South Dakota benefit from having a very good AIB. Unfortunately, producers in some other states don’t have the opportunity to work with a government agency that is as efficient and that they can trust with the data Having consistent data and protocols would improve a nationally administered program Again, I remind you, we currently have a mandatory national identification program that uses Bangs tags, back tags, brands, or tattoos to identify cattle and trace their movements. EID as the official identification method makes the program more accurate and efficient. It doesn’t create another layer of control from the federal government�

Cattle move far more than they used to, people travel far more than they used to and the diseases are getting more complex. The threat of catastrophic disease exposure is increasing and we need to be ready for it when an outbreak happens� Let’s quit complaining, stop fostering the conspiracy theories, and start working together to get it done �

Being a Good Neighbor in Good Times & BAd

Five in the last 30 days That’s not a calving statistic on a local ranch That’s the number of farmers/ranchers who have died by suicide in the region It’s a number that is far too high� How do we stop the number from going higher?

We may ask ourselves, why are suicides happening? It’s a time where finances have been good for many farmers and ranchers. But we all know that’s not the only thing causing the hurt� The stress of partnerships, our home lives, weather, illness and more can be more impactful than the rest of the world can see � Those dark moments can be overcome, but a compilation of them is what may add up to a devastating end

Ask “how are you” and mean it. We all have superfluous chitchat at the coffee shop, the sale barn or out our pickup windows on a dusty road. When we ask “how are you”, mean it. Realize that when you ask, someone may need to tell you, their truth � If your friend or neighbor asks you “how are you”, are you ready to answer? It’s time to BE ready to answer If your friend is asking, looking you in the eye, they want to know and are ready to hear your answer

Silence – be the listener.

We’re talkers. We like to share related experiences or stories when in a conversation� After asking “how are you”, is the time to sit back and listen to the other person� It’s very hard to do! It’s even harder to hold ourselves quiet as we allow others to speak. But silence is powerful. Someone will feel the need to break it and if you allow it, the other person feels empowered to speak and share They now feel you’re listening, ready to hear them and focused This is the avenue of strength one needs to share their story

Normalize their fear and sadness. Our listening attitude makes all the difference � As the listener, we want to show respect to the individual who is hurting. We want to respect their feelings, experiences, and personal values�Above all, we want them to understand that their feelings are normal. We’re not the experts but we all realize that what someone is thinking is their norm� I had a farmer tell me, “I’m not trained to help When my buddy called and told me he was thinking of jumping off his grain bin, I warned him that wasn’t a good idea With his luck lately, he’d just hurt himself badly�” A professional would never recommend this approach but

we’re not professionals! We are however, those who care We want more than anything to let our friends know that it’s okay to tell us what is really on their minds

Above all, we have to reciprocate � Are we ready to say what’s truly on our minds too? When I’m having a rough day, I hesitate to pick up the phone and tell those who I know would listen� I rationalize that their day is already full, they don’t need me to burden them� The reality is, they’re waiting to hear my call and help�They want nothing more than the chance to help me smile again� It’s a big hurdle to jump; making it normal to ask for help. But it’s a hurdle we can jump and safely land on the other side

Ask open ended questions.

“How are you?” is a question that rolls off your tongue rather easily� After that and you can see the hurt in your friends, what will you ask next? Let’s try these:

• What’s on your mind?

• I noticed you are having a bad day� What’s causing it?

• Would it be okay if I just hang out here a bit and see what you might be thinking?

• What makes you think you shouldn’t be here?

• I have the contact information for someone who can help� Can I help you call them?

Make eye contact.

Your nonverbal communications will help encourage the other person to talk as well as increase their comfort level� Smile, nod, and ask for clarification to be sure you’re as focused on listening as they are focused on sharing their concern with you�

Recognize that it won't be easy.

Reading tips makes it seem easy...until you’re in the situation The conversation will be hard and you will be uncomfortable � That’s okay� Your end goal is for the other person find the help they need. That might be you listening, giving them a phone number to call or simply riding in their tractor buddy seat a couple of times so they know someone is ready to support them�

Not everyone will want to talk but this is a steady walk not a sprint to success�

Please remember Depression + Anxiety don’t always = suicide. Instead, Friends + kindness = healing.

The South Dakota Cattleman 11

South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award Recipient

Blioux River Ranch

The Leopold Conservation Award honors ranchers, farmers, and landowners who go above and beyond in their management of soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on working land� The Sand County Foundation and national sponsor American Farmland Trust present the Leopold Conservation Award to private landowners in 23 states for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation In South Dakota, the award is presented in partnership with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition.

The 2024 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award recipient is Blioux River Ranch in Hamlin county. Father and son, Barry and Eli Little, prioritize soil health on their 1,600 acres of cropland and 800 acres of pastures�

Over the past few decades, Blioux River Ranch has taken incremental steps to look beyond conservation and focus on regeneration� A variety of conservation practices have produced environmental and economic benefits through better crop yields, and less fertilizer and herbicide usage and expense.

Blioux River Ranch runs about 500 head of beef cattle and rotationally grazes the herd on pastureland and cropland � Their grazing practices demonstrateshow integrating livestock benefits the soil structure, water quality, and habitat, which results in prosperous yields and overall production enhancement �

Congratualtions to Blioux River Ranch! We look forward to sharing your story over the next year!

12 Beef Month 2024
Inter-seeded corn at BRR. Barry & Eli Little Brood Mix Habitat Cow/calf pairs on diverse pastures.

Cyber Security in Agriculture

Spring is a busy time in the life of livestock producers� Calving season is often well underway, grass is beginning to green up, cattle are being turned out onto pasture, acres are being seeded, and the list of tasks requiring attention seemingly grow every day For most producers, one task that is likely not on any priority list is brushing up on cybersecurity principles

Advances in technology have seen many new sensorbased technologies commercially available for beef cattle producers. These tools can range in complexity from simple cell phone apps to advanced precision systems that alter grazing distribution on the landscape or target feed to individual animals� Though there are many potential benefits to integrating technology into operations, such as automating tasks and improving work life balance, they are not without their challenges The growing digitalization of food production systems and the increased prevalence of smart phones mean farmers and ranchers are increasingly connected to the digital world�

As internet connected sensors and data systems become more widely adopted, the potential threat increases for bad actors to hack vulnerable technologies and gain access to producer data or manipulate the technologies themselves to generate false data or disable technologies

An FBI notification indicated that ransomware attacks have increasingly targeted the food and agriculture sector, with the average ransomware attack doubling from 2019 to 2020 and the largest ransom demands exceeding $20 million USD.

From 2018 to May 2023, ransomware attacks hit 157 food, beverage, and agriculture organizations, with high profile attacks impacting the beef supply chain�Though these attacks may seem to only target large or medium organizations, individual farms and ranches are also susceptible to cyberattacks. Below is an overview of common threats and steps producers can take today to help protect themselves:

Phishing scams are the most common way hackers gain access to systems� Phishing scams are when hackers use fake emails, text messages, or phone calls to trick their victims. These can often take the form of emails or texts from a trusted source (bank, Amazon, US Postal Service) that alert the user of suspicious activity on their accounts or undelivered packages� These can contain links to fake websites that seek to steal confidential information from

users (passwords, credit card information). Steps to protect yourself include recognizing and deleting suspicious emails, not clicking on suspicious links or attachments, and updating software automatically on computers and cell phones�

Social engineering is like phishing scams in they attempt to get people to give up sensitive information they wouldn’t normally share � These attacks can pose as a government authority (e.g. IRS) or trusted individuals and often induce a sense of urgency� Attackers can often gather background information on victims using publicly shared information on social media, which can be leveraged against the victim�

Fake websites are often created by scammers to steal personal information from users These can be websites made to look identical to trusted websites (bank) or fake online stores with too good to be true deals advertised on social media� With these sites make sure to check the domain name closely, look for a padlock symbol in the web address on your browser, look for misspellings or design issues that may be red flags �

Password security are practices for verifying identity and restricting access to devices and accounts � Using multi-factor authentication such as receiving a one-time code texted to your cell phone to log into accounts, not reusing the same password for multiple sites, and using long and complex passwords are ways users can protect themselves � Password managers can be used to organize your passwords across multiple websites �

Training on cyber security threats such as phishing scams, social engineering, website security, password security, public networks use, and software updates are often lacking for independently employed producers � SDSU Extension is currently developing curriculum and outreach materials for agricultural producers to provide basic training on cybersecurity principles to help safeguard against potential threats� This will include training on identifying phishing or social engineering scams, utilizing muti-factor authentication, automatically installing software updates and patches on connected devices, and regularly backing up data� Understanding the types of threats and best practices to protect your operation will be essential as to safeguarding data and sensors within an ever-connected world �

The South Dakota Cattleman 13

The Power of Partnership to

Every June, South Dakota cattlemen, cattlewomen, and the public eagerly anticipate the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation (SDCF) Prime Time Gala. It’s an evening dedicated to giving, reconnecting, and celebrating� At the very heart, the Prime Time Gala represents the partnership between SDCF and Feeding South Dakota, shining a light against food insecurity in the state � This collaboration, driven by mutual values and commitment to statewide welfare, has positively impacted countless South Dakotans

The Prime Time Gala plays a pivotal role in the partnership. This fiscal year alone, the event raised funds to purchase over 160,000 pounds of beef� Since the beginning of their partnership, they’ve provided over 1 � 5 million pounds of beef to South Dakotans through Feeding South Dakota’s programs, ensuring access to nutritious protein�

Guests have often shared with Feeding South Dakota that when the grocery budget is tight, animal protein and fresh produce are often the first items they cut from their grocery lists The partnership’s provision of nutritious food is invaluable � Stacy Andernacht, Feeding South Dakota’s Marketing and Communications Director emphasized the importance of donations as food prices rise � “Our team diligently maximizes every dollar spent on food.We carefully consider the pounds of beef we can secure, which Feeding

South Dakota programs receive the beef, and the counties benefitting from these donations.” The Prime Time Gala’s contributions reach Feeding South Dakota’s agency partners across all 66 counties, making a substantial difference in protein availability� Without the partnership with SDCF, it wouldn’t be possible to purchase the same amount of protein�

The impact of the partnership extends beyond numbers. The Prime Time Gala event serves as an educational platform to thousands of individuals about hunger in our state The event demonstrates how a committed group of individuals can bolster Feeding South Dakota’s efforts to combat hunger� “The more South Dakotans know about the experiences of their neighbors facing hunger, the greater our opportunity is to build understanding, compassion, and supporters,” said Andernacht �

The partnership between the SDCF and Feeding South Dakota exemplifies the power of collaboration in addressing food insecurity Through their combined efforts, they offer not only nourishment, but hope to individuals and families across South Dakota� As the state continues to face food-related challenges, this partnership stands a testament to what can be achieved when communities, organizations, and neighbors unite for a shared purpose �

“The partnership with South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation has had a tremendous impact on the state. More than 1.5 million pounds of beef has been provided to South Dakotans in need, ensuring a nutritious protein option for the guests of Feeding South Dakota’s programs.”

Lori Dykstra CEO of Feeding South Dakota

to Combat Food Insecurity

Insights Agency Partners from

"Ground beef is the highest requested item each year by our guests. It is healthy, easy to prepare, and versatile. It’s also one of the more expensive grocery items, so it helps lessen the food budget burden on our guests."

– Michelle Nelson

Feeding Brookings

"Many of our guests are seniors on a fixed income, veterans rebuilding their lives after struggling with addiction, and families with limited budgets. All of our clients depend on the pantry for staples for nutritious meals every month, and beef makes a significant contribution to fulfilling their needs."

– Kay Birkholt

Pantry Manager for Hot Springs Ministerial Association and

"Patients that are seen at the Specialty Clinic have numerous medical diagnoses and having ground beef available helps ensure they are getting the necessary protein they need in their diet. Our clinic has seen parents being tearful when receiving not only the food items but the frozen meat. Parents are grateful when hearing that our pantry has access to beef to make a more balanced meal."

– Elisha Nelson

Medical Social Work at Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic

"The comments we receive from the majority of our 285 families that rely on our food pantry each month, deal with meat products. Families receive 1-2 pounds of ground beef monthly. We could not offer ground beef to families if it were not available from Feeding SD. – George Vansco, Board President of Spearfish Community Pantry."

-George Vansco

Board President of Spearfish Community Pantry

The South Dakota Cattleman 15

The Sanders Ranch

A Family Legacy

The Sanders Ranch is a multi-generation cow/calf operation, east of Oral, SD, about an hour south of Rapid City. Nestled in a pocket sheltered from the wind, the ranch enjoys a temperate climate in the Southern Black Hills.The operation expanded over the years to include irrigated farm ground where corn and alfalfa are raised. The Sanders Ranch is a family affair� Carl and his wife Kari oversee the operation along with their three children All three kids have become integral to the operation and look forward to a future in the family business Megan is a sophomore at South Dakota State Unviersity (SDSU), Kyle is a high school senior, and Ray is a freshman in high school. Kari is the County Executive Director at the Fall River/Custer County Farm Service Agency office and helps as much as she can during her weekends off. Carl’s parents, Russ and Peggy, also play a role in the operation. Russ helps gather, work cows/calves, and chops ice during calving season � Peggy completes parts runs and is on lunch duty, keeping the crew fed well

Following graduating from SDSU, newlyweds Carl and Kari had the opportunity to lease a ranch that bordered Russ and Peggy’s operation� Carl ran some of his own cows alongside the lease owner’s cows, on shares� Over time he took steps to grow the ranch into what it is today� In 2011, Carl and Kari purchased Carl’s parent's cows and began leasing their pasture ground� In 2014, Carl and Kari purchased the share cows along with the United States Forsest Service (USFS) grasslands permit that went along with the ranch they were leasing The Sanders also became members of the Pioneer Grazing Association, working with other producers

to obtain grazing agreements from the USFS� In 2015, the vast majority of the leased ranch was purchased� In the meantime, they added a couple of additional pieces of land that tie into the place �The connected pastures on the ranch means they don’t have to haul cows from pasture to pasture�

Carl sells his steer calves in late October right off the cow through a private treaty The steers have been going to the same buyer for 22 out of the last 23 years The heifer calves are weaned at the same time and are turned out to graze corn stalks and alfalfa stubble until December� Around the first of the year, the heifers are sorted where a string of replacement heifers are kept and the remaining heifers are sold through private treaty or the sale barn�

The Sanders family has a history of service and leadership in agriculture and the cattle industry� Kari, a graduate of the South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership (SDARL) Program, served on South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) as a representative of the South Dakota Cattlemens Auxillary. Carl’s passion for the beef industry as well as a desire to give back and promote our great beef product drove him to become involved too� Carl is an active member of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association� He served on the board as a regional vice president, and later served as the SDCA Secretary Treasurer for two terms� Three years ago, Carl was selected to serve on the SDBIC as a representative of SDCA. Carl is currently serving as the SDBIC Vice President and will serve as president starting in the fall of 2026

To Carl, serving on the SDBIC means that he was placed in a position of trust to manage producer’s Beef Checkoff dollars. There is lot of misunderstanding about what Beef Checkoff dollars are delegated to do and the process that takes place when deciding what is the best use of the collected dollars All funds collected on behalf of the Beef Checkoff are split in half with the first half going straight to the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the second half staying in the state� If cattle from South Dakota are sold in a different state, the Beef Checkoff dollars make their way back to South Dakota. The Beef Checkoff is set up to assist in the areas of research, education, and promotion of the beef industry� A few programs where the SDBIC designates funds include the United States Meat Export Federation and the Build Your Base Program. The Build Your Base Program was created through the SDBIC as a beef promotion program focused on nutrition for athletes of all ages. Since its founding, the Build Your Base Program has sparked the interest of high school, college, professional, and Olympic athletes across the nation� The SDBIC also partners with other states to increase promotion and education efforts to consumers� Partnerships

with states such as New York take place because they have lower funds due to the smaller amount of cows but have a significantly higher population to educate about the beef industry.“My goal for the SDBIC is to keep pushing forward to promote a great product We have a great bunch of people on the board who each have their own opinions and areas of expertise. By collaborating and working together we can accomplish what we set out to do,” Carl explains.

The next generation on the Sanders Ranch are leaders in their own right� Megan is actively involved in state FFA, recently serving as the state Vice President � She isalso active in the SDSU Colligiate Cattlemen’s organization and SDCA as a part time staffer. Kyle and Ray are involved in 4-H, FFA, and have both participated in the SD Junior Beef Ambassador Program, a program that gives student the opportunity to share their beef story as part of consumer promotions across the state �

The South Dakota Cattleman 17
Carl, Kari, Megan, Ray, and Kyle. Thank
you to Megan Sanders for contributing to this article.


A trusted partnership keeping demand strong for more than 35 years. We’re committed to creating new opportunities that add more value to your ranch. Your Beef Checkoff... of U.S. farms and ranches are familyowned and operated. Thank you for your commitment to continuing the beef story for generations to come. 90% Scan to learn more



Beef Industry Council

The South Dakota Beef Industry Council is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations.

Gary Deering President

Carl Sanders Vice President

Chris Effling, Highmore

VeaBea Thomas, Harrold

Amy Blum, Chamberlain

Kent VanderWal Treasurer

Marshall Edleman, Willow Lake

Carl Sanders, Oral

Todd Mortenson, Hayes

Kelsey Geraets, Humboldt

Laurie Johnson, South Shore

Emily Peterson, Highmore

Josh Geigle, Wall

Kent VanderWal, Bruce

Mike Gebhart, Meadow

Christina Christensen, Kimball

Casey Perman, Mobridge

Justin Tupper, St. Onge

Becky Littau, Winner

Danielle Kartak, Colome

Erin Yost, Gann Valley

David Reis, Oacoma

Eric Sumption, Frederick

Lance Perrion, Ipswich

Gary Deering, Hereford

Les Shaw, White Owl

Randy Volmer, Owanka

The South Dakota Cattleman 19

In the 1970s and early 1980s, several factors to declining beef demand in the United States Whether it was product inconsistencies, new low-fat/anti-red-meat diets, or safety concerns and disease outbreaks, several large public relations issues went relatively unanswered from an industry with many small organizational voices, but no common “strong arm” or “unified voice.” The U.S. beef industry lost nearly half of its ranches in less than one decade �The remaining beef producers banded together, asking for a solution to plummeting beef demand

A long-term solution

The Beef Checkoff was created as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. Congress provided the outline for a program that would gather $1 from beef farmers, ranchers and importers every time one head of cattle was sold during its lifetime throughout the United States � These dollars collected, according to the law, would only be used for promoting and researching beef, and driving demand for beef and beef products among consumers Seventy-nine percent of producers voted to make the Checkoff mandatory in a 1988 national referendum�

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) was created immediately following the referendum.The CBB currently has 101 members representing nearly every state and beef importers Each beef-producing board member is nominated to the USDA by state producer organizations and is appointed to the CBB for a three-year term by the U S Secretary of Agriculture

The number of Cattlemen’s Beef Board members is based on the number of cattle in the state or region; 500,000 head for the first board member and an additional member for each additional 1 million head of cattle

Collections and Investments

Annually, the Beef Checkoff brings in nearly $80 million to support promotion and research projects on a national and state level� Half of the money collected by state beef councils – 50 cents of every dollar – is invested at home in the state where the animal is sold� Producers on each state beef council board determine how that 50 cents should be invested in local and state programs, invested in another state’s programming

Members of state boards can also decide to invest a portion of their 50 cents into national programs This investment by a state is given to the Federation of State Beef Councils, whose board of producers chosen by their states determines which national programs receive these funds�

The National Beef How it works &

Committees and Contractors

Beef Checkoff is guided by producers throughout the U.S. to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Beef Industry Long Range Plan. Checkoff committee members from the CBB and the Federation of State Beef Councils collaborate together to drive demand for beef. Producer leaders on the CBB with backgrounds in cow/calf, feeder, stocker, veal, dairy, and imports oversee the investment of Checkoff funds� Each member has the responsibility of serving on committees with specific functions.

The Beef Checkoff program committees and working groups are formed based on the strategies identified in the Long Range Plan; consumer trust, export growth, innovation, investor relations, market research, nutrition and health and safety� These committees review Checkoff work and make recommendations to the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which ultimately makes program and contractor funding decisions

Approved contractors then develop plans and programs in the areas of promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications�

One example is the popular series of programs funded by the Checkoff through one of these contractors is the “ Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner �” campaigns and platforms, which promote beef to consumers �

The Checkoff also has two additional joint committees with members of the CBB and Federation – the Beef Promotion Operating Committee and the Checkoff Evaluation Committee � Members of Beef Checkoff program committees and working groups are split evenly with 20 members from the CBB and 20 members representing the Federation of State Beef Councils – the Beef Industry Council’s successor organization.This split reflects both national and state priorities and helps the Beef Checkoff spend dollars more effectively and efficiently

The Beef Promotion Operating Committee has 20 members, 10 of whom are elected to serve by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, while the other 10 are selected by the states through the Federation of State Beef Councils. No program is approved unless two-thirds of the members of the Operating Committee vote to accept it This means a program must have recognized value to earn the consensus

20 Beef Month

Beef Checkoff

& What it Does

needed for funding

There are two administrative committees under the CBB: Executive and Budget and Audit. Committees under the CBB administer matters related to the Beef Promotion Research Act and Order.

Checks and Balances

To ensure Checkoff funds are being spent appropriately, each month, the CBB Chief Financial Officer (CFO) receives original bank information and compares it to the activity in the CBB accounting records. This includes a review of images of checks that cleared the bank account and verification of the total inflows and outflows on the bank statement and the accounting records � Procedures in place at CBB’s bank require authorization of electronic transfers out of CBB accounts by two CBB staff members. The CFO and the chief accountant require documentation of this authorization before recording the transfer in accounting records. They direct that all money due to CBB be mailed directly to CBB’s bank and deposited by the bank to ensure that all collections are deposited directly into CBB’s account, without passing through any staff or other hands. Occasionally, however, CBB receives a check in the mail at the CBB office. For these situations, procedures are in place requiring that all mail is opened by two nonaccounting staff members together� These staff members also log any checks received prior to handing them to the CFO for deposit via a mobile bank-deposit application �

CBB segregates the recording of incoming assessments in its accounting records as part of its oversight of assessment collections Involving at least two staff members reduces the risk of error or misappropriation of checkoff assessments. CBB reconciles incoming assessments recorded in the accounting records with assessments recorded via custom collection software and bank statements to ensure that all reports of revenue and collection activity are complete and accurate. CBB monitors the Board’s property and equipment by performing an annual fixed-asset count and verification of all assets. To protect the Board against unauthorized or inappropriate expenditures and to comply with the Act and Order – and USDA’s guidelines for checkoff programs – CBB requires detailed receipts for expense reimbursement to

staff and Beef Board members for items greater than $30.

Get involved with your Checkoff Checkoff committee members make significant decisions for the Beef Checkoff and the industry; that’s why the CBB encourages producers across the U�S� to get involved in the process� All Checkoff meetings are open for producers to attend, with upcoming meetings and teleconferences listed at To become a member of the board, a producer should work with a certified nominating organization to become nominated, then appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The Beef Checkoff is a program built by producers for producers and is strengthened by those involved who lend their voices, thoughts and ideas�

The South Dakota Cattleman 21

From the Chairman's Desk

U.S. Representative and House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson

For nearly three years,I traveled across the country to hear from farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers, rural communities, and everyday consumers. Their message was clear: they need the government to work for them, not against them

Our nation’s producers have struggled with fractured supply chains, considerable input costs, relentless inflation, natural disasters,volatile markets,and labor shortages,each consistently worsened by ill-conceived, half-baked Executive action.

A 2024 Farm Bill is the best opportunity that exists to course correct, including commonsense improvements to the farm safety net

Our nation’s farm safety net is essential to America’s cattle farms� It includes a critical suite of livestock disaster programs like the Livestock Forage Program (LFP), the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm Raised Fish (ELAP), as well as other valuable tools like the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) and Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) insurance products. Title I safety net programs, like the Price Loss Coverage program (PLC), provide critical stability in the face of long-term price declines for the farmers and ranchers who grow corn, soy, wheat, and other crops that livestock growers use as feed �

However, the current policies were designed in the 2014 Farm Bill using 2012 cost of production data. Today, the combination of spiking input costs and outdated policy has rendered many safety net programs ineffective � As a result, Congress has returned to the cycle of providing unbudgeted ad hoc assistance, totaling an amount in excess of the entire Title I 10-year baseline in just the past six years. While the assistance has been a godsend for many producers who would not have been able to remain in business otherwise, it has also been riddled with burdensome delays and has been increasingly subject to the whims of the unelected bureaucracy at USDA� Our farmers and ranchers deserve better. Now is our time to rebuild that safety net in a manner that protects both our producers and the taxpayer.

Additionally, foreign animal diseases, such as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), African swine fever (ASF), and foot and mouth disease (FMD) pose catastrophic threats to the livestock industry, trading relations, and product availability for consumers� This is why we must

protect and enhance the animal health programs and vaccine bank that were funded in the most recent farm bill

The National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), and National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), commonly referred to as the three-legged stool, provide vital funding to projects that enhance prevention, preparedness, detection, and response to the most damaging animal disease threats� The three-legged stool is the best insurance plan we have to mitigate these threats, which is why we are working to increase funds for all three programs in the upcoming farm bill

Unfortunately, cattlemen know too well the bureaucratic red tape created for the sake of “climate-smart” practices� The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a partisan exercise spearheaded by Washington elites ignorant of the American producer’s needs, spent billions to achieve one-sided,“climate goals”, and more recently, legislators have angled to eliminate eligibility for livestock producers altogether� These dollars, riddled with climate sideboards and Federal bureaucracy, should be repurposed toward programs and policies that empower the original conservationists—farmers, ranchers, and producers

While the road to farm bill passage is always unique, I see a path forward� I have spent months advocating for a plan to pay for the litany of bipartisan priorities that together, can create an effective farm bill� That bill will provide our citizens and the world with reliable access to abundant and affordable food, fiber, and energy resources. The farm bill is also an opportunity to advance our country’s independence, economic resiliency, and global competitiveness, an opportunity that will require leaders in Congress to set aside politics and focus on policymaking Washington, D.C. is filled with rhetoric and armchair pundits. People go out of their way to work against you� Folks think a Farm Bill is impossible.That politics will prevail over good policy�That the dysfunction surrounding us has consumed us�

Every comment like this intensifies my commitment to American farmers and ranchers: I am on your side. I am your champion. And I will never stop fighting for you.

22 Beef Month

Farm Policy Updates for Livestock Producers

Farm Bill legislation is passed typically every five years, and the programs in the bill impact crop and livestock producers. The 2018 Farm Bill expired in December 2023, and a one-year stopgap measure was passed in November 2023�Without the passage of stop-gap measures, programs funded through mandatory funding, such as crop subsidy programs, would expire and revert to 1940s law. This means a new Farm Bill is needed by the end of 2024.

There are twelve sections in the 2018 Farm Bill called titles1:

• Title 1: Commodities

Title 1I: Conservation

• Title III: Trade

• Title IV: Nutrition

• Title V: Credit

• Title VI: Rural Development

• Title VII: Research, Extension, and Related Matters

• Title VIII: Forestry

• Title IX: Energy

• Title X: Horticulture

• Title XI: Crop Insurance

• Title XII: Miscellaneous (includes livestock production and support for beginning farmers and ranchers).

The baseline is a projection provided by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that provides a glimpse of what future spending for mandatory Farm Bill programs looks like if the current law continues� All proposed changes to the Farm Bill are measured against the baseline projections.2 Chart 1 (below) shows the CBO Baseline projections for mandatory Farm Bill programs as of February 2024.The most significant portion of the baseline is for Title IV- Nutrition programs, such as SNAP, followed by crop insurance, commodity programs, and conservation�

While there is no specific title for livestock in the Farm Bill, there are multiple programs within the titles for

livestock producers� The programs are mainly focused on supplemental disaster relief, detection and prevention of animal diseases, and livestock insurance products supported by Farm Bill funding. As a result, South Dakota livestock producers should keep a close eye on the Farm Bill and other policy-related topics that could affect their operations�

Spending on agriculture has increased outside of the Farm Bill in recent years, especially on conservation and climatesmart agriculture programs � The Climate Commodity Corporation (CCC), which is a government-owned entity authorized to assist agricultural producers by funding loans, purchases, payments, and materials required for the production and marketing of commodities, has also been used to fund programs outside the Farm Bill. One example of a recent program funded by the CCC is the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program that is providing over $3 1 billion for 141 projects to provide technical assistance, quantification, verification, and development of markets for climate-smart commodities, which are commodities produced using climate-smart agricultural practices4. Some examples of climate-smart practices the USDA lists for livestock are waste, feed, and pasture and range management. Selected examples of practices are composting, anaerobic digestors, waste separation facilities, prescribed burning, pasture and hay planting, and prescribed grazing5�

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 included $40 billion in appropriations for agriculture, forestry, and rural development6. Half of this money ($20 billion) is appropriated for conservation and technical assistance for farmers through CSP, EQIP, the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Money has also recently been invested in conservation grazing education � The USDA announced $22 million in partnerships to increase conservation practices on grazing lands and provide technical assistance to farmers7� The program is called the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI), and projects are required to address one or more priorities related to local natural resource concerns, climate-smart agriculture, underserved communities, quantification and verification of conservation benefits from grazing management, and utilization of indigenous traditional ecological knowledge5 Throughout 2024, the Farm Bill and spending outside the Farm Bill will be a topic to watch for producers.

The South Dakota Cattleman 23
Source: Congressional Budget Office 3
Footnotes found on page 32.

SDCA Working for You

Taya Runyan, SDCA Executive Director

March Board of Directors Meeting

The second quarterly board meeting was held via zoom on March 13th In addition to regular business, the board discussed upcoming events including Region Roundup meetings. The association began holding region meetings in 2022 and the events continue to grow as a way to provide updates from the state office in combination with trainings, educational seminars, and social events. The 2024 Region Roundup events will take place across South Dakota this summer and into early fall� More information about these events will be posted on the SDCA website in the weeks to come

The board voted to participate in the one-day Agtegra Appreciate event on August 3rd as a food vendor� If you are interested in helping serve beef sandwiches or grill, please contact the state office at to volunteer. Scan the QR code for more information about the event.

The SDCA Resource Committee met May 7 th in Pierre to review funding requests and recommend a budget for the upcoming fiscal year which will start July 1, 2024 The recommended budget will be considered by the full board at the June board meeting�

The next board meeting will be held in conjunction with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation Prime Time Gala on Saturday June 22nd at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center�

Legislative Wrap Up

Legislative session officially concluded on March 25 th � In total, Governor Noem signed 233 bills into law and did not issue any vetoes.The last bill signed was the fiscal year 2025 state budget Coming in at $70 million more than last year, the $7�3 billion budget included 4% increases for public school funding, Medicaid providers, and state government employees�

Among other topics, the legislature approved a summer study on property tax. SDCA has policy that opposes changes to the tax structure that would result in an unfair shift of the tax burden to ag producers. We will continue to monitor any possible legislation that may come from the summer study that could impact producers


Traceability has been a hot topic, especially since policy was discussed at Cattle Con in February� A full breakdown of NCBA policy and how their government affairs team is using that policy to advocate for traceability

for animal disease that is efficient, cost effective, and keeps stored data secure, see traceability FAQ� Current SDCA and NCBA policy on traceability can be found by scanning the QR codes below� As we wait for USDA to release its final rule, NCBA and SDCA will continue to advocate for producers and work toward securing resources to help producers comply with any final rule..

Farm Bill Roundtable

In April, SDCA was invited to participate in a farm bill listening session with Sen Thune and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman from Arkansas. SDCA President Warren Symens and SDCA Region Director Austin Havlik attended the event in Valley Springs where producers and stakeholders had the opportunity to provide farm bill input directly to the senators as they continue working on farm bill reauthorization �

SDCA emphasized to the senators the need for more “ranch in the farm bill” by considering grasslands and cattle – not just crop support

NCBA Legislative Conference - Washington D.C. Conversations about the Farm Bill continued to Capitol Hill in late April, when SDCA President Warren Symens, SDCA Vice President Craig Bieber, and SDCA member Stacy Hadrick attended the NCBA Legislative Conference. The annual event included a rooftop event with House Ag & Natural Resource Chairman GT Thompson, meetings with federal agencies including the USDA Environmental Protection Agency, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Food Safety & Inspection Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and meetings with the South Dakota Congressional delegation �

FFA Proficiency Awards

The Agricultural Proficiency Award program recognizes excellence in supervised agricultural experience programs. The SDCA is a proud sponsor of the Beef Production - Placement award. Congratulations to the recipients:

1 Lucas Feldhaus, Howard

2 Karlie Stiefvater, McCook Central

3. Kadyn Glanzer, Bridgewater-Emery

24 Beef Month
SDCA Policy - page 16. NCBA Policy - page 57.

Frequently Asked Questions on Traceability

Q: How did the NCBA traceability policy move through the grassroots process?

A: Members discuss ideas, edit policy, and then vote on the direction of the policy� The approved version of the policy that was passed by NCBA’s Cattle Health and Well Being Committee made up of member cattle producers from different states across the U.S. The NCBA Board of Directors supports adoption and implementation of EIDs for interstate movement of all cattle that are currently subject to the 2013 USDA Animal Disease Traceability rule—sexually intact cattle 18 months or old, rodeo and exhibition cattle, and dairy cattle. To be clear, these 2013 USDA requirements are already in effect and producers must currently use a metal ID tag when transporting these classes of cattle interstate. NCBA policy supports transitioning towards an electronic ID tag, which is easier to read and would support a faster response in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak like foot-and-mouth disease Now, the policy is considered interim, and members will have another opportunity to consider it at the NCBA Summer Business Meeting in July 2024. If passed again at the Summer Business Meeting, all individual NCBA members will have an opportunity to vote on the policy through a ballot mailed out this fall �

Q: How does the NCBA traceability policy impact producers?

A: NCBA policy is NOT legally binding. Instead, the policy is a statement of NCBA’s position on different bills or rules. When NCBA discusses traceability with members of Congress or USDA, the policy on the books will guide NCBA’s perspective on what final regulations or legislation should include. Simply put, NCBA advocates for the grassroots policies that are passed by our members�

Q: Why is the industry discussing EIDs?

A: The U S cattle industry faces an immense threat from foreign animal disease outbreaks, like foot-and-mouth disease If these diseases were to appear in the U S , all cattle movement would be shutdown for at least 72 hours and business would only resume once state animal health officials determine which cattle are infected, resulting in significant economic impact on the cattle industry with billions of dollars of potential losses �

Q:What action on EIDs is coming from USDA & Congress?

A: USDA is currently working on a traceability rule that may require producers to switch from metal tags to EIDs for sexually intact cattle 18 months or old, rodeo and exhibition cattle, and dairy cattle moving interstate � The EID tags are

easier and faster to read, which would help state animal health officials respond faster to a foreign animal disease outbreak. NCBA lobbied Congress for funding to lower the cost of tags for producers.As a result, the first FY24 funding package passed by Congress in early March included an additional $15 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at USDA to purchase tags and related infrastructure needed for stakeholders to comply with the proposed traceability rule � This is an increase over the $10 million originally provided in the House version of the bill but is still below the $26�1 million USDA estimates it will cost to tag all impacted cattle. NCBA will continue to engage with USDA to ensure funds are properly directed to the most immediate needs

Q: What are the other components of NCBA’s traceability policy?

A: NCBA’s traceability policy supports traceability for animal disease purposes and producer privacy. NCBA believes that an effective traceability system should:

• Be compatiable with private sector animal ID & verification programs backed by USDA, as well as general traceability principles of WOAH

• Recognize existing USDA programs for beef exports.

• Be built using infrastructure that supports other potential uses of ID�

• Utilize low-cost electronic official tagging devices and reader infrastructure paid for by federal and/or state funds�

• Require that cattle ID information for disease traceability be kept confidential and strongly protected from disclosure

• Protect ownership information from disclosure to future owners and producers from liability for acts of others, after the cattle have left the producer's control�

• Operate at the speed of commerce

• Maintain existing state brand inspection activities without replacement or impediment

• Work within a framework to accommodate all classes of cattle

• Allow for separate rule making process for cattle under 18 months of age

• Allow cattle movement between adjoining states on pasture-to-pasture permits at the discretion of the involved state animal health officials.

• Maintain data integrity throughout the system, including retagging and retirement of tags at harvest �

• Provide adequate resources to the states to facilitate the objectives of animal disease traceability and include the transition to any electronic identification.

The South Dakota Cattleman 25

Affiliate Spotlight: Sioux BAsin CatTlemen

Sioux Basin Cattlemen's Officers

Carl Johnson | President

Jared Questad | Vice President

Adam Mohrhauser | Treasurer

Sioux Basin Cattlemen's Highlights

• Provides scholarship opportunities for local youth.

• Hosts annual bingo night, social, and auctin. Proceeds of the event purchase beef bucks that are donated to area churches and given to those in need.

• Donates to local non-profit, Meating Needs, to cover processing costs of donated animals.

• Offers tours to educate attendees about different segments of the industry.

• Volunteers at the SDCA's Beef Booth.

26 Beef Month
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The Vice President of Membership's Outlook

Another winter has come and gone and the grass is starting to green� Calves are hitting the ground and seed is going in the fields. As the time of spreading out our livestock arrives, it is also time for us ranchers to shake off the winter and venture out ourselves�

Regional Roundups are being scheduled and planned. Your SDCA regional directors are working hard to plan Roundups that have beneficial information, as well as provide a time to reconnect with your neighbors and fellow cattlemen and women�

There have been a lot of conversations happening about agricultural issues at the international, national, state, and county level over the past few months. Getting your information straight from the people involved allows you to ask questions and understand the different perspectives people may have on certain policies or bills. By attending your Region Roundup, you are taking the opportunity to be part of those discussions. By voicing your support, asking questions, or providing opposition, you are becoming part of the conversation� It all starts at the local level� Even in South Dakota, each region has their own sets of issues that need to be discussed Your regional directors and executives are elected by you to listen and bring forward your thoughts and ideas to the state level

In our industry, there is a lot of alone time� Phones, social media,

Join SDCA at a regional meeting near you! Roundup dates, locations, and programs will be added regularly -scan the QR code for the latest updates!

and podcasts make us feel more connected to the outside world� It is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget how long it has been since we left our place and interacted with our peers. Region Roundups give us an opportunity to plan some time off the operation so we can get face to face interaction with our neighbors� Along with the learning and discussion on business matters, Region Roundups allow us to socialize and break the cycle of our day to day�

At its core, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association is a grassroots organization� We are built by our members and the people our members nominate and elect to represent them� Moving forward, it is important to look for our future leadership As you think about attending your Region Roundup, consider who in your area you would trust to represent in different facets � Or consider if you would like to be more involved with state leadership� There are multiple levels and opportunities to be involved and stay engaged with SDCA and NCBA. Save the date for your Region Roundup, and bring someone with who should be a member so we can grow our membership and most importantly, our voice!

The South Dakota Cattleman 27

Managing a Legacy Ranch with the Allure of the West

Meet NCBA President Mark Eisele

Mark Eisele is no stranger to navigating the intricate dynamic of challenges and opportunities that define modern ranching. There is no better person to take the helm of NCBA at a time of immense pressure on agriculture from the federal government than the person who has dealt with those same pressures throughout his life Eisele understands the delicate balance that is protecting private property rights and maintaining access to public lands while increasing numbers of people want to experience the beauty of the West.

For Eisele, success means “never quite getting there �” Although many would argue that leading the nation’s oldest and largest national beef cattle association is the pinnacle of achievement, Eisele says that’s what has made ranching fun over the years: always trying to “get there”, while always understanding that there will always be more to do

“We talk a lot about continuous improvement in our industry and, as producers, we all focus on that, no matter how incremental the improvement is� And the same goes for (NCBA) – there’s always work to be done to protect our freedom to operate and propel our industry forward�”

Eisele grew up on his family’s ranch and worked as a hired hand on the century-old King Ranch in Wyoming, as a teenager. He attended the University of Wyoming and received his agricultural engineering degree, but knew ranching was what we wanted to do long-term Without a clear path for full-time work on his family’s operation, he continued his work on the King Ranch and slowly built his own herd� His years of hard work and contributions to the ranch’s cow herd and diverse business interests earned him a partnership in the ranch and, eventually, the opportunity to purchase the ranch from the King family� Mark and his wife, Trudy, and their family proudly carry on the ranching tradition�

“Mr� and Mrs� King believed in doing things right and balancing future innovation with a grounded commitment to land stewardship,” Eisele said “It’s that focus that has propelled us to where we are today ”

Eisele’s operation is located just outside of Cheyenne,Wyoming, where he raises Red and Black Angus cattle. The cows are separated into three distinct herds with each managed differently according to their respective environment: mountain cattle, a stay-at-home herd, and the family trust herd with genetics that have been with the ranch since its inception� Eisele said his goals for the ranch mirror that of many producers, to raise the best cattle possible and provide a high-quality product for consumers. “No matter how many head of cattle you’re raising, even if you have a small herd, you need to raise the best

Beef Month Article and photo courtesy of NCBA.

you can in your environment and provide a great product for consumers� Everybody contributes and every head counts�”

While working to continuously improve his operation and produce great beef, Eisele quickly found himself in a situation that could have led to everything crashing down around him� He became involved in state legislative efforts, spurred by the Kelo v. City of New London case � This was a landmark decision in 2005 in which the Supreme Court of the United States deemed legal the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development� This controversial case led many states to strengthen their eminent domain laws, including Wyoming�

This is just one example of the personal experiences Eisele will draw from to share his priorities for NCBA as he enters his term as president� In a nutshell, he wants to focus on advocating for opportunities to strengthen the industry for future generations and producers’ freedom to operate Protecting property rights and reinforcing the cattle industry’s position as an ally in preserving open spaces and wildlife habitat through managed grazing practices will be a top priority�

“I manage both public and private lands and am often asked why public lands are such a big deal� Aside from it being just part of how we raise cattle in the West, it's also an important place where the line is kind of drawn in the sand� If they can take public lands away from us or regulate us into a position where we can’t use them any longer, it’s just a matter of time before they end up on your doorstep and they come after your private property rights and water rights. I want NCBA to make sure that can’t happen,” he said. “Grazing is good and beef is a valuable protein. We need flexibility in the way we produce it. Those are the simple messages I want to get across to decision makers�”

Eisele noted that when he got into the cattle business, he found out that if he was going to both survive and thrive, he had to rely on both the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association He credits his family's ranch being intact today because of those associations� That makes Eisele’s responsibility as NCBA president hit close to home. As a part of that realization, he explained that he was to open up as many opportunities as possible for people who want to participate and succeed in this business �

“I know from personal experience, transition can be complex, especially in a situation as non-blood heirs, but this underscores that success can be achieved through collaborative planning We need proactive planning and

the ability to connect producers with shared experiences or similar interests to address transition planning and the tax code. We also need tools to help alleviate fears associated with taking the initial steps,” he said �

During the year ahead, one of the issues Eisele expects to tackle will be the ongoing Farm Bill negotiations.This is top of mind for NCBA as the organization works to secure reauthorization of animal health provisions, expanding the accessibility and funding of risk management and disaster relief programs and protecting voluntary conservation programs� Conservation is always top of mind for Eisele �

Eisele emphasized the importance of connecting with each other, acknowledging individual strengths and weaknesses, and creating a sense of unity� He’s seen this mentality and collaborative effort make organizations he’s been a part of successful, but he has also seen it play out in his own family, which is really what drives him � “You'd never get anywhere on a ranch without the support of your family My wife,Trudy, has been absolutely wonderful This has always been a team effort and I have always been supported by her, and I’m so proud of the kids we’ve raised here �We also have people that work alongside us every day and, while they might not be related by blood, we consider them family too and they care just as much about the cattle and the land as do� The support of others around me to get to this point has been incredible,” Eisele said� The Eisele’s children, Kaycee, Kendall, and Colton, now play key roles as partners in the ranch and livestock ownership “I really value their participation and appreciate their input� An inclusive approach to decision-making involves seeking suggestions from everyone, recognizing that diverse perspectives contribute to the ranch's success,” he said� “What I’m focused on today is transitioning the ranch to my kids because they’re the future and I have all the confidence in the world that they’ll be able to continue our ranch’s legacy and make it even better�

“For me, one of the most meaningful things in my whole world is to have my family, my kids, my grandkids here on the ranch with me One of the reasons I want to serve, and do what I'm doing, is for my family� I also want to pay back to the mentors that gave me a leg up in the industry. And I’d like to do something significant with my time here on the planet� The agricultural landscape is evolving, and I am confident that with the same spirit that has carried our association through the last 125 years, we will continue to thrive, innovate, and lead,” he added�

The South Dakota Cattleman 29
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The South Dakota Cattleman 31
Key on page 32.

Upcoming Events:

• May 6 - 8, 2024 | Collegiate Strenth & Conditioning Coaches Association National Conference in Fort Worth, TX

• June 1, 2024 | Sioux Falls Storm Small Town Saturday Nights

Questions? Contact Suzy Geppert at

Upcoming Events:

• May 1 - June 16, 2024 | So Dak's Best Burger Contest

Nominate your favorite Beef Burger at any South Dakota restaurant for their chance to win the So Dak Best Burger contest! Learn more on the SDBIC website or Facebook page!

• May Beef Month 2024 | Beef It Up South Dakota Retail Campaign

Learn more about the campiagn to raise funds for Feeding South Dakota on SDBIC's website!

Farm Policy Updates for Livestock Producers references:


2. Congressional%20Budget%20Office%20(CBO,assumption%20that%20current%20 law%20continues.






SDCA Affiliate Contacts

Black Hills: Britton Blair, Vale • 605-347-0426 • britton blair@yahoo com

Central: Scott Slepikas, Huron • 605-354-1870 • slepikasfarm@gmail com

Clark Hamlin: Chance Popham, Hayti • 605-880-2717 • P4cattleco@gmail com

Davison-Hanson: Calli Williams, Letcher • 605-695-1990 • callicwilliams@gmail�com

East Central: Andy Dupraz, White • 605-629-3859 • pvostad@gmail com

Kingsbury: Nick Wilkinson, Lake Preston• 605-203-0711 • wilkinsonn77@gmail com

McCook-Miner-Lake: John Morse, Madison • 605-256-9863 • jrmorse9863@gmail�com

Northeast: Nancy Johnson, Milbank • 605-432-5600 • mnjohn@tnics com

North Central: Bryan Gill, Timber Lake • 701-730-0134 • bigredgenetics@hotmail com

Northern Oahe: Jay Jones, Trail City • 605-845-3082 • jones@westriv�com

Sioux Basin: Carl Johnson, Dell Rapids • 605-651-5064 • cjohnsonfarm@outlook com

South Central: Kent Geppert, Kimball • 605-778-6227 • geppert@midstatesd net

West Central: Matt Jones, Midland • 605-843-2066 • ropeonthecorner@yahoo com

32 Beef Month
1. Protein 2. Muscles 3. Healthy 4. Ten 5. Fuel

A couple of years ago we had a wreck going and needed a solution. ENDOVAC-Beef was it! A neighbor recommended the product. I knew it didn’t cost much and I knew what I was doing wasn’t working, so when I found out it covered E. coli, Salmonella, Pasteurella, and Mannheimia, I gave it a try. I vaccinated my calves and it worked! Plus, it’s just so easy on them. I give it to my calves around two months of age and again at weaning. The heifers I hold back get it again in June when they go through the chute. It’s just a good product.

The first year we started using ENDOVAC–Beef we had good results. The second year was even better because we implemented it in everything. I vaccinated my cows in April and gave them a booster in June to ensure full protection for my fall calvers and it solved all my scour problems. For those who have spring cows, I would give them a dose in the fall and again in January, about six to seven weeks before they start calving.

Since implementing ENDOVAC–Beef, my medical bill went down and I’m just not treating calves anymore. I haven’t had to doctor one with foot rot either. I can tell you that vaccinating them is cheaper than losing them… it’s worth it.

Everything that goes through the chute; cows, calves, and bulls, gets a shot of ENDOVAC at least twice a year now.

ENDOVAC–Beef has been a Game Changer for me. I run a good sized cow-calf operation in addition to starting cattle. 100% of my cattle get ENDOVAC–Beef.

Since using ENDOVAC we don’t have to treat as many cattle for respiratory, or even other common problems like pinkeye and foot rot. I am getting my Pasteurella and the stimulant that makes the vaccine work better with ENDOVAC–Beef.

If everybody knew what I knew, everyone would be using it!

Find your nearest rep at 1-800-944-7563 l 6080 Bass Lane l Columbia, MO 65201



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