Beef Council honors Prime Promoters, Distinguished Service

Farm Forum

PIERRE – The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) recently honored two businesses, an individual and a couple for their outstanding efforts in promoting the beef industry. The SDBIC recognized award recipients during the 2013 Prime Promoter Award luncheon held during the organization’s annual meeting September 14 in Brookings.

The D&K Outpost of Highmore, owned and managed by Karen and Greg Swenson, was one of two businesses receiving the Prime Promoter Award this year. Karen, who has operated the restaurant since 1997, was recognized for the restaurant’s focus on consistently preparing and serving quality beef products. The D&K Outpost is best known for its prime rib entrŽe. In 2012, the business sold approximately 3,600 pounds of ribeye, which is used for both the prime rib and ribeye steaks it serves. That same year, the restaurant served approximately 1,200 pounds of pre-cut sirloin steaks. D&K Outpost features roast beef regularly on its buffet and in its catering business. In addition, 2,150 pounds of bulk ground beef is used to create hamburger steaks and in casseroles and other dishes served on its buffet. The D&K Outpost sold more than 4,000 hamburgers last year.

Mid-Dakota Meats, LLC,

owned and managed by Kevin and Angela Leiferman, also received the Prime Promoter Award in the business category. The business was recognized for its innovative techniques and efforts to showcase beef. Kevin attends meat lab workshops annually, striving to bring new ideas, skills and techniques into his business. Mid-Dakota Meats has won awards for its specialty products, including its beef sticks and Black Forest Marinated Hanger Steak. The company processes more than one million pounds of beef annually. Kevin serves on the board of directors for the South Dakota Association of Meat Processors. The Leifermans have provided beef jerky at a discount for shipment to U.S. troops through the South Dakota CattleWomen. They also open their business to FFA students who want to learn more about the meat processing business.

Dr. Dave Barz, owner of Northwest Veterinary & Supply based in Parkston, S.D., was named Prime Promoter in the individual category. Dr. Barz was recognized as one of South Dakota’s leading advocates for the use of accepted animal handling techniques and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs by beef producers. Dr. Barz has provided BQA training for beef producers at Dakotafest and other events in an effort to promote a pro-active approach toward food safety and product quality. He has also assumed a lead role in the fundraising effort for the construction of a new state-of-the-art cow/calf unit at South Dakota State University (SDSU) and sponsored positions in the SDSU Extension Ag CEO program, demonstrating his desire to create a business mindset for livestock producers as they face a changing and challenging agricultural environment.

Dean and Eileen Strong were the 2013 recipients of the SDBIC Distinguished Service Award. The couple, who sold the Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange earlier this year after operating the business since 1977, was recognized for the contributions the Exchange made to the state’s beef industry and the region during their tenure. The Exchange markets over 160,000 head annually, with an approximate value of more than $136 million. It is estimated to create a positive economic impact of $800 million-plus to the economy of Belle Fourche and the ranching community in the tri-state area of South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.

The SDBIC Prime Promoter luncheon is held each year as part of the SDBIC annual meeting and the Beef Bowl celebration at SDSU. Award recipients were also recognized this year during the Beef Bowl’s SDSU vs. Southeastern Louisiana University football game.

Nominations for the Prime Promoter Award are accepted each year from the public. Award recipients are selected by the SDBIC Prime Promoter Committee. Anyone interested in nominating an individual, organization or business for a Prime Promoter Award can call 605-224-4722, or e-mail