|SD Stockgrowers Host Successful Convention,
Elect Kluck, Deering to Leadership
|The South Dakota Stockgrowers’ 124th Annual Convention and Trade Show wrapped up after three days of speakers and meetings to update members on policies, elect officers for the Association and adopt new policies.
“We were glad to see so many of our members attend this year and we had a lot of impressive speakers to listen to,” said Bill Kluck, newly elected President of SD Stockgrowers Association. “We had a great convention and we thank all of our sponsors and members for joining us.”
The convention featured several speakers including Bill Bullard from R-CALF USA, Tracy Hunt speaking on the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, updates on legislative issues and Alan Guebert who is a noted columnist of the Farm and Food Files gave a strong presentation challenging members to actively engage on issues and be strategic in choosing alliances. Workshops during the convention featured education on accounting software for the ranch and discussions of kitchen table conversations that help a family successfully transition their ranch to the next generation.
Leadership Elected at Membership Meeting
Bill Kluck, a rancher from Mud Butte, was elected to serve as President of the Association. Kluck ranches on his family operation, and has served as Vice-President of the SD Stockgrowers since 2013. He has been a member of the board of directors and also chairs the Animal Health committee for the association.
Gary Deering of Hereford, SD was elected to the seat of Vice-President. Gary and his wife Jessica ranch with their three young sons on their family beef cattle operation. Gary has served on the Stockgrowers Board of Directors for number of years and also serves on the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and is a member of the current class of SD Ag and Rural Leadership (SDARL).
Vaughn Meyer of Reva, Randy Volmer of Owanka, and Wayne Nelson of Langford were elected as Regional Vice-Presidents. Lester Longwood and Ken Knuppe were both recognized for their service to the Association as both of their terms on the Board of Directors ended this year.
The membership voted unanimously to continue their affiliation with R-CALF USA. They also voted to hire Jeremiah Murphy as the lobbyist for the 2016 Legislative Session.
Awards and Scholarships
The Guy E. Ham Beef Industry Scholarship was awarded to two students this year. Georgia Edoff of New Underwood received a $1,000 scholarship. She is the daughter of Scott and Veronica Edoff, and is currently studying Ag business at Sheridan College and plans to transfer to SD State University in Brookings next fall.
Abby Repenning of Mitchell received the $500 Guy E Ham Beef Industry Scholarship. She is the daughter of Steve and Lori Repenning and currently attends SDSU in Brookings and is working towards an Agricultural and Bio-systems Engineering degree.
The 2015 workhorse award was presented to Casey Miller of Spearfish. Casey serves as chairman of both the Spearfish Livestock Association and the Black Hill Regional Multiple Use Coalition. In the past year Casey also served as the SD Stockgrowers representative to the Elk Management working group advising SD Game Fish and Parks regarding their new elk management plans and was instrumental in including several key provisions that protect private property and livestock grazing within the elk habitat areas.
Members considered a number of policy updates and additions including the repeal of several policies that were outdated or no longer relevant.
New polices were adopted to call for the full repeal of the Beef Check-off program in light of the continued conflict and questions surrounding the spending of check-off money. And, a resolution was passed to call for accountability of federal agencies in regards to prescribed burns that escape public land, and requested that private landowners be paid for the damages caused by the 2013 Pautre Fire in Perkins County.
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For over 120 years the mission of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has remained unchanged, “to promote and protect the South Dakota livestock industry.” The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization representing independent livestock producers on local, state and national policies that impact the livestock industry.