SD Certified Beef Program Helping Ranchers
Governor Mike Rounds is frustrated Japan closed its borders to U.S. Beef again, especially since South Dakota’s certified beef program is gaining popularity. However, cattle producers say the program is still a big help with sales.
Marjean Warren is regular at venues like the Black Hills Stock Show when it comes to marketing her cattle. But something helping with sales this year is the new South Dakota Certified Beef program.
Warren said, “We only signed up 50 this year. We’re hoping to sign up all of our steers next year and possibly a few of the heifers we don’t want to retain.”
The program demands the highest quality in beef and has gained popularity among cattle producers and buyers.
Warren said, “Last week or the week before that we got a letter in the mail telling us that South Dakota Certified Beef was approved to go to Japan.”
But as soon as she got the news, Japan closed its borders to U.S. beef again because a shipment was at risk for mad cow disease.
South Dakota Governor Michael Rounds said, “And the reason why it’s frustrating is because you have South Dakota Certified Beef which right now meets the requirement for shipment overseas, so for us that meant it was a brand new market that was available for our producers.”
Now the program will have to be even more aggressive with sales in the United States, which is a crowded market already.
Rounds said, “We have to do more of our advertising and we do advertise South Dakota certified beef. It means more of it will be consumed in the United States.”
Despite the set back with Japan, producers still stand behind the state’s certified beef program.
Warren said, “The Japanese basically want our beef, so I think it will pass and it will take time.”
Just to give you an idea of how successful the program has been, so far, 110 cattle producers in the state have signed up 10,000 animals in the South Dakota Certified Beef Program.
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