Agronomy Advisory Board Minutes Back »

October 2012 Meeting


From your perspective, what are the challenges facing the Livestock & Agronomy Industry/Producers in the next 2-5 years?

  • Marketing of businesses to sell products, integrity (crops)
  • Feed prices, how to reduce demand for corn, cannot separate corn from other feed products (dairy and other livestock producers)
  • Perception of public about production agriculture, misinformation publicized, need for ag literacy; romanticism
  • of farming and lack of sense of reality
  • Entry into business – financial capital, availability of land base
  • People jumping into industry without background/education – reduces opportunities for others
  • Environmental considerations; organic vs. other
  • How to produce more with fewer resources? Is there a point where this stops?
  • Resistance to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. – getting much worse.
  • Labor – lack of qualified workers; immigration laws
  • Overall financial situation (dairy, hog); refinancing needed
  • Ag subsidies – perceptions
  • Farm safety and health

How can SDSU Extension address these challenges?

  • Information on quality of protein and relationship to agricultural use of resources; categories of protein
  • Educating consumers, tied to urban areas; partnering with other groups
  • Alvaro’s work – classes for workers
  • Education on business plans for those that are looking to start or buy a farm; cooperate with SDDA on business plans; agriculture is a business
  • Research – address misconceptions, resistance and other; also facilitate education based on our own and other research
  • Re-emphasize land-grant roots of SDSU
  • Education on feed resources and options, marketing
  • Teaching how to use technology
  • Address perceptions – providing risk management tools to be able to feed people

From your perspective, what are the opportunities facing the Livestock & Agronomy Industry/Producers in the next 2-5 years?

  • Marketing and productions – exports, value-added, finding niches (processing, non-GMO, cuts, non-traditional commodities)
  • Smaller operations in beef industry (< 50 head)
  • Experimentation – seeds, soil, climate differences to figure own cost/unit and maximize yield
  • Labor – we have room for more people

How can SDSU Extension support those opportunities?

  • Publicize that individual producers need to do their own part in talking to people about agriculture; producers in past have not been challenged by it and don’t want to draw attention to themselves – industry and individual leadership
  • Help people to recognize there is more to running a farm business than the physical work
  • How to work together with other starting or small producers – share equipment, land, other resources
  • On-farm research
  • Marketing crops, developing marketing plans
  • Knowing Break-evens
  • CRP and pasture being broken up – consequences
  • Stewardship – long term perspective on land, water, production; work cooperatively with other USDA programs and producers on education
  • Virtual farm visits

What does success for South Dakota’s future look like?

  • Knowing what it costs to produce a product
  • Producing high value, high quality products
  • Continue to get younger producers involved
  • Balance – agricultural work and family and personal
  • More livestock in state
  • Agriculture working together – united

How can SDSU Extension partner with others to help insure realization of this future?

  • Youth education programs
  • Integrating on-line information, social media with more traditional forms
  • Communication (family) resources
  • Continue to provide factual, cutting-edge info
  • Partner with all commodity and lobbyist and other governmental (county, zoning) and business groups – for research, promotional, and education
  • Attach faces to production agriculture to promote

What role should SDSU Extension play in significant societal issues that impact the Agronomy & Livestock Industries?

  • SDSU should be the face of agriculture – promoting and informing based on factual information and research to everyone – producers and consumers; through partnering with SDDA, commodity orgs and others. Need to be recognized for it.
    • Animal welfare
    • Define agriculture

What societal issues are of critical importance?

  • Environment
  • Labor & immigration
  • Perception of agriculture
  • How agriculture relates back to them


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