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    Balancing Leadership Behaviors

    Why do we need leaders? Our instincts might tell us – so things get done. But if that is the answer then we need a lot of leaders because we would be expecting everything to fall on the shoulders of the leaders, expecting leaders to accomplish tasks leaving others to not have to take action.

    Read More »

    Are People Born Leaders?

    Are individuals who are leaders, as such? What do you think? This is a very common discussion and debate which occurs because some believe they are individuals with charismatic talent and unique abilities which make them a leader, which they possess since birth. Others, believe anyone can be a leader— and they become such from experience, education, their title, etc.

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    The Appeal of Leadership

    Leadership is a highly popular topic. People are intrigued with how to become a leader, wanting to learn how to be like someone society has labeled as a leader or how leadership can make you more effective in your role (job, personal life, volunteer), etc). These thousands of books are sold because people are continually seeking to learn new ways to improve their personal and professional lives.

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    Active Learning Brings Individual Growth

    The remarkable growth in technology and implementation of new agricultural practices means that to stay ahead of the curve, one must become an active learner. Recent events like Dakotafest, held August 16-18th near Mitchell, SD are excellent opportunities to visit with leaders from South Dakota agricultural companies and organizations representing them from state, national and even more global levels.

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    Checking in on the Checkoff: Events & Happenings

    Where has the summer gone? Many of us find ourselves asking this question as we prepare to send kids back to school and look toward fall harvest and weaning. It is a busy time of year and this summer has been a whirlwind of activity in the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) office. Although grilling season was a prime focus and hundreds of recipes and preparation tips were shared, the staff continued to take a well-rounded approach in developing a structure that focuses on the needs of the producer, consumer, industry partners, and stakeholders.

    Read More »

    Beef Cows Under Dry Conditions: Water sources and quality

    When thinking about beef cows on pasture we oftentimes figure that what they drink is all the water they get. There are however three additional moisture sources cows rely (excluding snow!) which, by increasing order of biological and practical significance are: Metabolic water (water generated in the body particularly from fat depots), Plant surface water (such as dew), and Embedded water (water contained in the plant structure itself).

    Read More »

    Handling Basics: Is time on your side?

    Cattlemen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead, choosing the best time for required tasks, and allowing adequate time to get things done. Implementing low-stress handling techniques from the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    2016 South Dakota Oral Leases Renew September 1st

    On September 1, 2016, all oral leases for agriculture ground in South Dakota will automatically renew. The automatic renewal includes all the current terms and conditions in the existing lease, including but not limited to: who the land is rented to, when payment is due, the per acre rate, stipulations for grazing, hunting or other land use restrictions, and any weed control or fencing agreements, etc.

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    Minimizing Hay Storage Loss from Heating or Fires

    Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires.  The predominant reason that fires occur in hay is because of excessive moisture in the plant residue that results in heating when it is baled or stacked for long term storage.

    Read More »

    Rations Tip for Starting Early Weaned Calves

    Dry conditions have encouraged some producers to wean earlier than normal (6 to 7 months). Research has shown that these calves can perform as well or better than calves still nursing. Pasture quality has a key influence on performance of nursing calves. However, under “normal” conditions daily gain of nursing calves during the period is usually 2.1 to 2.3 pounds.

    Read More »

    Understanding Carcass Characteristics Important for Successful Retained Ownership

    Whether or not producers retain ownership of calves to finished weight depends on many considerations. Knowing the expected carcass characteristics of cattle is a key factor. The Calf Value Discovery program continues to provide producers with feedlot performance and carcass characteristics from the steers enrolled. Much like in previous years, the most profitable cattle were those with the fastest gain, heaviest hot carcass weight (HCW), and was graded Choice or higher.

    Read More »

    Establishing Corn Silage Value

    Corn silage represents the base of many beef and dairy diets in the Midwest for a number of very good reasons. Properly harvested corn silage is an excellent forage resource that can be used in a number of feeding situations. A large quantity of feed can be harvested from a relatively small land area in a short period of time, especially with modern corn genetics and silage harvesting equipment. However, assigning accurate values to corn silage can be challenging as there are few if any published market prices.

    Read More »

    Understanding the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship

    By now, livestock producers are becoming aware of soon-to-be-implemented changes in how feed grade antibiotics are used, in the form of expanded use of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Producers using feed grade medications such as chlortetracycline and tylosin will need to obtain a prescription-like VFD form from a veterinarian before they’re able to purchase and feed those medications.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Maximizing Silage Value

    If beef producers lose 20% or more of their herd, how upset would they be? How about a corn farmer that lost 20% of a standing cornfield to pests or some other natural disaster? In both cases, it would be fair to say that there would be many questions about why those losses occurred, and how to prevent them in the future. Yet similar losses occur every year in silage bunkers and piles across the U.S. Losses of 15% of more of the harvested dry matter commonly occur, representing significant financial costs.

    Read More »

    Handling Basics: Is time on your side?

    Cattlemen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead, choosing the best time for required tasks, and allowing adequate time to get things done. Implementing low-stress handling techniques from the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    Feed Assistance for South Dakota Livestock Producers

    Dry conditions across the state will likely cause forage shortages in many areas. The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) includes a program designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) is available to eligible producers facing grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    Read More »

    Rations Tip for Starting Early Weaned Calves

    Dry conditions have encouraged some producers to wean earlier than normal (6 to 7 months). Research has shown that these calves can perform as well or better than calves still nursing. Pasture quality has a key influence on performance of nursing calves. However, under “normal” conditions daily gain of nursing calves during the period is usually 2.1 to 2.3 pounds.

    Read More »

    What’s Important to Know About Silage Additives & Inoculants?

    Corn is suited to preservation as silage. Silage additives can be used to remedy deficiencies such as lack of sufficient population of bacteria to support adequate fermentation, and low levels of fermentable carbohydrates. Most of the silage additives are applied as forages are chopped or during the loading phase.

    Read More »

    Understanding Carcass Characteristics Important for Successful Retained Ownership

    Whether or not producers retain ownership of calves to finished weight depends on many considerations. Knowing the expected carcass characteristics of cattle is a key factor. The Calf Value Discovery program continues to provide producers with feedlot performance and carcass characteristics from the steers enrolled. Much like in previous years, the most profitable cattle were those with the fastest gain, heaviest hot carcass weight (HCW), and was graded Choice or higher.

    Read More »

    Establishing Corn Silage Value

    Corn silage represents the base of many beef and dairy diets in the Midwest for a number of very good reasons. Properly harvested corn silage is an excellent forage resource that can be used in a number of feeding situations. A large quantity of feed can be harvested from a relatively small land area in a short period of time, especially with modern corn genetics and silage harvesting equipment. However, assigning accurate values to corn silage can be challenging as there are few if any published market prices.

    Read More »

    Finding on Survey: Upper Midwest Puerto Rico Collaboration Project

    South Dakota dairies face a shortage of local workers to produce a safe, and affordable food supply. A common method to overcome this is to hire immigrant labor. These workers find it difficult to feel welcome in the community due to language and cultural barriers, resulting in poor integration and a stereotype of being transient. To sustain our existing communities, there is a need of economic opportunities for growth. This project will build capacity for the SD dairy industry by creating a path to recruit legal Puerto Rican (US Territory) workers.

    Read More »

    Understanding the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship

    By now, livestock producers are becoming aware of soon-to-be-implemented changes in how feed grade antibiotics are used, in the form of expanded use of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Producers using feed grade medications such as chlortetracycline and tylosin will need to obtain a prescription-like VFD form from a veterinarian before they’re able to purchase and feed those medications.

    Read More »

    The Value of Wheat Hay

    This year has posed some significant challenges for wheat producers in South Dakota. In some areas the wheat is not making grain due to various issues including drought and diseases, such as rust. In addition to production being compromised, wheat prices have been steadily declining. The decline in the wheat market is a combination of multiple things, with the most significant being large world-wide wheat supply along with an abundant last year’s crop supply in the U. S.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Is it Done Yet? How to determine meat is cooked properly

    “Is it done yet?” We all ask this question when cooking and there are a variety of methods that have been passed down to determine the ‘doneness’ of different products. For example, my grandmother taught me to throw spaghetti against the wall and if it sticks to the wall it’s done. In later years I’ve learned that although this method is fun to implement, it really just results in sticky walls and overdone pasta.

    Read More »

    Breakfast with Lean Beef

    Summer break is nearly over, and soon life will again be full of running kids to school and often extracurricular actives before and after class. Families are more on the move and in motion more than ever before, and even though schedules may be hectic, it’s important to not lose breakfast in the interest of time.

    Read More »

    Checking in on the Checkoff: Events & Happenings

    Where has the summer gone? Many of us find ourselves asking this question as we prepare to send kids back to school and look toward fall harvest and weaning. It is a busy time of year and this summer has been a whirlwind of activity in the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) office. Although grilling season was a prime focus and hundreds of recipes and preparation tips were shared, the staff continued to take a well-rounded approach in developing a structure that focuses on the needs of the producer, consumer, industry partners, and stakeholders.

    Read More »

    Discussing the Dart Delivery Method for Treating Cattle

    Cattle ranchers strive to minimize the stress of handling and disease on their animals. One way they can do this is by implementing new technologies for delivering medications to sick animals while out in remote pastures. During the July 6th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Rob Eirich, Nebraska BQA Coordinator, discussed considerations and challenges of using remote delivery devices for administering medication to animals.

    Read More »

    Grain-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef

    The nutritional makeup of an animal’s meat by-products is determined by the diet composition, genetics and the breed of an animal. Most beef cattle in the U.S. are fed a grain-based diet typically consisting of corn and grain by-products, after spending the several months of life consuming a forage-based diet. However, recently beef produced from cattle fed exclusively forage or grass has been gaining popularity.

    Read More »

    Why We Have FARM on the Farm

    In a time when people are increasingly concerned about food safety and how animals are cared for, farmers continue to demonstrate their commitment to stewardship. During the June 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Kim Clark, Nebraska Dairy Extension Educator, discussed the ins and outs of what occurs on a dairy farm when a FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Evaluator conducts an on-farm assessment.

    Read More »

    National Grilling Month

    July is National Grilling Month. It also marks the beginning of summer produce season! For anyone who loves to cook, it’s a no-brainer that summertime provides some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables to experiment with in the kitchen, or on the grill! Summer produce such as sweet corn, cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes and green beans are all great choices.

    Read More »

    Checking in on the Checkoff: Get Your Grill On!

    Summer remains the peak season for beef sales. On average, 30% of yearly beef dollar sales are captured between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Typically, the 4th of July Holiday has the highest weekly sales (in pounds and dollars) throughout the year. With the summer season accounting for more than $7.9 Billion in 2015, it is important the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) to gear our efforts to meet those consumer demands. What will you see from us this summer?

    Read More »

    Beef Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

    Summer is nearly here and as cattle move to grass, we have a few considerations for you to keep in mind. From the pasture to the plate, we are all responsible for assuring consumers can take pride in the beef they purchase, and have trust and confidence in South Dakota’s beef industry. Your checkoff investment provides the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that collaborates common sense husbandry techniques and accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under the best management and environmental conditions to provide safe, wholesome, quality beef to the consumer’s plate.

    Read More »

    Diversity and Partnerships are Keys to Preventing Endangered Species Impacts

    South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers have significant influence on the management of our state’s natural resources, especially grasslands, water and the species that inhabit these areas. The continuing conversation on water quality and buffer strips promises to serve as yet another reminder of the importance of natural resources management for the greater good.

    Read More »

    Balancing Leadership Behaviors

    Why do we need leaders? Our instincts might tell us – so things get done. But if that is the answer then we need a lot of leaders because we would be expecting everything to fall on the shoulders of the leaders, expecting leaders to accomplish tasks leaving others to not have to take action.

    Read More »

    Establishing Corn Silage Value

    Corn silage represents the base of many beef and dairy diets in the Midwest for a number of very good reasons. Properly harvested corn silage is an excellent forage resource that can be used in a number of feeding situations. A large quantity of feed can be harvested from a relatively small land area in a short period of time, especially with modern corn genetics and silage harvesting equipment. However, assigning accurate values to corn silage can be challenging as there are few if any published market prices.

    Read More »

    The Value of Wheat Hay

    This year has posed some significant challenges for wheat producers in South Dakota. In some areas the wheat is not making grain due to various issues including drought and diseases, such as rust. In addition to production being compromised, wheat prices have been steadily declining. The decline in the wheat market is a combination of multiple things, with the most significant being large world-wide wheat supply along with an abundant last year’s crop supply in the U. S.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Maximizing Silage Value

    If beef producers lose 20% or more of their herd, how upset would they be? How about a corn farmer that lost 20% of a standing cornfield to pests or some other natural disaster? In both cases, it would be fair to say that there would be many questions about why those losses occurred, and how to prevent them in the future. Yet similar losses occur every year in silage bunkers and piles across the U.S. Losses of 15% of more of the harvested dry matter commonly occur, representing significant financial costs.

    Read More »

    Beef Cows Under Dry Conditions: Water sources and quality

    When thinking about beef cows on pasture we oftentimes figure that what they drink is all the water they get. There are however three additional moisture sources cows rely (excluding snow!) which, by increasing order of biological and practical significance are: Metabolic water (water generated in the body particularly from fat depots), Plant surface water (such as dew), and Embedded water (water contained in the plant structure itself).

    Read More »

    Natural Resources: The Ranch Foundation During Drought

    As drought conditions persist in areas of South Dakota, ranchers are faced with many critical decisions. Do we purchase hay and feed through the drought? Do we reduce stocking rates and sell animals? Do we wean calves early? Do we dry lot our breeding animals? Do we supplement the forage available? How are we going to market our animals? All are very important decisions with their own financial implications unique to every ranch and must be carefully evaluated.

    Read More »

    Feed Assistance for South Dakota Livestock Producers

    Dry conditions across the state will likely cause forage shortages in many areas. The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) includes a program designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) is available to eligible producers facing grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    Read More »

    Rotational Grazing and Land Conversion in South Dakota

    Grassland to cropland conversion raises concerns due to its many potential environmental implications. First of all, the conversion is damaging for many grassland-dependent species, which include North American duck species that nest in the area, grassland songbirds and prairie butterflies. In addition, increased use of fertilizers and chemicals on cropland, and elimination of buffers that ­filter farm runoff could cause secondary effects such as downstream water pollution

    Read More »

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