South Dakota cattlemen wrap up 62nd annual convention |

South Dakota cattlemen wrap up 62nd annual convention

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association (SDCA) wrapped up their 62nd Annual Convention and Trade Show in Aberdeen on Dec. 2. In addition to an exceptional line-up of speakers, members drafted policy and elected new officers. Excellent weather, a sold-out trade show, and a long list of hot issues combined to make the 2010 convention a huge success.

Convention concluded with the Annual Membership Meeting where SDCA members elected a dynamic new officer team. Bill Slovek, a cow-calf producer from Philip, SD, was elected to lead SDCA as their president and Jeff Smeenk, also a cow-calf producer from Newell, SD, will be serving as SDCA’s 1st Vice President. Jon VanderPol from Platte, SD, was re-elected to serve as SDCA’s Secretary/Treasurer. New to the officer team is Cory Eich of Canova, SD, who will serve as 2nd Vice President.

Members set new policy during the annual meeting on current hot issues ranging from property taxes to the Animal Disease Traceability program. With Senator Johnson’s proposed Wilderness designation in South Dakota, SDCA members also revisited policy regarding wilderness areas and national monuments. Members also drafted policy addressing coyote and mountain lion population control.

Newly elected SDCA President, Bill Slovek, remarked “With the vast array of pending issues on the state and national level, it’s vital to our organization that cattlemen not only participate by paying membership dues, but also their time to ensure our grassroots organization continues to be an effective voice for our members. The success of this organization relies on the participation of our members to help set policy and elect our leadership.”

This year’s attendees heard from speakers covering topics addressing livestock marketing rules, estate planning, advanced vaccine technologies, using social media to promote agriculture, and an economic outlook.

In its inaugural year, the Leopold Conservation Award was awarded to Rick and Marlis Doud during the Dec. 1 evening award banquet. SDCA also recognized their Cattlemen of the Year, Eric Jennings of Spearfish, SD, and Agribusinessman of the Year, Leo Jensen of Jensen’s, Inc. in Huron, SD. 2010 also marks the first year for the Young Producer’s Council Scholarship, which awards two $250 scholarships to college students planning a future in agriculture. This year’s winners are Matt Dybedahl of Colton, SD, and Maria Skoglund of Salem, SD.

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