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Congratulations Dr. Jeny Meyer,
this year's Wolverine Winner

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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 Applaud Rounds Leadership on Trucking Regulations

SD Stockgrowers Association applaud the introduction of the Transporting Livestock Across American Safely Act, introduced by Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb) and co-sponsored by South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds. The bill would exempt haulers of live animals from the federal Hours of Service regulations within 300 miles of their origin, and would allow more flexibility in driving schedules.
“The ELD mandate, no doubt puts an undue burden on those who we trust to haul and care for our  livestock. It will also create expenses that we as ranchers will be stuck with throughout the whole chain, from hauling to market, to buying food at the grocery store.” Gary Deering President of The South Dakota Stockgrowers explains.
The current regulations restricted the hours that a driver can be on the road when traveling more than 150 miles, limited their flexibility in resting times, and created confusion about when and how the rules applied. SD Stockgrowers have asked for clarification and flexibility to allow animals to be delivered safely and efficiently to ensure their humane treatment.
“This legislation appears to be a very common sense approach and provides some needed flexibility to drivers who are hauling live animals,” said Deering.. “Hauling live animals is a unique situation. The hauler is responsible for being safe on the road, but also getting those animals to their destination as quickly and humanely as possible.”
According to a press release from Senator Mike Rounds, the legislation specifically:
  • Provides that hours of service and ELD requirements are inapplicable until after a driver travels more than 300-air miles from their source. Drive time for hours of service purposes does not start until after 300-air mile threshold.
  • Exempts loading and unloading times from the hours of service calculation of driving time.
  • Extends the hours of service on-duty time maximum hour requirement from 11 hours to a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 18 hours of on-duty time.
  • Grants flexibility for drivers to rest at any point during their trip without counting against hours of service time.
  • Allows drivers to complete their trip – regardless of hours of service requirements – if they come within 150-air miles of their delivery point.
  • After the driver completes his or her delivery and the truck is unloaded, the driver will take a break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum on-duty time (10 hours if a 15-hour drive time).
“Thank you to Senator Rounds for his leadership in making these trucking regulations work for the real world of hauling livestock by giving drivers the ability to deliver animals in a way that keeps our highways and livestock safe.”

SD Stockgrowers Applaud Thune’s Drought Data Legislation

SD Stockgrowers Applaud Thune’s Drought Data Legislation   


South Dakota Stockgrowers Association applaud Senator John Thune for introducing the Improved Soil Moisture and Precipitation Monitoring Act of 2018 this week. As the title indicates, the legislation seeks to improve monitoring and consistency of rainfall data used by various USDA agencies in determining eligibility for drought resources, and grazing conditions on federally managed lands.

According to Linda Gilbert, a rancher from Buffalo, “We really appreciate that Senator Thune took the time to meet with producers during his visit to Rapid City, and we are excited to see this legislation. More reporting stations and a consistent method for analyzing it will address one of the big concerns we’ve had data being used by USDA when it comes to our emergency and insurance programs. We thank the Senator for his attention and action on this important issue. This is a huge step in the right direction.”


“It’s great that Senator Thune acted so quickly after we talked with him,” said Mark Tubbs, SD Stockgrowers Director from Edgemont. “The last two years have been a devastating drought for us here in northwest Fall River County,and due to the lack of accurate rainfall data and discrepancies between agencies within USDA, we haven’t been able to collect our drought insurance, or have access to drought disaster programs even during the worst of the drought. I hope that this legislation can help us solve some of the frustrations we’ve had.”

“The ongoing issue of rainfall reporting, and the collection and analysis of rainfall data is a serious issue for farmers and ranchers. We thank Senator Thune for listening and taking our input to put forward a bill that seeks real solutions,”  said Silvia Christen, SD Stockgrowers Executive Director.

According to a press release from Senator John Thune, the Improved Soil Moisture and Precipitation Monitoring Act would:

Grant the secretary of agriculture the discretion to improve soil moisture monitoring by increasing the number of monitoring stations or by utilizing other appropriate cost-effective soil moisture measuring devices;

  • Increase the number of precipitation and soil moisture monitoring stations in any area that has experienced extreme or exceptional drought for any six month period since the beginning of 2016, including South Dakota, and authorizes a $5 million per year appropriation to do so;
  • Require USDA to develop standards to integrate data from citizen scientists and to collect soil moisture data; and
  • Require USDA agencies to use consistent precipitation monitoring data and drought assessment across the programs that USDA administers.