SDCA Wraps Up 2019 Annual Convention
Pierre, SD (December 9, 2019) – The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA) hosted a successful 71st Annual Convention and Trade Show last week in Pierre, where new leaders were elected and plans were made for 2020 and beyond.
The event featured speakers who addressed issues from protecting your livestock assets to Animal Disease Traceability, truth in beef labeling, focusing on profit in your grazing enterprise, and county tax incentives for confined animal feeding operations. Lesley Kelly, of High Heels and Canola Fields fame, also tackled the subject of mental health on behalf of the Do More Agriculture Foundation.
“2019 has been an exceptionally challenging year for cattlemen and everyone involved in agriculture. We appreciate the members, vendors, and sponsors who took time to attend our event, where we worked to address many issues important to our industry, including how to deal with the additional stress of challenging weather and markets. Lesley Kelly shared her mental health journey and provided some great tools for dealing with farm-related stress. We were also pleased to host Karl Oehlke, a Physicians Assistant specializing in psychiatry at Avera Behavioral Health and a farmer from southeastern South Dakota. He was integral in helping to create Avera’s Farm and Rural Stress Hotline for farmers and loved ones in need of support,” noted Jodie Anderson, SDCA Executive Director.
In addition to hearing from dynamic experts, SDCA members charted the organization’s policy direction and elected new leaders during the Annual Membership Meeting. Eric Jennings, a cow-calf producer from Spearfish will serve as the association’s President in 2020. Elected as vice President was Warren Symens who operates a seedstock and cattle feeding operation with his family in Amherst. Allen Walth, Secretary/Treasurer from Glenham, and Immediate Past President Steve Ollerich round out the 2020 officer team. Members also reviewed policy proposals, allowing some to expire, adding new ones and modifying others in order to more accurately reflect SDCA’s position on issues impacting South Dakota cattlemen and women.
The convention wrapped up with the Best of Beef Banquet where the Johnson family from Frankfort was honored as the 2019 Leopold Conservation Award winners and Todd Wilkinson of DeSmet was named SDCA’s Cattleman of the Year. Top Hand membership recruiters were also recognized, including: Eric Jennings, Steve Ollerich, Shirley Thompson, Cory Eich and John Morse.
Anderson said, “We can’t thank our members, sponsors, and trade show exhibitors enough for making our 71st Annual Convention and Trade Show an event to remember.”
–South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association
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