The successful management of agriculture is essential to the long-term viability of the state and its citizens. Agriculture, like many other industries, is undergoing a technological revolution. Farmers, ranchers, and other managers of natural resources need to have the latest information available if they are going to successfully compete in a global market in a sustainable fashion.
Best management manuals have been published by SDSU Extension and made available on iGrow.org. Manuals are available for corn, soybeans, wheat, beef, trees and farmer’s markets. Several manuals are now used by faculty as a text book in college classrooms across the country.
SDSU Extension specialists and ﬁeld specialists work together in a systems approach to help solve current problems as well as develop plans for future success. South Dakota producers contact faculty and staff directly seeking best management practices, opportunities to test samples and work with on-farm research projects. Faculty and staff work closely with their colleagues in state commodity groups and other state universities, thereby increasing the depth and breadth of expertise available.
Many South Dakota professionals depend upon certiﬁ cation and continuing education opportunities provided by SDSU Extension.
- Agronomy: SDSU Extension applies for and receives approval to provide continuing education units to the certiﬁ ed crop advisors (CCA) who serve thousands of farmers across South Dakota. SDSU Extension also provides the annual certiﬁcation and re-certiﬁcation courses to the commercial and private applicators who apply pesticides and herbicides to hundreds of thousands of acres of crop ground across South Dakota.
- Veterinarians: SDSU Extension provides continuing education credits for 160 veterinarians each year through: 3 regularly scheduled South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association (SDVMA) meetings; 2 South Dakota One Health seminars and other educational opportunities including: Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle symposia, the Range Beef Cow conferences, and periodic meetings such as the Mineral Nutrition program.
- CAFO’s: In collaboration with SD DENR and USDA-NRCS, SDSU Extension coordinates the Environmental Training Program for Producers, a training that is required for CAFO general permit requirements. In 2016-2017, 40 producers completed this training. Within the next 4 years, the 430 currently permitted CAFO operations will be required to obtain this training.
- SDSU Extension Master Gardeners: Certiﬁed volunteers, trained by SDSU Extension faculty and staff, deliver unbiased, research-based best practices in horticulture and gardening at the community level. In 2017, volunteers contributed 17,386 hours of volunteer leadership and service, a value of $357,099 to the South Dakota economy.
- Food Safety: SDSU Extension has developed new partnerships and processes to help ensure the safety of local foods processed by South Dakota residents. In collaboration with the South Dakota Department of Health, 30 local food products were tested. We worked with 1 company to write and evaluate FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Food Safety Plans, with many more companies on board for 2018.
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Syposium – 2016, Heather Gessner
- Cover Crop Forum – 2017, Ruth Beck, Sara Berg, Anthony Bly, David Karki
- Dairy Fest – 2017, Tracey Erickson
- Forage Fiesta Field Day – 2017, Taylor Grussing, Karla Hernandez (former SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist), Tracey Erickson, Sara Berg
- FSA-The Next Ag CEO – 2016, Heather Gessner
- Sustaining the Legacy – 2017, Heather Gessner