Today, I’m headed to my first South Dakota Beef Industry Council meeting as a member of the board of directors. I’m a representative from the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary; as a new director, I will serve on the Budget and Executive Committees. I’m excited for this opportunity to take an active role in how our state’s checkoff dollars are used, and I hope it’s a productive meeting, where we can all work toward our main goal of promoting beef.
Whether it’s being a member of your county cattlemen’s group; volunteering to help put on a local livestock show or judging contest; attending a meeting like the upcoming 2013 Cattle Industry Convention in Tampa, FL; running in a race as a member of Team ZIP; lobbying in Washington, D.C.; or serving on a board like the beef council, there are numerous ways to get involved in the beef industry.
A Closer Look: Join Team ZIP; Run For A Cause 
Sure, some of these extra activities take you away from the ranch, where the daily chores keep you plenty busy. But these leadership roles you take outside of the comfort zone of your own pasture gates are critical to your future success in the industry.
American anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Decisions are made by those who show up, and I believe it’s important for ranchers, who represent only 2% of the U.S. population, to be at the table for conversations on regulation, environment, policy, taxes and more.
Step outside of your comfort zone and get involved. Whether you believe it or not, your influence on a local, state and national level could help shape the future for America’s farmers and ranchers.
How are you involved in the beef industry? What projects, promotions and issues are most important to you?