RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) – Executives from South Dakota’s largest industry gathered in Pierre last week to discuss the challenges facing the beef industry.
Each with different views on the issue, six farm groups gathered in Pierre on June 2, hoping to create a united front as they work to improve South Dakota’s beef industry.
“At the end of the day, all five groups want the same thing, we just have different ideas on how to get there. But we also recognize that agriculture has a smaller voice in the world today and in the public, so we need to come together and have a cohesive voice as much as possible, ”said Eric Jennings, president of the South Dakota Cattleman’s Association.
The groups, including the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Stock Growers Association, and the South Dakota Livestock Auction Markets, came together on three main points: better food security, educating consumers and politicians, and improving transparency of price for cash and contract fed cattle.
“The problem with contracted cattle is that there is no transparency about it, so no price discovery is reported and so we don’t know if the price per pound I’m getting for my large cattle. is a fair price or not and if I should take that price, ”Jennings said.
The beef industry provided the state’s economy with $ 5.8 billion in 2019, and current demand for beef is high, but Jennings said this meeting was important to hopefully alleviate the frustrations of the producers side.
“I think it’s a huge frustration for us as well as for all that there is certainly money in the beef industry and the beef industry right now, but the producers are not getting a lot of it. big part, ”Jennings said. “Most of that share is taken by the packing plants, then the wholesalers and wholesalers.”
Last week’s meeting was the first step in creating change and while there are plans for future meetings and action plans, Jennings said another meeting date has yet to be set. .
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