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South Dakota Nixes Joan Jett On Its Thanksgiving Parade Float

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South Dakota cattlemen get PETA supporter Joan Jett pulled from the state’s float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

More than a few feathers were ruffled last week when my fellow South Dakota ranchers got wind that Joan Jett, rock star, vegetarian and PETA spokeswoman, was going to ride on the South Dakota float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next week.

This will be South Dakota’s third appearance in the big event; singers Neil Diamond and Don McLean, the latter one being the singer of "American Pie," rode on the float in previous years. The float highlights some of the top attractions in our great state, such as Mount Rushmore.

 

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The celebrities who ride on the float are chosen by the Macy’s parade committee, not by the state itself. However, the state does pay for the celebrity’s services. In fact, it costs South Dakota $175,000 to be in the parade, with $5,000 going to the celebrity.

So when South Dakota ranchers heard that their tax dollars were going to pay for Jett, a PETA supporter who wears hypocrisy literally on her sleeve with her leather jackets, boots and leggings, they dug their boots in and demanded a change. Within days of learning this information, ranchers had rallied the media, and forced a change in celebrity for the South Dakota float.

That infuriated the PETA folks, whose spokesperson called cowboys, “crybabies.” However, Jodie Anderson of the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, told KEVN that “when we learned that about Miss Jett, we were rightly concerned about her representing South Dakota and a state that is so heavily reliant on agriculture and livestock production to drive our economy."

I doubt that the Macy’s parade folks meant any slight to ranchers in the selection of Jett, and they rather quickly acquiesced to a change in celebrity for the South Dakota float. But I hope this doesn’t strain South Dakota’s relationship with the Macy’s parade organization. Still, it’s our right as livestock producers and taxpayers to have individuals who support our industry represent us. At the same time, however, we must be careful not to come across as bullies.

I call this a win for South Dakota and for beef producers everywhere. However, while it’s good to react to negative attention, it’s even better to spread positive messages that we can control. So let’s double up our efforts this week to talk about the things that make our beef industry great.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 8

Anonymous (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

Thank goodness someone had some common sense what was right!

Beer Ranch (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

I feel better not spending my tax dollars to support someone working to end my business.

Jenn (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

crybabies? omg. that was hilarious! haha!

W.E. (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

We must focus on the more important issue of how to provide more beef consumers with what they want. Information about the ill effects of dietary imbalance will eventually bring about change if we concentrate on the positive health benefits of beef, and cease to discount the importance of providing an even more healthful grassfed alternative for those who want and need it. We count many former vegetarians and vegans among our grassfed beef customers.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

Thank goodness a change was made. It's too bad South Dakota isn't able to put some of it's local singers on that float. There are some very talented entertainers, although not well-known outside of SD, but they would represent our state well.

Gene Kling (not verified)
on Dec 4, 2013

Multi talented RORY HOFFMAN .

Ed (not verified)
on Nov 19, 2013

THANK YOU South Dakota. Our industry needs more people like you to stand up to people who do not understand the true benefits of beef and try put us out of business over WRONG information.

Mark Anderson (not verified)
on Nov 28, 2013

If you read Joan Jetts statement, she withdrew, you can see where the actual hypocrisy lies.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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