SDSU names 2014 Friends of Beef Industry
September 26, 2014
During the 2014 Beef Bowl football game Sept. 20, South Dakota State University recognized Silvia Christen, executive director of South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and Jodie Anderson, executive director of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association as the SDSU 2014 Friends of the Beef Industry.
This annual award was presented by David Chicoine, President of South Dakota State University, Barry Dunn, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and Director of SDSU Extension and Joe Cassady, Dept. Head of Animal Science at SDSU.
Christen and Anderson are recognized for uniting their organizations, together with S.D. Sheep Growers, to form the Rancher Relief Fund. This fund raised and distributed $5.5 million to 600 western South Dakota ranch families who experienced devastating livestock losses due to the October 2013 Storm Atlas, which killed more than 43,000 head of cattle, sheep and horses.
"These women brought together two historically important livestock organizations to help South Dakota's ranch families whose lives were changed by this devastating storm. Through the Rancher Relief Fund, many SDSU friends, supporters and alumni were able to help each other and support the future of South Dakota's livestock industry," Dunn said.
Silvia Christen grew up on her family's diversified cow/calf and crop farm near the northern Missouri town of Green City. She continues to be an active part of the family farm.
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Since 2011, Christen has served as the executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. In this role she works to grow and develop the association through state and national policy work, membership development, and communications to advocate for independent livestock producers.
Christen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Missouri. In 2006 she moved to South Dakota and worked for Dakota Rural Action. In 2009 she transitioned to the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association. Prior to becoming executive director, Christen served as the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association development director where she created the South Dakota Stockgrowers Development Foundation and expanding the association's work and membership.
As a resident of Rapid City, Christen is involved in a number of professional and community organizations including the Rushmore German Club, Dakota Territory International Visitor Program, and the Rapid City Chamber Ag Committee. Christen was a Class 7 member of South Dakota Agriculture & Rural Leadership.
Jodie Hickman Anderson grew up on a ranch in Haakon County where her family raised cattle and sheep and she continues the tradition as a fifth generation rancher and a principle in 3J Cattle Company. After graduating from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Business, Anderson lived and worked in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana before returning to South Dakota in 2005.
Today, Anderson lives with her husband Shane and daughter Quinn, 1, in Pierre where they own and operate several businesses. Anderson is owner and president of Strategic Association Services, providing association management services for various clients, including the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA) where she has served as executive director for nearly 10 years. Anderson is also an also an owner and officer in 3D Excavation, Inc.
As SDCA's lead staff person, Anderson is actively engaged in legislative and regulatory issues on behalf of cattlemen and she works closely with local, state and national industry leaders to provide opportunities for grassroots advocacy. She also works with a broad coalition of South Dakota agricultural organizations on issues of mutual concern and serves as a Board member for Agriculture United for South Dakota.
Anderson is a member of Ag Unity, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association.
Anderson's resume also includes experience at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the American National CattleWomen, the Dakota Value Capture Cooperative and she has served as the South Dakota Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) coordinator.
In 2010, Anderson was instrumental in helping bring the Leopold Conservation Award to South Dakota to recognize the conservation efforts of private landowners.