Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rounds Fails Again with South Dakota Certified Beef Initiative

Why yes, Downtown Vernon Brown, Senate candidate M. Michael Rounds does have a record... a record of failure. Eager reader Bill Dithmer points to another example of Rounds's failure to create any lasting agenda, his stalled South Dakota Certified Beef program:

When then-Gov. Mike Rounds persuaded the 2005 Legislature to create the program [see 2005 Senate Bill 220], he envisioned a time when people across the nation and around the world would choose to pay more for steaks that carry a South Dakota seal of approval. He said codes on package labels could let buyers visit an Internet site to track the meat’s origin, following it from a calf’s birth to a feedlot and then a processor.

But that hasn’t happened, largely because South Dakota hasn’t had a meatpacking plant operating at a large scale that would make processing economical, officials say. They hope the long-delayed Northern Beef Packers plant in Aberdeen will soon fill that void.

In the first eight years of the program, only 16,386 cattle — a tiny slice of a state herd that approaches 4 million head — have been enrolled by farmers and ranchers. Only 500 have made it all the way through the program to be sold as meat from the program, mostly just within South Dakota from cattle processed by small custom meat lockers [Chet Brokaw, "SD Certified Beef Falls Short of Goals," AP via Mitchell Daily Republic, 2013.07.22].

The South Dakota Certified Beef program doesn't even have a website left, let alone a list of proud producers profiting from Governor Rounds's "vision." Rounds keeps expressing faith in Northern Beef Packers to save his dream, but they can't even make payroll with extensive government support.

Of course, if you're a Republican interested in making sure that Congress doesn't actually do anything, well, I guess Mike Rounds is your perfect choice for Senate.


  1. Rick 2013.07.22

    So, what actually got done while Rounds was governor? I can't think of a single meaningful accomplishment other than running up a debt that got dumped on Daugaard and building a palacial $3 million Governor's Mansion. At best, you can say he presided over successful achievements that were started by others, like the Homestake research facility. The spade work on that was done while Gov. Bill Janklow, Sen. Tom Daschle, Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. John Thune were in office, with Janklow and Daschle investing quite a lot of work.

    (Check it out - pages C26 and 29, for example.)

    At the time SDCBeef was launched there was quite a lot of news about bringing a significant beef processing plant to South Dakota, and to support federal legislation to label country of origin of beef. To real beef experts, it was a paper thin gimmick to make it appear progress was being made when SDCB was nothing more than a hood ornament, minus the rest of the car.

    Successfully establishing a beef processing plant is still a struggle in this state and highly prone to setbacks and failure because of the nature of the industry. Pierre has been of little value to companies and organizations seeking help and guidance, partly because the state constitution limits the state's equity position in nurturing these kinds of ventures. Considering South Dakota raises and exports a very high quality beef product, creating a successful beef processing plant in the state would add an amazing value to our economy. Getting involved demands more than sticking one's toe in the water.

  2. Jeff Barth 2013.07.22

    South Dakota produces grain, meat and young people with brains. We export all of these with little "value added". A beef packing plant would have helped.

    But now the Aberdeen plant closes again...

  3. Douglas Wiken 2013.07.22

    It's obvious. New business fails in Aberdeen because Brown County has some Democrats.

Comments are closed.