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Tech Took Center Stage at 86th SDSGA Sheep Farming Convention
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/25/2023

The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association (SDSGA) recently hosted its 86th annual convention, bringing together a diverse group of participants, including veterinarians, farmers, and professionals from the livestock industry in Rapid City. The convention, focusing on "technology in 2023," aimed to explore the future of the sheep industry by showcasing various technological advancements.

South Dakota, holding the rank as the sixth-largest state in sheep production, proudly boasts a rich history in both quality feeder lamb and wool production.

According to Dr. Lisa Surber, the executive secretary for SDSGA, many cattle ranches in the state were initially financed through sheep production, underscoring the industry’s significance in the region.

The convention featured a plethora of activities, starting with a golf tournament, cornhole, and a brewery tour. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in enlightening panel discussions and listen to speakers from across the country. Dr. Surber expressed excitement about the diverse array of speakers discussing the integration of different technologies within the sheep industry.

Key topics covered during the convention included challenges facing the sheep industry nationwide, predator and parasite control, the advent of new technologies, and innovations such as high-tech fencing and drone mapping.

Wade Kopren, secretary for SDSGA, emphasized the importance of embracing new technologies for the future of the American sheep industry, particularly for the younger generation of entrepreneurs.

The convention is an annual gathering, set to return to Western South Dakota next year, with plans to convene East River in 2025.

This convention served as a crucial platform for discussions and knowledge exchange, shedding light on the progressive path the sheep industry is poised to follow, with technology at its helm.

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