All areas of the state were well represented at the recent annual South Dakota Cattlemen's Association convention in Sioux Falls, despite bad roads and no electricity in much of the state. Members braved the cold to learn more about their industry, network with agribusiness people and other producers, and to set policy to guide the association for the next year.
During the annual business meeting members passed resolutions to take the following stances on issues affecting the cattle industry:
- Support the reinstatement of funding for horse and mule slaughter inspections. The removal of this funding, as called for in recent legislation, would have a dramatic effect on the horse market and on those who rely on horses as part of their livelihoods, such as cattlemen.
- Oppose the importation of cattle from a country with a confirmed case of BSE that was born before a meat and bone meal ban was enacted in that country. SDCA also expects full harmonization of animal health regulations with other countries, especially anaplasmosis and bluetongue.
- Advocate for the elimination of CRP CP30 Marginal Wetland Buffer from the farm bill because it reduces the amount of grazing lands available to producers.
- Support clarification of eminent domain laws to protect the rights of private property owners.
- Support tax credits for infrastructure investments related to the development and implementation of a national animal ID system.
- Encourage Game, Fish and Parks to develop a Web site to link doe hunters with landowners seeking to reduce deer populations.
- Oppose restrictions that would limit producers' livestock marketing options.
About 150 people attended the two-day meeting, drawn by such speakers as Dr. Larry Corah with Certified Angus Beef and Dr. Larry Smith with Colorado State University, and the desire to be part of the decision-making process in their industry.