South Dakota: Beef Day at the Capitol held March 2 in Pierre | TSLN.com
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South Dakota: Beef Day at the Capitol held March 2 in Pierre

The state’s legislators were treated to a day of celebration of America’s favorite protein – beef – on March 2, 2011 for the annual South Dakota Beef Day at the Capitol event. Several South Dakota organizations took part in the event, including: Ag in the Classroom, Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, South Dakota Stockgrowers, South Dakota CattleWomen, South Dakota Beef Industry Council and South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.

Beef industry information and beef sandwiches were passed out to all of the legislators during their lunch break. The event was held in the Capitol Rotunda. Helping to discuss current agriculture issues was Kelli Fulkerson, National Beef Ambassador, and Taylor Geppert, South Dakota Beef Ambassador. The duo were introduced to the state’s elected officials and even spent time with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

“On Beef Day, I played the important role of representing the next generation standing up for beef,” said Geppert. “By just being there and being recognized by the legislators, we hopefully helped them see that we support our industry and want to keep it going for years to come.”



The ambassadors, Geppert and Fulkerson, worked together to set up a booth, offering facts and figures about how ranchers are feeding a hungry world. This presented an opportunity to strike up a conversation with legislators.

“Legislators asked us about what we did as Beef Ambassadors,” said Geppert. “They were very impressed about the amount of traveling we did and the knowledge that we possessed and had dedicated to the industry thus far. They all thanked us for being there that day.”



One issue the pair discussed with legislators was current budget cuts and how it might impact youth in agriculture.

“With current extension research funding being cut, dollars for producer-benefiting research may become a thing of the past,” warned Geppert. “This may not have as big an impact on producers as the 4-H program, but many of those kids who are involved in 4-H are the producers of the future.”

Ruth Farnsworth, South Dakota CattleWomen’s president from Winner, SD, also took part in the event.

“The Capitol Rotunda was the place to be on March 2 for our annual Beef Day at the Capitol,” said Farnsworth. “As we passed out beef salad sandwiches for the legislatures, one comment I heard was, ‘we look forward to this every year.’ Beef Day is a good time to reconnect with our Senators and Representatives to see what is on their mind concerning the happenings in Congress. We are also able to learn about what we need to be doing to help them.”

Of course, the state’s proposed 10 percent cuts was on the minds of the officials. Farnsworth took the opportunity to speak with them about the issues.

“The main topic of discussion was the budget, and many were working hard to make sure property taxes don’t increase,” said Farnsworth. “In conversations with them, many commented that they look forward to the Beef Day at the Capitol each year. They enjoy the good beef we serve them.”

She firmly believes in working with the state’s law makers on all issues.

“Even in our state, there are many legislators that have little idea as to what producers face today,” noted Farnsworth. “They see the higher prices for beef and cattle and forget about the impact fuel prices have on our industry. However, some do understand that our input costs are incredibly high.”

Geppert agreed and stressed the importance of educating elected officials.

“I think that it’s extremely important to share the beef story with our legislators because they are a major influence on what happens in this state,” said Geppert. “We want our legislators to know that South Dakota beef producers care for their animals and want to raise the healthiest beef possible to put on the plates of fellow South Dakotans. They may know that South Dakota has more cattle than people in it, but if they know the story and hard work that go into all of these cattle, hopefully they will stand up for the industry in the future.”

Beef Day was certainly a success for the ranchers who showed up to participate. At the end of the day, they hope their efforts will strengthen friendships and foster understanding for the agriculture industry with their elected officials in Pierre.

The state’s legislators were treated to a day of celebration of America’s favorite protein – beef – on March 2, 2011 for the annual South Dakota Beef Day at the Capitol event. Several South Dakota organizations took part in the event, including: Ag in the Classroom, Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, South Dakota Grassland Coalition, South Dakota Stockgrowers, South Dakota CattleWomen, South Dakota Beef Industry Council and South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.

Beef industry information and beef sandwiches were passed out to all of the legislators during their lunch break. The event was held in the Capitol Rotunda. Helping to discuss current agriculture issues was Kelli Fulkerson, National Beef Ambassador, and Taylor Geppert, South Dakota Beef Ambassador. The duo were introduced to the state’s elected officials and even spent time with South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard.

“On Beef Day, I played the important role of representing the next generation standing up for beef,” said Geppert. “By just being there and being recognized by the legislators, we hopefully helped them see that we support our industry and want to keep it going for years to come.”

The ambassadors, Geppert and Fulkerson, worked together to set up a booth, offering facts and figures about how ranchers are feeding a hungry world. This presented an opportunity to strike up a conversation with legislators.

“Legislators asked us about what we did as Beef Ambassadors,” said Geppert. “They were very impressed about the amount of traveling we did and the knowledge that we possessed and had dedicated to the industry thus far. They all thanked us for being there that day.”

One issue the pair discussed with legislators was current budget cuts and how it might impact youth in agriculture.

“With current extension research funding being cut, dollars for producer-benefiting research may become a thing of the past,” warned Geppert. “This may not have as big an impact on producers as the 4-H program, but many of those kids who are involved in 4-H are the producers of the future.”

Ruth Farnsworth, South Dakota CattleWomen’s president from Winner, SD, also took part in the event.

“The Capitol Rotunda was the place to be on March 2 for our annual Beef Day at the Capitol,” said Farnsworth. “As we passed out beef salad sandwiches for the legislatures, one comment I heard was, ‘we look forward to this every year.’ Beef Day is a good time to reconnect with our Senators and Representatives to see what is on their mind concerning the happenings in Congress. We are also able to learn about what we need to be doing to help them.”

Of course, the state’s proposed 10 percent cuts was on the minds of the officials. Farnsworth took the opportunity to speak with them about the issues.

“The main topic of discussion was the budget, and many were working hard to make sure property taxes don’t increase,” said Farnsworth. “In conversations with them, many commented that they look forward to the Beef Day at the Capitol each year. They enjoy the good beef we serve them.”

She firmly believes in working with the state’s law makers on all issues.

“Even in our state, there are many legislators that have little idea as to what producers face today,” noted Farnsworth. “They see the higher prices for beef and cattle and forget about the impact fuel prices have on our industry. However, some do understand that our input costs are incredibly high.”

Geppert agreed and stressed the importance of educating elected officials.

“I think that it’s extremely important to share the beef story with our legislators because they are a major influence on what happens in this state,” said Geppert. “We want our legislators to know that South Dakota beef producers care for their animals and want to raise the healthiest beef possible to put on the plates of fellow South Dakotans. They may know that South Dakota has more cattle than people in it, but if they know the story and hard work that go into all of these cattle, hopefully they will stand up for the industry in the future.”

Beef Day was certainly a success for the ranchers who showed up to participate. At the end of the day, they hope their efforts will strengthen friendships and foster understanding for the agriculture industry with their elected officials in Pierre.


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