Symens: The only constant is change |

Symens: The only constant is change

I was once told that flexibility is a sign of spiritual maturity. While most of us experience a lack of flexibility as we mature, it’s a good trait to have as an organization. The last year and a half has proven just how much we are able to adapt to change, and it was a good warm up for new changes right around the corner.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Jodie Anderson for all of her years of service to the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. While it may be possible to count the years, it’s nearly impossible to count the hours spent in service to the organization, or measure the impact she’s had at both the state and national level in support of cattlemen and women. I want to personally thank her and Janna Reeves for their support and patience as I’ve waded through the past couple years as vice president. It’s been a great experience working with them on the issues facing the association, and witnessing what it takes to move us forward. I wish them both well as they step away from official duties here, but I have no doubt they’ll continue to be involved and won’t be hard to find as long as SDCA has a voice to be heard.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome Taya Runyan to the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association. Taya brings a great deal of experience and a fresh perspective to SDCA. It’s already been a great experience having her involved in our decision-making conversations. I have no doubt that as she hits the ground running, she’ll keep moving the association forward to meet our goals and use that experience and perspective to pull us through whatever changes we have yet to encounter.

At the upcoming convention, members will have the opportunity to discuss and vote on several bylaw changes. These changes evolved through a series of task force meetings, then through the board, and now they are being passed along to our grass roots membership for consideration. They were designed to keep leadership engaged at all levels, with a focus on membership as a high priority. I encourage everyone to study the changes, talk with leadership, and attend the convention. The best outcome usually results when everyone is involved.

At times it seems the only constant is change, and one of the things that can change regularly is policy. Whether policy items change or stay constant is initially determined at the committee level. A total of eight different policy committees , driven by member involvement, help shape the direction SDCA voices to the public, to Pierre, and to Washington, DC. Be on the lookout for opportunities to participate in these meetings, both virtually before convention, and at convention, so you can add your voice to the issues.

I’m really looking forward to going west for the convention (another change, by the way). I always enjoy the trip past the river, and have a great time in the Hills. Rapid City always offers a different atmosphere than I’m used to way up here in northeast South Dakota, and it’s a refreshing change. I hope you all take the opportunity to get registered for the convention and let’s enjoy our time together as cattlemen and women.

It’s been a great serving this association as vice president. While I may not be as flexible as I once was, I’ve learned just how much change and adjustment it takes to find success as an organization as diverse as this one. My hope is that we can all find ways to continue to make SDCA more nimble, so we have the ability to serve our members as changes take place in the cattle business. See you in Rapid!

South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association

Vice President, Warren Symens

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