South Dakota Stockgrowers host legislators in Pierre

The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association recently hosted their annual Legislative day and mixer in Pierre. The day featured discussion led by School and Public Lands Commissioner Ryan Brunner, State Veterinarian Dr. Dusty Oedekoven, Department of Game Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler and South Dakota Department of Agricultural Secretary Mike Jaspers. The Stockgrowers members had the chance to share their legislation of interest and hear from Senators Ryan Maher, Jason Frerichs and Brock Greenfield as well as Reps. Lee Qualm and Kent Peterson.

“As the legislative session kicks off, we always enjoy getting as many members as we can down to Pierre, to discuss with those that make decisions for agriculture in South Dakota,” said Silvia Christen, executive director for the Stockgrowers. “I’m really pleased with the turnout of members who were able to join us.”

Following the presentations and discussion, Gary Deering, Stockgrowers president, brought the board together to make decisions that will give direction on various legislative issues.

Stockgrowers’ lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy said, “It’s great to have the Board and members in Pierre at the beginning of session. I think it’s valuable for our folks to meet with legislators early in the process and internally it’s very helpful for me to get direction from the Board on the issues I’ll be working through the session on the Stockgrowers behalf.”

With nearly 700 bills rumored to be introduced, the 2018 session could prove to be a busy one. The SD Stockgrowers have many they are watching closely. Oil and gas mediation, non-meandered waters and brand proposals are among the many bills that will keep them moving this session.

First year board member Zeb Husted, from Harold, South Dakota, commented after the mixer, “The SouthDakota Stockgrowers is an association that has been important to my family for a long time and I’m very proud to be part of it. Evenings like this, are not only fun, but it gives me a chance to share with lawmakers issues that are important for me and other young producers in South Dakota.”

More information about the SD Stockgrowers Association can be found on their website at or by calling 605-342-0429.