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More of South Dakota’s meat can cross state lines

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:44 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Meat is taking a trip across the nation.

Governor Kristi Noem announced that “certain state-inspected meat processors will have the opportunity to ship their meat across state lines” through a Cooperative Interstate Shipping agreement between South Dakota and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety.

Bruce Anderson, the owner of Western Buffalo Company, says that they’ve been shipping buffalo across the nation since the 60s.

“We were able to become a buffalo plant and we’ve hung our hat on buffalo, and we’ve just expanded our opportunities into that market. So, these other folks can take this rule, this new rule, that they can ship interstate and they can take their product out to a bigger marketplace,” says Anderson.

South Dakota is home to acres upon acres of open land, roamed by all kinds of livestock. However, the state is lacking in the number of people necessary to sell the abundance of products.

“If you fly over the United States at any time and you look down and you see all these little ten thousand to one hundred thousand neighborhoods and you envision yourself with all sorts of customers. Everywhere that you can sell product to. Western South Dakota is a great place to live, but we don’t have much for population,” says Anderson.

When a South Dakotan wants seafood, where else to look but somewhere on the coast?

Similarly, Anderson says, “if you want buffalo in Florida, or Texas, or Pennsylvania... you got to source it out of this neck of the woods. So, it’s a matter of taking it to them and making sure you have all of the situations in place.”

Using this agreement as a bridge, Anderson says, “here’s your opportunity to get that product to those customers.”

Through decades of experience, Western Buffalo Company says this new agreement doesn’t come without its fair share of difficulties.

“Shipping out of states like we do, I can tell you all sorts of problems, all sorts of, ‘Oh yeah, well that stuff was supposed to get there on Friday, and then you got that problem of your perishable goods sitting in some warehouse over a weekend,” says Anderson.

Governor Noem says “For too long, meat producers have been shortchanged due to anti-competitive practices, and that these new opportunities will expand options.”

Anderson says, “every little thing that you can do, that you couldn’t do yesterday. Everything helps”

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