SDSU Extension publishes the Livestock Newsletter to provide South Dakota producers, industry professionals and consumers with timely research-based recommendations.
Increasing livestock numbers in South Dakota offers increased economic activity to the state. Greater economic activity through livestock production increases the number of jobs and opportunities for young people to stay in rural communities. SDSU Extension has conducted multiple activities in support of South Dakota's livestock industry.
During 2014 cattle production suffered a more or less generalized nationwide retraction. South Dakota was seventh in the country in cattle and calves on farms trailing closely Iowa and Missouri. Then again, when cattle and calves on farms are considered per capita South Dakota leads the country with roughly 4.3 animals per person. The economic impact of the livestock industry in South Dakota is very significant.
For the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2015 (January, February, March), the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Extension Field Specialists utilized several approaches to obtain feedback from stakeholders during focus groups and extension meetings.
Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy and in order to remain a vital component the current aging population of farmers and ranchers will need to transition their operations to the next generation of producers. By creating active plans that enable them to pass the farm business on to their own children or others that want to begin farming, a larger percentage of the traditional taxes and fees associated with estate distribution can be reinvested into the operation instead of being a costly expense for the family. As younger producers are able to continue farming and ranching they return to small towns where their children will attend the local school, local main street businesses maintain a customer base and churches remain viable.
The SDSU Extension 2013 Annual Report highlights the impacts of programming and achievements from the past year.
The educational goals of the project are to make everyone involved in the swine industry aware of any disease that can cost producers livestock, time, emotional hardship, and in the big picture, revenue. We also want to showcase how the disease can be transmitted, therefore allowing it to be stopped at the source and reduce its spread in infecting other farms.
Growing Ag CEOs is an education opportunity for producers to continue to grow and develop their skills. The goals of this program are to equip producers with the management, financial and strategic planning tools to help them thrive in the agriculture industry well into the future. Producers in South Dakota excel at production practices, however with the changing economic times, management and financial skills are more critical to the continued success of farms and ranches.
Annie's Project is a national program that can be found in 34 states including South Dakota. Annie's Project was started in South Dakota in 2007 with two sites and has grown to 24 sites. Over that time we have received funding from USDA Farm Service Agency and three grants from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to support Annie's Project Level 1 and 2.
The American Sheep Industry established the “2 Plus” Industry Initiative in 2011 to increase flock numbers in an effort to increase lamb and wool production. It is expecting a shortage in production within the United States resulting in not only loss of market share, but also in infrastructure needed to support a viable sheep industry.