the Sheep Industry: Cutting-Edge Tech at the 86th Annual SDSGA Convention

Technology Takes Center Stage at the 86th Annual SDSGA Convention

The 86th Annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Association (SDSGA) Convention, held in Rapid City, brought together farmers, vendors, veterinarians, and professionals from the livestock industry for a weekend of discussions and exchanges. This year’s convention focused on “technology in 2023” and explored various aspects of the sheep industry.

The convention kicked off with a golf tournament, cornhole, and a brewery tour, setting the stage for the weekend’s events. On Saturday, attendees had the opportunity to listen to speakers and participate in panel discussions held at the Holiday Inn downtown. Dr. Lisa Surber, the executive secretary for SDSGA, expressed excitement about the convention, stating that speakers from all over the West and East were present to discuss the use of different technologies within the sheep industry.

South Dakota is known for its thriving livestock industry, with cattle being the number one livestock industry in the state, closely followed by sheep. On a national scale, South Dakota ranks as the sixth-largest state in sheep production. Dr. Surber highlighted the unique qualities of South Dakota’s sheep industry, including the quality of feeder lambs and wool produced in the state. She also emphasized the long history of sheep production in South Dakota, with many cattle producers attributing the success of their ranches to sheep production.

Key topics discussed at the convention included issues happening in the sheep industry nationwide, predator and parasite control, new technology for the industry, and high-tech fencing, including electric fences and mapping out with drones. Wade Kopren, secretary for SDSGA, emphasized the importance of technology in shaping the future of the sheep industry, stating that young entrepreneurs are eager to learn about new technologies and utilize them for the American sheep industry.

The convention is an annual event, with plans to return to Western South Dakota next year. In 2025, the gathering will take place in East River. For more information about the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, visit the SDSGA website.

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