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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

SD Stockgrowers Voice Opposition to Mandatory Electronic ID Proposal

SD Stockgrowers Voice Opposition to Mandatory Electronic ID Proposal


SD Stockgrowers Association reaffirmed their opposition to a mandatory electronic identification requirement after USDA released their recommendations for an expanded program in Denver last week. The recommendations included a proposal requiring all breeding age cattle to carry an electronic identification tag within the next five years.

“We were opposed to this when it was NAIS, and we’re opposed to it now,” said SD Stockgrowers  Animal ID Committee Chair Kenny Fox. “USDA continues to push this even when producers clearly said that we don’t want it and don’t need it.”

“USDA has been pushing this crazy mandate for years, but they still can’t tell us what it will cost, how they are going to keep the data safe, or deal with liability that’s going to fall on producers and sale barns. We don’t need this kind of program when our current system is working to keep our herds healthy.”

Current USDA Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) requires individual identification of any cattle over the age of 18 months traveling across state lines.   That is being accomplished with metal NUES tags, brand inspection, health certificates and voluntary use of electronic ID for some producers. Compliance with those standards varies across the country.

USDA’s proposed electronic mandate would apply to the same category of cattle over the age of 18 months but mandate that no other identification method, other than electronic, would be allowed for interstate movement or change of ownership. While electronic identification tied to a federal premise registration number has been available on a voluntary basis for years, USDA estimates that less than twenty-percent of all beef cattle in the U.S. are currently using voluntary electronic identification in their cattle herds. The majority of those producers are doing so for management practices, not disease traceability.

SD Stockgrowers Executive Director Silvia Christen attended the meetings in Denver where USDA revealed their recommendations. “We have serious questions about the cost to our livestock producers, veterinarians and the auction markets. The infrastructure systems needed to read and record tags and keep cattle moving is a huge project, and then there’s the question of the database and computer systems that would house all of that data. How does USDA propose we keep that safe, protect producer privacy and control liability issues? We’re asking USDA to take these concerns seriously and put the brakes on this proposal.”

Fox said, “Our members attended most of the listening sessions that USDA held this spring and from what we heard, producers were pretty clear that they don’t want this. USDA needs to listen to what we’re telling them and stop with this heavy handed mandate.”

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America

“Fighting for the Independent U.S. Cattle Producer”

Contact: R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard
August 14, 2017
Phone: 406-252-2516;

 South Dakota Stockgrowers Association to Cosponsor Tomi Lahren Speech

 Billings, Mont. – The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) has joined with R-CALF USA to cosponsor Rapid City, S.D., native Tomi Lahren’s keynote address at the R-CALF USA’s upcoming annual convention August 25-26, 2017. Lahren will speak at 7:00 p.m. on August 26 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City.

Bill Kluck, SDSGA President, said Lahren is a rising star on social media and she is tackling an important national issue with her hard-hitting commentary that so far has received only lip service from politicians and other celebrities.

Kluck said Lahren is a social media maverick because she’s explaining the direct connection between keeping family farmers and ranchers on their land and the long-term production of a safe, wholesome and secure food supply for all American’s.

“Tomi’s not afraid to speak out about how the government has partnered with big corporations to take livestock production out of the hands of independent ranchers and place it under the control of multinational corporations,” said Kluck.

Kluck explained that Congress’ repeal of the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law for beef by such a wide margin reveals just how much control those multinational corporations now have over Congress.

Before its repeal, the COOL law enabled consumers to distinguish beef produced exclusively by America ranchers from beef produced in any one of the 20 or so countries from which multinational corporations now are sourcing their beef supplies.

With COOL gone, Kluck said corporations are now undercutting American ranchers by sourcing more and more of their beef supplies from foreign countries.

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said Lahren’s upcoming speech is titled, “Making the Dinner Table American Again,” and will highlight how the elimination of COOL has allowed multinational corporations to access cheaper and lower quality beef from developing countries and pass it off to unsuspecting Americans as if it were produced by American ranchers.

“Her speech will not be well received by the federal government or by giant food corporations,” said Bullard adding, “After all, together they wiped out 9 of every 10 American hog farmers during the past three decades and now they’re focused on doing the same to cattle ranchers.

“We’re pleased to cosponsor Tomi’s appearance with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and we’re hopeful that Tomi’s presentation will kick start meaningful reforms to help us reverse the ongoing dismantling of America’s family-based ranching system,” commented Bullard.

The SDSGA and R-CALF USA invite the general public to attend Lahren’s speech for a minimal contribution of $10.00 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at and follow the instructions.

To preregister and for more information about the R-CALF USA convention, visit, or call Tatum Lee at 405-834-5710.

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 R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit or, call 406-252-2516.