The South Dakota Stockgrowers serve USA beef at legislative mixer
Livestock producers were in the state capitol Wednesday, Jan. 15, as the South Dakota Stockgrowers hosted their annual Legislative Day and Mixer, at Drifters Event Center in Ft. Pierre, SD. “The mixer is a great day for Stockgrowersand state officials to get together each year,” said Stockgrowers President Scott Edoff. “I appreciate all the legislators, department heads, and Lt. Governor Rhoden for taking time out of their very busy schedules to share their ideas and to take the opportunity to listen to our members’ priorities heading into this legislative session,” Edoff added.
Stockgrowers Region 1 Vice President, Les Shaw, from White Owl, SD commented, “I really appreciate being part of an organization that can helpget its members in front of the policy makers of our State. This was a great event that defines what “grassroots” is all about.” The afternoon began with a Board of Directors meeting where SDSGA Leadership was able to discuss legislative priorities and outline steps moving forward. “This is an important step in the legislative process,” commented Jeremiah Murphy, Stockgrower Lobbyist. “I appreciate being able to sit face-to-face with our directors and members to hear exactly what issues are affecting them most.” He added.
After the Board meeting, attendees were treated with some great burgers prepared by Chef Uriah Steber with South Dakota beef provided by Wall Meat Processing. With plenty of burgers on hand, the afternoon continued with short presentations followed by question and answer sessions by many state officials including; Kelly Hepler, Secretary of Game, Fish, and Parks, Kim Vanneman, Secretary of Agriculture, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, State Veterinarian, Senator John Wiik, Senator Gary Cammack, and Representative Kirk Chaffee.
After the informative afternoon, thanks again toWall Meat Processing, and the creativity of Drifters’ staff, t he Stockgrowers and guests were served heavy appetizers of South Dakota born, raised, and harvested beef. “The creativity and culinary expertise of the staff at Drifters is exceptional. If you missed this presentation of South Dakota beef, you really missed out.” Said James Halverson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. “A few of the guests and I were trying to decide which dish was better: the prime rib and smoked potato, tacos de lengua, or beef short rib on rice. We couldn’t decide, but we all agreed the food was outstanding!”
Property taxes, brand issues, and property rights, among many other issues, will keep the Stockgrowers busy this year and having their mixer at the beginning of the legislative session proves helpful moving forward. “The opportunity for members and decision-makers to come together to talk about issues and solutionsis at the heart of our association and its mission to protect and promote the livestock industry.” Added Edoff.
The Stockgrowers encourage everybody to call the office, visit their website, or “like” them on Facebook to keep up with everything they will be doing during the legislative session and with other events. Every Friday during session Jeremiah M. Murphy shares his weekly report on bills of interest which gets emailed out to all members. Additionally, everyone is welcome to join weekly conference calls at 6:30 am MST every Wednesday morning throughout the length of the session to discuss issues important to them and to hear about the latest happenings from Pierre.
–South Dakota Stockgrowers Association