Calendar of Events
August 31 - September 4: South Dakota State Fair Beef Booth, Huron
September 3: From the Ranch to Capitol Hill, SDCA & NCBA panel at at the South Dakota State Fair, Huron
September 14: Board of Directors Meeting, Pierre
September 19: Region Roundup, Aberdeen
September 24: Region Roundup, Spearfish
November 28 - 29: SDCA Convention & Tradeshow, Watertown
January 31 - February 4: Cattle Industry Convention & Tradeshow, Orlando, Flordia
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 of 1,000.
Advertising deadline is the 5th of the month prior to publication.
The SDCA 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.
The best stories start with Beef
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant –the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way. Currently, more than 90% of U.S. farms and ranches are family-owned and operated. Thank you for your commitment to continuing the beef story for generations to come.
Learn more about the South Dakota Beef Industry Counicl at www.sdbeef.org
Eric Jennings, President ejennings@sdcattlemen org
Warren Symens, Vice President wsymens@sdcattlemen org
Vaughn Thorstenson, Secretary/ Treasurer vwthor@venturecomm net
Craig Bieber, VP of Membership craig@bieberredangus com
Jeff Smeenk, Past President cn_ranch@sdplains com
Jay Jones, 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
John Reisch, Cattle Feeder Council
Jared Knock, Cow-Calf Council
Emily Peterson, Young Cattlemen Council
Taya Runyan Executive Director email@example.com
Lorrin Naasz Director of Communications & Outreach firstname.lastname@example.org
For additional information, visit sdcattlemen.org
The Western PerspectiveEric Jennings, SDCA President
Over the years, I have found myself in several positions that required me to perform duties that I had neither knowledge of or experience. Some would call that “stretching,” or “getting out of your box”. I tend to think of it as being in over my head. One of these positions was to lead the church committee charged with hiring and working with the employees of a childcare and preschool our church was starting. I didn’t feel I was the right person for the job considering I am self-employed and have no children or early childhood education experience. However, I knew how to put people in a position to succeed and the staff taught me a lot about early childhood development. The lead staff was made up of people without any agricultural experience, and when trying to make a point or explain myself, I would often use a cow analogy. After all, at that point in my life I spent far more time with cows than with people, so it seemed quite natural to me. Plus, as most of us know, you can learn a lot from a cow. After using one of my analogies on the preschool staff, the director of the school asked me “is there nothing you can’t relate to a cow?” Well, if there is, I haven’t found it yet. So, here goes another one. Most of us who have worked with cattle, particularly moving them; know that having the right cow in the lead determines the level of success of the day. If a cow that knows where you are wanting the herd to go is in the lead, she will calmly hit every gate and avoid wrong turns to problem areas, watering holes excepted. Unfortunately, we occasionally deal with the wrong cow in the lead. You know the ones I’m talking about -- the ones that stick their head up in the air when they see you coming and are sure wherever you want them to go will be bad for the whole herd. They quickly choose a direction to go, which never seems to be the direction you wanted them to go, but by golly they are determined to go their way and you spend the day continually convincing them otherwise. If it was just one cow going the wrong direction, it wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s when they take the rest of the herd with them and elevate the excitement level of the herd to match their own – that’s when it becomes a problem.
In the cattle industry, we seem to have some leaders much like those high-headed cows. They beller and paw the ground and whip everybody up into a frenzy, leading their followers off in the wrong direction. It doesn’t seem to matter that this direction is not supported by data, by people with PHD after their names, or even a bunch of other people in the industry. Because the highheaded lead cows have bellered so much about it, a belief persistence develops and the herd starts to believe them, no matter what the facts and our own experiences tells us.
Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (MCOOL) is a prime example. It is an issue promoted by a few very vocal leaders who stir up their followers to the frenzied point of ignoring facts and anyone that says anything to the contrary. Our industry is enjoying a time of extraordinary cattle prices and excellent consumer demand. We didn’t get here because of MCOOL, just like we didn’t fall from a similar position nine years ago when MCOOL was rescinded. Supply and demand determine price, an economic principal that holds true for every product sold, beef or otherwise. The current price peak was brought on by the regular cattle inventory cycle, exacerbated by the drought many of our nation’s producers have experienced for several years now. As the drought recedes and the national herd inventory is rebuilt, the cattle price will go down with the increased supply. It will take a few years, but it will happen. No matter what you may hear from those with the intent on creating a frenzy, when the price goes down, it will have nothing to do with MCOOL.
While we wish our herd wouldn’t follow the high-headed lead cow, sadly at least some of them often do. As ranchers, even if we can’t get them turned in the right direction, we know we can’t lose sight of them, and we are forced to follow along with them. What could have been a simple task of moving the cows becomes an ordeal while you wait for an opportunity to redirect them. All three of our congressional delegation is either sponsoring or co-sponsoring MCOOL bills in Congress. Whether they bought into the frenzied belief persistence or have fallen victim to the bellering and pawing from the promoters of MCOOL, I am sure they feel the need to follow that herd.
I have said before that as leaders we need to do what is right, not what is popular. I realize that becomes more difficult when it’s time to be re-elected. But we elect people who we think will make sound decisions that are based on facts from peer reviewed research and listen to people who are objectively looking at the issues; not the people who are misrepresenting facts to create a frenzy in order to gain followers and head off in the wrong direction.
SDCA policy continues to support voluntary country of origin and oppose MCOOL. We will continue do our research and to advocate for producers to have the opportunity to add value to their cattle through programs that fill the relatively small market of sourced brands of beef. We will do that by respectfully and calmly expressing our views in a professional manner. Who would you rather follow? Don’t buy into the frenzy -- MCOOL will not add value to your cattle but will instead cost our industry by regulatory compliance costs and loss of efficiency.
Havlik Cattle Company
Raising the Next Generation of Piedmontese Cattle
In the beef industry we know there are many ways to market our product. Business models focus on different factors such as performance, customer service, genetics, or the beef itself. For Havlik Cattle Company, located near Mitchell, they focus on natural genetics that really packs a tender, protein-filled punch.
South Dakota Cattlemen’s board director Austin Havlik, and his dad, Bryce, raise bulls for seedstock and commercial beef Piedmontese cattle. “In 2020, I went to Denver to help a friend prep and show their Piedmontese show cattle at the National Western Stock Show,” said Austin. “They capture the attention of most cattlemen –they have a heavy muscle growth and a unique color with a white body and a charcoal color through their shoulders, neck, and head.”
The distinctive breed caught Austin’s eye, and he purchased a set of embryos and one of the heifers he showed that year in Denver. Not long after, Austin and Bryce transitioned their focus to building a functional herd of Piedmontese females to raise bulls for seedstock and commercial beef cattle customers. Austin and Bryce now have two females that are the foundation of their herd through several years of embryo work.The following year, Austin and his dad went back to Denver with progeny from the two foundation females and came home with Grand Champion Naturalean Piedmontese and Reserve Grand Champion Fullblood Piedmontese female banners.“We continue to build a herd of modern and functional, Americanized Piedmontese cattle,” said Austin.
Piedmontese cattle are unique in their genetic makeup. They have two copies of an inactive myostatin gene, which results in a lean and exceptionally tender cut.
“There are profitable niche markets for the beef produced by Piedmontese,” said Austin.“Particularly for high-end and health-conscious consumers.” Along with the tenderness, Piedmontese beef produces a rich beef flavor with fewer calories, higher amounts of protein, and Omega-3 content. Another interesting aspect of the beef is that there is absolute consistency of the product. “Since the product is “genetically tender” each carcass is reliably tender regardless of the feed and finishing rations,” said Austin.
The breed’s unique myostatin gene is a dominant trait so commercial cattlemen can use a Piedmontese bull on their best cows of any breed, and every cow will inherit one copy of the gene, every time. The myostatin gene gives extra retail product yield, plus improved tenderness. “When you cross the lean muscled Piedmontese on a highmarbling breed, such as Angus, the result is premium-generating Yield Grade 1 and Yield Grade 2 with Quality Grade Choice and Prime in one crossbred animal,” said Austin. “So, you can market continentalcross calves into a lean-tender niche and Britishcross calves on the grid and make money both ways.”
Havlik Cattle Company’s goal is to raise leading genetics by purchasing and raising moderate, feminine, and correct females as the base of their herd, as well as flush and breed to proven bulls that result in continually improved genetics. Havlik Cattle Company aims to grow their herd through forward thinking selection, raising functional bulls for seedstock, and commercial beef clientele. “It’s exciting to be involved in a breed that is improving and expanding as fast as Piedmontese,” said Austin. “We strive to be on the front end, raising the next generations of cattle that lead the way.”
From the Cattle Pen
Warren Symens, SDCA Vice President
There are few similarities between summer farm and ranch work and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) summer business meeting, so when I boarded a plane headed for San Diego, California, in July, I knew I didn’t have to pack my pliers. What I did bring along were the two votes South Dakota brings to the national meetings to serve as our members’ voice when it’s time to shape the policy that points the way for lawmakers in Washington, D.C. (more on those two votes later). I traveled with others from our state, some who were doing policy work, and some who were doing work on behalf of your checkoff dollars.
Our travel schedule put us in town before there was much to do, so I quickly found out just how expensive things can be away from home. After spending $34 on two refreshments, I was really happy to be from South Dakota. That was enough of that, so after an excellent seafood supper, I headed back to my room to review the policy materials for the following two days. I was responsible for attending and participating in three committee meetings: Live Cattle Marketing, International Trade, and Tax and Credit. Each committee had policy that was up for renewal, considered for amendments, or new policy brought by any state affiliate, such as South Dakota. I hope you don’t find the following details as boring as I probably make them sound.
The Live Cattle Marketing meeting has been one of the most educational committees for me over the years. One evolving piece to come out of this is the Cattle Contract Library working group. A report was given on the progress of this program, starting with the results of a pilot program passed into law in 2022. The pilot program is funded through September, with reports coming in 2023. The goal is to increase transparency, price discovery, and offer insight in supply and demand. Our position as a state has been to get as many cattle reported as possible through livestock mandatory reporting, and this is one step to achieving that goal. We passed new, renewed, and amended policy to stress physical delivery of contract cattle, consumer clarity for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) quality grades, and promote industry wide timeline for prompt pick-up of finished cattle. Policy regarding prompt payment through electronic means was debated, passed, and sent to the full board meeting (more on that in a minute).
The International Trade agenda included information on the current state of the Product of the USA label. It’s currently a generic claim, overseen by USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). The challenges with enforcing a born, raised, harvested, and processed label include directions on compliance, who holds the information, disqualification of cattle, and export negotiations on cattle. Like many things, the devil is in the details, and there’s the possibility of a ruling in 2024. A particular concern includes Brazil’s failure to report Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as their plans to stop vaccinating for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). As a result of Brazil’s decisions, NCBA continues to
apply pressure to stop those imports. Paraguay is also under scrutiny for failure to meet requirements. Efforts are also being made to directly negotiate with the United Kingdom and Europe on beef trade. Policies renewed and amended include opposition to other countries using our beef grading system, support for the United States Meat Export Federation, continued opposition to Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, government commodity programs, and international treaties. When I first attended a Tax & Credit meeting, I thought one of two things would happen. Either it would be so far over my head I’d be drowning, or it would be so boring I’d fall asleep. However, it turned out to be important, very interesting, and more applicable to our big picture decisions at home than I thought it would be. NCBA continues to apply pressure on lawmakers to ease the burden of death taxes, support special use valuation, deductions, depreciations, and keep the step-up basis. The newest buzz surrounds Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) and, in my mind, I think of it as an attempt to put a perceived “sin tax,” or rules in place regarding agriculture, usually based on poor information and misinformation. This idea is mostly consumer driven through perception and messaging and will be studied to see how it would affect the economy. The House and Senate are both beginning to oversee what may be direction led by the Securities and Exchange Commission. ESG must be proven and undergo stress tests, as it already affects access to credit in the Europe. Along the lines of that discussion, a 2018 policy opposing a beef consumption tax was up for renewal. When I read the resolution, I took the opportunity to amend it to read not only opposition to a tax on beef, but also beef products and other products derived from cattle. The amendment and resolution both passed. It felt like a shining moment for me in a committee that I once didn’t want to sit in. Policy was also passed in the areas of conservation easement taxation, estate taxes, gift taxes, and minority interest in property discounts. Now, let’s get back to the live cattle marketing policy on electronic forms of payment.The full board (all the states and other affiliates) passed most of the policies making it out of committee. This piece, however, had much debate in the room over language that would make it impossible to lobby lawmakers. After several votes on amended language, it was sent back to committee to work on before we get to Orlando for next year’s convention. Which brings me to my next call back…I mentioned we carry two votes with us at national meetings.While no vote is wasted, our voice is not what it could be.The number of votes a state has is based on membership, and we’re close to having a third vote, so please consider joining NCBA, as well as SDCA. Realistically, there’s no reason our state, with the number of people raising cattle here, shouldn’t have eight votes.While most of us will never agree with 100% of the positions held by any organization, being part of the process is extremely important to come up with the best policy possible -- and that’s more useful than pliers anyway.
SDCA Working for YouTaya Runyan, SDCA Executive Director
BRAND BOARD AD HOC MEETING
The group met for a second meeting in mid-July to follow up on action items from the previous meeting and continue overall Brand Board discussions. In addition to general discussions about the board appointment process, registration and inspection numbers, the financial reports for the Theft Prevention Fund were reviewed. Staff updates were presented including the hiring of 3 new district supervisors. The Brand Board also reported on the status of bids and implementation for new technology. The next meeting will take place sometime in September.
RICHARD MCDONALD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE
I was given the opportunity to attend the Richard McDonald Leadership Institute event featuring William Pawlucy, founder, and Chief Executive Operator (CEO), of Association Options LLC. Pawlucy provides top-tier management consulting services to nonprofit associations across the globe. He worked with association leaders and staff to critical areas for non-profit organizations to focus on to protect its members as well as the overall organization. There were some great take aways and things we will bring back to implement at SDCA.
REGION VII MEETING
Region VII President Gary Deering from South Dakota led the meeting where all Region VII states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, gathered to share updates from each state affiliate and their state checkoff. Official business also included the election of our own, Craig Bieber, for Region VII National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Political Action Committee (PAC) General. NCBA Past President Don Schiefelbein and NCBA CEO, Colin Woodall, provided updates on important issues starting with the renewed efforts to properly label cell cultured meat and plant-based protein, while elevating beef as THE BEST option on supermarket shelves.
NCBA SUMMER BUSINESS MEETING
Anyone can attend the Summer Business Meeting (SBM) conference, but only designated affiliate representatives are allowed to vote on policy. SDCA controls two votes which are determined by NCBA membership from our state. SDCA’s president and vice president attend on behalf of SDCA and are accompanied by a member of staff.
Committees reviewed all new and existing policy and recommends action to the full Board. The SBM features general session, education, and industry updates. The part of these meetings I find most impactful are the opportunities to network with counterparts from other associations and industry influencers. Building those relationships strengthens our organizations and the cattle industry allowing us to work together.
Once again, the Beef Booth was a popular stop on the Dakotafest grounds. Along with our dedicated group of affiliate volunteers, we were joined by members, FFA, Jr. Beef Ambassadors, and even Representative Johnson and his staff volunteered to work the counter for a few hours. Thanks to everyone who works hard to make these events a success! SDCA leaders also attended a legislative social and the Congressional Town Hall hosted by South Dakota Farm Bureau.
MIDWEST AG EXPORT SUMMIT
The third annual Midwest Ag Export Summit was held at the Sanford Barn in late August. SDCA was a sponsor of the event and in attendance representing SDCA were Austin Havlik, Troy Hadrick, and me. Once again, a prestigious line up of speakers included state, national, and global trade leaders. The event concluded with a Congressional panel moderated by NCBA’s CEO Colin Woodall, where Senator John Thune and Representative Dusty Johnson talked Farm Bill, trade priorities, and more from Washington.
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE FAIR
Vice President Warren Symens was on hand for the ribbon cutting of the new DEX facility followed by an ag stakeholder meeting with Governor Noem and Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden. Leaders from ag organizations had the opportunity to highlight key issues impacting their organizations and participate in a discussion with state staff and partners from across the state. In addition to the beef booth, SDCA and NCBA joined forces for an event on the Freedom Stage. SDCA
Eric Jennings, SDCA VP of Membership
Craig Bieber, and NCBA President Todd Wilkinson talked with Walt Bones about the advantages of being part of state and national policy organizations and t he impact those organizations have for producers.
Using Silage in Feedlot Diets - Research UpdateBy Warren Rusche, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Extension Feedlot Management Specialist
We have been feeding corn silage to cattle for a long time. The “Feeds and Feeding” book on my shelf from 1958 has an entire chapter on silages. So, it might be easy to conclude that there is little new under the sun when it comes to how to best use an old standby feedstuff that we have fed in South Dakota for generations. However, just because the feed is familiar does not mean we know everything that there is to know. This month I will highlight some of the research work that we have done at South Dakota State University (SDSU) on managing and feeding silage.
Silage Covering Methods
I hope that I am not surprising anyone when I say that we recommend covering silage piles. Covering silage piles or bunkers is one of the surest methods to preserve value and reduce storage shrink. I also know just how unpleasant that job can be, so I understand when people look for either easier methods to accomplish the objective or questions just how extensive storage loss could be in an uncovered pile. To test those options, a group led by Sara Bauder, Extension Forage Field Specialist, set out to compare organic matter losses in corn silage stored in PVC pipe silos that were either covered with plastic (with or without oxygen barrier), covered with condensed distillers solubles (syrup), or left uncovered. We also treated half of the test silos with an inoculant during filling. Silos were allowed to ferment for 104 days, at which time they were opened and sampled for nutrient analysis.
In this study, we saw no difference between the conventional white-black plastic or when the added oxygen barrier was used. Using an inoculant improved fermentation when the plastic cover was used but had no effect on silos covered with syrup or left uncovered.The differences in organic matter recovery between silos with or without plastic covering was dramatic.As you can see in Figure 1, about half of the organic matter from the top three feet in the uncovered or syrup covered silos was lost.
How much is this loss worth? As an example, a bunker that is 120 feet long, 50 feet high and filled to a 10-foot depth would hold approximately 1500 tons (T) of corn silage. The top three feet of that bunker contains about 400 T or 140 T on a dry matter basis. If half of that 140
tons of organic matter was lost, that equals approximately 70 T. A lot of hay this year in South Dakota is selling for $150-200 per ton. At those prices, not using an effective cover would cost between $10,000 and $15,000.
Kernel Processing for Growing and Finishing Cattle
Kernel processing (KP) involves passing the harvested silage through a set of rollers mounted on the chopper.This is a standard recommendation for dairies and becoming more commonly recommended for beef producers.The theory is that by processing the silage, the corn kernels and cob portions will be broken up, resulting in greater digestibility and less sorting. But does this extra step result in improved efficiency and reduced costs of gain?
We (Dr. Zach Smith and I) conducted two experiments to gain some insight into this question. In our first experiment, we fed silage (control versus KP at 65% of dry matter to backgrounding calves for 46 days. Our second experiment also compared normal to KP silage in finishing yearling steers where silage was included at 20% of the diet on a dry matter basis. The results of these two studies are shown in Table 1.
Backgrounded steers responded positively to KP with 6% greater average daily gain (ADG) and a 3% numerical improvement in feed efficiency. On the other hand, KP had no effect in finishing steers. The differing responses likely have to do with how much silage was fed. Silage made up 65% of the backgrounding diet, but only 20% in the finishing cattle. If there were any differences in starch digestibility in the finishing steers, that did not translate into improved performance.
We did not evaluate the number of whole corn kernels in the manure, or the degree of sorting cob pieces in the bunk. Bunks for both sets of cattle were tightly managed and there was little to no feed left over from day to day. Many people do get concerned about seeing corn in manure and count that as lost gain potential, but at least in our experiments, kernel processing corn silage made little difference in terms of actual pounds of cattle to sell.
How Much Silage can I feed to Finishing Cattle?
Conventional wisdom holds that you should only feedas much roughage as is necessary to maintain
rumen health. Many finishing diets are formulated to have 8% roughage, perhaps as high as 10%. However, most South Dakota cattle feeders also farm,giving them the opportunity to make use of silage or other home-raised feedstuffs. Feeding additional roughage reduces the risk of digestive upset and can help cattle maintain feed intake. Also, some years in South Dakota we need to utilize greater amounts of corn silage because of weather-related crop production challenges. We wanted to know what the effect was of feeding increased amounts (either 24 or 30% of the diet dry matter) on cattle performance.
We conducted two different experiments; one comparing 12 to 24% silage inclusion with the steers fed 24% silage fed for an additional 14 days, and a second experiment comparing 15 to 30% inclusion with the same days on feed. Cattle performed as we expected – feeding more corn silage reduced the energy concentration of the diet resulting in reduced gains and poorer feed conversion. Feeding cattle an additional 14 days increased carcass weight sold, so increasing silage inclusion likely requires extending the feeding period to maintain output.
What was interesting was when we calculated pounds of beef per acre, shown in Figure 2. To estimate these values, we used the actual silage yield and estimated corn yield to calculate cattle gain per acre of corn. Using that measure, it made little difference whether we fed the lesser or increased amount of corn silage. Farmer feeders whose business is producing as much beef as possible from a known land have multiple options as to harvest method to produce feedstuffs. The ideal diet depends on factors such as crop year conditions, labor availability, and ability to effectively utilize manure. The ability to maintain productivity with a variety of different feedstuffs represents the strengthof an integrated crops livestock system.
Feedlot Tour Gives People a Look at Dairy-Beef Crossbred CatTleBy: Ariana Schumacher, AgWeek
South Dakota State University Extension and South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association Feeders Council partnered together to showcase beef and dairy crossbred cattle through feedlot tours July 20 near Baltic, South Dakota.
“One of the things that’s been changing in our industry as we are developing a new supply of feeder cattle, specifically it’s calves from dairies that are carrying beef genetics,” said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Specialist. “Multiple different breeds combined with the dairy genetics and that’s a different resource for us to feed but it brings some challenges in terms of management at the dairy and how that influences their later performance.”
Dozens of visitors got to see these dairy feedlots for themselves at Boadwine Dairy and Questad Feedyard.
Lynn Boadwine has been breeding dairy cows to beef bulls for the past nine years.“I think it’s really added value to the dairy industry because these crossbreds end up having more beef characteristics, feed better, feed more efficiently and I think the industry is finding out that yeah there’s some negatives compared to the straight beef animal but there’s some positives as well,” said Boadwine.
At his operation, Boadwine is crossing Holsteins with Angus or Angus- Simmental crosses and it is a cross that he thinks will last.
“I think the industry will never change," Boadwine said. "I think probably 60% of the milking females in the country, which is about 9.5 million cows, will make a beef-cross animal meant for meat production. I think that trend will never change.”
He is still testing this method of having crossbreeds on his operation to make sure it is sustainable.
“For us, we are just on a very small scale, trying to see if we can cost effectively feed some and kind of try to understand in little bits and pieces you know, what’s our carbon footprint with these type of animals. I mean do we have a more sustainable animal, do we have less or
what’s the best way to do it,” Boadwine said. “So, I am not saying we ever get in to the cattle finishing business, but we are just seeing if it’s something we can do.”
At Questad Feedyard, these crossbred cattle are becoming more popular at their finishing operation.
“It’s kind of a new adventure but kind of the same standard of care, you know, we walk with them every day and kind of care for them the same way, they do get fed a little different ration but it’s pretty basic I guess, we follow the same program and just keep stepping them up as they go,” said Jared Questad, owner of Questad Feedyard.
And right now, there is a good market for these dairy-beef cattle.
“We were approached by some guys that wanted to have somebody finish out these crosses and they are seeing a good market for them, so we are doing quite a few of them,” Questad said. “I think it could become pretty popular with this many dairies that are coming in South Dakota here and I think it is a good option for guys that are custom feeding or guys wanting to own some of their own calves too.”
As feeding these dairy-beef crosses become more popular, they hope this feedlot tour helped to answers some of those questions producers might have.
“What I’m hoping is it starts generating some ideas and some conversations for people when they go back home. Whether that’s looking at the beef on dairy genetics as an option or things that they pick up in terms of what the Questads have been doing from a facility standpoint," Rusche said.
The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association's Annual Convention and Tradeshow is slated for November 28 - 29 in Watertown. The Annual Convention & Tradeshow provides a forum for members to network with fellow cattlemen, craft policy that will guide SDCA staff and leadership in the coming year, and learn about the lastest industry happenings.
The convention theme is partnership and will focus on the collaborations between producers and partners that built the cattle industry in South Dakota, those that continue to serve cattlemen today, and the partnerships that will make the next generation stronger than ever. Convention programming will highlight the partners that support operations, provide services producers rely on, and the partners that are working to strengthen the industry to face future challenges.
November 28, 2023
9:00 AM - Exhibitor Move-In / Heavy Equipment Move-In
9:00 AM - Registration Opens
10:00 AM - Ag & Food Policy Committee Meeting
10:00 AM - Tax & Credit Policy Committee Meeting
11:00 AM - Live Cattle Marketing & International Trade Policy Committee Meeting
Noon - Lunch
1:00 - 3:30 PM - Cattlemen's Education Series sponsored by National Corn Grower's Association
3:30 PM - Tradeshow Opens
3:45 PM - PREM / Federal Lands Policy Committee Meeting
3:45 PM - Cattle Health & Well-Being Policy Committee Meeting
4:45 PM - Tradeshow Time
6:00 PM - Best of Beef Happy Hour / Roping Contest
November 29, 2023
7:00 AM - Registration Opens
7:15 AM - Breakfast Begins
8:00 AM - Market Update by CattleFax
9:30 AM - Annual Membership Business Meeting
11:00 AM - Tradeshow Time with featured Cattle Conversations presentations
Noon - Lunch & Keynote
1:30 - 3:30 PM - Build Your Business Team Panel 4:00 - 5:30 PM - Annual Membership Policy Meeting
5:30 PM - Tradeshow Time / Social Hour
7:00 PM - Cattlemen's Banquet & Leopold Conservation Award
8:30 PM - President's Auction
Agenda is subject to change. Additional information to come!
Building a More Sustainable Beef Supply Chain TogetherBy: Chad Martin, Vice President, Cattle Procurement at Tyson Foods
Recently, Will Druery, Senior Cattle Procurement Coordinator at Adams Land at Cattle (ALCC) visited with members at two Region Roundups for South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. Druery was speaking about a new product that Adams Land & Cattle is procuring cattle for, Brazen™ Beef.
ALCC, located in Broken Bow, Nebraska began in 1945 as a small dairy farm on 300 acres east of Broken Bow, Nebraska. Today, ALCC remains family-owned but has grown into a multi-location operation with finishing lots in Nebraska and more than one-hundred backgrounding locations throughout the US and Canada. Recognized as one of the premier cattle feeding operations in the world, ALCC is a distinguished and innovative leader in agribusiness, providing consistent and quality beef while utilizing best practices to ensure food safety, animal welfare, and environmental stewardship.
ALCC’s mission is “Feeding the world high quality, safe and sustainable beef” and sourcing cattle for Brazen™ Beef aligns strongly to that mission.
As a global protein leader and one of the largest food companies in the country, Tyson Foods recognizes an opportunity to help build a more sustainable food system.
Many beef producers have been working to make beef more sustainable for decades. We recognized that some of our biggest challenges in beef emissions were actually our greatest opportunities, so about two years ago, we set out to take on beef-related emissions in our value chain, starting at the cow-calf level. Earlier this year, we were proud to announce Brazen™ Beef, a climate friendly* first-of-its-kind beef product that is the proof point for Tyson Foods’ ClimateSmart Beef program, which combines tried-and-true rancher ingenuity with the latest data and technology. We are continuously looking for ways to reduce emissions within our beef supply chain, which includes finding key producers who share the same values. Through the Climate-Smart Beef Program, Tyson Foods is rewarding many producers for land stewardship practices. This Program and the GHG accounting framework used to estimate emissions within the beef value chain and related reductions, are a key part of Tyson’s journey to build a more resilient beef supply chain and ultimately reach the company’s ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Program includes an emissions accounting framework that estimates GHG emissions for cattle enrolled in the program, from pasture to production. The emissions
reduction is calculated through a ranch, crop and feedlot data model, highlighting your efforts as a producer. Producers will be paid a per-head premium for qualified cattle at the time of sale.They will receive individual feedyard, animal health and carcass data, allowing for more informed business decisions without the need to retain ownership.
Some of the requirements of the Climate-Smart Beef Program include:
• Enroll in a verified program that will document the programs and processes producers have in place.
• Agree not to sell the carbon rights to your grazing land to another program, organization or entity.
• Share relevant operational data (e.g., volume of practices implemented across # of acres and head of cattle, management plan, pasture rotation, overseeding, feed inputs, etc.) to Tyson Foods annually and as part of the onboarding process.
• Participate in on-farm audits conducted by Where Food Comes From, an initiative of IMI Global, as part of the BeefCARE program. This is also about helping the beef industry tell its story in a way that is supported with data. We know many beef producers are using some of these practices already. We want to highlight the success and resiliency of those who do it best and bring the broader beef sector along in our collective sustainability journey – both large and small – working together to reduce emissions and prove it with data.
This is just the beginning of our climate-smart beef journey. We know that cattlemen are one of the most resilient groups out there. We find that most of the ranchers we speak with have already taken steps to align with some of the components of the Brazen™ platform, because they are best practice for their own operations. With an eye toward the future, we have an opportunity to ensure the longevity of the industry for generations to come.
Producers interested in learning about the Brazen™ program as a market for their cattle can contact Will Druery with Adams Land & Cattle at 308-870-4566. For general information about the program, visit brazenmeats.com.*Cattle used for Brazen Beef products are enrolled in Tyson Foods’ Climate Smart Beef Program for emission reduction from pasture to production.
The SDSU Collegiate Cattlemen are back at SDSU and ready to take on another year� Meet the Executive Leadership behind the newly established organization!
Mitch Vander Wal | President
Mitchell Vander Wal is a junior studying Animal Science and Agriculture Science. On campus, he is actively involved in Wool Judging, Swine Club, Little International, FFA Alumni Club, and serves as a CAFES Ambassador. Mitchell grew up on a row crop and cattle operation in Eastern South Dakota where his family focuses on raising shorthorn and Red Angus cattle. In middle school, Mitchell began growing his own herd of Hereford cattle and has enjoyed managing that herd alongside his family since.
Ivan Blume | Vice President
Ivan Blume is a junior studying Animal Science. On campus, he is actively involved in Alpha Gamma Rho and Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club. Ivan hails from Redfield, where he owns and operates the 4/0 Blume Ranch consisting of a small, registered Hereford herd and commercial Angus herd.
Cassidy stromMen | Secretary
Cassidy Strommen is a sophomore studying Agricultural Communications with minors in Advertising and Animal Science. On campus, she is actively involved in Sigma Alpha, Swine Club, and serves on the Little International Executive Team. Cassidy hails from South Central North Dakota where she grew up on her family’s registered Angus seed stock operation. Growing up, she was heavily involved in 4-H, FFA, the North Dakota Angus Association, and the North Dakota Stockman’s Association.
Bruce Van De stroet | Treasurer
Bruce Van De Stroet is a junior studying Animal Science with minors in Agriculture Business and Agribusiness Marketing. On campus, he is actively involved in Dairy Club, and serves as a student employee at the Animal Science Arena. Bruce hails from Fairview, South Dakota. He grew up on a feedlot and row crop operation where his family operates a commercial cow herd and breeding heifer program.
Lauren Weishaar | Marketing Chair
Lauren Weishaar is a junior studying Agricultural Communications with minors in Animal Science and Advertising. On campus, she is actively involved in Ag Communicators of Tomorrow Club and serves as the Assistant Communications Coordinator on the Little International Executive Team. Lauren hails from southwestern North Dakota where she grew up on her family’s registered and commercial Hereford cow/calf operation and diversified crop operation.
Making Beef on Dairy animalsBy Dr. Tara L. Felix, Penn State Extension Beef Specialist
During the drought of 2012, beef cow numbers in the United States dipped to their lowest since the 1980s. To maintain the supply of beef despite the shortage of calves, the beef industry began to explore alternatives to maintain supply and reduce costs. One such alternative included sourcing more and more dairy-type animals to supply beef. From 2011 to 2016 the proportion of Holsteins making up the fed cattle slaughter increased from just 5.5% to 20.4% (NCBA, 2016).
What followed, was a rapid growth in the body of scientific literature available about proper nutrition and management strategies to improve upon the Holstein genetics to yield a viable beef production model, known as the calf-fed Holstein model.This model has also been the subject of a series of Extension demonstrations at Penn State University from 2016 to 2019 (https:// extension.psu.edu/raising-calf-fed-holsteins).
What is the calf-fed Holstein model? In short, the calf-fed Holstein model supports the industry trends reported during the same time frame: get grain into the Holstein at a young age to increase the overall efficiency of the system, use implants (hormones used to stimulate muscle growth) to improve the flat-muscled genetics of the Holstein breed, and help to guarantee the quality of the end product by reducing total days on feed and, thus, age at slaughter.
It has long been understood that Holstein steers require 10 to 12% more energy than native steers just to maintain themselves (Zinn et al., 1993; Chester-Jones and DiCostanzo, 1996).Although the scientific data is lacking, nutritionists and feedlot producers have noted a positive response in the Holstein calf when fed slightly more protein (13 to 14% total dietary crude protein, DM basis) concentrations than book values for native cattle, which may be meeting increased metabolizable amino acids needs of Holstein steers (Zinn et al., 1993). However, nutrition alone cannot overcome the genetically flatmuscled breeding of the Holstein calf. Anabolic implants are a common management tool used in beef cattle to enhance growth, improve feed efficiency, and increase carcass yields. Recently, the use of implants in Holstein steers has garnered more attention (Carvalho et al., 2020a; Carvalho et al., 2020b). Truly optimal implant strategies for Holstein steers remain in question; however, it is largely agreed upon that implanting
EARLY and OFTEN is a good model for the Holstein. This calf-fed Holstein model really grew in recent years not just because of the reduction in the beef cow herd numbers but also because the commodity beef supply chain dictates that fed cattle fit a narrow range of standard parameters, referred to as “fitting the box”. The standards are based on consumer expectations such as loin size and because meat from fed cattle is literally boxed and shipped nationally and internationally. Packers have long had “boxes” for beef breeds.And, many packers have developed a box for calf-fed Holstein cattle due to the rise in the number of fed Holsteins entering the beef supply chain (NBQA, 2018). Thus, there are expectations for what a Holstein carcass should be. The industry fed and managed Holstein steers to meet these expectations, or standards, for the box. Calf-fed Holsteins came a long way in rapid time-frame because all 3 industries, dairy, beef, and the packer, realized that 20% supply of consistent, genetically uniform calves into the beef supply chain was worth getting right. In realizing this, and producing calves according to a model, Holstein calves found a place in the commodity beef supply chain. This supply was great until Holstein dairy steers became unmarketable in the summer of 2016. With the steep downturn in the value-added pricing scheme dairy producers had become accustomed too, i.e. Holstein bull calves went back to being worth virtually nothing on the home farm, a new market revenue stream was sought: the black-hided calf. In an effort to produce this blackhided calf, dairy producers rapidly adopted breeding a portion of their cow herd to beef bulls. It seemed, that any beef bull would do, as long as he was black.
The effectiveness of genomic selection and sexed semen technology allows the dairy industry to produce more valuable heifer calves with fewer matings; in turn, allowing the dairy industry to aggressively breed cows with lower genetic potential to beef. This breeding strategy has driven the 4.1 million unit increase of beef semen straws sold in the United States from 2017 to 2020. However, market variability has limited the adoption of these crossbred calves in feedlots, and their acceptance packing plants remains largely in line with the pricing structures for purebred Holstein steers. Perhaps most importantly, there remains very little publicly available data to allow producers and packers to make educated decisions on the value and management of
these beef x dairy cattle.
Therefore, instead of a genetically uniform group of predictable Holsteins to raise for beef, beef producers are left with a mishmash of genetics and unpredictable growth and carcass performance.
Today many breed associations and semen companies are beginning to publish bull recommendations for dairy producers. Given that we are only in the 2nd to 3rd generation of these beef x dairy calves moving through the feedlot, one has to question how these bull selections are being made. To date, the AngusxHolstein and AngusxJersey sire selection indices remain the most “freely available” picture of the selection process. But, even these well-designed indices are still based on educated assumptions and not on proven progeny performance.
Recalling that the commodity beef supply chain dictates that fed cattle fit a narrow range of standard parameters, the increasingly diverse selection of beef sires has resulted in variability in crossbred beef x dairy calves and carcasses that do not fit either traditional beef or Holstein boxes. The next 3 to 5 years will be a critical time for the both
the dairy and beef industries. As beef cow herd numbers began to recess, once again, and dairy herds grow, with increasing government support, both industries will need to pay careful attention to the appropriate strategies for breeding, and then rearing, the crossbred beef x dairy calves that will continue to be generated. We are past simply breeding to cheap black semen, and we are past simply discussing nutrition and implant strategies. The beef and dairy industries must continue to work together to meet the demands for beef through an efficient and consistent supply of product. Management decisions must extend all the way back to the matings that will generate the calves to be fed and the industry must capitalize on early growth and genetic potential of these calves to yield profit potential throughout all segments of production.
Fight the Animal Rights Groups Infiltrating Our IndustryBy: Todd Wilkinson, NCBA President
Over the past few weeks, I have seen news articles and social media posts lying about our industry, attacking our association, and endangering the programs that generations of farmers and ranchers worked hard to establish—and I am fed up.
This week, a group of animal rights activists and those who do their bidding sent a letter to Congress in support of the deceptively named “Opportunities for Fairness in Farming” or OFF Act. Well let’s call it what it really is: the Obliterating Family Farms Act. The bill is nothing but an attack on cattle producers who have worked hard to build a program that promotes our wholesome American beef while also strengthening our family farms and ranches.The unholy alliance that supported this letter is stunning: Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc., a group that says because of animals’ feelings we should no longer eat meat; Attorneys for Animals, a law firm that sues to treat animals as individuals; Four Paws, a group trying to end livestock hauling in Europe; Mercy for Animals, whose mission is ending “the exploitation of animals for food." Also included are groups that claim to support producers but have turned their backs on our industry by hiring animal rights activists like former Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) staffers Joe Maxwell and Angela Huffman. R-CALF has even joined this dubious group, hoping again to use an alliance with animal rights activists to tear down the Checkoff. How can anyone who raises livestock or eats meat put their name on the same letter as groups that dream about seeing our farms and ranches shut down for good?
At the same time, we have seen animal rights activists infiltrating conservative organizations like FreedomWorks.
The new Chief Operating Officer of FreedomWorks is Marty Irby and before he took up his latest post, he worked for the disgraced leader of the Human Society of the United States, the animal rights activist group Animal Wellness Action, and the Center for a Humane Economy. Irby is no friend of animal agriculture, and he has turned FreedomWorks into a lobbying machine for the OFF Act and for ending our way of life.
Proponents of the OFF Act say it’s about reform, oversight and saving family farms and ranches, but make no mistake, that’s completely false. One part of the OFF Act being about reform and oversight that really irritates me is that we’ve already been down this road. In 2021, cattle producers overwhelmingly denied a referendum to end the Checkoff, and the legality and implementation of this vital program has been upheld by multiple courts.The agenda behind passing the OFF Act is about undermining the producers who direct the Beef Checkoff program, stopping critical research, education and promotion, and anti-meat animal rights activists using government regulation to kill our industry with a thousand cuts.
I want all cattle producers to know about this latest attempt at extremists trying to hijack our industry and livelihoods. Don’t align yourself with groups that say they have your future in mind but back politicians and activists who think our way of life is morally wrong.
We need to reject the activist groups pushing for the OFF Act and I hope you give your member of Congress an earful about why they should say no to activists and say NO to the OFF Act.
Join NCBa today!
NCBA policy starts with individual members and ends with individual members who vote in a democratic process. One member equals one vote. We are grassroots driven. Every day we work for cattlemen in all 50 states through a network of individual producers and state and breed affiliate members. As the nation’s largest and oldest association representing cattle and beef producers, NCBA has a proud heritage that goes back to 1898. It starts with YOU! We work every day to increase profit opportunities for cattle and beef producers.Our success depends upon you, our members.
The Cattleman's Outlook
Craig Bieber, SDCA Vice President of Membership
The first few SDCA Regional Roundup events have been held and the turnout has been outstanding! The Mitchell Region Roundup kicked off the Roundup season. Austin Havlik and Colby Olson, Southeast Board Directors, got a great group of folks to attend and welcomed speakers from Adams Land and Cattle and Stockguard. Will Druery, of Adams Land and cattle discussed the new beef brand Brazen Beef. Brazen Beef is a partnership between Adams Land and Cattle and Tyson. This is an interesting program that provides added value to the cowcalf producers. Learn more about this program on page 18.
At the Winner Region Roundup, Southern Board Directors Casey Heenan and Kory Bierle, also had Adams Land and Cattle discuss Brazen Beef. Stockguard’s presentation about Livestock Risk Protection has been a popular presentation at several Region Roundups.
The Pierre Region Roundup brought together a great group of folks at the Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse. Kory Bierle and Casey Heenan welcomed Dr. Laura Edwards, the State Climatologist, discuss her work as the State Climatologist and engaged the group in an in-depth discussion on this year’s climate outlook. Dr. Edwards shared information about the drought conditions, new weather monitoring stations, and what we can expect in the coming months as we transition to an El Niño weather pattern. At each Roundup meeting, attendees heard from SDCA officers and leadership on the issues that SDCA is working on and how they may come into play during the upcoming session and how they may factor into Farm Bill negotiations in Washington D.C. SDCA also encouraged folks to think about nominating deserving
cattlemen and women for the Cattleman of the Year and Friend of SDCA awards. These awards will be announced at the 75th Annual Convention and Tradeshow in Watertown, November 28-29th. To learn more and nominate a deserving individual, scan the QR codes below. By the time this issue hits mailboxes, we will also have hosted similar events in Huron,Watertown, Mobridge, and Faulkton, but its not too late to attend a meeting near you! We have additional Regional Roundups scheduled for September, including a west river event in Spearfish, and an east river option in Aberdeen has recently been added to the list. To learn more and make your plans to attend, visit the SDCA’s website and click on the ‘Events’ tab. Not only have I been all over the state for the Region Roundup meetings, but my wife, Peggy, and I had the opportunity to visit the Coffee Axis in Pieria, Columbia, last month. We had a very interesting tour of a coffee plantation and learned a lot about how they previously would dry and sort coffee beans versus how they do it today. It is still labor intensive, but today, they try to add value by completing more steps of the coffee process at the farm. It struck me how they want to add value by doing more themselves and keep different varieties separate. The reason for this is to encourage more interest from high-end buyers to source beans from them. The idea of adding value is a theme throughout the United States ag industry and, now that it’s finding its way to South American agriculture, and it got me thinking… it’s important that we stay diligent with what helps drive economic
Join SDCA at a September Region Roundup meeting! Region Roundups are an opportunity for members to discuss SDCA policy and issues affecting your region, the state, and the nation. This often can be an opporutnity to suggest new policy to be considered on behalf of SDCA, or identify where changes can be made in existing policy.
Region Roundups are also an opportunity to hear firsthand from the state assocaition staff and leadership about their efforts in Pierre -- from the administrative side of the orgnaiztion monitoring local, state, and national level policy to the 75th Annual Convention and Tradeshow, November 28 - 29th in Watertown.
Where: Saints Room at AmericInn
When: September 19th @ 5:30 PM
Join SDCA's Vice President of Membership, Craig Bieber, and the Northeast Region affiliates at the Aberdeen Region Roundup.
Where: Killian's Food & Drink
When: September 24th @ 5:00 PM (Mountain)
Join SDCA's Board of Directors Devin Stephens and Britton Blair at the Spearfish Region Roundup.
South Dakota Beef Checkoff
Your Beef Checkoff Your Beef Checkoff South Dakota Beef Checkoff
Jodie Anderson | South Dakota Beef
As South Dakota Beef Farmers and Ranchers are gearing up for the 2023 Fall Run, the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) has been diligently working to promote BEEF throughout the Summer and looking forward to many exciting opportunities where BEEF will be center stage throughout the remainder of the year. In this edition of South Dakota’s Beef Dollars at Work, we share where BEEF has been highlighted and the events and activities on the horizon!
Beef was Back at the 83rd Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
The SDBIC headlined BEEF at the 83rd Annual City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, August 4th – 13th in Sturgis, South Dakota. Motorcyclists and attendees made their way to Beef Country for one of South Dakota’s largest events of the year, which reached a half million people from all over the world. Beef was highlighted in several ways throughout this year’s City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, including the Mayor’s Ride that took place on August 5th, where Beef Farmers and Ranchers sponsored the meal and had the opportunity to share their BEEF Story with attendees, as well as provide attendees with BEEF Swag! Team Beef South Dakota sponsored the Legendary 5K Fun Run on August 7th, while also handing out beef jerky to participants. Beef was also present in the Sturgis VIP Suite, first responder locations, and as a primary sponsor of the Daily Happenings schedule. BEEF signage was also present throughout the Black Hills area encouraging people to CHOOSE BEEF during this year’s event, including the BEEF Billboard on Interstate I-90!
Yukimasa had the opportunity to tour several South Dakota beef farms and ranches, a livestock auction market, restaurants, and other key sectors of the food industry that make beef one of South Dakota's leading economic drivers.
The SDBIC also hosted a Japanese Cuisine Meet and Greet event at Sturgis Brewing Company in Sturgis, SD on July 25 th . Food Network Celebrity and Team Beef South Dakota Chef, Justin Warner, joined Yukimasa to demonstrate preparation techniques and serving options for various value cuts of beef utilized in Japan. Beef Logic Inc. and United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contractors to South Dakota Beef Industry Council and the Beef Checkoff, were also in attendance working alongside the SDBIC to introduce Chef Yukimasa to South Dakota beef farmers and ranchers who work hard to provide high-quality beef to consumers around the world.
Japanese Chef, Rika Yukimasa Tours South Dakota Beef Farms and Ranches
The SDBIC was enthusiastic to welcome Japanese Chef, Rika Yukimasa, to the United States for the American Beef Journey, July 23-27. Yukimasa hosts “Dining with the Chef,” popular NHK TV cooking program that airs in 150 countries, including the U.S., where it is shown on PBS. She has published dozens of bestselling cookbooks in Asia and spent several years in California where she graduated from U.C. Berkeley and gained understanding of the American plate.
South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassadors Share Their BEEF Story with Consumers
The new cohort of South Dakota Junior Beef Ambassadors have had a busy start to their year of promoting BEEF to consumers throughout South Dakota. The Jr. Beef Ambassadors have been promoting BEEF within their local communities and alongside the SDBIC. Ambassadors had the chance to attend the 2023 Ag PhD Field Days in Baltic, SD, on July 27th, where they had a booth inside the Kids Zone. On August 2nd Ambassadors attended the Stockyard Ag Experience for a tour and to talk to Stockyard Ag Experience guests about the importance of BEEF in their diet.
Dollars at Work
Checkoff Dollars at Work
Dollars at Work Checkoff Dollars at Work
Industry Council Executive Director
South Dakota Jr. Beef Ambassadors will be assisting with DakotaFest, South Dakota State Fair, and the Sanford PGA Golf Tournament throughout the fall as well!
Build Your Base jerky product that is processed at the Bad River Jerky plant in Chamberlain, SD. The jerky carries the Build Your Base logo as well as a QR code that extends the program message back to the Build Your Base website. Beef Logic will offer the product at discounted rates to partners, schools, and communities.
Beef Logic, Inc. and Build Your Base Update
The Build Your Base program, led by Beef Logic Inc., a nonprofit 501c3 contractor to the beef checkoff continues to see tremendous growth both at a statewide and national level. The program recently traveled to Las Vegas as the official community partner of the Indoor Football League (IFL) for their National Championship Game. Build Your Base worked alongside them in partnership to lead Game Time programming and events across the United States in 2023 and will continue its efforts in 2024 as it reaches millions of athletes and their families about the role high quality beef plays in both performance and recovery. While there, the program through Beef Logic, sponsored the Night of Champions Hall of Fame event where Prime Rib was served as well as multiple marketing and outreach opportunities that included an on-field logo, ribbon boards and banners, as well as a display at the main entrance where Build Your Base jerky was provided to attendees. The game that aired on CBS Sports Network contained two Build Your Base commercial opportunities that had the potential to expose the program to approximately 55 million viewers. Build Your Base continues to be grounded in South Dakota as it will provide programming to approximately 60 high schools and 7 universities throughout the 20232024 school year. New to the program this year is the
August 31 – September 4 | Junior Beef Ambassadors volunteer at the South Dakota State Fair.
September 8 | Annual Board Meeting at Drifters Bar & Grill. These meetings are a terrific opportunity to learn more about what your Dollar Checkoff does for you here in South Dakota, and on a national level! RSVP to Jodie Anderson if interested.
September 9 | SDBIC and Beef Logic will promote beef at the SDSU Beef Bowl in Brookings.
September 9 | SDBIC and Beef Logic will promote beef at the University of South Dakota’s Ag Appreciation Day in Vermillion.
September 13 – 17 | SDBIC and Beef Logic will highlighted BEEF at the Sanford International PGA Tour of Champions in Sioux Falls.
September 28 - 30 | SDBIC will be at the Cinch Playoffs – The Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls.
October 7 | SDBIC and Beef Logic will be at the Black Hills State University Beef Battle football game in Spearfish.
October 7 | SDBIC and Beef Logic will be at the University of South Dakota Dakota Days hosting the beef tailgate competition.
Learn more about each event and BEEF’s involvement throughout South Dakota at www.sdbeef.org.
Slovek Ranch Tour
2023 Leopold Conservation Award Receipient
Bill & Pennie Slovek and their family, recipients of the 2023 Leopold Conservation Award, hosted their ranch tour on August 3. The day started with the award presentation and remarks from David Bailey, Western Director for the Leopold Conservation Award Program, Eric Jennings, President of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, and Brett Nix, President of the South Dakota Grasslands Coalition. Bill Slovek's dedication and leadership within the agriculture industry and particularly his proactive approach to conservation practices that maximizes grasslands for their cattle operation was the theme of each presenter’s remarks.
President Jennings noted, "The SDCA is a proud sponsor of the Leopold Conservation Award, but you may wonder why does a cattle organization sponsor a rangeland award? Because ranchers grow grass. The range provides and cares for the cows that harvest the grass, and results in a successful operation. Operations like Slovek Ranch have been utilizing conservation practices for generations -- for as long as I have known Bill, he has been dedicated to range management."
During the tour, Bill noted that pasture rest and recovery time is the top priority for his grazing plan. "We rotate
cattle every 8 - 9 days on a pasture," said Bill. "At any given time, only 4-6% of the ranch's pastures are utilized for grazing.The remaining 94-96% is recovering and resting."
"This area of South Dakota tends to be a harsh environment," said Jennings. "To sustain enough grass with minimal purchased feed is a real testimony to the kind of operation that the Slovek's havethey protect the range and would rather send the cows out before they’d ever hurt the grass."
The tour ended in one of Bill's pastures which was located at the halfway point between the Fort Pierre to Deadwood trail. In the pasture, is a stone marker that reads "Area of Crash World War II B-29 Bomber on September 28, 1944" honoring the site of a deadly WWII era crash site. Bill noted that his father and grandfather remembered that day like it was yesterday -- 8 soldiers perished.The fire from the crash was so intense, no native plants or grasses grew for decades, and even today looks different that the pasture outside the crash site. It was only in the last 20 years that the soil has begun to regenerate.
Thank you to the Slovek family, the Leopold Conservation Award partners, and sponsors, for a great day of learning new management practices and celebrating conservation and stewardship for a better tomorrow.
SDCA Affiliate Contacts
The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association is the unified voice for cattle producers. SDCA provides a voice for cattlemen on all issues affecting your business and profitability.
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.
SDCA advocates for producers in:
• State & National Lobbying
• Policy Development
• Marketing, Trade, and Environmental Issues
• Beef Promotion & Research
Your SDCA membership includes membership in your local affiliate. As a member, you can stay informed about the issues affecting your area and set policy direction on cattle industry issues at the annual convention.
Black Hills: Britton Blair, Vale • 605-347-0426 • email@example.com
Central: Scott Slepikas, Huron • 605-354-1870 • firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clark Hamlin: Chance Popham, Hayti • 605-783-3285 • email@example.com
Dakota Southern: Keith Dvoracek, Tabor • 605-661-4981 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Davison-Hanson: Calli Williams, Letcher • 605-695-1990 • email@example.com
East Central: Andy Dupraz, White • 605-629-3859 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Kingsbury: Nick Wilkinson, Lake Preston• 605-203-0711 • email@example.com
McCook-Miner-Lake: John Morse, Madison • 605-256-9863 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Northeast: Nancy Johnson, Milbank • 605-432-5600 • email@example.com
North Central: Vacant
Northern Oahe: Jay Jones, Trail City • 605-845-3082 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Sioux Basin: Kelly Lyons, Garretson • 605-366-0791 • email@example.com
South Central: Kent Geppert, Kimball • 605-778-6227 • firstname.lastname@example.org
West Central: Matt Jones, Midland • 605-843-2066 • email@example.com