The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is excited to share the agenda to their upcoming annual convention and trade show, which will take place at The Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. The two day event will feature some of the most knowledgeable and influential speakers in the agricultural industry, Sept. 27-29.

This is a chance to not only hear from top policy makers, but also to make your voice heard as the Stockgrowers set their priorities for the year. With the addition of a downtown pub crawl, Thursday evening, and banquet on Friday night, honoring Ray and a Linda Gilbert, this convention will be an event that you will not want to miss.

“Every year our convention seems to get bigger and better, and with the lineup of speakers, and events we have planned, this year will prove to be no exception,” says Gary Deering, president of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

The Stockgrowers are very happy to see that membership numbers are on the rise, and they feel they have put themselves in a very good position to engage and influence policy decisions, within South Dakota, and nationally. “My first year as President has been a lot of fun! There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing something start at the grassroots level and have it catch on. This is what The Stockgrowers are all about, and the convention is where it all starts”, adds Deering.

Convention attendees will also get a chance to meet James Halverson, who just started with the Stockgrowers as the new executive director. “I look forward to meeting everyone, and this will no doubt be a great time in Rapid City on the 27th and 28th,” says Halverson.

Thursday, Sept. 27

  • 8:30 am — Registration and Trade Show Opens
  • 9:50 am — Opening Remarks, President Gary Deering
  • 10:00 am — Bill Bullard

Come out and hear from RCALF USA’s CEO while he gives us his perspective on the livestock industry. Bill has been an informative influence to many in our organization for a long time. Get here right away as Bill kicks us off and gets our convention rolling!

  • 11:00 am — Wildlife, Kevin Robling

Kevin Robling will be discussing the new deer plan that the Game Fish and Parks board will be discussing a week after our convention. John Kanta (West River Director for GF&P) will be on hand. We also have invited GF&P Board members to attend, and this will be great timing for them to hear from us right before they make their decision.

Wildlife Committee may meet directly after this presentation. Chairman Mark Devries, Vice Chairman Casey Miller

  • 12:00 pm — Meet our Congressional Candidates Luncheon with Dusty Johnson, and Tim Bjorkman

The South Dakota Stockgrowers and The South Dakota Cattlewomen will present The Guy E. Ham Memorial Scholarship at this lunch

As the general election draws near, it is important that our next House Representative tells us their platform, so we can make an informed decision. As our lone representative in the House, it is also critical they hear what we have to say, so they take our issues to Washington.

  • 12:45 pm — Nominating Committee Meeting
  • 1:45 pm — Animal Health, Dr. Russ Daly

This has certainly been an animal health year! We have not heard of anybody that hasn’t had an issue with something, in at least part of their herd. Reports of foot rot, pink eye, summer pneumonia, and anthrax, have been all across South Dakota. Come listen to Dr. Daly discuss all of these issues, talk about ways of prevention, and possibly have time to update us on the diagnostic lab at SDSU.

  • 2:45 pm — DC Update — Lynn Tjeerdsma, Senator John Thune’s senior policy advisor, and Logan Penfield, legislative aide for Senator Mike Rounds

Lynn Tjeerdsma has been one the most influential persons in DC in regards to Ag policy. I doubt there is many, if anybody that understands Farm Bills as well as Lynn. With the Farm Bill deadline of September 30 this will be an exciting time to visit with Lynn. We cannot say how much we appreciate Lynn always finding the time for The South Dakota Stockgrowers.

Logan and Senator Rounds have been busy working on the ELD mandate, among other issues that we have concerns with. We were extremely excited, to work with, and give our support to legislation, that Senator Rounds sponsored, that would have allowed State inspected meat to be sold across state lines.

Our two Senators complement each other as Senator Thune is the chairman of Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and also serves on Agriculture, Finance, and Budget while Senator Rounds serves on Armed Services, Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, Environment and Public Works, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Veterans Affairs, giving us an opportunity to have influence on many issues.

  • 3:45 pm — Brand Committee Chairman Bill Hutchinson, Vice Chairman Tyler Robertson
  • 3:45 pm — Trade Committee Chairman Ty Littau, Vice Chairman Chance Anderson
  • 3:45 pm — Animal Health Committee Chairwoman Julie Trask, Vice Chairman Eric Sumption
  • 3:45 pm — Trade Show will be open and this will be a great opportunity to talk to the vendors that have made this convention happen
  • 4:45 pm — Entertainment Committee Chairman Mike Maher’s Pub Crawl
  • 6:30 pm — Murphy’s Bar and Grill Final Pub Stop and supper

James Halverson, executive director of South Dakota Stockgrowers, will address the members

Friday, Sept. 28

  • 7:00 am — Animal ID Committee: Chairman Kenny Fox, Vice Chairman Les Shaw
  • 7:00 am — Marketing Committee: Chairman Vaughn Meyer, Vice Chairwoman Danni Beer
  • 7:00 am — Ag and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Dave Niemi, Vice Chair Chance Davis
  • 8:00 am — Inspirational Breakfast Father Kerry Prendiville

We are so fortunate to have an organization that understands what is most important in our lives. This inspirational breakfast is always a refreshing way to start to our second day.

Father Kerry currently is the Parish priest for the parishes of St Therese, in Rapid City, and St. John’s in New Underwood. Father Kerry shows his love for his work by always finding time for his parishioners.

  • 9:00 am — Mental Health, Andrea Bjornestad

This may be the most important hour this association has ever put together. Suicide rates, and bouts with depression are increasing way too significantly with ranchers, and farmers, in South Dakota. Between down markets, and Mother Nature not always cooperating with us, it is never easy doing what we do. Andrea will help us see signs, and help tell us what we can do to help others, as well as ourselves. If one person within our communities can be helped by this talk, we will all be thankful Andrea came out to visit with us.

  • 10:00 am — Peter Orwick, American Sheep Institute executive director

Peter Orwick has had a hand in developing policy, not just for the sheep industry, but all of agriculture for quite some time. Peter, a South Dakota boy who has had the opportunity to sit at the table when major developments within the livestock industry has been played out. His extensive knowledge will give him the opportunity to discuss the role his organization has played in policies of, federal lands, trade agreements, and how the sheep industry has succeeded in getting COOL implemented.

  • 11:00 am — Soil Health, Jerry Doan

We are all looking at how to get more out of our ranches. The Doan ranch has worked for a long time diversifying, in order to bring their children back to their ranch. One of their biggest achievements is how they have managed their pastures to get the most profit off of their ground. They have implemented the use of cover crops to improve soil health, and to increase grazing opportunities long before our NRCS offices started telling us it was a good idea. With the push to use alternative cropping, and land getting harder to purchase Jerry will describe many unique options that we can consider.

  • 12:00 pm — Meet the Gubernatorial candidates Billie Sutton and Kristi Noem (via satellite) — Ice Cream Social
  • 12:30 pm — Property Rights Committee Chairman Bill Kluck, Vice Chairman J.T. Vig
  • 12:30 pm — Federal Lands Committee Chairman Frank Bloom, Vice Chairman J.T. Rickenbach
  • 1:30 pm — Market update, Jim Robb, Economist, Livestock Marketing Information Center

We are so excited to have Jim come talk to us this year. Jim often times will give expert economic testimony to The Senate Ag Committee. Jim will give us a very extensive outlook on our cattle and sheep markets. This will be very informative and help make some decisions going into the fall run.

  • 2:30 pm — Wall FFA Animal ID presentation

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has been following and opposing mandatory Animal Identification for a long time. This is no doubt a controversial issue that keeps coming up, throughout the cattle industry. For an FFA project, students have to give a non-biased presentation on a subject, and hats off to the Wall FFA team for choosing an issue that has been so important to our organization. This will be exciting to share our opinions, and hear from the future leaders in agriculture, as they give us their presentation that they will later be taking to the National FFA convention!

  • 3:30 pm — South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Annual Meeting

The annual membership meeting is always important to help layout The Stockgrowers policy for the year. We will be given brief committee reports from all of the Committee Chairman. Stockgrowers lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy will tell us about the big year coming up in Pierre, which will be a very busy year with oil and gas issues popping up in Harding County, Keystone XL Pipeline, and property taxes. We will get a nominating committee report, and elect leaders in various districts throughout the state.

  • 5:30 pm — Social
  • 6:30 pm — Banquet Honoring Ray and Linda Gilbert “Lifetime Friends of The South Dakota Stockgrowers”

Saturday, Sept. 29

  • 8:00 am — Board of Directors Breakfast, Legion.

Retiring and incoming board members and spouses are invited, all members are welcome.

  • 9:00 am — Board
  • of Directors meeting,
  • Legion

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