The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. Individual members of the Association pull together to make powerful decisions - dedicated to promoting the livestock industry and enhancing the opportunity for profitability.

SD Stockgrowers News

SD Stockgrowers Respond to COOL Ruling

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association issued the following statement regarding the May 18 ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). The following statement is attributed to SD Stockgrowers Association President Bob Fortune. Fortune ranches with his son on a multi-generational cattle ranch near Belvidere, SD.

“The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is disappointed in the May 18 ruling from the WTO, but we continue to advocate for Country of Origin Labeling that lets customers make informed decisions about where their food comes from. We will continue to work for a resolution that allows the United States labeling laws to stand and come to an agreement with our trade partners.”

“The WTO ruling states that the United States laws governing COOL do not comply with international trade obligations, and now opens the door for Canada and Mexico to file for trade retaliations. However, anyone speculating about exorbitant trade tariffs is doing so to raise fears and is jumping ahead of the arbitration process which will determine what, if any damages are being cause to Canada and Mexico. Tariffs will only take effect if the arbitration process fails to reach any resolution, and we feel that there is a real opportunity for the United States to find a way for Canada and Mexico join us in providing information to all our consumers about the source of their food.”

“South Dakota Stockgrowers calls on Congress to resist these intimidation tactics and allow the administration to complete the arbitration process. Given the growing number of countries importing beef and lamb into the United States we believe that a strong Country of Origin Labeling program is as important as it ever was to our ranchers.”

“COOL gives our customers the information they need to make confident decisions about purchasing food for their families. The United States is a sovereign country and we urge Congress and the President to assert their authority in upholding Country of Origin Labeling.”

Read the full ruling by clicking here.

Stockgrowers Applaud House Passage of Tax Extensions, Urge Senate to Act

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for voting earlier this week to pass H.R.636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act.  The bill includes a number of tax relief measures aimed at small businesses, including the increases to Section 179 deductions.

“The higher limits of deductions on Section 179 has been a great help to our ranch families who are investing in equipment and items that grow their operations,” said Bob Fortune, President of the SD Stockgrowers Association from Belvidere.  “We really appreciate Representative Noem’s work to see this pass the House as a permanent increase.”

Section 179 of the tax code allows most small businesses to write-off the full purchase prices of qualifying equipment and software within the first year.  In December of 2014, Congress passed a temporary extension to the Section 179 tax credits, raising allowed deductions from $25,000 for the 2014 calendar year.  H.R. 636 increases deduction amounts under Section 179 of the tax code to $500,000 which maintains the 2014 levels.

“We really urge the Senate to take action on this provision soon to give our small businesses the confidence to make purchasing decisions in the future based on the certainty of having a permanent increase in Section 179,” said Fortune.

The bill will next move to the Senate for further consideration.  Without the passage of similar legislation, Section 179 deductions for the calendar year 2015 are limited to $25,000.