SDCGA applauds new Certified Beef Initiative

SDCGA applauds new Certified Beef Initiative Feeding more cattle in the state of South Dakota is a vision Gov. Mike Rounds and the South Dakota Corn Growers share.

SDCGA congratulates Gov. Rounds on his vision for introducing the South Dakota Certified Beef Program last week, which would require cattle to be fed corn or distiller's grain for at least 120 days before slaughter. South Dakota produces 400 million bushels of corn annually and 1.2 million tons of dried distiller's grains.

Every year, South Dakota ships 1.4 million beef cattle and 45,000 dairy heifers to other states. Hundreds of millions of bushels of corn are also exported to feed those cattle.

Under Rounds' plan, encouraging producers to quality-certify their beef would add value and change it from a commodity to a premium-priced specialty product which Rounds hopes will be labeled with a picture of Mount Rushmore and the words "South Dakota Certified � The World's Best Beef."

"We've always known South Dakota raises outstanding beef," said Brad Bonhorst, president of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council. "It's exciting to see the state initiating the South Dakota brand. We look forward to purchasing South Dakota beef throughout the world."

Rounds said processing more beef within the state would add $600 million a year to the economy and create 10,000 jobs.

Beef from the program will be certified S.D. premium when it comes from cattle born, fed and processed here. Other rules include standards for veterinary care and the use of electronic implants or other means to identify and trace cattle from birth.

Another certified product would be natural beef, raised without hormones or antibiotics.

Rounds' plan mirrors efforts launched by SDCGA with their "It's about time" campaign which revealed that $1.80 bushel of corn produces $3.70 in ethanol with enough feed left over to create four beef steaks or eight quarts of milk.

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