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The Fall Run Has Begun

The sound of Fall is abundant this time of year in the agricultural community, from the hustle and bustling sounds of harvest, to the sounds of freshly weaned calves, these sounds can be heard across the state of South Dakota. Beef farmers and ranchers are working tirelessly to get their fall work complete before the first snow hit the plains of the Midwest. This is called "The Fall Run”.

The Fall Run is some of the busiest times of year for not only Beef Farmers and Ranchers but nearly every part of our small-town communities. The Fall Run is also one of the most important times of year for the Beef Farmers and Ranchers in South Dakota, It’s the time of year that most will market their calves at their local livestock market auctions. South Dakota, split by the Missouri River, has variations within their cattle population with the majority of the west river ranches considered cow/calf operations. Their run will consist of mostly calves between 8 to 9 months of age being brought through the local Livestock Markets and sold to other feedlot operations to finish for slaughter. As you travel to the eastern side of the state you will see this change with the addition of feeder cattle operations alongside the cow/calf producer that are backgrounding their own calves to near slaughter weights. With the variation in cattle numbers, the Fall Run varies depending on what side of the state you are on.

The livestock auction markets are a driving force behind making the Fall Run success with thousands of head of cattle rolling through sale barns throughout the state the next several months. It takes a community of individuals to keep the Fall Run going. It takes the Beef Farmer or Rancher to care for and raise that animal from birth, Veterinarian to help vaccinate and keep the cattle health, feed companies to care for their nutritional needs, Livestock transporters to get the cattle from one destination to the next and local community businesses to help support an agricultural community during this busy time. All these businesses and individual have one goal in mind: to bring BEEF from pasture to plate.

St. Onge Livestock Owner and Operator and South Dakota Beef Industry Council Board of Director, Justin Tupper says “Fall run is upon us and Beef Farmers and Ranchers are headed to town to gather that one paycheck a year. The sound of bawling calves is in the air and the auctioneer begins his chant this is the sights and sounds of fall in Western & Eastern SD, Montana and Wyoming. As sale barn owners we take great pride in getting top dollar for each consignor’s calves and work hard to make sure that they have a good selling experience. It is long hours and hard work in sometimes undesirable weather conditions but I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

As the 2022 Fall Run continues, take a minute to thank the many individuals in your community who have a part in the 2022 Fall Run and thank them for their dedication to bringing a high-quality protein like BEEF to the table this year.

The South Dakota Beef Industry Council works on behalf of South Dakota beef producers through the $1 Beef Checkoff program.

For more information on the Beef Checkoff and statewide efforts follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit and

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