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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

Groups Ask President to Shut Down USDA’s Animal ID Road Tour

Groups Ask President to Shut Down USDA’s Animal ID Road Tour

 

Billings, Mont. – In a joint letter addressed to President Trump and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Michael Young, four groups ask for the cancellation of the seven upcoming meetings scheduled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address the agency’s plans to expand its Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule. The agency had only announced the all-day meetings less than 30 days before they were scheduled to begin in April.

Specifically, the groups ask that the USDA immediately halt any further action toward expansion of the existing ADT program, cancel the public meetings scheduled for April and May, and extend the comment period to allow a minimum 120 days for producers to provide written comment on the effectiveness of the existing ADT program.

The groups raise concerns that the USDA is attempting to expand the ADT so that it more closely resembles the agency’s previously abandoned National Animal Identification System (NAIS), stating, “USDA received a clear message from United States cattle producers that the NAIS program – which this expanded ADT plan appears to mimic – was not acceptable.  We do not see any changes in the cost-benefit to producers and we do not see evidence that producers’ feelings towards an expanded ADT program has changed in any way.”

The groups state the agency’s meetings were hastily planned, that cattle producers were not given timely or adequate notice, and because the meetings are scheduled during the time of year when many cattle producers are busy calving, branding, artificial inseminating and moving to summer pastures, many producers will be unable to attend.

“Requesting producers to leave their operations for a full day for poorly noticed and ill-planned meetings right in the middle of the critical spring work confirms a severe lack of understanding by USDA of the realities facing United States livestock producers,” the groups added.

The groups further state the USDA’s road tour will be a waste of time and waste of tax dollars, contrary to the presidential directive that agencies reduce both their own expenses and the regulatory burden they impose on U.S. industries. The groups also express concern that the hastily planned tour is being conducted even before a new Secretary of Agriculture is confirmed.

SD Stockgrowers Call for Ban on Brazil Beef and Reinstatement of COOL

SD Stockgrowers Call for Ban on Brazil Beef and Reinstatement of COOL

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association called on Senators Thune and Rounds, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem to implement an immediate ban on Brazilian beef imports and work to reinstate labeling for beef in the United States. The request came in response to news reports that Brazilian meat companies JBS and BRF bribed government officials to allow rotten, chemically treated, and unsafe beef products to enter their food supply.

“Given these allegations from Brazil, the members of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association are seriously concerned about consumer confidence given the lack country of origin labeling on beef products,” said SDSGA President Bill Kluck in a letter to delegates. He urged Thune, Rounds, and Noem to support legislation by Senator Jon Tester to ban Brazilian beef imports until USDA can investigate the allegations and assure that no tainted beef entered the U.S.

Additionally, SD Stockgrowers Association called for reinstatement of labels on beef products in the United States. Kluck said, “We believe that the recent developments in Brazil clearly prove the need for Country of Origin labeling to reassure consumers that their beef is born, raised, and harvested in countries that have not violated critical standards.”

“We don’t believe that any of this tainted meat made it to the United States, so we encourage folks to continue eating beef. But, we invite our customers to join us in contacting our delegation to ask for their support of Country of Origin Labels on beef.”

Twenty-one Brazilian beef plants have been implicated in the scandal that revealed bribery and corruption at high levels of the companies and government authorities. The investigation exposed direct bribes, donations to political parties, and hand-picking investigators who allowed tainted beef to pass their inspections.

United States Department of Agriculture officials have said that no beef from those 21 plants was imported to the U.S. and USDA has implemented additional testing protocols of beef coming from Brazil.

However, SD Stockgrowers doesn’t believe that is enough. “Stockgrowers supports Senator Tester’s legislation to implement an immediate 120-day ban on all beef imported from Brazil.  A temporary ban on Brazilian beef imports will allow USDA to determine if it is safe to continue beef imports in the future or if changes need to be made to regulatory standards.”

SD Stockgrowers Association has supported federal Country of Origin Labeling since its inception in the 2001 Farm Bill, and supported SD Legislative efforts to require labeling in South Dakota’s grocery stores.