Beef Industry Fact Sheet

South Dakota Facts - Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota's economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity.

  • South Dakota ranks fifth in the nation for number of beef cows. The state's 1.69 million head is 5.6% of the U.S. total.
  • South Dakota is home to more than 15,000 beef producers
  • In 2012 the beef industry had a direct, indirect and induced impact of $4.484 billion on the state's economy
  • South Dakota has 3.95 million head of cattle - nearly five beef animals for every state resident

United States Facts "Beef cattle production represents the largest segment of American Agriculture."

  • Production of meat animals responsible for $66 billion to economy
  • 900,000 Cattle Operations in the US 
  • 87.7 million head of beef cattle
  • 55.5 pounds per capita consumption of beef
  • 97% of farms are family operations

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