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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

Ranchers Thank SD GFP for Response to Drought Conditions

Ranchers Thank SD GFP for Response to Drought Conditions


The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission voted to allocate an additional 50 antlerless elk tags to help reduce grazing pressure on the Black Hills National Forest. The decision was made as part of the Elk Management Plan which calls for contingency licenses to be issued in the case of a drought.

Aaron Thompson, President of Spearfish Livestock Association said, “We really appreciate the Commission taking this step and issuing extra tags for the northern Hills areas. As drought conditions are becoming more severe in those areas, ranchers are taking steps to reduce the grazing pressure on the forest. We appreciate that SD GF&P is willing to stand with us through this drought.”

The SD Game Fish and Parks Commission spent considerable time debating information provided by their staff and the ranching community. The Department’s staff had originally recommended that no tags be issued at this time and that the Game Commission reevaluate the drought conditions at their October meeting.

SD Stockgrowers Association also spoke in support of releasing more tags, pointing to the severe drought conditions in the northern Hills, specifically in Lawrence, Butte and Meade Counties. Elk and livestock share the grass in the land being impacted by the drought.   “The Black Hills National Forest is a multiple-use forest that requires all the users to help protect the resources. We thank the Game Commission for making this tough decision.”

Thompson stated, “There is more than enough evidence of the severity of the drought to justify releasing some of these tags now. As ranchers, we have taken steps to reduce impacts to the forest by moving livestock early and hauling water. It’s not an easy decision, but it is the right decision to also remove some of the elk.”

“My organization can sympathize with the difficulty the Commission has in making decisions such as these, and I thank them for implementing the drought contingency portion of the Elk Management plan.”

According to SD Game Fish and Parks staff, the antlerless elk licenses will be available for the northern Black Hills hunting units 1, 7 and 2, which are located in the northern tier of the Black Hills and the prairie areas north of Spearfish.

SD Stockgrowers Concerned Brazil Beef Imports Will Endanger U.S. Producers

SD Stockgrowers Concerned Brazil Beef Imports Will Endanger U.S. Producers


The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) announced this week that they have approved the import of fresh and frozen beef from parts of Brazil. Certain states in Brazil have been deemed to be free of Foot and Mouth Disease and are working to comply with necessary U.S. export standards.

“It is extremely disturbing to think that the USDA is allowing beef from Brazil – a country that has continued to have problems meeting our health and safety standards, and has a known problem containing Foot and Mouth Disease within their borders,” said Stockgrowers President Bill Kluck. “We just can’t understand why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to import beef from a country that hasn’t proven it can keep U.S. livestock producers or our customers safe.”

From January 2015 to June 2016, Brazil was among the top five worst countries for rejected meat and poultry products. According to D.C. based Food and Water Watch, over 2.7 million pounds of Brazilian meat and poultry products were turned away by FSIS border inspectors for serious food safety violations.

“Bringing fresh and frozen beef from Brazil poses a serious disease risk to our cattle herd which could be economically devastating to our ranches and to the customers at the grocery store.”

SD Stockgrowers Vice-President Gary Deering added, “This is exactly why we fought so hard for Country of Origin Labeling. As ranchers, we’ve worked hard to build up a strong reputation for safe and affordable U.S. beef. I just can’t understand how USDA FSIS thinks that importing beef from Brazil makes any sense or provides any benefit to the United States’ producers or consumers.”

According to USDA FSIS, they anticipate annual imports of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from Brazil to range between 20,000 and 65,000 metric tons (MT), with annual volumes averaging 40,000 MT.