The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association: Defenders of Beef


The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association is a membership-based organization that represents cattlemen and individuals who are part of the South Dakota beef community. For nearly three quarters of a century SDCA has stood firm on our founding principles, speaking with a unified voice to:  advocate for private property rights; push back against burdensome regulations; foster environmental stewardship; promote fair and free trade to maximize the value of our beef; and fight for beef labeling that is scientifically based and provides consumers clear, easily understood information.

Our Mission

Advance and protect the interests of all cattlemen by enhancing profitability through representation, promotion and information sharing.

Our Vision

To be a producer-oriented organization that consumers and producers rely on for factual information to enhance a profitable business climate and promote environmental stewardship.

How We Are Defending Beef:

Locally

SDCA is a grassroots organization consisting of 16 county or regional affiliates and 3 councils providing the greatest opportunity for producer input and policy recommendations. 

Statewide

SDCA affiliates and councils appoint representatives to the SDCA Board of Directors and policy committees. These volunteer leaders are your voice at the state level, setting SDCA’s goals and shaping our policy. These policies are then carried by SDCA members to the legislature, state agencies, consumer groups, and media, providing a statewide voice for today’s beef producers. 

Nationally

As an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), SDCA provides a voice for South Dakota cattlemen on national issues affecting your business. Our involvement with NCBA ensures you have a seat at the decision-making table. The NCBA Washington office is considered one of the most effective ag lobbying groups on the Hill while the Denver office conducts research, communication, membership services and beef promotion activities.

How We Have Defended  Beef Recently:

  • Prevent Plant:  In 2019 SDCA advocated strongly to secure flexibility for utilizing cover crops on prevented plant acres while not impacting producer payments or APH for crop insurance.  We continue to advocate for this flexibility to be made permanent.
  •   Livestock Risk Management:  SDCA has endorsed some proposed changes to the Livestock Risk Protection Program (visit rma.usda.gov) to increase affordability and workability of this program for cattlemen and women.  We also reviewed and provided input on a proposed Weaned Calf Revenue Protection pilot program that may be offered through RMA in certain states, including SD. 
  •  CFAP 1 & 2: SDCA  has advocated that  federal assistance for the beef industry should targeted to those who experienced losses.  From PPP to the EIDL, we appreciate the efforts of our Congressional delegation to ensure these programs were workable for ag producers.  We also applaud the significant work of USDA to create and implement the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) both 1 and 2, however  we continue to exspress concern for those who were caught outside of the early program deadlines.  
  • Interstate Shipment of State Inspected Beef: SDCA continues to advocate strongly to expand opportunities for interstate shipment of state inspected beef.  This has been a long-term priority for SDCA to expand market access while preserving consumer confidence in beef safety.  
  • Dietary Guidelines:  Every five years USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services review and updates the Dietary Guidelines.  SDCA recently submitted comments to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee encouraging them to strengthen their recognition of beef’s role in a healthy diet.    
  • Zoning:  SDCA was a passionate proponent of Governor Noem’s legislation during the 2020 Session to streamline the county zoning process and level the playing field for rural economic development projects.   
  • Participation:  Through SDCA’s committed leaders and staff, SDCA members shape SDCA’s policies and influence state and national policies through attending meetings and participating in discussions to proactively shape state and national policies.

What Our Members Are Saying:

Peggy Vostad

"Being a nurse and a cattle producer, my membership to SDCA ensures that the health benefits of beef in our diets is represented correctly. Also, with the recent mental health concerns for the Ag community, it is important that SDCA is helping provide support to its members by fostering relationships with healthcare professionals."

Warren Symens

"I feel that membership in the South Dakota Cattlemen's association gives me the opportunity to be heard not only on a wide variety of issues affecting the beef industry, but also on on of the largest platforms available to cattlemen and cattlewomen"

Callie Williams

"Living a lifestyle of ranching is a shared goal between my husband and I. Every day we work towards improving our operation, and look forward to raising our son in this incredible industry.  In a world driven by social media, we feel it is important to not only do a great job of managing the land, and raising a sustainable product for consumers, but to also promote our lifestyle and the beef industry. Serving as a member of SDCA, and President of the Davison-Hanson Cattlemen's Association is my way of sharing our story, and contributing to the future of the Beef Industry."

Emily Peterson

"Every individual has a powerful voice. No matter what the size is of your operation, you matter. We need to protect and provide for future generations. It will end with us if we do not do something"