The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association is a grassroots organization that relies on participation of the members through their local affiliates and by electing representatives to serve on the state Board of Directors.
Last year the SDCA Leadership Taskforce reviewed the board structure and made recommendations to improve engagement leading to more robust discussion of issues and ultimately better policy reflective of the membership. At the 2021 Annual meeting of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, members voted to amend the bylaws to change the composition of the Board of Directors. The bylaws as amended state that the board shall be comprised of the immediate past president, the president, vice president, the vice president of membership, one representative from each council and two regional representatives from each of the five regions (western, northern, southern, northeastern, southeastern). The regional representatives replace positions formerly held by affiliate representatives and regional vice presidents.
The regional representatives shall be elected for a term of two years, with one representative from each region elected each year on a rotating basis. To establish this structure, the initial election from each region shall be for one term of one year and one term of two years. Members may be elected to serve as regional representatives for up to three consecutive terms. The initial election is being held electronically to allow all SDCA members the opportunity to vote for a regional representative prior to the next regular board meeting. The SDCA bylaws provide for future elections to take place at annual regional meetings.
SDCA Officer Team
The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association officer team is made up of four individuals, the President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and Past President.
Warren Symens is a 4th generation farmer/rancher/cattle feeder in Amherst SD, where he lives with his wife, Stephanie, and 3 kids; Owen, Erika, and Emmett. Symens Brothers Limousin is a family operation that includes Warren, a cousin, Brad, and uncle, John, as well as Warren's dad, Paul and uncle Irwin, who are retired. The operation raises registered Limousin cattle, run a cattle finishing confinement lot, and grows crops for market and for feed. Warren graduated from Britton High School in 1996. Upon graduation Warren attended South Dakota State University, obtaining a degree in General Agriculture. Warren has served on the SDSU Ag & Bio advisory board, and has continued to stay involved with the board through volunteer work. He has also served on both the state and national Limousin board of directors. Warren was a Class VIII graduate of South Dakota Ag & Rural Leadership. Within his community, Warren has served on various church boards at the First Presbyterian Church of Britton, SD and sits on the Board of directors for the Full Circle Ag Co-Op. He also acts as the secretary for the South Dakota Cattle Feeders Council.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Regional Board Representatives
Cow-Calf Council Chair: Jared [email protected] - 605-881-2375
The SDCA Cow-Calf Council focuses on issues directly impacting cow-calf operators.
Feeder Council Chair: John Reisch- [email protected] 605-772-4396
The SDCA Feeder Council focuses on the special interests of feeders, particularly environmental regulations.
Young Cattlemen of South Dakota Council Chair: Emily Peterson [email protected]
The SDCA Young Cattlemen of South Dakota Council helps young producers connect through education and networking as well as leadership experience.
The Councils are made up of members with an interest in those segments of beef production. Council leaders serve on the SDCA Board of Directors and the Councils also host meetings and events pertaining to their area of specialty. Communications that are specific to these operations are also provided to council members when necessary.
SDCA Executive DirectorTaya attended the University of South Dakota earning a bachelor’s degree in 2003 and law degree in 2007. She returned to her home town of Pierre, SD and began her career as an administrative law judge with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. In 2014, Taya joined the South Dakota Department of Agriculture as General Counsel, and later the Director of Agricultural Services. With more than ten years of experience in public service, Taya has worked with numerous ag industry leaders across the state to work through complex regulatory issues, and been actively involved in the legislative process. Taya and her husband Jeff are parents to three active young boys, Jack, Henry, and Gus. Her spare time is spent on the sidelines or in the bleachers watching them play soccer, baseball, or a variety of other activities.