The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), Beef Logic Inc., and Sanford Health welcomed three Build Your Base Team U.S.A. Olympians back to South Dakota on Dec. 5–8, 2022. U.S. Pole Vaulter Chris Nilsen, U.S. Hammer Thrower Deanna Price and U.S. Shot Put Thrower Payton Otterdahl shared their experience with the program as part of a multi-state program training. As a follow-up to the training they visited multiple schools and universities and rounded out the week with visits to some of the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.

These Build Your Base athletes know the importance of having a high-quality protein like beef included in their training and as part of their healthful lifestyle. “Our Olympians are in a constant training and/or recovery mode so it is very important that they keep their nutrition top of mind and this makes them great advocates for health to our young athletes,” states Beef Logic Director of Nutrition Holly Swee.

Team U.S.A. Olympian Deanna Price explains, “As a professional athlete you need the highest quality source of fuel. Beef is a nutrient dense protein. Not only does it provide high quality protein but it has vitamins and minerals that are essential for not only performance but for everyday living. I am constantly working and utilizing every muscle in my body and I have to do everything I possibly can to keep it healthy and operating at full capacity.” Price was excited to travel back to the state to share how the program continues to impact her performance.

The athletes’ schedules were full as they began their South Dakota experience on Monday, Dec. 5, with the multi-state Build Your Base training at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “I am excited to be a part of spreading the message about this program because if you truly implement it, it works. The Build Your Base Program continues to play a major role in my training. Eating well is such a big part of competing well, and they absolutely do their part," said Team U.S.A. Olympian and Silver Medalist Chris Nilsen.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, through Thursday, Dec. 8, placed athletes in area schools and universities across the state, including stops at Brandon Valley, Kimball, Philip and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Athletes discussed their road to a successful athletic career, shared their personal stories and discussed the role nutrition plays in both their performance and recovery. “Being a strength athlete all my life, I have always needed to be conscious about what I use to fuel my body. Beef is one of the main staples in my diet because it is high in protein, zinc and vitamin B that I need to build muscle mass and maintain a healthy body at high levels of competition,” said Team U.S.A. Olympian Payton Otterdahl.

Olympians wrapped up their experience on Thursday, Dec. 8, as they paid tribute to America’s heroes with a visit to the Fort Meade VA Medical Center in Sturgis, the Hot Springs VA Medical Center and the Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Beef Logic Inc. Executive Director Suzy Geppert was excited to bring the Olympians back to South Dakota. “We are so proud of the work these athletes do on a day-to-day basis to support our product and the farmers and ranchers who raise it. They understand the nutritional value and importance of high-quality protein like beef as they work alongside us to increase the impact of a healthful lifestyle with families from across the world.”

South Dakota Beef Industry Council Vice President and rancher Gary Deering agreed with the sentiment. Deering and several other ranchers from across the state traveled alongside the Olympians at designated stops. “It is exciting to have these outstanding individuals representing our product and our way of life. They also share a deep commitment to our country, and it was great to have them share that with some of our greatest heroes.”

For more information on the program, visit or reach out directly to

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, visit and or contact Jodie Anderson at

Sources: South Dakota Beef Industry Council, Beef Logic Inc., Sanford Health; the Sanford Sports Science Institute; Build Your Base Team U.S.A. Olympians