Cattlemen check

Members of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Foundation present a check to Feeding South Dakota at the annual gala concert in Sioux Falls.

The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation presented a check for $263,250 to Feeding South Dakota on Saturday night during the Prime Time Gala & Concert at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. This amount exceeded their original pledge amount of $150,000. Nearly 1,600 guests attended the sixth annual gala that also included a silent and live auction as well as a raffle of a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax from Billion Chevrolet. The lucky winner of the truck this year was John Husk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.

During the gala, a total of $15,000 in scholarships were awarded to five students attending South Dakota schools interested in the improvement of beef production and promotion to aid in their education. This year’s scholarship winners included:

$1,000 – Logan Wolter of Wessington Springs, South Dakota

$2,000 – Tyler Bush of Britton, South Dakota

$3,000 – Jonathan Sumption of Frederick, South Dakota

$4,000 – Cutler Michalski of Willow Lake, South Dakota

$5,000 – Kadon Leddy of Stockholm, South Dakota

Ryan Eichler

Ryan Eichler, president of South Dakota Cattlemen's Foundation speaks at SDCF's press conference on March 26 announcing a $150,000 towards Feeding South Dakota as Matt Gassen, CEO of FSD, listens in. 

In addition, the first annual Fed Cattle Challenge winners were announced at the Prime Time Gala on Saturday night. The goal of this program is to help develop the next generation of feed yard owners and managers in our state. The Fed Cattle Challenge provided an opportunity for youth, ages 14 to 18, to learn about the science and economics of finishing cattle by participating in a cattle finishing program. Those youth that were awarded included:

$500 – Liberty Thompson of Elkton, South Dakota

$500 – Jacob Rausch of Hoven, South Dakota

$1,000 – Colby Briggs of Madison, South Dakota

$1,500 – Trevor Johnson of Centerville, South Dakota

 “The Sixth Annual Prime Time Gala was unforgettable thanks to all of the volunteers, sponsors and attendees,” said Ryan Eichler, president of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation. “Despite challenges in 2019, the beef industry in South Dakota is full of the most compassionate people on the planet. Because of their generosity, we’ll help Feeding South Dakota procure the most nutritious protein available. In the year 2020, this donation will likely yield the one millionth pound of beef purchased as a result of the Prime Time Gala, and that’s something everyone should be proud of.”

While protein is a critical part of any meal, it makes up about 10 percent of the 12.5 million pounds of food that Feeding South Dakota distributes on an annual basis. High quality protein, like beef, plays an important role in overall health, including weight control, by increasing satiety and helping to build and maintain muscle mass. Since 2014, funds raised at the event have helped to purchase and distribute over 815,209 pounds of beef for those that need it the most across South Dakota. These donations have been distributed to all 66 counties in the state. Annually, Feeding South Dakota provides 11.3 million meals to hungry individuals across the state.

“Despite the hardships farmers and ranchers are facing with the weather and the economy, the industry came together and made it a record setting year,” said Allie Jensen, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation executive director. “The generosity from the beef industry is overwhelming.”

For more information about the 2020 Prime Time Gala that will be held on June 27, 2020 and for additional details about the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Foundation’s Scholarship Program and Fed Cattle Challenge, please visit