Calves on pasture

A young calf feeds from its mother in a pasture in southeastern South Dakota in this photo from May 2017. South Dakota Cattlemen and other groups are working to create a land trust for farm and ranch families wanting to protect their land from development. 

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association’s 71st annual convention and trade show kicks off Dec. 3-4 at the Pierre Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center.

The speaker lineup includes experts on protecting your livestock investments, mental health, national issues, and the latest in best practices from experts at South Dakota State University Extension.

“Our program this year will include tools you can use in your cattle operation, from protecting your livestock to taking care of your loved ones who may be dealing with the stress of a challenging year,” SDCA Executive Director Jodie Anderson said. “I encourage all our state’s beef producers to come to learn with us and share your insights with fellow cattlemen and women.”

The agenda provides educational opportunities Tuesday, Dec. 3, beginning with the SDSU Extension Roundup. Extension experts will provide brief updates on topics including farm and ranch estate planning, cattle health, and climate updates and trends.

This year the Cattlemen’s Education Series, sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association, will feature two segments.

The program will start off with a presentation by Aimee Sitter, South Dakota Cattlemen’s outreach coordinator. She will give pointers to help members find their voice and promote the organization and their livelihood.

To round out the night, a panel on protecting your livestock investments will take the stage. With recent high-profile theft and fraud cases, the association has assembled a panel of experts to provide insight on how producers can ensure your livestock assets are well protected.

The keynote address will be delivered during lunch Wednesday. Lesley Kelly, founder of High Heels and Canola Fields, will visit on behalf of the Do More Agriculture Foundation.

Kelly will address rural mental health and provide tips for how attendees might help friends, family and neighbors cope with the stress of farming and ranching.

Local resources will also be shared by representatives of Avera’s Farm and Rural Stress Hotline.

Also Wednesday, convention attendees can learn more about national issues, including what’s happening with animal identification, and hear an address on the association’s business.

Committee and council meetings will take place in the morning, with members setting policy and electing leaders for 2020 Wednesday afternoon at the annual membership meeting.

Wednesday evening, attendees will have the chance to relax and network at the “Best of Beef Banquet” and the president’s auction.

During the banquet, the South Dakota Cattlemen will honor the Johnson Family, the 2019 Leopold Conservation Award recipients, and recognize members who have gone above and beyond to support the organization.

The evening and event will wrap-up with the auction, featuring unique items and experiences.

Registration and hotel information is available online at, or call the cattlemen’s association office at 605-945-2333.


At the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center

Pierre, South Dakota

Tuesday, Dec. 3

1-3 p.m. – Board of Directors Meeting

3-5 p.m. – SDSU Extension Roundup:

Effect of Incorporating Reproductive Technologies on Ranch Profitability, Dr. Julie Walker, SDSU Extension beef specialist

Climate Update and Trends, Laura Edwards, State Climatologist

Characterizing Foot and Leg Problems on Pastures - Summer 2019, Dr. Russ Daly, SDSU Extension veterinarian - State public health veterinarian

Farm and Ranch Estate Planning COP’s, Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension livestock business management field specialist

5-5:15 p.m. – Break

5:15-7:45 p.m. – Cattlemen’s Education Series

Creating your SDCA “Elevator Speech”, Aimee Sitter, SDCA outreach coordinator

Protecting Your Livestock Investments Panel, Todd Wilkinson - Attorney and NCBA policy vice chair, Dr. Dustin Oedekoven - S.D. Animal Industry board, Kari McPherson-Karber - Packers and Stockyards Administration, Pierce Bennet - Livestock Marketing Association, Myron Williams - S.D. Brand Board, Brian Gilbert - The First National Bank ag banking manager

7:45-9:30 p.m. – #KnowYourBeef Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Dec. 4

7 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Registration

7:15-8:45 a.m. – Breakfast and Industry Updates

National Update, Don Shiefelbein, NCBA Policy Division chairman

8:45-9 a.m. – Committee Chairs Meeting

8:45-9 a.m. – Trade Show Time

9-10:30 a.m. – Committee Meetings

10:30-11:15 a.m. – Cow-Calf Council Meeting

Great Grazing is for Profit, Alan Newport, Beef Producer editor

11:15 a.m. to noon – Cattle Feeder Council Meeting

County Tax Incentives for CAFOs, Joe Fiala, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Noon to 1:45 p.m. – Lunch and Keynote speaker

Breaking Barriers in Agriculture: Can you imagine having one conversation that can save someone’s life? Leslie Kelly, Do More Agriculture Foundation

1:45-2 p.m. – Trade show time

2-5:30 p.m. – Annual Membership Meeting (for members only)

3:30-3:45 p.m. – Break in the trade show area

5:45-7 p.m. – Exhibitor Appreciation Social and Trade Show Poker Run

7-8:30 p.m. – Best of Beef Banquet and Leopold Award presentation

9-10 p.m. – Kenny Feidler & The Cowboy Killers

8:30-10 p.m. – President’s Auction and Trade Show Poker Run Winner Announced

10 p.m. to close – Hospitality Room

Thursday, Dec. 5

7-10 a.m. – Exhibitor Move-Out

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