ELK POINT, SD — A 12-member jury and four alternates, including 11 women and five men, are ready to hear opening arguments today in a $1.9 billion defamation trial scheduled to last eight weeks here at the Union County Court House.

Union County Courthouse in Elk Point, SD, is the location of the trial pitting Beef Products Inc. against ABC News. A community room in the basement of the courthouse had to be renovated into a new courtroom at a cost of about $100,000 because the other two courtrooms in the building were deemed to be too small to handle the trial. Union County Courthouse in Elk Point, SD, is the location…

Mandatory country-of-origin-labeling bills for beef and ground beef made it out of committees in Pierre and Cheyenne, but got no further in the farm and ranch friendly South Dakota and Wyoming Legislatures.

SDWYO_406x250Senate Bill 135 went down in the South Dakota Senate on Feb. 25. It would have required grocery stores in the Rushmore State…

As individual actions, they might not mean much. Collectively, they say Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) is not going away anytime soon.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-cheyenne-wyoming-state-capitol-image6563112Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on…

Anyone who ate or drank at the Pizza Works restaurant in Custer, SD, between June 19 and July 5 is at risk of exposure to Hepatitis A, the state Department of Health reports. pizza works logo“A case of hepatitis A has been reported in a food handler at the Pizza Works restaurant in Custer,” according to a…

A soybean industry group in South Dakota plans to launch a TV, print and radio ad campaign in January with the goal of “dispelling misconceptions” about farming and food safety. Entitled “Hungry for Truth,” the campaign hopes to spread the message to the relatively urban areas of the state, such as Sioux Falls and Rapid…

A laboratory mistake made less than one month after new raw milk rules went into effect in South Dakota has opened a legislative window for eliminating some of the state’s new food safety measures on unpasteurized dairy products. “The state did not follow the rules, but basically shut me down for having a beneficial bacteria,”…

Update: Further test results from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture found the milk from Jerseydale Farms to contain Listeria innocua, a harmless variety of Listeria. The initial concern was that the milk contained Listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly pathogen. The original article is below: Bottled raw milk from Jerseydale Farms near Brookings has tested…

The last state in the union to make animal cruelty a felony now appears serious about getting on the boards. The South Dakota Legislature, which was gaveled into session on Monday, is again being asked to reform state animal abuse laws. This time, however, a year of work by the state’s livestock industry and animal-welfare…

The production, testing and labeling of raw milk will be under new rules in South Dakota effective Dec. 11, 2013. State Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch approved the rules, clearing the way for the changes under consideration since early this year to go into effect. The changes were already passed by the South Dakota Legislature’s…