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?
- Labor & immigration
- Perception of agriculture
- How agriculture relates back to them