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Southeast SD Experiment Farm Annual Meeting

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Reports to Partners, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Wheat, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm Corporation will hold its Annual Meeting from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at the Freeman Prairie Arboretum which is located near the Freeman Academy on South Main Street, Freeman, South Dakota. 

The farm is owned and operated by the Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm Corporation in collaboration with, and in support of South Dakota State University activities including teaching, research and extension.

This meeting is free of charge and open to the public.

The afternoon program will feature four speakers presenting information on topics of interest to producers in the 10-county area represented by the Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm.

  • New Oat Lines & Oat Variety Development; will be presented by Melanie Caffe, Assistant Professor from SDSU Department of Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science.
  • Small Grain Markets; will be the topic addressed by Jessie VanderPoel, Grain Procurement, Grain Millers, Inc.
  • Profitable Nutrient Management; information will be presented by Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist
  • To till or Not to till - 25 years of data from the Southeast Farm; Peter Sexton, Southeast Farm Supervisor / Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Sustainable Cropping Systems Specialist will report on data from SDSU Southeast Research Station research trials

The Southeast South Dakota Experiment Farm comprises part of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU research infrastructure.

Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting. For more information call 605.563.2989 or visit the iGrow Events page.

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Promoting Ag Sustainability in High School Classrooms

Categorized: Livestock, Agronomy, Community Development

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sustainable agriculture was the focus of a training session, co-hosted by SDSU Extension and University of Nebraska-Lincoln for South Dakota high school vocational agriculture educators January 5, 2018 on the campus of South Dakota State University.

"We need to educate today's youth about sustainable agriculture," explained Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, who coordinated the event with David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist and educators from the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL).

The training was part of a pilot program designed to test new curriculum. Current teachers as well as SDSU student pursuing degrees in Agriculture Education attended the training. The following school districts were represented: Chester, Bowdle, Yankton, Bon Homme, Tri-Valley, Howard, Mitchell and Wolsey-Wessington.

During the four-hour training, the participants learned about soil aggregate stability and how to incorporate agriculture sustainability lessons into curriculum.

The Ag Sustainability curriculum promoted during the training, was developed by UNL and targeted for high school teachers in the northcentral states, including South Dakota.

"This curriculum will be provided to all teachers who participated in this training," explained Karki.

Lessons in Sustainable Agriculture

The curriculum is composed of six lessons designed to gradually improve the understanding of a sustainable production system.

"The syllabus was designed to be equally friendly to students who have farm background and those who don't," Bly said.

The six lessons that were covered during the training session included:

  1. What is a system?
  2. City Farm Game
  3. Connections to the Field Print Calculator
  4. Sustainable Ag. Case Studies
  5. Engineering- Center Pivot Irrigation
  6. Digging In- Exploring our Soils

"These lessons incorporate many in-class demonstrations, videos, and on-line farming game that could easily help students understand the concept of being sustainable," Bly said.

He added that special attention was given to environmental and natural resource conservation.

Once the educators have implemented the curriculum, they are asked to provide feedback that will be used in further development of the sustainability curriculum.
"The hope is to make the final draft of this curriculum available to agriculture educators everywhere," Karki said.

This training and curriculum was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a part of its Local Grants program.

Courtesy of iGrow. Sustainable agriculture was the focus of a training session, co-hosted by SDSU Extension and University of Nebraska-Lincoln for South Dakota high school vocational agriculture educators January 5, 2018 on the campus of South Dakota State University.

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Cold, Wet Climate Outlook for Early Spring 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Colder and wetter than average conditions are possible across northern South Dakota, according to the January 18, 2018 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center Seasonal Outlook.

"The three-month outlook, shows colder than average temperatures are likely in the northern and eastern regions of South Dakota," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Edwards explained this is consistent with La Nina's typical winter pattern in the region, which often brings colder than average temperatures across the northern states in the winter season.

"South Dakotans have been spoiled with some warm winters in the last few years," she said. "We have had some cold periods this winter, but fortunately each cold period has been shortlived."

Precipitation Outlook

The precipitation outlook for February through April is less certain for South Dakota, however.

"The northwest corner of the state has slightly better odds of wetter than average conditions," Edwards said. "This could help improve the lingering drought conditions in the area."

Overall, Edwards said the national climate outlook is very similar to a typical La Nina pattern, which favors wetter conditions in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.

In the near term, however, she said the month of February has less certainty in both temperature and precipitation outlooks.

"Currently, there is a lot of variability in the computer models for the month ahead. This had led the forecasters to show equal chances of warmer or colder and wetter or drier conditions across South Dakota," Edwards said.

As of January 18, in many areas of the state, snowfall has been below average.

"This is a growing concern for winter wheat producers, who rely on snow cover to protect their crop from temperature extremes in the winter season," Edwards said. "Snow cover can insulate the crop from extreme cold temperatures, but also provide protection from freeze and thaw cycles during warm periods."

With 90 percent of South Dakota ranking as either abnormally dry or in drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Edwards said snowfall would also be beneficial to help replenish soil moisture.

"The winter season is usually our dry season, but temperatures and snowfall during the winter are important to the start of the growing season. South Dakota experienced that last year with an early drought that had a huge impact in the state," Edwards said. "Snowmelt in the spring also helps with replenishing stock ponds and water for livestock."

Edwards added that despite ample snowfall last winter, the warm temperatures in February of 2017 likely contributed to the development of the drought conditions last spring.

"The next couple of months will greatly impact the start of the growing season - for better or for worse," she said.

Courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center website. Precipitation outlook for February through April 2018. Northwestern South Dakota has slightly better odds of wetter than average conditions in the next three months.

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Wean-to-Finish Production Systems Evolve for Healthy Pigs

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

Article by Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist

Wean-to-finish production systems emerged as a new concept in the pork production industry in the late '90s moving newly weaned pigs into biosecure wean-to-finish facilities forming static groups, rather than being relocated after the nursery phase into grow-finish barns.

According to a 2013 analysis of U.S. swine industry productivity from 2005 to 2010, data shows that this reduction in transportation and mixing of pig groups resulted in several benefits including: production performance, health and welfare of growing pigs due to decrease in fighting and reduction in potential stressors resulting from time away from feed.

The analysis included 630 wean-to-finish units compared to more than 2100 nursery units and more than 2300 finishing units.

A closer look

Entry & Exit age: 19.4 days in wean-to-finish and 19.3 days in nursery does not appear to differ between the systems. Alternatively, the exit age and weight, 183 days and 262 pounds from wean-to-finish and 186 days and 264 pounds from finishing barns seem to support the observation that extra days of growth are needed when pigs are relocated.

Early Wean-to-Finish Barns: Early wean-to-finish barns were modifications of existing grow-finish units.

A few novel producers had come to realize that all-in, all-out (AIAO) pig flows could be effectively managed in wean-to-finish facilities.

Maintaining pen groups: Maintaining pen groups avoids the stressors that mixing and moving pigs can trigger.

Fighting regularly occurs when pigs are mixed into new groups and will tend to reduce feed intake for a period of time.

In fact, it has been suggested that every pen move, even maintaining existing groups, can cost a day of growth over the production cycle and may negatively impact animal welfare if animals are injured during mixing and fighting.

Management Strategies

There is ongoing research and debate about the best welfare management strategies for pigs in wean-to-finish facilities. For example, some producers double-stock the pens during the nursery period.

This provides the advantage of fewer pens needing direct supplemental heat (i.e. brooders) and mats during the nursery phase. Also, the logistics of the delivery of specialized early nursery diets (often provided in bags, rather than from bulk bins) is simplified as there are fewer pens that require manual delivery of feed. On the one hand, fewer pens can make it more efficient and provide more time per pen to observe the pigs, watching for injured or ill piglets that need to be moved into hospital pens.

On the other hand, more pigs per pen can limit the prompt identification of animals that require intervention as they may be difficult to spot within the larger groups.

Larger groups may reduce the likelihood or effectiveness of employees actually walking through the pens.

When pigs are double-stocked, it is important to properly manage the timing of the stocking density change to avoid any negative effects of crowding on growth performance.

Biosecurity: An important foundation of the efficiency of modern pork production is the industry emphasis on biosecurity.

Wean-to-finish barns may provide better biosecurity than separate nursery and grow-finish facilities. Consider, for example, that wean-to-finish barns eliminate the need for trucks to transport animals from nurseries to grow-finish barns.

Reduced truck traffic reduces the potential for disease spread through contamination of production sites. However, the preservation of biosecurity requires that strict AIAO procedures be followed and that the barn be thoroughly cleaned between groups.

Thorough cleaning and disinfection is essential to eliminate potential disease transfer from one group to the next. This is especially important considering that, unchecked, pathogen loads from the older pigs that were finished on the site could negatively impact the health and wellbeing of newly arrived weaned piglets.

Feeding Strategies: Feeding growing pigs has become a rather detailed science.

Multiple diet formulations are phased according to the growth curve in an effort to closely match the nutrient requirements with the nutrients provided. However, the careful nutrition science used to optimize the production efficiency of swine is disrupted when pigs are without feed, such as during relocation events.

Gut health, at least temporarily, is stressed by lack of feed which may result in longer term effects on animal health.

Before wean-to-finish: A little background

Around the same time as the world was pondering Y2K, the swine industry was pondering a new production system for feeder pigs.

Traditionally, producers had transferred newly weaned pigs to specialized nursery facilities for the first 6 to 8 weeks after weaning. After that, pigs were moved again into grow-finish barns where they stayed until they were transported to market.

The new wean-to-finish system skipped the intermediate step of transporting growing hogs from nursery barns to separate grow-finish barns. Instead, newly weaned pigs were moved directly into wean-to-finish facilities where they could be maintained within the same groups and the same health status for the whole time required to achieve market weight.

Courtesy of iGrow. Wean-to-finish production systems emerged as a new concept in the pork production industry in the late '90s moving newly weaned pigs into biosecure wean-to-finish facilities forming static groups, rather than being relocated after the nursery phase into grow-finish barns.

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Sign Up for Lake Preston Annie’s Project by February 13

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance, Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, then SDSU Extension's Annie's Project may be the program for you.

"Have you ever asked a farm/ranch management question and not understood the answer? Have you ever signed papers at the bank or FSA and not really understood what they were for? Have you been thinking about if you have enough insurance or an estate plan? Have you wished you knew more about marketing your cattle or crops? If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions then you are a perfect candidate for Annie's Project," said Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Annie's Project was designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women.

Register by Feb. 13, 2018

Over a six-week period women will learn how to develop financial records, learn key communication skills, ask questions about retirement and estate planning, expand marketing knowledge - all while having fun in a supportive learning environment.

Classes meet once a week beginning February 20, 2018 at the J&M Café (306 Main Ave S). The classes continue February 27, March 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Each session will run from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m.

The cost is $125 per person and meals will be served at each session.

For more information, contact Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls, 605.782.3290. 

Pre-registration is due by February 13. To register, visit the iGrow Events page, select Lake Preston Annie's Project. Class space is limited. 

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BQA Transportation Quality Assurance Certification

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A new online Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Transportation Certification is available via the National Beef Quality Assurance program.

This certification program can be found at www.bqa.org. Click on "Certification" in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

"Transporters are an invaluable member of the beef supply chain. When cattle trucks hit the road, they become highly visible to the public's eye and maintaining the highest level of animal welfare is critical throughout the journey," explained Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

Carroll went on to explain that before beef reaches the dinner plate, the animal is hauled several times.

"Cattlemen and transporters both insure the safety of people and cattle. They are also responsible for the quality of beef products and demonstrate their ethical commitment of caring for animals humanely," she said.

Transporting cattle at any age in their life is a stressful experience, so cattlemen and professional drivers should ensure the best care for the animals prior to, during, and after the journey.

The BQA Transportation Certification teaches industry best management practices and reviews laws and regulations for transporting cattle.

More about BQA Transportation Certification

Two course options focus the content for Farmers and Ranchers or Professional Drivers.

Seven lessons and a quiz make up the courses which include:

  • Introduction to BQA Transportation
  • Principles of Stockmanship
  • Biosecurity
  • Fitness for Transport
  • Pre-Trip Planning and Loading
  • On the Road, Arrival and Unloading
  • Risk and Emergency Management
  • Final Assessment 

The entire course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, but it can be completed in multiple sittings.

Upon successful completion, a certificate is provided that can be printed or saved as a training record. Certification is valid for three years.

For more information and to view all BQA programs and resources, visit the Beef Quality Assurance website.

For questions regarding BQA Transportation Certification or BQA Certification, please contact Carroll by email.

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Managing the Margins Workshop Begins Feb. 6

Categorized: Agronomy, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension teams up with several financial institutions, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and North Central Extension Risk Management Education to host Managing the Margin Workshops beginning February 6, 2018 on the campus of South Dakota State University in the First Dakota National Bank e-Trading Education Lab (Berg Agricultural Hall 139) using Bloomberg Trading Terminals.

"These hands-on workshops led by financial experts provide participants with marketing strategy and risk management information and tools to help them better manage their agriculture businesses," said Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist.

The Managing the Margin workshop series provides hands-on learning.

The workshop series includes sessions I through IV held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

"This workshop series is developed as a complete series in order to foster continual knowledge building from session to session," said Lisa Elliott, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Commodity Marketing Specialist.

All sessions will be offered twice on different days. Participants MUST sign up for one of each of sessions I-IV with sessions being taken in consecutive order.

Participants who attend all four individual topic sessions will receive a certificate of training completion.

All sessions will be held on the SDSU campus in 139 Berg Agricultural Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.

If you have questions about this workshop series, please contact Elliott, who is the lead teacher. Elliott can be reached by email or Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist by email or 605.995.7378.

Registration deadline is Feb. 6, 2018.

Space is limited. To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

Funding for this project is provided by the Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226. In addition, support was provided by the following partners: Farm Credit Services of America, First Dakota National Bank, Great Western Bank, and Bryant State Bank.

Workshop dates & details

Session I: Measuring and Monitoring Value at Risk (VaR)
Available Dates - Tuesday, February 6, 2018 or Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Session II: Using Fundamental & Technical Market Information to Enhance Returns Relative to VaR
Available Dates - Thursday, February 8, 2018 or Thursday, February 15, 2018

Session III: Aligning Market Strategies with Insurance Products According to Risk Preferences
Available Dates - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 or Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Session IV: Managing VaR without Direct Futures Contract through Cross-Hedging
Available Dates - Thursday, February 22, 2018 or Thursday, March 1, 2018

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Sustaining the Legacy Farm Transition Planning Programs

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Passing the family farm or ranch operation on to the next generation is the focus of SDSU Extension's Sustaining the Legacy programs held in Sioux Falls and Pierre.

The Sioux Falls event will be held February 1, 8 and 15 and the Pierre event will be held February 13, 20 and 27.

"Bringing the next generation back to the family farm or ranch is important to many South Dakota families," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "Before that decision is made, there are many intentional conversations and plans that need to be covered."

Topics will include the following:

  • Wages and salary compensation;
  • Policy creation; Creating a business structure;
  • How life insurance, trusts and other tools can aid with the transition;
  • New tax laws, and other details related to passing an agriculture operation to the next generation.

"We hope all members of the family involved in the operation will be able to attend these sessions together," Gessner said. "This not only ensures all family members hear the same information, but also generates questions and conversation that benefits all attendees at the conference. It is our hope, that this program spurs transition plan development," Gessner said.

Program details

Sioux Falls, Sustaining the Legacy program will be held Feb. 1, 8 and 15 at the SDSU Extension Regional Extension Center (2001 E. 8th Street).

Registration is due Jan. 29, 2018.

Pierre, Sustaining the Legacy Program will be held Feb. 13, 20 and 27 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (412 W. Missouri Ave).

Registration deadline is Feb. 7.

Both programs will run each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch and breaks provided.

Participants are expected to attend all three sessions.

To help cover expenses registration for the event is $100 and includes up to five family members. To register, mail a check for $100 to SDSU Extension, Attn. Heather Gessner, 2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls SD, 57103. Include the names and contact information for all attendees.

For more information, contact Gessner at 605.782.3290 or by email.

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4-H Members Participate in Western National Roundup

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Twenty-one South Dakota 4-H members represented the state, competing along with more than 1000 youth from more than 33 states including Alberta, Canada attended the Western National Roundup January 4-7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado.

The trip from South Dakota to Denver was sponsored and funded by the Livestock Industry 4-H Trust Fund.

South Dakota 4-Hers who competed include the following:

Livestock Judging Team Members: Sawyer Naasz, Brule County; Hunter Miller, Deuel County; Jadee Mattheis, Hutchinson County and Mitchell Vander Wal, Spink County; the team was coached by Amber Erickson and John Keimig.

Horse Judging Team Members: Cassandra Townsend, Brown County; Adrianne Schaunaman, Brown County; Callie Mueller, Codington County and Jessica Mueller, Minnehaha County; the team was coached by Mysty Schaunaman.

Hippology Team Members: Dani Holm, Minnehaha; Hannah Buchmann, Minnehaha County; Jami Bergeson, McCook County and Samantha Bergeson, McCook County; the team was coached by Melissa Ullerich.

Horse Bowl Team Members: Blayne Martinez, Hutchinson County; Hunter Haberman, Hutchinson County; Justin Edelman, Hutchinson County and Lexy Leischner, Hutchinson County; the team was coached by Jill Haberman.

Horse Demonstration: Sarah Vos, Pennington County and she was coached by Dallas Vos.

Consumer Decision Making Team Members: Bridger Gordon, Butte/Lawrence County; Danika Gordon, Butte/Lawrence County; Collin Hockenbary, Butte/Lawrence County and Layla Hockenbary, Butte/Lawrence County; the team was coached by Jamie Hockenbary.

More about Western National Roundup

The Conference, now in its 98th year, is held annually in early January, coinciding with the National Western Stock Show. This year's theme of "Unmask the Superhero in YOU" is aimed at helping participants gain confidence to help them create unique experiences for both themselves and others and thrive in their self-defined future through 4-H and FFA.

Both 4-H and FFA members between the ages of 14 and 19 have the opportunity to qualify for Roundup by winning their home state's contest or being chosen as a state delegate. The competitions held at Western National Roundup include horse and livestock judging, livestock quiz bowl, hippology, horse demonstrations and public speaking, parliamentary procedure, family consumer sciences presentations, skill-a-thon, and bowl, consumer decision making, public speaking prepared and impromptu, parliamentary procedure, and meats identification. 

Workshops are offered throughout the week which provide a learning experience for the youth exposing them to topics ranging from fitness and nutrition, to communication and team building, to dance and leadership development. Youth participants develop a mastery of their respective subject matters, but more importantly, gain life-long skills. Such skills as public speaking, professionalism, and good sportsmanship along with the memories and new friendships will outlast the trophies and ribbons that were won.

For further information about Western National Roundup and full results for each contest, please see the main conference website at http://www.westernnationalroundup.org/.

2018 Western National Roundup Results

Livestock Judging Team Members: Sawyer Naasz, Brule County; Hunter Miller, Deuel County; Jadee Mattheis, Hutchinson County; Mitchell Vander Wal, Spink County

Overall Individual

  • Hunter Miller - 14th
  • Mitchell Vander Wal - 39th
  • Jadee Mattheis - 43rd
  • Sawyer Naasz - 56th

Beef Individual

  • Mitchell VanderWal - 13th
  • Sawyer Naasz - 21st
  • Hunter Miller - 47th
  • Jadee Mattheis - 50th

Goats Individual

  • Hunter Miller - 15th
  • Sawyer Naasz - 19th
  • Jadee Mattheis - 48th
  • Mitchell Vander Wal - 67th

Sheep Individuals

  • Hunter Miller - 6th
  • Jadee Mattheis - 45th
  • Sawyer Naasz - 68th
  • Mitchell Vander Wal - 96th

Swine Individuals

  • Hunter Miller, 18th
  • Mitchell Vander Wal - 30th
  • Jadee Mattheis - 40th
  • Sawyer Naasz - 88th

Reasons Individuals

  • Jadee Mattheis - 39th
  • Hunter Miller - 40th
  • Mitchell Vander Wal - 45th
  • Sawyer Naasz - 46th

Team Results

  • Overall - 10th
  • Beef - 9th
  • Goats - 6th
  • Sheep - 11th
  • Swine - 8th
  • Reasons - 15th

Horse Classic

Horse Classic High Point State - 5th

Horse Judging - Onlytop 20 Individuals Recognized in Awards

Team Members: Cassandra Townsend, Brown County; Adrianne Schaunaman, Brown County; Callie Mueller, Codington County; Jessica Mueller, Minnehaha County

Overall Individual 

  • Cassandra Townsend - 12th
  • Adrianne Schaunaman - 14th
  • Callie Mueller - 15th

Individual Halter

  • Cassandra Townsend - 12th
  • Callie Mueller - 18th

Individual Performance

  • Adrianne Schaunaman - 8th
  • Cassandra Townsend - 11th
  • Callie Mueller - 17th

Individual Reasons

  • Cassandra Townsend - 16th
  • Adrianne Schaunaman - 18th

Team Results

  • Overall - 4th
  • Halter - 6th
  • Performance - 3rd
  • Reasons - 5th

HippologyTeam Members: (Only top 10 Individuals Recognized in Awards) Dani Holm, Minnehaha; Hannah Buchmann, Minnehaha County; Jami Bergeson, McCook County; Samantha Bergeson, McCook County

Judging

  • Samantha Bergeson - 8th
  • Jami Bergeson - 11th - Tied for 9th

Teams

  • Overall - 9th
  • Team Exam/Slides - 7th
  • Team Stations - 9th
  • Team Judging - 4th
  • Team Problem - 10th

Horse Bowl Team Members: Blayne Martinez, Hutchinson County; Hunter Haberman, Hutchinson County; Justin Edelman, Hutchinson County; Lexy Leischner, Hutchinson County
Individual

  • Hunter Haberman, Hutchinson County - 11th - Tied for 10th

Team

  • Overall - 4th

Horse Demonstration

  • Sarah Vos, Pennington County - 2nd

Consumer Decision Making Team Members: Bridger Gordon, Butte/Lawrence County; Danika Gordon, Butte/Lawrence County; Collin Hockenbary, Butte/Lawrence County; Layla Hockenbary, Butte/Lawrence County

Overall Individual

  • Collin Hockenbary - 20th
  • Bridger Gordon - 22nd
  • Danika Gordon - 24th
  • Layla Hockenbary- 29th

Individual Class Placing

  • Collin Hockenbary - 20th
  • Bridger Gordon - 21st
  • Danika Gordon - 25th
  • Layla Hockenbary - 28th

Individual Reasons -

  • Danika Gordon - 15th
  • Bridger Gordon - 16th
  • Collin Hockenbary - 19th
  • Layla Hockenbary - 30th

Teams

  • Overall - 8th
  • Class Placings - 7th
  • Reasons - 6th
  • Group Think - 6th

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff icon.

Courtesy photo
First Row - Mysty Schaunaman, Jessica Mueller, Samantha Bergeson, Jami Bergeson, Cassandra Townsend and Lexy Leischner
Row 2 - Amanda Stade, Jill Haberman, Sarah Vos, Layla Hockenbary, Jadee Mattheis, Danika Gordon, and Blayne Martinez
Row 3 - Dallas Vos, Amber Erickson, Sawyer Naasz, Hannah Buchmann, Jamie Hockenbary, Adrianne Schaunaman, Callie Mueller, and Hunter Haberman
Row 4 - Melissa Ullerich, Dani Holm, Mitchell Vander Wal, Hunter Miller, Collin Hockenbary, Justin Edelman, and Bridger Gordon

Courtesy photo. Consumer Decision Making team includes: (left to right): Danika Gordon, Layla Hockenbary, Jamie Hockenbary (coach), Collin Hockenbary and Bridger Gordon.

Courtesy photo. Hippology Team includes: Hannah Buchmann, Jami Bergeson, Samantha Bergeson, and Dani Holm.

Courtesy photo.Horse Demonstration, Sarah Vos.

Courtesy photo. Horse Judging Team includes: Mysty Schaunaman (coach), Jessica Mueller, Adrianne Schaunaman, Cassandra Townsend and Callie Mueller.

Courtesy photo.Horse Quiz Bowl team members include: Lexy Leischner, Justin Edelman, Blayne Martinez, Hunter Haberman and Jill Haberman (coach).

Courtesy photo. Livestock Judging team includes: Jadee Mattheis, Sawyer Naasz, Mitchell Vander Wal, and Hunter Miller. 
 

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2018 Pest Management Guides Now Available

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension has released the 2018 Pest Management Guides. The four guides are now available online at no cost to South Dakotans thanks to support from several sponsors.

"These guides are completely updated and revised to provide South Dakotans with research-based recommendations for controlling weeds, insects and diseases," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Johnson added that the 2018 Pest Management Guides include several new products as well as older products now sold under new names as well as the corresponding changes made to labeling instructions such as; rates for the chemicals, rotation restrictions, additive rates and products.

"Although much has changed, the prices for the products are similar to last year," he said.

To access these valuable management tools, visit the iGrow Store.

There are four pest management guides which provide information for the following crops:

  • 2018 Pest Management Guide: Alfalfa & Oilseeds - this guide includes information on the following crops; alfalfa, canola, flax, safflower and sunflowers.
  • 2018 Pest Management Guide: Corn
  • 2018 Pest Management Guide: Soybeans
  • 2018 Pest Management Guide: Wheat - this guide includes information on the following crops; barley, rye, oats, durum, millet and triticale.

Sponsors cover costs

Sponsors of the 2018 SDSU Extension Pest Management Guides include: South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion council, The Corn Utilization council, the SDSU Extension IPM Program, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the SDSU Extension WEED Project.

"Without these generous sponsors, these guides would not be updated each year. Our team appreciates their support and investment in this valuable management tool," Johnson said. 

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Soil Health Event in Mitchell February 15

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The agronomist to the 2016 recipients of the Leopold Award for Conservation is among the line-up of speakers featured during the SDSU Extension eighth annual Mitchell Soil Health Event Feb. 15, 2018 at the Highland Conference Center (2000 Highland Way).

This event begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.(CST).

The agenda will also include speakers from SDSU Extension, North Dakota State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dan Forgey, agronomist for Cronin Farms, Gettysburg, will be the lead speaker. He will be discussing "A Farmers Perspective on Soil Health."

Cronin Farms, is a large no-till crop production and livestock enterprise and was the 2016 recipient of the Leopold Award for Conservation.

"Forgey, and employers, Mike and Monte Cronin, have worked hard to integrate forage cover crops and livestock onto their no-till crop ground," said Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Other speakers include:

Chris Augustin, Soil Health Specialist from NDSU - Augustin is stationed in Minot, but hales from the Red River Valley region of North Dakota and will share some of his thoughts and experiences on managing soil salinity.

Dr. Stevan Knezevic, Extension Weed Specialist from UNL - Knezevic will discuss the increase in multiple herbicide resistance in Nebraska's weeds and issues associated with using dicamba resistant soybeans due to effects of micro-rates of dicamba on sensitive crops.

Dr. Dave Franzen, Soil Fertility Specialist from NDSU - Franzen will speak on the relationship between soil conservation and soil fertility.

Producer Panel - The event will wrap up with a panel of area producers, who will share their experiences with cover crops, no till and livestock integration.

Register by Feb. 12

Organized by the South Dakota No-Till Association, SDSU Extension, Mitchell NRCS office, and the Davison Conservation District this event is free to the public and lunch is included. To accommodate for lunch, organizers are asking that attendees pre-register by Feb. 12, 2018. A large trade show with booths is included in the event. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact organizers.

To register, call the Davison Conservation District office at 605.996.1564, ext. 3 or email.

Certified crop consultant educational credits will be available at the workshop.

More information and a full agenda for the soil health workshop can be viewed online at the iGrow Events page or at the South Dakota No-Till website.

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Online Resource to Connect Custom Feeding Partners

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Custom cattle feeding can be a win-win strategy when done correctly.

"Feeding someone else's cattle provides a method to market feedstuffs without tying up the capital required to own the livestock," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

Rusche explained that custom feeding arrangements allow cattle owners access to management expertise and facilities they may not possess, opportunities to capitalize on superior genetics and options in the event of feed shortages.

Connecting cattle feeders with interested cattle owners can happen in a number of ways, Rusche went on to say.

"Word-of-mouth, allied industry contacts and advertisements are common methods," he said.

Currently, SDSU Extension is developing an online resource for cattle feeders who are interested in custom feeding cattle. If you are interested in being listed in that directory, view the Beef article here.

"As with any business arrangement, both parties need to do their homework and ask the right questions," Rusche said. "Most deals that end up badly do so because of lack of communication and due diligence at the outset."

Are they the right partner?

Not all ranches or cattle are alike, so it stands to reason that not every feedlot is suited to every customer and every type of cattle.

"For example, an operation that uses cattle feeding to add value to large amounts of high-moisture corn is not likely to be a great fit for someone needing replacement heifers developed," Rusche said.

If a customer has a particular business model in mind (i.e. high-risk calves, carcass data with grid marketing, etc.), they need to make sure that the cattle feeder understands how to manage that particular class of cattle.

Get it in writing

There's an old saying that good fences make good neighbors. "The same could be said about written agreements," Rusche said. "Having a written agreement forces everyone to think about the entire transaction, what could go wrong, and how those concerns will be addressed."

Written contracts help to ensure there are no disagreements about who said what and what was agreed upon.

Written contracts also establish the framework to resolve conflicts if any arise.

What are the expectations?

Any cattle feeder will tell you that not all calves are created equal and that there is considerable variation between sources and management systems.

"There should be a frank discussion about everyone's goals and expectations are for performance, sickness rates and death losses and whether or not those expectations are realistic," Rusche said.

Resources, experience and references

Before sending cattle to a custom feedlot, the owner should make sure that all the necessary resources are in place.

"Facilities and equipment don't need to be gold-plated, but they do need to be functional," Rusche said.

He added that the level of experience and the caliber of any outside expertise, particularly nutritionists and veterinarians, should be assessed as well.

"Talking with individuals who have knowledge of the operation could provide valuable insight into a feeder's capabilities," Rusche said.

Financial considerations

There is enough risk in the cattle business already without letting someone else's financial difficulties becoming your own.

"Not getting paid for feed (or cattle) obviously can cause significant financial harm. Making sure that agreements are in writing is a necessary first step, but setting up communication between both parties' lenders provides an additional level of security," Rusche said.

To learn more, contact Rusche by email.

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Easy-To-Use Tool to Help Producers

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension developed the Livestock Decision Aid tool to help livestock producers make management decisions faster and more accurately.

"Tight margins in livestock production heighten the importance of making the best possible management decisions," said Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate.

Livestock Decision Tool is a web-based application consisting of four separate tools:

  1. Feed Cost Comparison
  2. Natural Feeding Comparison
  3. Share Lease Calculator
  4. Creep Feed Comparison

The tool can be found at the Feed Cost Comparison website.

Because the Livestock Decision Aid is web-based, it does not require a spreadsheet program to run and will operate on any device that has an internet browser such as personal computers, tablets or smartphones.

Each tool contains a link to a resource page on iGrow.org that provides additional information and guidance for entering the required information to perform the calculations.

"As with any decision making tool, the results are only as good as the underlying data and assumptions, so making certain that the values entered come as close as possible to the actual results is critical to getting accurate answers," Rusche said.

Feed Cost Comparison: This tool allows producers to evaluate two feedstuffs on the cost of energy and protein components adjusted for dry matter content.

Shipping costs can be included in the analysis to allow comparisons on delivered costs. Book values for a variety of common feedstuffs are available, but using actual feed test results will improve accuracy.

Natural Feeding Comparison: This tool allows cattle feeders to compare the relative costs and returns to feeding cattle in a natural program (without antibiotics and/or growth promotants) compared to a conventional program.

It is critically important to estimate performance and costs differences between the two systems, as well as the number of cattle that would need to be removed from a natural program because they needed to be treated.

The tool will report the price premium required in order to make up for the lost production and performance.

Share Lease Calculator: This tool accounts for all the expenses (cash and non-cash) of a share cow lease, allocated between the cow owner and the operator.

The equitable split of the calf crop is determined by the relative percentages of the total cost paid by each party. Each individual cost item can be split in whatever way the parties agree upon.

The report also shows the expected profitability for both parties and return on assets for the cow owner.

Creep Feed Comparison: This tool allows producers to determine the expected returns for creep feeding calves.

The critical factors are expected feed conversion for creep feed and the price slide for heavier weight calves. Profit or loss is reported in dollars per head.

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SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences at BHSS

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Beef, Sheep

RAPID CITY, S.D. - The SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences will host a booth at the Black Hills Stock Show that will take place January 26 through February 4 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. The Black Hills Stock Show is a premiere western festival that attracts over 300,000 people annually and features 120 different livestock, horse and rodeo events.

The Black Hills Stock Show draws people of all different backgrounds, ages and interests, making it an ideal venue to showcase both the SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and SDSU Extension. According to Kristi Cammack, Director of South Dakota State University’s West River Ag Center located in Rapid City, “It’s not only a great opportunity to visit with our friends in agriculture, but because the Stock Show is held in Rapid City and draws such a diverse crowd, it’s also an opportunity for us to reach those not familiar with agriculture. There are also youth events throughout the week, making the Stock Show a great setting for recruiting students into all the amazing programs offered by the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.”

The College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences is updating its booth space with new hands-on activities, including an Augmented Reality Sandbox. Booth visitors can experiment with the topographical sandbox while visiting with SDSU personnel. According to Cammack, “We hope that these hands-on displays will encourage folks to stop at the booth and visit with SDSU personnel about what SDSU has to offer them – from Extension expertise to new programs on campus.”  

The SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences’ booth is located on the upper floor of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center next to the Club Room. The College, along with the SDSU Alumni Association and the West River Jacks, will also co-host the annual Alumni Reception on Saturday, February 3rd from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Club Room. 

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Best Time to Scout for Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Due to wheat streak mosaic disease showing up in wheat fields across South Dakota in 2017, many wheat growers wonder if they need to worry about the disease spreading this winter and wheat streak mosaic virus showing up in their fields spring 2018.

"Since winter wheat is dormant throughout the winter months, and the wheat curl mites which transmit the disease are only active during the growing season, no further spread of wheat streak mosaic virus will occur this winter," said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

Wheat streak mosaic virus can result in severe yield losses and sometimes an entire wheat field can be lost when wheat is sprayed out and a different crop planted in spring.

Byamukama explained that wheat growers will need to begin scouting their fields for the disease as temperatures warm up this spring and wheat curl mites resume activity.

"The best time to send a sample confirming wheat streak mosaic virus, is spring once wheat has resumed growing," Byamukama said. "It is important to confirm presence of wheat streak mosaic virus before management decisions such as spraying out wheat and planting something else are made."

Byamukama added that general yellowing of plants should not be solely taken as indicator of wheat streak mosaic virus as other factors such as nitrogen deficiency, chloride deficiency and water logging can cause wheat plants to look yellow.

When taking samples of wheat for wheat streak mosaic virus testing, obtain at least five samples on a transect across the field in the direction of the prevailing wind.

"This will help to gauge the extent of wheat streak mosaic virus spread across the field," Byamukama said. "I want to remind growers that spring infections of wheat streak mosaic virus cause mild grain yield loss. It is the infections that take place in the fall, that are the most damaging to wheat."

What can wheat growers do about wheat streak mosaic virus?

Once plants are infected with a viral disease, like wheat streak mosaic virus, Byamukama said nothing can be done to 'cure' the plants of the virus.

"Wheat streak mosaic virus management requires pre-planting practices that prevent/limit infection from taking place in the fall, he said. "The best practice to manage is to destroy the volunteer wheat and grass weeds, or vegetation I like to refer to as the "green bridge," at least two weeks before planting. wheat curl mites cannot survive more than 48 hours without a living green tissue to feed on."

The second practice Byamukama encouraged growers to consider, is to delay planting in fall, especially following a year when wheat streak mosaic virus was widespread in an area.

"Once wheat plants escape fall wheat streak mosaic virus infections, infections that happen in spring do not result in significant yield loss," he said.

There are a few cultivars which are resistant or tolerant to wheat streak mosaic virus. Learn more about these, by reviewing the 2017 South Dakota Winter Wheat Variety Trial Results for ratings for wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) at this iGrow link.

More about Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus

Wheat streak mosaic disease is caused by viral pathogen called wheat streak mosaic virus. This virus is transmitted by microscopic mites called wheat curl mites. Wheat curl mites can only be seen under magnification (Figure 2).

Wheat curl mites are carried from field to field by the wind. Wheat curl mites are not capable of moving on their own since they do not develop wings but can crawl to neighboring plants.

Wheat curl mites can survive bitter cold winter temperatures. The mites overwinter as eggs, immature or as adult mites. The adult wheat curl mites reside near the growing point of a wheat plant and can be insulated from low temperatures especially under snow cover.

Insecticides are not effective against the wheat curl mites mainly because the mites are protected from exposure to insecticides as they inhabit the inner whorl of the leaf near the growing point of the plant. Insecticides used to control other types of mites such as spider mites will not control wheat curl mites.

How wheat curl mites infect a field

Wheat curl mites remain the major source of wheat streak mosaic virus.

Neighboring pasture grasses can be a source of the wheat curl mites and the virus. However, the preferred host for the vector and the virus is wheat. Therefore, while pasture grasses may serve as a source of inoculum, this inoculum is limited and usually a few wheat plants along the field edges will be affected.

Larger epidemics of this disease happen when the inoculum is from within the field or when wheat curl mites are blown in from a neighboring wheat fallow during fall shortly after planting.

Seed is not an important source of inoculum for wheat streak mosaic virus. Although research has shown that a low percentage (<0.5%) of seed harvested from infected plants can transmit wheat streak mosaic virus, the infected seedlings do not lead to significant wide spread disease within the field.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. A winter wheat field infected with Wheat streak mosaic virus in central South Dakota 2017.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2. Wheat curl mites under magnification.

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2018 Pork Classic Basketball Game Jan. 27

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University will host the 2018 Pork Classic double header basketball games Jan. 27, 2018 on campus in Frost Arena.

Established in 1972, the Pork Classic provides scholarships for SDSU Animal Science students interested in pursuing careers in pork production. Funds are raised through a barbecue meal and pork bundle auction.

"I cannot think of a more entertaining way to support the future of this industry," said Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

The Lady Jacks will play Fort Wayne at 2 p.m. The men will play Fort Wayne starting at 4:15 p.m.

The hot-off-the-grill pork loin BBQ meal will begin at 1 p.m. Serving will end at approximately 3 p.m. Meal tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the game. The meal includes a pork loin sandwich, potato chips, apple sauce and SDSU ice cream.

Supporters of the swine industry and SDSU Department of Animal Science prepare and serve the meal. Smithfield Foods donates the pork loin for the BBQ as well as 20 pork bundles which will be auctioned off during the half-time events of the men's game.

A live hog will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to scholarships for South Dakota State University Athletics.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone to come together and support our young people and industry," said Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

In 2017 the Pork Classic raised approximately $10,000 to help students prepare for their future in a growing swine industry.

Ticket information

Tickets are required to attend the basketball games.

The Jackrabbit Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Stanley J. Marshall HPER Center, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets go on sale one hour before game time at the Frost Arena ticket booth.

Contact the Jackrabbit Ticket Office by phone 605.688.5422 or by email. Tickets can be purchased online.

For more information, contact Samuel at 605.688.5431 or by email.

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S.D. Farm Family Enjoys 4-H Tradition Together

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension/iGrow.org

World Dairy Expo 1985 opened Mike Frey's mind up to the dairy industry beyond South Dakota's borders. A 14-year-old member of the state 4-H Dairy Judging Team, Mike returned to his family's Claremont dairy farm with a clear vision for his future career.

"That experience really propelled me. I knew I wanted to return to our dairy farm," explains Mike, who together with his parents, Kenneth and Janet, and his wife, Sara, milks 200-head of cows and raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa.

Expanding youth's knowledge of the world around them is just one reason Mike remained actively involved in 4-H. Even before he and Sara became parents, 26 years ago Mike signed up to lead the Friendly Fellows/ Daisies 4-H Club - the club he grew up in.

"I just love volunteering. It makes me feel good when I can see kids benefiting from some of the same experiences I took part in as a kid. And, knowing that as a leader I have a small part in helping them - not just my own kids, but other peoples' kids too," Mike says. "Young people are our future. I feel it's important to do my part to lead them in the right direction."

His wife, Sara agrees. "4-H is really something that helps kids become more well-rounded adults," she says.

Sara is also a 4-H alumnus. In fact, the couple met showing 4-H dairy cattle together at the State Fair. They reconnected in college.

"I joke that my pick up line was, 'don't I know you from showing cattle at the State Fair,'" Mike shares.

Today, in addition to showing and judging dairy cattle like their parents, Mike and Sara's high school-age sons, Dylan and Colin also compete in 4-H public speaking, static exhibits and have served as club officers.

"I've gained a lot of responsibility," explains Dylan, a senior in high school. "Getting an animal ready for the fair takes a lot of time and work. It's fun when I take exhibits or animals to the fair and get ribbons - to see my hard work pay off. And, keeping records has taught me to be organized."

The 18-year-old adds that he values the friendships he has made through 4-H. "I've built friendships with people from all over the state and country," explains Dylan, who was among a group of South Dakota 4-H teens selected to travel to D.C. to attend the National 4-H Citizen Washington Focus trip. "It was interesting to see firsthand how our government is run and learn how bills are written. I realized our lawmakers are doing a lot more than I thought they did."

As a 4-H member, his dad, attended the same conference. "It was fun to compare notes," explains Mike, who attributes the leadership and service experience he gained through 4-H with motivating him to advocate for the dairy industry.

"Through 4-H I did a lot of public speaking, gained leadership skills when I served as state 4-H council president. Those experiences made me feel comfortable speaking in public," Mike says.

Today, Mike leads annual farm tours for area schools and participates in the Midwest Dairy SpeakOut Program sharing his family's farm story and providing information on the dairy industry with community groups. He is also a graduate of South Dakota Ag & Rural Leadership.

"Not many people live on dairy farms anymore. Even if they grew up on one, a lot of things have changed in the last 30 to 40 years, which is why I like to let people know about today's dairy operations," Mike explains.

In 2016, Mike had the opportunity to return to the World Dairy Expo, this time as a chaperone and coach, when his son, Dylan earned a place on the state 4-H dairy judging team.

"It was interesting to return 30 years later and it made me feel good to see our son benefiting from the same experiences I had as a 4-H member," Mike said.

In October 2018, Mike will return to the World Dairy Expo for a third time with his youngest son, Colin, who earned a position on the state 4-H Dairy Judging Team.

To learn how you can become involved in 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found online at iGrow under the Field Staff listing.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy photo. 4-H alumni, Sara and Mike Frey on their family's Claremont dairy farm. Mike has served as a leader of the Friendly Fellows/ Daisies 4-H Club for more than 25 years. The couple's sons, Colin and Dylan, continue the family tradition and are actively involved in 4-H.

Courtesy photo. Colin (left) and Dylan Frey fit a dairy calf before a show at the Brown County Fair. The boys continue the 4-H legacy their parents, Mike and Sara began. The Frey family operates a third-generation dairy farm near Claremont.

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SDSU Extension is Looking for Volunteers to Complete Housing Survey

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension together with NDSU Extension are looking for 200 citizens from the Dakotas to provide insight into their housing wants and needs.

"This research project provides a unique opportunity to help our respective Extension groups learn more about housing in rural states," said Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.

Brown is working collaboratively with Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension, on a housing research study. The information gathered from this anonymous study will be used when developing Extension programming.

Fill out survey and enter to win $50

As an incentive to participate, anyone 18 or older who completes a survey will be entered in a drawing to receive a $50 pre-paid credit card.

All citizens of North and South Dakota who are 18 and older are welcome to participate in the study. To fill out this short survey, visit this link.

Paper copies of the survey are also available. To receive a paper copy, contact Bethany Stoutamire, SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member by email or 605.782.3290.

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. 

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Do Big Yields Mean Big Money?

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Do you believe the highest yields return the greatest profit? Are you managing for maximum yields? Do you attempt to manage your corn crop for the highest yields as a result of what yield contest winners say?

SDSU Extension agronomy specialists say if you have answered yes to any of these questions, you might be missing some profit.

"The highest, or maximum yields do not necessarily correspond to the highest net returns," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. "Accepting yields below the maximum in your area may be in your best interest."

He, along with colleagues Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist and David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist discuss this idea in the following article.

They point to a replicated research project that compared nutrient application rates.

"As our agricultural systems become more tested by economic bottom lines and environmental concerns, the importance of strict management of our nutrient resources cannot be overstated," Bly said.

This corn study in Minnehaha County compared cost-benefit ratios associated with different nutrient recommendation strategies (Table 1).

"Although the highest yielding treatment was from the Maximum nutrient application strategy with 192.9 bushels per acre, the most profitable nutrient management strategy was the N only (nitrogen only) application, which had the lowest yield," Berg said.

A very close second, separated by only $0.83 net return, was in the field that followed the University recommendations based on unbiased nutrient research calibration and found within the SDSU Extension Fertilizer Recommendation Guide.

Attempting to go after the maximum is not profitable with a loss of $-129.21 compared with University recommendations.

The What if? treatment uses the yield from the Maximum treatment only to compare a What if scenario for nutrient rates more in line with what producers are doing in the field, which is $104.30/a nutrient cost; this What if? treatment still lost $-67.82 compared with the University recommendations.

"The secret to profitable nutrient application is knowing how much to apply based on accurate field yield history and soil test knowledge," Karki said.

He explained that for the best yield-to-profit outcome, nutrient rates should be based on sound university recommendations, which do not include nutrient applications, based on crop nutrient removal.

In this research, soil test P (phosphorus), K (potassium), and Zn (zinc) were in the "Very High" (VH) soil test category and therefore required no additional nutrient application.

Courtesy of iGrow. Table 1

Courtesy of iGrow. "The highest, or maximum yields do not necessarily correspond to the highest net returns," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. "Accepting yields below the maximum in your area may be in your best interest."

He, along with colleagues Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist and David Karki,SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist discuss this idea in the this article.

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Minimizing the Neospora Threat

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

Column collaboratively written by Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian, George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist and Holly Krueger, SDSU Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science.

Neospora caninum is one of the lesser-known causes of infectious reproductive failure in U.S. beef and dairy herds.

While cattle producers have long understood how certain viruses and bacteria affect reproduction (such as BVD virus or leptospirosis), Neospora, which is a protozoal organism, provides some interesting challenges.

Transmission

The disease agent has a complicated life cycle that involves canines (dogs, coyotes, foxes) as an intermediate host.

Neospora infects cows after they eat feed that's been contaminated by droppings from those infected intermediate hosts. If cows ingest Neospora organisms during pregnancy, they are apt to lose that pregnancy to an abortion or stillbirth.

Making matters more problematic, currently there are no marketed vaccines for this disease in cattle.

Danger to Cattle

A troubling and somewhat unique aspect of Neospora is its ability to persistently infect calves born to infected cows.

Calves born infected with Neospora are outwardly healthy, but can themselves give birth to calves that are persistently infected, perpetuating the problem within a herd. Therefore, the Neospora status of replacement heifers within an infected herd may be something to consider when choosing those replacements within a beef herd.

Using Neospora blood testing in selecting home-raised replacement heifers

Blood tests that measure Neospora antibodies are readily available and a fairly reliable way to determine the Neospora status of cows and heifers.

SDSU researchers recently worked with a Northeastern South Dakota beef herd that had experienced reproductive losses due to Neospora, in order to prospectively monitor the number of infected replacement heifers over a number of years.

In this column, we will share how the producer used Neospora blood testing to help select replacement heifers. In a future article, we will look into the relationship between Neospora blood testing and subsequent pregnancy success.

Replacement Heifer Testing

In the Northeastern South Dakota beef herd, the producer was able to associate reproductive losses in their cow herd with Neospora infection, by comparing blood testing results of open cows with those of cows calving normally. 

The herd then began testing their newly-bred replacement heifers for Neospora. While 2014-and-2015-born replacement heifers were not culled if pregnant, their calves were not kept for replacements.

Heifers born in 2016 and 2017 were tested at weaning and if they tested positive, they were not kept for replacements. The number of Neospora-positive replacement heifers declined in this herd in 2017. While other factors may influence this decline, it's hoped that over time, as only negative replacement heifers are kept, the number of Neospora-positive animals will continue to diminish.

Some of the Neospora-positive heifers born in 2014 and 2015 still remain in the herd (although their calves are not kept for replacements). Any Neospora-positive heifers born in 2016 and 2017, however, were not kept as herd replacements.

Conclusions/Significance

It's always possible for a beef herd to encounter new Neospora infections in a given year (via contaminated feed), but in herds in which it's already established, using Neospora blood testing can be one consideration in choosing replacement heifers. Testing has the potential, in herds using home-raised replacements, to decrease the number of Neospora-positive animals in the herd over time.

Small numbers of these animals remaining in the herd may not significantly affect overall herd reproductive levels.

Any positive animal that remains in the herd, however, represents a possibility that Neospora could be transmitted (through canines) to other animals in the herd.

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S.D. Sheep Growers Association Seeks Executive Secretary

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association has established an Executive Secretary position to serve its members and the state's Sheep Industry through promotion and education. The application deadline is February 1, 2018.

"SDSU Extension Sheep staff look forward to collaborating with the SDSGA Executive Secretary in an effort to connect with sheep producers across the state," said David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

Ollila explained that SDSU Extension sheep staff are on the search committee working to secure the best candidate for the position.

"The Executive Secretary is the key management leader of the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association," Ollila said. "They will be responsible for the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization."

Other key duties include: managing financial accounts, organization reports to partners, growing association membership, coordinating marketing/promotion, collaborating in convention planning/organizing, agenda development and minutes.

More about SDSGA and position

The SDSGA is the trade association for sheep producers of South Dakota. The organization represents both farm flocks and range operations.  
South Dakota is the fifth largest producer of lamb and wool in the United States.

The SDSGA is a state member of the American Sheep Industry Association. The SDSGA focuses on lamb and fiber promotion on a state-wide basis, and also on educational events to keep members and the public updated on issues affecting the sheep industry

The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association is seeking a unique individual with a deep passion for the sheep industry with the following professional skills:

  1. Strong oral, written and computer technology communication skills;
  2. Competency in data management software and social media skills;
  3. Leadership skills to convey the mission of the SDSGA to its members, partners and public;
  4. Promotion, sales, and publicity methods; and
  5. A working knowledge of the all facets of sheep industry.

Prospective candidates should be prepared to demonstrate experience and competency in these skills during the interview process.

This position will require in-state travel and to attend the American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention. Travel expenses incurred for SDSGA sponsored functions including membership services, marketing/promotion, convention planning, educational programming and attend the ASI Annual Convention have been budgeted.

This is a 25 percent part-time position that must be conducted out of a home office.

For a more detailed position description and information regarding salary and travel budget contact, by email or SDSGA President, Rufus DeZeeuw at 605.542.7541.

Application Deadline is February 1, 2018

Please send a cover letter and resume' to Rufus DeZeeuw, SDSGA President, 21315 US Hwy 14, Elkton, SD 57026 or by email.

The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.

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Learn About Growing Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas

Categorized: Agronomy, Other Crops, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Pulse Growers in conjunction with SDSU Extension and the S.D. Pulse Council will host a one-day educational seminar, January 25th, 2018 focused on growing peas, chickpeas and lentils in South Dakota.

The event will be held at the AmericInn in Fort Pierre (312 Island Dr, Fort Pierre, SD 57532). The day will begin at 10 a.m. with registration and run through 4 p.m. (CST).

Speaker Lineup

Speakers will include:

Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist - Graham will discuss SDSU field pea variety trial results and other pulse crop research currently being conducted in South Dakota.

Dwayne Beck, Farm Manager at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm - The Dakota Lakes Research Farm has been growing peas and lentils near Pierre for close to 30 years. Beck will share some of the practices that have helped lead to successful production of these crops.

Michael Wunsch, NDSU Plant Pathologist - Wunsch's presentation will focus on disease concerns in peas, lentils and chickpeas. Wunsch has worked with disease control in these crops for a number of years and has a wealth of experience to share that will help South Dakota producers manage diseases.

Steve Junghans from the USDA-RMA in Billings, Montana - Junghans will present information on new rules associated with crop insurance for pulse crops. He will also seek input from growers on current programs.

The annual meeting of The South Dakota Pulse Growers, Inc. will immediately follow the program.

Registration information

To register for this event, visit the iGrow Events page before January 19, 2018. There is no registration fee to attend this event. Lunch will be provided by the South Dakota Pulse Council. Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available. 

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Caring for the Lactating Dairy Herd in Extreme Cold

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Caring for the lactating dairy herd in extreme cold conditions also has its challenges, explained Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

"If not properly cared for, producers may see a decline in performance including total milk production, increasing somatic cell counts due to mastitis, losses in reproductive efficiency and even decreased growth in young first calf heifers if the extreme cold continues for extended periods of time," Erickson said.

Below, Erickson outlines some factors dairy producers should consider to limit the negative impacts of extreme cold on a dairy herd.

Thermoneutral Zone

The thermoneutral zone is the environmental conditions where a cow does not expend extra energy to either cool or heat its body. In dairy cattle this range is between 40 degrees to 68 degrees Fahrenheit for a lactating dairy cow.

"Even though a majority of lactating cows are housed inside throughout the year, there are still some important factors to remember," Erickson said.

If the ambient air temperature is on either side of this range, Ericson said the animal will adjust its energy usage via thermoregulation.

"It will either warm or cool itself instead of putting the energy from the diet towards growth, reproduction, production and maintenance," she said.

Factors that can affect the upper and lower critical temperature, when combined are the base air temperature, wind, and humidity.

"Adequately managing the dairy herd through these swings in the thermoneutral zone will improve overall performance of the lactating dairy herd," Erickson said.

Water Sources

In extreme cold conditions, Erickson reminds dairy producers to remember to provide an adequate amount of water on a daily basis.

"Adequate water consumption is critical to maintaining feed intake, milk production levels, reproductive efficiency and overall metabolic function," she said.

On average, a lactating dairy cow consumes in excess of 15 gallons of fresh water per day.

"Water sources should be checked throughout the day in extreme cold to make sure they are not frozen and working properly," Erickson said. "It is important to not let ice buildup happen near waterers which can cause injury due to slips and falls."

Facilities

Erickson encouraged dairy producers to take an inventory of their facilities.

"Do you have ripped curtains, holes in your wall, or doors that do not close adequately? Is it causing unnecessary drafts which may cause frost bite," she said. "Check your barn fans, if they are not functioning properly they are not circulating the air causing increased humidity in the barn, resulting in increased pneumonia risk and frost buildup."

If cows are housed outside, Erickson said it's important to ensure they have enough wind protection and adequate clean, dry, deep bedding.

"Keep in mind, cattle with a good long hair coat are able to trap warm air in and around the hairs, allowing the body to stay warmer," she said. "Whereas a wet haircoat or a haircoat covered in manure will provide less protection from the cold letting the body heat out and cold air in."

Other considerations to keep in mind when inspecting the dairy barn, is making sure that all smoke and fire detectors are in working order.

Using caution and common sense if a portable space heater is needed. Do not place near flammable items such as paper towels or bedding, making sure they cannot be tipped over easily.

Teat Dips

Continuing to teat dip, Erickson said, is still a necessity and essential to minimize mastitis risk.

"You still want to use a teat dip that has an effective germicide while also providing a skin conditioning agent," she said. "Some practices that may help, if the cow will be exposed to wind chills directly post milking are dabbing the teat end with a clean towel once the post dip has been applied. Do not dry the entire teat which essentially removes the dip. The other option is to just dip the teat end in extreme cold temperatures."

Erickson also said it is important to allow enough time for the teats to dry before exposure to colder temperatures outside the milking parlor or barn.

"Warming the teat dip helps reduce drying time," she said. "Keep in mind fresh cows with swollen udders are more susceptible to chapping."

Diet Adjustments

Even though dairy cattle are ruminants and producing their own heat as they digest feedstuffs, Erickson said it will still be necessary to make diet adjustments based upon the temperature, wind protection, overall body condition, milk production levels, along with the body growth and maintenance needs of the animal.

Work with your nutritionist to adjust diet dry matter intakes and energy levels during extreme cold weather periods.

Other Considerations

Dairy producers should also make sure temperature sensitive vaccines and antibiotics are properly stored.

"Frozen vaccine inactivates the vaccine and they are now no good, costing you money while providing no benefit to the animal. The same can also be true for certain antibiotics," Erickson said.

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Kaufman Interim SDSU Extension 4-H Animal Projects Coordinator

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Growing up, Britney Kaufman and her sisters spent most of their free time working with their 4-H livestock.

"Showing livestock was our passion," said Kaufman. "Now that I'm an adult, I can see where showing livestock was not only a fun experience, but it provided real-life lessons. It takes commitment. It's not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of hard work. There were times I wanted to quit, but I had to remind myself why I started."

As the Interim SDSU Extension 4-H Animal Projects Coordinator, Kaufman will help provide similar experiences and life lessons to South Dakota youth. In this role she will provide statewide leadership in delivering project-based learning focused toward youth audiences and volunteers. Kaufman will work to advance learning aspects of youth experiences through animal projects, and she will facilitate discussions and gather input from producer groups, agribusinesses and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of youth, to better develop project coordination related to animals and much more.

"When it comes to 4-H animal projects, a large amount of learning goes on beyond exhibition events. Britney has the experience and background to enhance these learning opportunities and experiences for youth across South Dakota," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

Kaufman is eager to help educate youth about career opportunities throughout the livestock industry.

"To me, it's the real-life aspect of what they learn from 4-H that is more important than the ribbons and plaques. Many 4-H members will remain involved in the livestock industry after college. They may return to their family's farm or remain involved some other way," Kaufman explained.

More about Britney Kaufman

As a student at South Dakota State University, Kaufman was a member of the collegiate livestock judging team. She also served as assistant coach of the team.

After graduating with an Animal Science degree, Kaufman returned to her family's diversified crop and livestock farm near Oldham, where she operated a small farrow to finish hog operation.

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Kaufman also balanced off-farm employment, working as an operations manager for her family's alternative ag crop production business and as a bank teller for First American State Bank.

"I've had the unique opportunity to see both sides of the livestock industry. I've been heavily involved in the show industry, but I've also been actively involved in my family's farm," Kaufman said.

As a 4-H alumnus, Kaufman has actively volunteered with Kingsbury County 4-H, helping with local livestock shows and assisting 4-H members with their livestock projects.

"I can definitely say I owe a lot of who I am today to 4-H. And, I realize it is important to give back to today's youth," Kaufman said. "It's so rewarding to see kids have an experience through 4-H that I know they will remember 20 years from now and will want their kids to be a part of someday."

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All American Sheep Day is Feb.1 at the BHSS

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Black Hills Stock Show Sheep Day will be held Feb. 1, 2018 at the Kjerstad Event Center in Rapid City, South Dakota (915 Centre St).

"The goal of Sheep Day is to provide a total sheep industry experience for all attendees, whether or not they are sheep producers," said David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist. "There is a long tradition of sheep production among ranchers in this region and a lot of the sheep industry's infrastructure can be found in these states."

SDSU Extension is cooperating with the Black Hills Stock Show and sheep industry partners to provide education demonstrations and activities that will interest the producer and public alike.

Ollila went on to explain that the Northern Plains' states of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska make up 20 percent of all sheep raised in the United States. This includes: Sheep producers themselves, professional sheep shearers, sheep dog trainers, wool warehouses, livestock auctions marketing lamb, feedlots and some small wool mills and lamb harvesting plants. 

Sheep Day Activities

10 a.m. - 3 p.m. National Sheep Shearing Championships
To enter the National Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships contact Leann Brimmer, 406.767.5312 or by email.
10 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. North American Sheep Dog Trials 
To enter the North American Sheep Dog Trials contact Duane Hofer, 605.390.7752 or by email.
10 a.m. - 3 p.m. National Wool Handlers Championships 6:30 p.m. BHSS Sheep Teepeeing Contest
To enter the BHSS Sheep Teepeeing Event contact John Kaiser, Black Hills Stock Show Event Manager, 605.484.4797 or by email.
6:30 p.m. A trained sheep dog will be auctioned with proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Additional demonstrations throughout the day include:

  • Demonstration of the Optical Fiber Diameter Analysis Technology (OFDA) and its applications within the Wool Industry - presented by Amanda Long, North Dakota State University.
  • Presentations on the importance of classing wool to ensure a uniform and marketable wool clip - presented by Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.
  • Presentations on the value of wool as a textile fiber - presented by Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.
  • Presentations on the steps to producing a high valued wool clip - presented by Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.
  • Spinner's Circle providing lessons on hand spinning
  • Demonstrations of wool combing machines
  • Three lamb entrées will be on the concessionaire's menu at the Kjerstad Event Center
  • Numerous sheep industry related booths
  • Retailers promoting and selling wool and lamb products will be on hand.
  • Shawls created by the Spinner's Circle will be donated to Black Hills Hospice.

If you are interested in participating in any of the events or hosting a booth, contact John Kaiser, Black Hills Stock Show Event Manager at 605.484.4797 or by email.

For more information on educational programs, contact Dave Ollila, 605.394.1722 or by email.

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Attend 2018 SDSU Lamb Bonanza January 13

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 26th Annual Lamb Bonanza will be held January 13, 2018 at Frost Arena on the campus of South Dakota State University.

"The event showcases the South Dakota lamb and wool industry and is held in conjunction with an afternoon of SDSU basketball," said Jeff Held, Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist. The game tipoff is at 2 p.m.

Members of the South Dakota Sheep Growers' Association will serve leg of lamb sandwiches and lamb meatballs from 1 to 2 p.m. on the north side of the track in Frost Arena, prior to the Jackrabbit men's basketball game versus Denver.

Bid on a lamb pelt

During halftime, basketball fans will have an opportunity to participate in a lamb pelt auction to benefit SDSU students. This year there are six dyed lamb pelts in yellow and blue featuring the text, "SDSU." Auction proceeds provide scholarships to undergraduates enrolled in the SDSU Department of Animal Science and the SDSU Athletic Department.

The promotional activities are sponsored by the South Dakota Sheep Grower's Association, the SDSU Animal Science Department and the SDSU Athletic Department.

For more information, contact Jeff Held, Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist by email.

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First Bank & Trust Makes Leadership Gift to SDSU Precision Agriculture Building

Categorized: Livestock, Agronomy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - First Bank & Trust has announced a $500,000 investment to help South Dakota State University with construction of the new Precision Agriculture facility on campus.

The new facility is planned for the northwest corner of campus. It will be a center for research, teaching and innovation that covers the entire spectrum of precision agriculture and will enable collaboration with differing disciplines.

“First Bank & Trust is among SDSU’s longest and most-generous corporate partners, and the bank has been a lead donor to vital projects that support agriculture,” said SDSU President Barry H. Dunn. “First Bank & Trust was there when we needed help putting together a plan to build a new Swine Education and Research Facility. They continue to have a tremendous impact on our ability to deliver on our mission and are just phenomenal partners.”

SDSU is the nation’s first land-grant university to offer a bachelor’s degree in Precision Agriculture. The degree is a collaborative effort encompassing the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department and College of Engineering.

SDSU’s Precision Agriculture degree will provide students with access to the cutting-edge developments in the rapidly evolving intersection of agronomics, high-speed sensor technology, data management and advanced machinery development. Students will be prepared for lifelong careers that support economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

“As a longtime supporter of both SDSU and the agriculture industry, First Bank & Trust is proud to support the new Precision Ag facility, a catalyst for ag industry innovation,” said Kevin Tetzlaff, President of First Bank & Trust. “This transformative and collaborative facility will not only drive production agriculture, but also workforce development in a wide array of related industries. First Bank & Trust is honored to make this strategic investment into the ag economy of the future.”

About First Bank & Trust

First Bank & Trust is part of Fishback Financial Corporation, one of South Dakota’s largest privately held bank holding companies with 23 locations in 18 communities in South Dakota and Minnesota. Headquartered in Brookings, South Dakota, the organization has over 600 employees and a history that dates back more than 130 years. First Bank & Trust is family- and employee-owned and dedicated to giving back in its communities.

About South Dakota State University

Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing more than 200 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 36 master’s degree programs, 15 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.

First Bank and Trust is making a $500,000 investment in the new SDSU Precision Agriculture facility. SDSU President Barry H. Dunn (left), and College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Interim Dean Don Marshall joined Van. Fishback, Chairman, Fishback Financial Corporation, and Kevin Tetzlaff, President of First Bank & Trust (center) to accept the gift along with SDSU Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department Head Van Kelley, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station Interim Director Bill Gibbons, and SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department Head David Wright.

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New Labeling on Soybean Dicamba Products

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture has labeled Engenia, Fexapan and Xtendimax for postemergence use on Xtend "dicamba tolerant" soybeans for the 2018 growing season.

"There are several changes to the label over last year. There also have been some changes made to clarify application directions," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Below, Johnson highlights some of the directions South Dakota growers should be aware of:

  1. Must record time of cleanout of sprayer and method used before starting to spray.
  2. Do not spray if there is a sensitive crop adjacent or neighboring down wind.
  3. Must always leave 110-foot buffer unless an approved site is down wind.
  4. Do not spray if a temperature inversion is present.
  5. Spray only with a wind between 3-10 mph at boom height.
  6. Spray only between sunrise and sunset.
  7. Spray only with approved nozzles and in proper pressure range for nozzle being used.
  8. Spray only with approved tank mixes and spray additives that are on the label.
  9. Do not spray any additives or mixes containing ammonium type products "AMS".
  10. Spray at no more than 24-inches above crop canopy.
  11. Spray at under 15 miles per hour sprayer speed.
  12. Must use a minimum of 10 gallons of water with Engenia or 15 gallons of water with Fexapan or Xtendimax per acre.
  13. Must use agitation at all times during spray operation.
  14. Must apply before the end of R1 growth stage or when soybeans begin to bloom.
  15. Do not spray if rain is expected within 24 hours, rainfast to weeds in 4 hours.
  16. Applicators must be trained on dicamba-specific use and have documentation of training and testing.
  17. Applicators must keep daily records as listed on label of use and maintain for two years.
  18. Applicators must record time of cleanout of sprayer and method used when finished spraying.
  19. Applicators should spray on small weeds, 4-inches or less.
  20. The applicator is responsible for all drift whether physical or vapor.
  21. Applicators must spray full rate of product at all times.
  22. Applicators must have a minimum of seven days between post applications.
  23. Applicators may only apply two post emergence applications.
  24. Only ground applications are approved.

"If an applicator feels that these requirements can't be met with their sprayer then hiring the spraying done or changing the herbicide program should be considered," Johnson said.

He explained that the dicamba program is not for every situation on every farm and rotation of herbicide programs should always be considered to avoid having problems with resistant weeds in the future. Dicamba products have been a good tool for weed control in corn for over 50 years and can be a valuable option to have in the tool box for soybeans if handled properly.

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Winter Storm Preparedness

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Livestock, Agronomy, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Winter storms, blizzards and the occasional loss of electricity associated with them, can catch even the most seasoned South Dakotan by surprise.

Before an emergency leaves your home, ranch or farmstead without electricity, have a plan in place, said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate.

When crafting a plan, Keimig encouraged folks to consider devising a plan for the following three stages:

  • Stage one, preparation (before the storm);
  • Stage two, survival (during the storm) and
  • Stage three, recovery (after the storm). 

Stage 1: Preparation

During the preparation stage, create an emergency kit and have your children help gather supplies to build your kit.

"Engaging your children in the process, allows them to feel empowered and may help bring a sense of relief knowing there is a plan in place," Keimig said.

If you have access to a generator, use an extension cord that allows the generator to remain at least 20 feet from any door, window or vent. Also, make plans for how you can avoid driving.

Emergency Supply List: 

  • Food & Water: 3-Day supply of non-perishable food (dried fruit, canned tuna, peanut butter, etc.). At least a gallon of water per person, per day for drinking and hygiene.
  • Utensils: Can opener, paper plates, plastic cups & utensils, paper towels.
  • First Aid Kit: Prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter medications) and medical supplies.
  • Sanitation Supplies: Supplies for sanitation, such as hand sanitizer, towelettes, paper products, diapers, and plastic bags (for use when water resources are limited).
  • Blankets & Clothing: Extra clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags.
  • Electronics: Flashlight with extra batteries. Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio with extra batteries.

Stage 2: Survival

During the survival stage, stay inside and avoid driving as much as possible.

If the power goes out, here are a few easy steps to take:

  • Close off unused rooms to consolidate and conserve heat.
  • Dress in layers to keep warm during power loss.
  • Bring pets inside that do not have adequate shelter.
  • Limit time outdoors. And, if you are outside, dress for the weather and avoid frostbite.
  • Do not use the stove to try to heat your home.
  • Never use generators, outdoor heating or cooking equipment to try to heat your home. These use oxygen and can give off harmful carbon monoxide.
  • If you must drive, keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Visit this link for information on what you should pack in this kit.

Stage 3: Recovery

If the power is out for very long, many communities will set up warming shelters. Consider going to them. If you do not have enough supplies, consider going to the community shelter. If you must go outside, dress warm and avoid prolonged exposure to cold and wind to avoid frostbite and hypothermia.

When the power comes back on there will be other things to consider, such as your refrigerator and freezer contents. Visit this link to learn more about food safety after electricity outages.

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Winter Preparedness on the Dairy Farm

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Weather this time of year can change in a hurry. Are dairy producers ready for winter, asked Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist?

Below Erickson outlines a basic winter preparedness checklist for producers to review.

"Obviously, there may be things that you will need to add to this list as each farm is unique, but it will serve as a starting point," Erickson said. "It is my hope that this check list will help you prepare your dairy for the winter season ahead and be beneficial as you put your winter preparedness plan into action, while simultaneously making those cold winter mornings less stressful."

Make way for snow removal: Pick up any items from the yard that may become buried under a snow bank or entangled in the snow blower.

Snow fence: Put up an appropriate snow fence or snow break in yards for protection and to minimize drifts in areas where they are not wanted.

Fix muddy areas: Consider bringing in any necessary fill or mounding areas that become muddy or troublesome spots in the spring.

Barn Maintenance: Take a look at your barn maintenance list:

1) Check curtains on barns to make sure they are operating properly and repair any holes or tears.
2) Check and maintain ventilation fans including tightening belts and keeping blades and louvers clean. 
3) Look upward, inspect and repair building roofs and rafters, making sure there is no loose tin or cracked rafters present. 
4) Maintain and repair any doors in barns that may not open or close properly. 
5) Check and clean barn heaters to make sure they are operating properly.
6) Outside the facilities, do preventative trimming of trees around barns, driveways and fences.

"It never fails that in winter, Murphy's Law prevails and equipment will break down or have problems on one of those extremely cold days, making repair work miserable," Erickson said.

So what are some things to consider regarding winter equipment maintenance and preparation?

Test and service your generator(s) and make sure there is adequate fuel on hand to run them.

Winterize and service farm equipment such as tractors, semi's, skid loaders, pay loaders, feed mixing wagons, manure pumps, etc. Take time to check anti-freeze levels, batteries and fuel filters as these items routinely cause issues in cold weather. Keep extra fuel filters on hand for equipment that uses diesel fuel and may gel up in extreme cold.

Examine snow blowers or other snow removal equipment and make sure it is in proper working order.

Obtain and store enough fuel (No. 1 Diesel or 50:50 blend) to run equipment for an extended period of time. (A two-week supply is suggested.)

Feed & Water Checklist

  1. Clean and check heating elements in all water drinking fountains;
  2. Repair any water fountains or water lines that may be leaking. Ice buildup is a hazard to livestock and humans;
  3. Have adequate feed supplies moved in for easy access to the farm. It is recommended to have a two-week supply of purchased feedstuffs.

Shelter: As we examine the shelter and health side, what is necessary to keep the animals healthy and protected on the dairy? 

  1. Move calf hutches to areas that are easily accessible in the winter and provide wind protection for young livestock;
  2. Have a two-week supply of veterinary supplies commonly used on the dairy such as intra-mammary mastitis treatments, antibiotics, electrolytes, calcium solutions, antiseptics, bandages, unused needles, and syringes;
  3. Start utilizing calf coats on newborn calves till they are weaned;
  4. Provide adequate bedding for all livestock making sure it is deep enough for them to nest in to help maintain body heat;
  5. Examine body condition and hair coat of various groups of livestock, adjust rations appropriately for cold weather;
  6. Evaluate shelter for livestock in open lots, making sure there is adequate wind protection and the ability to get bedding pack built up for them prior to poor weather.

Other items to consider

  • Develop a plan with milk haulers and milk buyers for options if milk is unable to be picked up for an extended period of time.
  • Partner with neighbors and develop a plan if it is necessary to do your own snow removal on public access roads.

For more information contact, Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown at 605.882.5140 or email.

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Prepare Farm Employees for Winter Conditions

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Cold and snow create challenges for everyone, especially for immigrant workers who may not be familiar with extreme cold.

"Farm employees, by the nature of their work, most often spend at least some portion of their workday outdoors or in unheated buildings. Especially if this is your employee's first exposure to extreme cold, it is important that employers ensure they have access to proper winter clothing to stay safe and a clear understanding of the dangers brought on by extreme cold," said Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist.

Below Rovai lists some tips employers can go over with their employees.

  1. Go over your own winter gear and show them where these items can be purchased;
  2. Put together an emergency travel kit for employees and explain winter driving safety.
  3. Find a winter safety bilingual brochure developed by SDSU Extension staff.

"Knowledge and prevention are key to being safe during extreme winter conditions," Rovai explained.

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Register for Power of Women AgVocates by Jan. 5

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance, Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the Power of Women as AgVocates Conference January 19-20, 2018 at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Fort Pierre (312 Island Dr).

"This conference is designed for women to learn about the power of advocating for you, your family, business and industry," said Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "SDSU Extension is excited to bring three dynamic and engaging women from North Dakota to Fort Pierre to share their passion for advocating for agriculture."

Sarah Wilson and Teresa Dvorak work with their husbands and children on their family farms while spreading the word of agriculture. Each have different backgrounds and a unique way of interacting with consumers. They will be sharing some of their experiences and knowledge to help more women have the courage to share their stories.

Katie Pinke is a fifth generation farm girl who passionate about talking about agriculture, rural life and motherhood. As the publisher and general manager of Ag Week she has an opportunity to share the story of agriculture in not only her personal life, but also professional career.

Vona Johnson is a certified life and health coach who is going to help us to get organized and stay on track so that we can reach our goals.

These women will all provide great insight into how we can all be advocates for agriculture and how it doesn't have to look the same for everyone. Participants will leave with tips and ideas to start telling their story about the products we produce. The conference will provide women in agriculture with opportunities to network, learn and grow.

Registration fee for this conference is $50. To register and for hotel information, visit the iGrow Events page. Registration deadline is January 5, 2018.

Agenda

Friday, January 19

5:30 p.m. Register at AmericInn Convention Center
6:30 p.m. Supper
7:30 p.m. Advocating for You Join this fun, interactive session by Vona Johnson so you get things done and enjoy life again.

Saturday, January 20

8 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The State of the Union: learn the perceptions of agriculture and priorities to bridge the gap of misunderstanding from Sarah Wilson.

Finding our CommonGround: Learn from Dvorak and Wilson about the approach they use to start the conversations about the food we produce with the people that consume our products.

Industry Panel - How to Get Involved: Panelists include: Suzie Geppert, South Dakota Beef Industry Council; Silvia Christen, South Dakota Stockgrowers Assoc.; Colin Nachtigal, South Dakota Soybean Assoc. and a representative from the South Dakota Pork Producers.

Debunking the Myths of Agriculture: How can we combat the myths of agriculture with facts? Hear from a rancher and the media about the methods they use to stay positive and credible in a world filled with myths.

Accepting Interruptions: Even the most well-orchestrated plans aren't exempt from interruptions. Drawing upon personal trials and triumphs, Pinke will help attendees define their paths forward through life's pivotal moments and empower each to find their voice.

Breakout Sessions

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one breakout session.

Session 1 - Sharing the Local Ag Love. Gain ideas for agvocacy collaborations in your community. Everyone has circles of influence. Learn how to harness the power of yours.
Session 2 - This one's for all the Farm Girls. Gain appreciation for each stage a farm girl must transition through in life to better understand how to be the best advocate for your family, the future and during family transitions.
Session 3 - Developing relationships with local/ regional media. A longtime blogger turned regional media publisher and general manager, Pinke will discuss how to build credible relationships with media and best practices to amplify your stories.

Courtesy photo. Katie Pinke is a fifth generation farm girl who passionate about talking about agriculture, rural life and motherhood. As the publisher and general manager of Ag Week she has an opportunity to share the story of agriculture in not only her personal life, but also professional career. 

Pinke will speak during the SDSU Extension Power of Women as AgVocates Conference held January 19-20, 2018 at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Fort Pierre (312 Island Dr).

Courtesy photo. Teresa Dvorak works with her husband and children on their family farms while spreading the word of agriculture. She has a unique way of interacting with consumers.

Dvorak will speak during the SDSU Extension Power of Women as AgVocates Conference held January 19-20, 2018 at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Fort Pierre (312 Island Dr).

Courtesy photo. Sarah Wilson works with her husband and children on their family farms while spreading the word of agriculture. She has a unique way of interacting with consumers.

Wilson will speak during the SDSU Extension Power of Women as AgVocates Conference held January 19-20, 2018 at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites, Fort Pierre (312 Island Dr).

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How Livable is Your Community?

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota is infamous for its cold, windy winters and open landscapes. To many outside the Midwest, it may be difficult to imagine living in South Dakota. 

However, South Dakota offers great communities for people of all ages and is consistently highly ranked as a great place to age, explained Bethany Stoutamire, SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

Stoutamire pointed to a 2012 AARP survey which ranked Sioux Falls as the number one small metro to successfully age. Rapid City ranked 10th. In 2017, a MetLife Foundation report ranked Sioux Falls as the fifth best small metro to age in.

"These rankings are based on a variety of sources and is a conglomeration of traits," Stoutamire explained.

For instance, the engagement index contains several metrics including broadband cost and speed, voting rate, and art and cultural institutions, among others.

"By being able to examine specific components, it makes it easier to see the areas where our communities excel and where they fall short," she said. "This makes the livability index a valuable tool in determining where improvement is needed."

To learn more, Stoutamire encouraged readers to check out the AARP Livability Index themselves by visiting the AARP website.

"Regardless of the size or demographics of our communities, there is always room for improvement," Stoutamire said. "With passion, hard work, and resources at the tips of our fingertips, we can help make South Dakota an even better place to live."

Courtesy of iGrow. South Dakota offers great communities for people of all ages and is consistently highly ranked as a great place to age. A 2012 AARP survey which ranked Sioux Falls as the number one small metro to successfully age. Rapid City ranked 10th. In 2017, a MetLife Foundation report ranked Sioux Falls as the fifth best small metro to age in.

Courtesy of iGrow. Information based on AARP Livability Index. To learn more, visit the AARP Livability website.

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Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of De Smet will host the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference May 8-9, 2018 in downtown De Smet businesses.

Designed to energize South Dakota's rural communities by inviting them to network with community leaders from across the state, share success stories, get ideas and take action to improve their own communities the conference will offer several sessions for community members and area business owners including: Funding for Community Projects, Entrepreneurial Experiences, Agritourism and Value Added Agriculture and Engaging Community Members.

"This event will have information for communities, resources and ways to become involved as well as information for current and potential entrepreneurs," said Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

The event will feature Sarah Calhoun, as the keynote speaker. Calhoun is the owner of Red Ants Pants. She is also the Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival.

She will share her story of successful business growth and development in the rural community of White Sulphur Springs, Montana (population 906). In addition she will share information on a large community event and a foundation that were started as a result of her successful business growth and community involvement. 

There will also be a panel of young entrepreneurs.

"This event is a collaborative effort between leaders in the De Smet community and SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team," said Thares.

The idea for this event, Thares explained, came out of a conference members of the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team attended the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference in McCook, Nebraska.

This conference, hosted by University of Nebraska Extension, offered an interesting venue twist: conference sessions were held in main street businesses.

"McCook shop owners and managers shared their entrepreneurial journeys, while resource providers like Extension, Small Business Development and Economic Development discussed tools to assist entrepreneurs. The combination was powerful, with both groups learning from each other," Thares said. "We hope for a similar experience in De Smet."

More on Sarah Calhoun

Sarah Calhoun has nearly two decades of leadership experience in both the non-profit and small business sectors, working in the outdoor education industry before founding Red Ants Pants in 2006.

Raised on a farm in rural Connecticut, Calhoun was inspired to move to Montana by Ivan Doig's This House of Sky. From her home in the small town of White Sulphur Springs, she has become an inspiration to entrepreneurs nationwide and is known for her dedication to supporting rural communities.

Calhoun has been called a "revolutionary figure in rural business today" and a "powerhouse of inspiration for women in business."

Her dynamic style and inspiring experiences as an entrepreneur make her a highly sought after keynote speaker. She has given dozens of keynote addresses, and has been featured on national television programs such as CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg. Calhoun has risen to the top echelons of success as a rural entrepreneur.

Registration information

To Register for the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference event, visit iGrow.org/events to register after January 15, 2018.

Contact Thares with any questions at 605.374.4177 or e-mail.

Courtesy photo. Sarah Calhoun, will be the keynote speaker during the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference held May 8-9, 2018 in downtown De Smet businesses.

Calhoun is the owner of Red Ants Pants. She is also the Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. 

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SDSU Range Management Professor Prepares for Israeli Fellowship

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D.—South Dakota State University Natural Resource Management Professor Alexander “Sandy” Smart will soon get the opportunity to experience Israel—and discover its cultural, historical, religious and agricultural sites—firsthand through the inaugural Winter Faculty Fellowship program.

“It looked very interesting. I’ve always thought about wanting to go there,” Smart says. “The fellowship pairs U.S. university faculty with Israeli university faculty to find opportunities to exchange ideas, work on projects together and work collaboratively on grants, among other opportunities.”

The Jewish National Fund and Media Watch International sponsor the fellowship and cover airfare, room and board for the 11-day program.

During the trip, Smart, along with a group of other U.S. university faculty, will visit many historical, cultural and religious sites, including the Sea of Galilee, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Capernaum.

“It’s an opportunity to develop goodwill with university faculty while learning about what’s going on in Israel,” he says. “There’s a broad scope of people going, so I’m excited to interact with other university faculty in this way.”

Smart adds that he’ll get to spend time with at least six different Israeli university faculty during the program, and is considering possible collaborations with faculty from the southern part of Israel.

“If nothing else, I’m looking forward to getting a greater appreciation for another country,” he says.

Smart says he is anticipating that some of the participating Israeli faculty, who work in agricultural systems and ecology, will allow him the chance to see research plots near Bathsheba. Smart says he is also looking forward to visiting with Israeli university faculty about Israel’s sheep and goat industries, which is one of his interest areas.

Smart will depart on Dec. 27. Upon returning, he plans to give a presentation about his experiences in Israel.

Smart has his Ph.D. in Agronomy and Range Management from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He’s a member of the Society for Range Management and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Smart serves as South Dakota Coordinator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program. He has authored or co-authored 25 successful research proposals, totaling more than $5 million, and in 2009, was awarded the Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Award from the Range Science Education Council and Society for Range Management.

SDSU assistant professor Tammy Yonce with the School of Performing Arts will also take part in the fellowship.

South Dakota State University Natural Resource Management Professor Alexander “Sandy” Smart will soon get the opportunity to experience Israel—and discover its cultural, historical, religious and agricultural sites—firsthand through the inaugural Winter Faculty Fellowship program.

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Getting Ready for Winter on the Range

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

Column by Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist

A mild fall has been a blessing for many ranchers across South Dakota. As the first day of winter looms, a ranch manager must try to adhere to some rangeland management principals when managing pastures this winter.

A ranch manager must remember the importance of managing the rangeland resources this winter after experiencing the drought conditions of last summer. By taking the following management practices into consideration, rangeland managers will ensure the quickest rangeland recovery possible for next year's grazing season.

Soil Surface Protection

Due to much of Central and Western South Dakota experiencing drought conditions this past summer, the opportunity for winter grazing may be very limited or not available at all.

A ranch manager must try to ensure that enough residual plant height and vegetation cover remains available on the soil surface through the winter to aid in recovery of the rangeland.

In order to capture as much snowfall as possible, and protect the soil surface from exposure, a rancher should strive for at least 50 to 60 percent organic material cover on the soil surface (Figure 1, Figure 2); and at least 4 to 6-inch residual stubble height for native grasses (Figure 3).

This goal may be difficult to obtain as some of the hardest hit drought areas in Western South Dakota had 4 to 6-inches of total plant growth for the year.

Grazing & Stocking Rates

In Central and South-Central South Dakota, August rainfall did bring relief to hard hit pastures from drought conditions during the spring and summer (Figure 4). However, the "green up" of grasses (Figure 5) in late summer and early fall must be evaluated carefully and grazing closely monitored.

As the growing season comes to an end, rangeland plants store their energy reserves and overgrazing will disrupt this process to an already drought-stressed plant. Proper stocking rates, when grazing the fall green-up, will help ensure adequate plant height for snow capture and cover on the soil surface.

Ranches that have adequate grass stockpiled and available for winter grazing, the "take half leave half" rule of thumb still holds true.

Referencing research conducted by Roger Gates, former SDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist, enforces the fact that leaving sufficient cover and residual plant height is essential to avoid the damaging effect of spring rains on unprotected soil from overgrazing during the winter.

Hay Selection

Feeding hay on native rangeland this winter is another aspect of range management that a rancher must carefully monitor. Due to the drought conditions this summer, many ranchers may have to locate hay from other areas of South Dakota or out of state.

A rancher must be very careful as to the type of plant species in the hay. Especially if feeding hay with bale processors or rolling bales out in the pasture. If the hay is comprised of invasive grass species, feeding this hay may inadvertently deposit a seed bank of undesirable invasive grasses that can negatively affect pastures comprised of native grass species.

For example, feeding smooth bromegrass bales on pasture comprised of drought stressed native grasses can be detrimental to the native plant community and possibly lead to smooth bromegrass taking over the pasture in the following years. However, if a rancher would like to get more native plant diversity in pastures dominated by introduced grass species, feeding native grass hay bales will help deposit that native seed bank back into those pastures. 

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 1. Dormant Pasture in Tripp County with adequate residual cover.

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 2. Dormant pasture in Tripp County with adequate residual cover.

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 3. Dormant pasture in Tripp County with adequate residual plant height.

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 4. Drought stressed pasture in Tripp County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Fig. 5. Late summer "green-up" pasture in Tripp County. 

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New 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Faulk County

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Carly Wetzel is the new SDSU Extension 4-H Program Youth Advisor for Faulk County.

"We are excited to welcome Carly to the SD 4-H team. Carly is energetic and will bring that energy to the 4-H program and the people she serves," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

In this role, Wetzel will provide timely 4-H youth development research-based information, resources, education, leadership and support to meet the needs of youth, while building relationships to enhance and carry out the mission of SDSU Extension throughout the county.

"I enjoy working with youth. They are fun, excited to learn and have so many ideas," Wetzel said. "Youth are the future, so I'm looking forward to helping Faulk County grow and thrive by working with 4-H youth and volunteers."

More about Carly Wetzel

A Banking and Financial Services graduate of Northern State University, Carly Wetzel grew up on a farm in Ashley, North Dakota, but moved to Faulkton after she graduated college.

She became familiar with 4-H through her boyfriend and his family, who were all involved in 4-H. Wetzel looks forward to helping other families continue the 4-H tradition through her new role.

"This community is so supportive of youth and 4-H. For many families, 4-H is a tradition, and I want to help them continue this tradition," she said.

To contact Wetzel, call 605.598.6221 or e-mail.

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Encouraging S.D. Youth to Engage in the Outdoors

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota's outdoors are filled with opportunities for youth to explore, experience and engage with nature.

As the new SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist, Katherine Jaeger will develop and provide programming to actively involve youth in the outdoors - from camping, hiking, conservation to resource management and much more.

"The choices we make everyday impact the natural world," explains Jaeger, who previously served as the SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Lincoln County. "Youth are the next generation's stewards of conservation. If we start them young, by providing education on and experiences with nature and the outdoors, no matter what career field they choose to go into - it can have a positive impact on their choices."

In her new role, Jaeger will also develop and deliver 4-H Youth Development camping programs; assist with 4-H Shooting Sports programs and events; and partner with community organizations to develop and deliver materials, resources and training focused on engaging and connecting youth to outdoors activities and natural resources education.

"Katherine is well prepared for this role," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. "She brings experience from her previous position as a 4-H Youth Program Advisor with SDSU Extension as well as her prior experiences leading youth camping programs in other states."

Prior to joining SDSU Extension in 2016, Jaeger's career centered around providing outdoors and natural resource programming to youth. Jaeger has a Master's Degree in Natural Resource Science and Environmental Management from the University of Minnesota.

"I worked for three different outdoor learning centers which focused on the outdoors and taught mostly upper elementary and middle school students about the environment, ecology, herpetology - basically the world around them," she said. "I am excited to be able to impact youth across this state on a topic I am very passionate about."

Courtesy of iGrow. As the new SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist, Katherine Jaeger will develop and provide programming to actively involve youth in the outdoors - from camping, hiking, conservation to resource management and much more.

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Brown County Crop Improvement Meeting and PAT

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Growers and applicators are invited to attend the Brown County Crop Improvement meeting held in Aberdeen at the AmericInn (301 Centennial St.) on January 3, 2018.

Co-sponsored by SDSU Extension and Brown County Crop Improvement Association, the meeting begins at 9 a.m. and runs until noon (central). After the meeting, private applicator training will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To cover costs, registration for the Brown County Crop Improvement meeting is $8 at the door, cash or checks only. Continuing education credits will be offered. Lunch is included with registration fee. Private Applicator training is free.

Meeting Topics

Meeting topics include:

Crop Production-Income and Production Cost Trends - led by Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist.

Crop Disease Management-Adapt, Change, Improvise - led by Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist

Profitable Nutrient Management - led by Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist

To learn more, contact Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist by email or 605.626.2870.

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Laura Alexander New 4-H Program Youth Advisor

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Youth Development

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Laura Alexander is the new SDSU Extension 4-H Program Youth Advisor for Brule & Lyman Counties.

"Laura's passion for 4-H and serving South Dakota's youth make her a great fit," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director. "Laura is a 4-H alumnus and has experience in working as a student at the State 4-H office. These experiences will be beneficial as Laura begins her career as a 4-H Youth Program Advisor."

In this role, the Human Development and Family Studies graduate of South Dakota State University will provide timely 4-H youth development research-based information, resources, education, leadership and support to meet the needs of youth, while building relationships to enhance and carry out the mission of SDSU Extension throughout the counties.

"4-H is a diverse organization that has a lot to offer South Dakota's youth," Alexander said. "Youth today will ultimately change the future. I'm excited that I get to be a small part of this and will work to have a positive impact on the youth I get to work with."

More about Laura Alexander

Laura Alexander's siblings joke that their younger sister has been involved in 4-H since she was in diapers.

"I'm the youngest of four and my brother and two older sisters were all in 4-H - and my mom was a leader - so I grew up going to meetings and Achievement Days," explained Alexander.

Actively involved in several 4-H project areas, Alexander said the skills she gained showing cattle and giving public talks gave her confidence and led to success in other organizations as well.

"I wasn't the most confident kid, so being able to do public speaking frequently through 4-H, gave me the opportunity to improve slowly, and eventually I got pretty good. I ended up competing in public speaking in FFA and FCCLA as well," she said.

Alexander added that the friends she made through 4-H, helped her develop valuable interpersonal communication skills.

Throughout high school and college, she worked for the state 4-H office in Brookings, and said that although she enjoyed the administrative aspect of 4-H, she is excited to engage with youth.

"Youth development is something I am really passionate about," she said.

To reach Alexander, contact the SDSU Extension Brule County office at 605.234.4431 or e-mail.

To learn more about South Dakota 4-H and how you can become involved, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff icon.

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Apply for S.D. Sheep Growers Association Grant

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Sheep Growers Association has established a travel grant fund to assist young producers interested in attending the American Sheep Industry Association's annual convention held January 31- February 3, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

"We urge young producers to consider this unique opportunity to attend the American Sheep Industry Association's Annual Convention," said David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist. "It is a great opportunity to connect with fellow sheep industry stakeholders from across the nation."

The S.D. Sheep Growers Association raised $2,800in a roll over auction during their 79th annual convention to support the attendance of younger sheep producers to the ASI Annual Convention. Based on the number of eligible candidates, the association will divide the dollars (limited to $750/operation) among the eligible young entrepreneurs attending.

To apply for the travel grant funds, young producers must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Applicant be between 18 and 45 years of age;
  2. Applicant is a paid member of the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association;
  3. Applicant is actively producing and/or feeding sheep in South Dakota; and
  4. Applicant has interest in becoming a lifelong sheep producer and/or lamb feeder.

To apply, contact Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist at 605-569-0224 or david.ollila@sdstate.edu. Deadline to apply is January 5, 2018. Grants will be announced January 6, 2018.

Additionally, the American Sheep Industry Association is discounting the registration fee $200 for Young Entrepreneurs who are S.D. Sheep Growers Association members.

More about American Sheep Industry Association's annual convention

American Sheep Industry Association staff have planned an exciting convention with many educational, informational and networking sessions that will provide a better understanding of the opportunities for young producers in the sheep industry.

Everyone who attends is sure to return with enthusiasm and a positive perspective for a future in the sheep industry.

To learn more about the convention, visit the American Sheep Industry Association website.

To become a South Dakota Sheep Growers Association member, please contact SDSGA Treasurer, Tammy Basel by email or call Tammy at 605.985.5205. To learn more, visit the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association's website to find contact information for the Director for your region.

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South Dakota 4-H and Global Cultures

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - As she prepares for her senior year, South Dakota 4-Her, Shelby Hinkle is getting ready to expand her global perspective by traveling to Japan and living with a host family for a month.

"I am really interested in Japanese culture and want to experience what life is like in a foreign country," explains the 17-year-old Holabird native.

Hinkle was first exposed to Japanese culture when her family hosted Natsuki, a 14-year-old youth from Japan, two summers ago as part of the States' 4-H International Exchange Program. Hinkle will travel to Japan through this same program.

With a mission to enhance youth's world understanding and increase global citizenship through international, cultural immersion, States' 4-H International Exchange Program has been orchestrating exchanges for middle and high school 4-H youth since 1972.

"Especially in today's world, young people can greatly benefit from gaining a global perspective. They need to understand what is happening throughout the world in order to enhance their mutual understanding and acceptance of other cultures," says Yoko Kawaguchi, President and CEO of States' 4-H International Exchange Program.

Since partnering with the organization in 1979, South Dakota 4-H has hosted about 650 delegates from Japan, Costa Rica, Norway and Finland. Through the decades, 30 South Dakota 4-H members, like Hinkle, have traveled abroad through States' 4-H International exchanges.

Hinkle's older sister, Brittany, first introduced the family to the program when she traveled to Costa Rica for a month-long exchange. The sister's mom, Kristi, says after Brittany returned, she was sold on the program and the value it provides to South Dakota youth.

"The experience helped her grow up quite a bit. The experience really brought her out of her shell and four weeks away from her parents was a good step toward maturity," Kristi says.

In fact, Kristi was so impressed by the program, that when previous coordinator asked her to take over the position she didn't hesitate.

"I enjoy seeing how much the youth change after living in a different country for a month," says Kristi, who is a 4-H leader and the owner of New Beginnings Greenhouse in Highmore.

Although serving as coordinator of South Dakota's States' 4-H International program is not a fulltime job, the role comes with a lot of responsibility. Kristi locates and vets qualifying host families, host orientations and trainings and helps outbound youth and families through the application process. Each year, South Dakota needs about 15 host families.

Kristi and South Dakota's States' 4-H International program was recently recognized with the Outstanding Quality Program Award.

"Kristi has a great excitement and passion for this program. Her new ideas and energy have helped the program grow in South Dakota," Kawaguchi says.

To learn more about how you can become involved in South Dakota's States' 4-H International program, as a 4-H youth or host family, contact Kristi Hinkle at 605.852.2298 or e-mail her by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy photo. Kristi Hinkle, coordinator for South Dakota's States' 4-H International program was recently recognized with the Outstanding Quality Program Award by the States' 4-H International Exchange Program. Hinkle has hosted youth through the program and her daughters are both involved. Hinkle is also a 4-H leader and the owner of New Beginnings Greenhouse in Highmore.

Courtesy photo. As she prepares for her senior year, South Dakota 4-Her, Shelby Hinkle (far right) is getting ready to expand her global perspective by traveling to Japan and living with a host family for a month.

Hinkle was first exposed to Japanese culture when her family hosted Natsuki, a 14-year-old youth from Japan, two summers ago as part of the States' 4-H International Exchange Program. Hinkle will travel to Japan through this same program.

She is pictured here with a 2017 Japanese delegate the family hosted, Aya and her brother, Conner.

Courtesy photo. Twelve youth from Japan spent a month with South Dakota host families as part of South Dakota's States' 4-H International program. The program was recently recognized with the Outstanding Program Award.

Since partnering with the organization in 1979, South Dakota 4-H has hosted about 650 delegates from Japan, Costa Rica, Norway and Finland. Through the decades, 30 South Dakota 4-H members have participated in international exchanges.

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Accredited Financial Counselors: Who We Are and What We Do

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A recent survey conducted by the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, which focused on retirement in the state of Ohio, showed that only 41 percent have a financial plan. But the truth is, this statistic isn't unique to retirement or Ohio. 

"Americans have a lot of mistrust when seeking financial advice," explained Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist. "Worrying that a financial professional may be working for a commission or a financial gain."

However, if citizens work with an Accredited Financial Counselor, Saboe-Wounded Head said they don't have to worry.

"An Accredited Financial Counselor is like a financial driving instructor: they don't care what car you buy or drive; their job is to teach you how to drive safely, responsibly and independently," she said. "Accredited Financial Counselor professionals bring a strong focus on personal finance and are all accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education."

Saboe-Wounded Head added that the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education is one of the oldest and most respected organizations offering financial counseling and coaching certifications.

"Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education is unique because it strives to ensure that individuals and families, like yours, can navigate what we've called the "alphabet soup" of financial designations you're likely to encounter while shopping the extensive menu of professionals offering financial advice," said Saboe-Wounded Head. "In this way, Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education ensures that people have access to the highest standard of financial advice that fits their needs, at any stage of life."

An Accredited Financial Counselor considers the client's complete financial life when administering advice, and they draw on a wide range of financial expertise to do so.

"Let's face it, most Americans need to get their financial feet on the ground before taking the stock market by storm," said Saboe-Wounded Head. "Accredited Financial Counselor professionals are the perfect guides to getting you to this goal ... and beyond."

More about who an Accredited Financial Counselor is

  1. An Accredited Financial Counselor does not sell financial products but, rather, focuses solely on providing unbiased financial education and guidance specific to your unique situation and needs.
  2. An Accredited Financial Counselor assists individuals and families in the complex process of financial decision-making, including creating budgets, getting out of debt, modifying ineffective money management behaviors, and even helping prepare for retirement.

"No matter where you are on life's continuum, it's possible to develop the skills and knowledge needed to realize your goals and achieve financial security," said Saboe-Wounded Head.

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No Till Event Set for January 23, 2018 in Wall

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - No till management will be the focus of the SDSU Extension Soil Health event held January 23, 2018 in Wall.

The event will start at 9:30 a.m. (MST), with registration, and will run until 4 p.m. It will be held in the Grand Hall at the Wall Community Center (501 Main St. in Wall).

This event is free to the public. Lunch is included and Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available.

The event is sponsored by the SDSU Extension, The South Dakota Wheat Commission, Ascend Ag, Warne Chemical, Dupont Pioneer, Mustang Seed, Farm Credit Services of America, Wheat Growers, Prairie State Seed, South Dakota No Till Association and NRCS-USDA.

Presentations at the event will cover a range of subjects with the focus being on no till management and moisture conservation.

The first speaker will be Jay Fuhrer, long time Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employee from Bismarck, North Dakota.

Fuhrer has been an advocate for soil conservation including no till, cover crops and livestock integration. He has worked very hard with producers in North Dakota to help them integrate these practices and has many stories to share.

The second speaker of the day is Chris Augustin, NDSU Extension Soil Health Specialist. Augustin will present on how to manage soil salinity issues.

The third speaker, is NDSU Extension Weed Specialist, Dr. Brian Jenks.

Jenks will discuss everyday weed challenges producers are facing, such as kochia and palmer amaranth control, as well as weed resistance.

He will share insights on how to control and prevent these problems.

The last speaker of the day will be Dan Forgey.

Forgey manages the cropping enterprise at Cronin Farms, a large no till crop and livestock farm located near Gettysburg.

Cronin Farms was the recipient of South Dakota's Leopold Award for Conservation in 2016. Forgey has worked hard to integrate forage cover crops and livestock onto their farm ground. His presentation is titled, A Farmers Perspective on Soil Health.

A panel discussion will wrap up the day.

Preregistration is requested

In order to plan for the noon meal, preregistration is appreciated by January 19 at 5 p.m. To preregister, email or call 605.773.8120.

More information and a full agenda is available at the iGrow Events page

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Heifer Selection: Part of Focus on Female Heifer Conference

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The success of replacement programs can be measured in many ways, but is largely driven by how heifers are selected and developed before entering the herd as a mature cow, explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Replacement heifer programs will be among the topics discussed during the SDSU Extension's Focus on Female Heifer Conference to be held in Mitchell Dec. 19, 2017 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell (1800 E Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301) from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.

"Whether you are raising or buying herd replacements, the process of selection and development is critical to herd longevity," Grussing said. "Selecting heifers that have the best ability to breed early in their first breeding season, increases the likelihood they will remain at the front of the cow herd for years to come."

To register for the event, visit the iGrow Events page.

If you're not able to attend the Dec. 19 conference, below, Grussing outlines the steps to a successful replacement heifer program.

Know the end goal: Overall, the goal is to select heifers that are most likely to breed early in their first breeding season, have the capability to calve unassisted and raise a calf to weaning time. Grussing also encouraged producers to think about that end product.

"Cattle producers need to define herd profitability goals by outlining what the end product is and how it will be marketed before selecting herd replacements," Grussing said. "If you are a commercial producer this may be pounds, while seedstock producers focus more on genetics."

Keep birthdate in mind: Early born heifers (from the first 21 days) are more likely to reach target weights and puberty prior to start of the breeding season.

"Research shows once heifers reach puberty, fertility greatly increases from the first to the third estrus cycle. Therefore, older heifers have more time to reach a third estrus prior to the start of the breeding season compared to younger counterparts," Grussing said.

Note: this may vary based on breed and plane of nutrition.

DNA testing: Genomic technology in the form of DNA tests, is also available to gain insight into future performance, maternal and carcass traits a heifer may offer.

Grussing said the best way to use DNA testing, is to test replacement candidates selected on herd goals first. "Use the genetic results to eliminate the outlier or tail end females that don't fit the bill," she said.

Don't forget about structure: Structure plays a key role in how heifers will hold up in their environment.

"Make sure to eliminate heifers with structural problems that may be passed on to future progeny or will decrease her longevity," Grussing said.

Look back: Before making culling decisions, take a look at dam and sire records.

Research from Nebraska shows that heifers conceiving early in their first breeding season, continue to do so over their lifetime, while also returning more calves with heavier weaning weights through five lactations.

"While maternal and reproductive traits are less predictable at selection time, using proven dam and sire information can put selection pressure on reproductive success," Grussing said.

In addition, she said, progressive culling and dedication to herd goals will continue to improve the future cow herd.

Courtesy of iGrow. The success of replacement programs can be measured in many ways, but is largely driven by how heifers are selected and developed before entering the herd as a mature cow. Replacement heifer programs will be among the topics discussed during the SDSU Extension's Focus on Female Heifer Conference to be held in Mitchell Dec. 19, 2017 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell (1800 E Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301) from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.

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2017-2018 La Niña and Winter Outlook

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Health & Wellness, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center has officially declared a La Niña Advisory, as of November 9, 2017.

"This means that La Niña conditions are observed and expected to continue," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

NOAA observes La Niña conditions using sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, Edwards explained. "For La Niña, ocean temperatures are cooler than average near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, which can alter jet streams and storm tracks," she said.

What to Expect

Historically, La Niña has brought colder than average temperatures in winter for South Dakota. "There are varying strengths of La Niña, from weak to strong. Overall the colder temperatures are fairly consistent in any La Niña winter," Edwards said. "What is more variable is snowfall."

In weak La Niña events, there has historically been above average snowfall in the Northern Plains states. In strong La Niña events, this is not usually the case.

For our winter season ahead, Edwards said a weak La Niña is expected. "Thus the climate outlook shows an increased chance of above average precipitation," she explained.

This potential increase is snowfall is more likely to occur in mid- to late winter, or around January and February of 2018.

December Outlook

Despite the very dry November, there was recently a large pattern shift in early December, which is now starting to look more like a typical La Niña pattern.

"This will put South Dakota near the jet stream path, bringing colder air down from Canada and possibly some more chances of precipitation in the next couple of weeks," Edwards said.

La Nina's impact on agriculture

This cold, and possibly wet, climate outlook may create challenges for South Dakota's livestock producers who have already struggled with drought losses in pastures and forage.

"One way that animals adapt to severe cold is to increase their feed intake, which is already a challenge in some areas," Edwards said.

Shelter and protection from severe cold and some increased snowpack amounts may need to be considered as well.

Winter wheat growers may take some solace in the potential for increased snowfall, as this can insulate the crop in harsh cold temperatures. Also, increased snowfall can provide some soil moisture in the spring when it comes out of dormancy.

Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center. Figure 1. Precipitation outlook for December 2017 to February 2018. The La Niña pattern brings increased chances of colder temperatures and wetter conditions, as compared to the long-term average. 

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Chanda Engel is New SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension welcomes Chanda Engel who will serve as an SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

"We're excited to have Chanda join our team. She brings extensive research and extension experience to her role in serving South Dakota's cattle producers," said Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

In her position, Engel will provide research-based programming in the Competitive Livestock capstone area of SDSU Extension. She will be responsible for development and dissemination of research-based programming and resources in support of the cattle industry across South Dakota and will work to build strong relationships with producer groups, agribusinesses and governmental agencies to identify ongoing and emerging needs of commercial cow-calf and seedstock producers. 

"I love working with cattle and helping people," Engel said. "In this role, I get to do both - help producers care for their livestock by sharing information and knowledge."

More about Chanda Engel

Growing up in rural South Dakota, Chanda Engel spent a lot of time around cattle and developed a strong interest in animal health. In fact, when she started taking classes at South Dakota State University, she initially thought she wanted to become a veterinarian.

"Once I got into the Animal Science program, I realized there were many other opportunities to work with livestock, so I began to focus on animal nutrition," Engel explained.

She received a bachelors in Animal Science from SDSU, and then worked for SDSU Extension for five years, serving McPherson and Sanborn Counties before returning to SDSU to pursue a master's in Animal Science Ruminant Nutrition. Engel said she focused on ruminant nutrition because of the overall impact proper management has on the success of a cattle operation.

"Nutritional management is one of the highest costs a producer has. It also has so much impact on the productive function of the cow," Engel said.

She then accepted an opportunity to work for Oregon State University in extension and research. "In this role I got to see a completely different way of feeding cattle. In Oregon it was much more forage-based feed stuffs because producers do not have the access to grains that we have here in South Dakota."

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Engel spent a few years at North Dakota State University working in nutrition research for a variety of different cattle operations - feedlot (backgrounding and finishing) and drylot cows.

She is eager to put her experience and knowledge to work serving South Dakota cattle producers. "This is home for me," Engel said. "It's good to be back in South Dakota, working with cattle producers here."

Engel will office out of the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown. To reach her, call 605.882.5140 or e-mail.

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Diminishing Personal Injury on Dairy Farms

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - When training dairy employees about proper livestock handling practices, it is important to remind them that if animals are not handled properly they can cause injuries to employees, explained Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

"Within the dairy industry there is a high percentage of contact time between animals and human beings on a daily basis, and like in other high-risk jobs, employees need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and implement safety practices and procedures," Erickson said.

So, what type of injuries can happen when working on a dairy? Erickson said typical animal-related dairy injuries are the result of being stepped on, kicked, fallen on, crushed by cows, mauled by dairy bulls or gored by animals that have not been dehorned.

Safety reminders

Flight zone: Because dairy cattle have binocular vision, meaning they are able to see all the way around themselves, except for a small blind spot at the nose and rear of the animal, it is important to know how to approach an animal.

Approach the animal from the side, while using verbal cues such as speaking softly, that will minimize spooking an animal.

Understand how to use the "flight zone" in a proper manner which can help facilitate moving an animal in a desired direction.

The flight zone is often referred to as an animal's "personal space."

In essence entering the flight zone will cause the animal to move away from you. Which happens when a person "applies pressure" by stepping into the flight zone or the animals "personal space."

Learning the flight zone penetration area will take some practice (See Figure 1).

Cattle Stress Considerations

Noise Sensitivity: Cattle are very sensitive to noise and higher frequency of noises than humans.

Yelling causes stress to animals and can make them more difficult to handle. Staying quiet and calm will help minimize these reactions.

Additionally, unexpected loud noises such as banging gates, loud exhaust from air cylinders, etc. may startle animals.

One way to help condition cattle is to keep a radio playing in the background at a low level in the barn to help reduce the reaction to strange, sudden noises. This can be a very effective tool when training cattle for show and being in fair situations.

Isolation: Cattle are herd animals, so isolation may cause an animal to be nervous, stressed or agitated. When working with an animal, having another companion animal near will help keep the animal being treated calmer.

Past Experiences: Cattle do remember painful or frightening experiences. So, if an area of the barn brings up unpleasant memories for a cow, such as pokes, slipping or rough handling, they may become unwilling to cooperate when they return to that same area.

Warning Signs: Good livestock handlers should be able to watch for warning signs of an agitated animal.

Cattle will react with a raised head or pinned ears, raised tails, raised hair on back, exposed teeth, excessive bawling, pawing the ground and snorting.

Proper Livestock Handling Reminders

Appropriate livestock handling behavior includes:

  1. Slow and deliberate behavior;
  2. No loud noises or quick movements;
  3. Do not prod an animal when it has no place to go;
  4. Gently touching animals will have a more favorable response than shoving or bumping them;
  5. We need to respect animals and not fear them;
  6. Intact male animals, especially dairy bulls, should be considered potentially dangerous at all times and proper equipment and facilities should be made available to assure safety of handlers;
  7. Breeding animals tend to become highly protective of their young especially when giving birth.
  8. Animals will defend their territory and this should be kept in mind at all time, given the size, mass, strength, and speed of an animal; and
  9. Cows will typically kick forward and out to the side and will also have the tendency to kick toward the side where they have pain from inflammation or injuries. Thus, if a cow has a single quarter with mastitis you may want to approach her from the opposite side of the non-affected udder when examining her or utilize proper restraint to avoid being hurt.

Personal Protection

Personal hygiene is extremely important as humans can contract some diseases from livestock.

Diseases such as leptospirosis, rabies and ring worm are fairly common, whereas anthrax and bovine tuberculosis are rare but still exist.

Using personal protective equipment such as splash guards, eye wash stations, gloves and wash stations will minimize disease along with good hygiene by livestock handlers.

Dead animals should be disposed of in a timely and proper manner to minimize the spread or potential exposure to a disease.

Handling Equipment

Using appropriate livestock handling equipment is a must.

Equipment such as man-gates in pens, working/squeeze chutes, treatment pens, halters, head-gates, anti-kicking devices, hip lifters or cattle lifters should be available and in proper working order.

Make sure that employees are trained on proper use of this equipment.

Facility design is also important including gate placement, pen size, spacing between railings or boards and lighting.

Courtesy of T. Grandin 

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SDSU Extension Welcomes Bethany Stoutamire

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension recently hired Bethany Stoutamire to serve as the SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

"Bethany has a unique skill set and a passion for service that will greatly enhance our research efforts and provide capacity to programs geared toward lifting individuals out of poverty," said Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

SDSU Extension received an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) grant in 2017. This grant will provide eight full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to serve one-year terms working with SDSU Extension staff to increase knowledge of and access to physical and financial health and wellness techniques in effort to bring economically disadvantaged South Dakotans out of poverty.

Stoutamire will work in a supportive role to Leacey Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist.

"We are honored to have Bethany on our team. Her contributions will help to increase the capacity of the gerontology component of SDSU Extension, ultimately allowing us to increase the number of South Dakotans who have access to fact-based information about aging," Brown said.

More about Bethany Stoutamire

A recent Sociology graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Stoutamire was eager to become involved as a SDSU Extension Aging in Place AmeriCorps VISTA Member before she pursues a graduate degree.

"I am interested in the social side of medicine and understanding health trends. This position will give me hands-on experience working with a demographic I am interested in learning more about," Stoutamire said.

Her interest in aging populations was piqued by an undergraduate course she took which focused on aging in the U.S. "It was a bit doom and gloom - so I am eager to be a part of the solution," Stoutamire said.

SDSU Extension is Recruiting for 2018-2019 AmeriCorps VISTA Positions

AmeriCorps VISTA national service members will:

  • Serve a one year term of service June 2018 - June 2019
  • Earn $5,815 in education award to be used toward tuition or student loans
  • Earn a monthly living stipend
  • Gain valuable work experience and community connections
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country

A variety of positions are available to meet a diversity of professional interests and skills including:

  • Ag & Society VISTA Member
  • Aging in Place Coordinator VISTA Member
  • Family Resource Management Extension Associate VISTA Member
  • Better Choices, Better Health (BCBH) - VISTA Extension Associate
  • Grow SD VISTA Member
  • Healthy Schools Coach VISTA Member
  • Healthy Schools Advisor VISTA Member
  • SDSU Extension VISTA Leader

For position descriptions and application information, visit our website. Questions can be directed to Aimee House Ladonski, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist at 605.782.3290; by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension recently hired Bethany Stoutamire to serve as the SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

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Livestock Producers and a Net Wrap Needs Assessment

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - When it comes to binding forages, livestock producers have two choices; net wrap or twine. The decision isn't as simple as it may seem as both binding products have their pros and cons, explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

"While net wrap increases baling efficiency and reduces storage loss, it can be difficult and time consuming to remove and is not digestible if consumed," Grussing said.

To help producers make an informed decision that is best for their livestock, SDSU Extension and South Dakota State University staff developed a needs assessment.

"In order to determine the effect of forage binding on livestock health, it is important for us to compile the feelings and opinions of livestock producers, allied industry and veterinary professionals," Grussing said.

South Dakota livestock producers are encouraged to fill out the online survey/needs assessment. Data collected from this anonymous assessment will be provided to producers to help them make informed decisions on their forage binding choices.

"The goal of this needs assessment is to evaluate the presence and impact of forage binding and feeding methods on livestock health and production," Grussing said.

The information will also be used by SDSU researchers and students to develop educational programming and research around the products, explained Joe Darrington, SDSU Extension Livestock Environment Associate.

"This assessment will inform a senior design team in the Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Department at SDSU who are working on designing new net wrap materials," Darrington said. "Our SDSU Extension team will also use it when developing programming needs in this area."

Take the Survey before Dec. 29, 2017

If you are 18 years of age or older, SDSU Extension invites you to participate in the survey which can be found at this link.

All responses will remain anonymous.

The survey will remain available until December 29, 2017. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Taylor Grussing by email or Joe Darrington,SDSU Extension Livestock Environment Associate by email

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Miner County Hosts 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A record number of open class and 4-H entries turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

There was a total of 170 open class entries showed by exhibitors who represented counties across South Dakota as well as the states of Colorado, Minnesota and Iowa.

Judge Miles Toenyes of Highland, Illinois evaluated calves, named the top-five individual steers and heifers, 4-H Champions and evaluated the Pen-of-Three event.

36th Annual Miner County Feeder Calf Show Results: 2017 Miner County 4-H Show

British Heifers

Champion British Heifer was awarded to Canyon Kidd, Howard and Reserve Champion British Heifer was awarded to Carter Calmus, Canova.

Class 1: first place, Canyon Kidd, Howard; second place, Carter Calmus, Canova; third place, Katlin Schlim, Carthage; fourth place, Zach Connor, Winfred.

Exotic Heifers

Champion Exotic Heifer was awarded to Carter Klinkhammer, Howard. Klinkhammer also showed the Reserve Champion Exotic Heifer.

Class 2: first place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard; second place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard; third place, Maggie Connor, Winfred; fourth place, Maggie Connor, Winfred

Market Heifers

Champion Market Heifer was awarded to Melanie Calmus, Canova and Reserve Champion Market Heifer was awarded to Carter Klinkhammer, Howard.

Class 3: first place, Melanie Calmus, Canova; second place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard; third place, Riley Genzlinger, Canova and fourth place, Katlin Schlim, Carthage.

British Steers

Champion British Steer was awarded to Zach Jacobson, Howard and Reserve Champion British Steer was awarded to Tate Miller, Winfred.

Class 4: first place, Zach Jacobson, Howard; second place, Tate Miller, Winfred; third place, Logan Schlim, Carthage; fourth place, Ellie Connor, Winfred, fifth place, Tanner Calmus, Canova; and sixth place, Maggie Connor, Winfred.

Exotic Steers

Champion Exotic Steer was awarded to Cody Eich, Howard and Reserve Champion Exotic Steer was awarded to, Lane Miller, Winfred.

Class 5: first place, Cody Eich, Howard; second place, Cody Eich, Howard; third place, Tanner Calmus, Canova; fourth place, Riley Genzlinger, Canova; and fifth place, Carter Calmus, Canova.

Class 6: first place, Lane Miller, Winfred; second place, Cody Eich, Howard; third place, Riley Genzlinger, Canova; and fourth place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard.

Overall 4-H Market Championwas awarded to Cody Eich, Howard and overall 4-H Reserve Market Beef was awarded to Lane Miller, Winfred.

2017 Open Class Breeding Show Results

Class 1 Angus Breeding Heifers: first place, Trevor Bergh, Florence; second place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell; third place, Cody Larson, White; fourth place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell; fifth place, Martina Albrecht, Howard; sixth place, Regan Derksen, Huron; seventh place, Jackson Nordlund, Hartford; and eighth place, Brayden VanDyke, Ruthton, Minnesota.

Class 2 Angus Breeding Heifers: first place, Maria Weber, Lake Benton, Minnesota; second place, Harlee Heim, Wessington Springs; third place, Jacob Sievers, Wolsey; fourth place, Darby Knoll, Platte; fifth place, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; sixth place, Landon Coyle, Orient; and seventh place, Jamin Leonard, Armour.

Class 3 Hereford Breeding Heifers: first place, JC Forman, Ree Heights; second place, Calah Covey, Hamill; third place, Tate Johnson, Centerville; fourth place, Kane Grace, Humboldt; fifth place, Abby Repenning, Mitchell; sixth place, Halle Walsh, DeGraff, Minnesota; seventh place, Tyler Lacek, Canby, Minnesota; eighth place, Jamie Begalka, Castlewood; and ninth place, Molly Myers, Canton.

Class 4 Hereford Breeding Heifers: first place, Kerstynn Heim, Wessington Springs; second place, Matt Weber, Lake Benton, Minnesota; third place, JC Forman, Ree Heights; fourth place, Riley Rasmussen, Elkton; fifth place, Canyon Kidd, Howard; sixth place, Carter Calmus, Canova; seventh place, Trevor Johnson, Centerville; eighth place, Kane Grace, Humboldt; and ninth place, Katlin Schlim, Carthage.

Champion Hereford was awarded to Kerstynn Heim, Wessington Springs and Reserve Hereford was awarded to JC Forman, Ree Heights.

Class 5 Shorthorn Breeding Heifers: first place Riley Johnson, Jackson, Minnesota; second place, Jamie Begalka, Castlewood; third place, Micah Leonard, Armour; and fourth place, Marissa Leonard, Armour.

British Breeding Heifers Top 5: first place, Trevor Bergh, Florence; second place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell; third place, Harlee Heim, Wessington Springs; fourth place, Tate Johnson, Centerville; fifth place, JC Forman, Ree Heights.

Class 6 Shorthorn Plus Breeding Heifers: first place, Cutler Michalski, Willow Lake; second place, Chloe Hazel, Beresford; and third place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard

Class 7 Simmental Breeding Heifers: first place, Sydney Johnson, Wessington; second place, Logan Zemlicka, Wolsey; third place, NaLea Dunsmore, Wessington; fourth place, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; fifth place, Tessa Pederson, Sherman; sixth place, Austin Rose, Chamberlain; seventh place, Kylie Harriman, Parker; and eighth place, Austin Rose, Chamberlain.

Class 8 Foundation Simmental Breeding Heifers: first place,Elizabeth Albrecht, Howard; second place, Sara Weber, Lake Benton, Minnesota; third place, Harlee Heim, Wessington Springs; fourth place, Abby Blagg, Salem; fifth place, Sydney Johnson, Wessington Springs; sixth place, Jacob Sievers, Wolsey; seventh place, Sawyer Naasz, Platte; eighth place, Ryan Blagg, Salem; ninth place, Nicolette Schmidt, Willow Lake; tenth place, Carter Klinkhammer, Howard; and eleventh place, Taylor Harriman, Parker.

Class 9 Maine Anjou Breeding Heifers: first place, Cody Eich, Howard; second place, Tate Bergh, Florence; third place, Brooklyn Hiniker, Pipestone, Minnesota; fourth place, Calah Covey, Hamill; fifth place, Chloe Hazel, Beresford; sixth place, Matthew Bogue, Beresford; and seventh place, Shay Michalski, Willow Lake.

Class 10 MaineTainer Breeding Heifers: first place, Martina Albrecht, Howard; second place, Logan Zemlicka, Wolsey; third place, Ty Bergh, Florence; fourth place, Riley Johnson, Jackson, Minnesota; fifth place, Hannah Heezen, Wessington Springs; sixth place, Bailey DeJong, Kennebec; seventh place, Bella Russell, Mitchell; eighth place, Talen Hazel, Beresford; and ninth place, Trey Struck, Humboldt.

Class 11 Chianina and Chi-Hybrid Breeding Heifers: first place, Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls; second place, Hilary Albrecht, Howard; third place, Hilary Albrecht, Howard; fourth place, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; fifth place, Luke Knudson, Estherville, Iowa; sixth place, Hannah Heezen, Wessington Springs; seventh place, Marissa Leonard, Armour; and eighth place, Allison Duerre, Bristol.

Class 12 Charolais Breeding Heifers: first place, Landon Coyle, Orient; second place, Logan Zemlicka, Wolsey; and third place, Paton Coyle, Orient.

Class 13 Charolais Composite Breeding Heifers: first place, Paton Coyle, Orient; second place, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; third place, Lane Schoenfeld, Astoria; and fourth place, Maliya Mikkelson, Watertown.

Class 14 Commercial Breeding Heifers: first place, Samantha Podzimek; second place, Kinsley Altena, George, Iowa; third place, Riley Johnson, Jackson, Minnesota; fourth place, Riley Larson, Wessington Springs; fifth place, Emma Noteboom, Burbank; sixth place, Rowdy Scheel, Erwin; and seventh place, Austin Rose, Chamberlain.

Exotic Breeding Heifers Top 5: first place, Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls; second place, Sydney Johnson, Wessington Springs; third place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell; fourth place, Martina Albrecht, Howard; fifth place, Cody Eich, Howard.

Overall Breeding Top 5 Breeding Heifers: first place, Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls; second place, Sydney Johnson, Wessington Springs; third place, Trevor Bergh, Florence; fourth place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell and fifth place, Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell.

Open Class Market Show Results

Class 1 Market Heifers: first place, Riley Larson, Wessington Springs; second place, Jake Knudson, Estherville, Iowa; third place, Greyson Nielson, Arlington; fourth place, Kianna Hazel, Beresford; fifth place, Jake Knudson, Estherville, Iowa; sixth place, Emma Noteboom, Burbank; seventh place, Cody Larson, White; eighth place, Melanie Calmus, Canova; ninth place Brock Russell, Mitchell and tenth place, Michael Kjose, Beresford.

Class 2 Angus Steers: first place, Max Nordlund, Hartford.

Class 3 Hereford Steers: first place, Halle Walsh, DeGraff, Minnesota; second place, Taylor Lacek, Canby, Minnesota; third place, Tyler Rasmussen, Elkton; fourth place, Logan Schlim, Carthage; fifth place, Molly Myers, Canton; sixth place, Richard Sandine, Salem and seventh place, Ray Sandine, Salem.

Class 4 Shorthorn Steers: first place, Addison Haase, Scotland.

Champion Overall British Market Animal was awarded to Addison Haase, Scotland and Reserve British Market Animal was awarded to Halle Walsh, DeGraff, Minnesota.

British Market Beef Top 5: first place, Addison Haase, Scotland; second place, Halle Walsh, DeGraff, Minnesota; third place, Taylor Lacek, Canby, Minnesota; and fourth place, Max Nordlund, Hartford. No fifth place awarded.

Class 5 Shorthorn Plus Steers: first place, Kaitlyn Micheel, Cavour; second place, Trey Struck, Humboldt; third place, Rylee Schroeder, Winner; fourth place, Maggie Demers, Colome and fifth place, Tucker Micheel, Cavour.

Class 6 Simmental Steers: first place, Regan Derksen, Huron; second place, Drew Pederson, Sherman; third place, Tucker Micheel, Cavour; fourth place, Dusty Rose, Chamberlain; fifth place, Kylie Harriman, Parker; sixth place, Jacob Sievers, Wolsey and seventh place, Nicolette Schmidt, Willow Lake.

Class 7 Maine Steers: first place, Ty Bergh, Florence; second place, Cody Eich, Howard; third place, Kenzy Beare, Estelline; fourth place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs; fifth place, Nick Kappenman, Madison; sixth place, Bailey DeJong, Kennebec; seventh place, Brock Russell, Mitchell; eighth place, Mitchell Schmidt, Willow Lake; ninth place, Kasey Michalski, Willow Lake and tenth place, Cutler Michalski, Willow Lake.

Class 8 Chianina Steers: first place, Trevor Bergh, Florence; second place, Kylie Beare, Estelline; third place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs; fourth place, Allie Kappenman, Madison; fifth place, Talen Hazel, Beresford; sixth place, MaKayla Nelson, Volga; seventh place, Tucker Micheel, Cavour; eighth place, Sam Nibbe, Lake Benton, MN and ninth place, Rustin Schroeder, Winner.

Class 9 Charolais Steers: first place, Bailey DeJong, Kennebec; second place, Rachel Derksen, Huron; third place, Katherine Belau, Mt. Vernon and fourth place, Kylie Harriman, Parker.

Class 10 Limousin Steers: firstplace, Geoff Dunkelberger, Chancellor.

Class 11 Commercial Steers: first place, Brent Nelson, Volga; second place, Mykynna Heim, Wessington Springs; third place, Cody Eich, Howard; fourth place, Cody Eich, Howard; fifth place, Rachel Derksen, Huron; sixth place, Maliya Mikkelson, Watertown; seventh place, Kaitlyn Micheel, Cavour; eighth place, Katherine Belau, Mt. Vernon and ninth place, Rustin Schroeder, Winner.

Class 12 Commercial Steers: first place, Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado; second place, Tate Bergh, Florence; third place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs; fourth place, Bailey DeJong, Kennebec; fifth place, Cody Eich, Howard; sixth place, Brianna Duerre, Bristol; seventh place, Hudson Fouberg, Madison and eighth place, Alex Grace, Hartford.

Top 5 Commercial Steers: first place, Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado; second place, Tate Bergh, Florence; third place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs; fourth place, Brent Nelson, Volga and fifth place, Makynna Heim, Wessington Springs.

Champion Overall Exotic Market Animal was awarded to Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado and Reserve Exotic Market Animal was awarded to Tate Bergh, Florence.

Top 5 Exotic Market Animal: first place, Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado; second place, Tate Berg, Florence; third place, Ty Bergh, Florence; fourth place, Cody Eich, Howard and fifth place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs. 

Overall Champion Market Animal was awarded to Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado and Reserve Market Animal was awarded to Tate Bergh, Florence.

Top 5 Overall Market Animals: first place, Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado; second place, Tate Bergh, Florence; third place, Ty Bergh, Florence; fourth place, Cody Eich, Howard and fifth place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs.

To learn more about South Dakota 4-H and how you can become involved as a member or volunteer, visit the 4-H & Youth Community page. 

Courtesy photo. 4-H Champion British Heifer was awarded to Canyon Kidd, Howard. Kidd was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Reserve Champion British Heifer was awarded to Carter Klinkhammer, Canova. Klinkhammer was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. 4-H Champion Market Heifer was awarded to Melanie Calmus, Canova. Calmus was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. 4-H Champion British Steer was awarded to Zach Jacobson, Howard. Jacobson was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls placed first in Class 11 Chianina and Chi-Hybrid Breeding Heifers. Beninga was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Samantha Podzimek, Mitchell, placed first inClass 14 Commercial Breeding Heifers. Podzimek was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Sydney Johnson, Wessington, placed first in Class 7 Simmental Breeding Heifers. Johnson was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Trevor Bergh, Florence, placed first inClass 1 Angus Breeding Heifers. Bergh was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Overall Champion Market Animal was awarded to Vada Vickland, Longmont, Colorado. Vickland was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Tate Bergh received champion Market #2 overall and reserve champion commercial steer. Bergh was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Ty Bergh received champion market #3 overall and champion Maine Anjou steer.

Bergh was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

Courtesy photo. Talli Heim received champion market #5 overall and third place commercial Steer. Heim was among a record number of open class and 4-H entries who turned out for the Miner County 36th Annual Feeder Calf Show held November 24, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Howard.

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Join South Dakota 4-H on Social Media

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H now exists on all the primary social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

"It's no secret that for an organization to be successful from a digital perspective engaging with consumers through social media is no longer an option, but a necessity," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor. "We look forward to getting social with you and don't worry we still enjoy face-to-face communication just as much as our online interactions."

Through social media, Risner explained that 4-H hopes to be even more accessible to all audiences, including not only youth members, but also their parents and potentially grandparents whom have a social media presence.

What do we share?

Some things you can expect from South Dakota 4-H social media accounts are as follows:

  • Event dates, highlights, and registration deadlines.
  • Direct links to articles and news releases published on iGrow pertaining to the ever changing 4-H calendar.
  • Feature information highlighting the great work our membership is accomplishing.
  • Sharing of forms and resources necessary to 4-H operation.

How can you find us?

Find us on the following platforms at the indicated handles:

  • Facebook: Search "South Dakota 4-H" to interact
  • Twitter: Search "SDSUExt4H" to tweet with us
  • Instagram: Search "SDSUExt4H" to be a part of our insta-followers
  • Snapchat: Search sdsuext4-h to snap us

"Just like any good organization, we love when you talk about us, but we hope that you keep us in the loop," Risner said. "Be sure to tag us and hashtag #SD4H so we know all the awesome things you are doing on behalf of 4-H."

For any questions concerning the social media presence of the South Dakota 4-H program, please contact the EMAIL State 4-H Office 605.688.4167.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

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More than 1,000 Turn out to Support S.D. 4-H

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H Night with the Rapid City Rush brought more than 1,000 4-H members and supporters together Nov. 17, 2017.

The event was held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Ice Arena where the Rapid City Rush battled the Idaho Steelheads. 4-H members and friends participated in a fan tunnel, a pre-game puck drop, created a post-game human clover on ice and a human roping contest where 4-H rodeo members had an opportunity to rope volunteers in soccer bubbles.

"This event was an opportunity to promote 4-H and build a sense of community across county and state lines," said Matthew Olson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Pennington County. "Many times we focus on the livestock shows, youth in action events or static exhibits in 4-H, and forget that 4-H is a community."

Olson explains that a large part of community is a sense of belonging. "This 4-H night with the Rush helped to put in perspective the impact 4-H members can have," he said. "Seeing 1,000 people in an arena that are passionate about 4-H from across South Dakota and Wyoming was extremely powerful. One third of the crowd was there for 4-H."

More than a 1,000 tickets were sold to 4-H members and friends at the discounted rate of $15 per ticket.

With the level of success this year, 4-H families and supporters can expect to see this event again next year. If you'd like to volunteer to help organize the 2018 event, contact Olson at 605.394.2188 or by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H Night with the Rapid City Rush brought more than 1,000 4-H members and supporters together Nov. 17, 2017.

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Black Hills Stock Show Youth Day January 27, 2018

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2018 Black Hills Stock Show Youth Day will take place on January 27, 2018 in Rapid City at the Central States Fairgrounds and Walter Taylor 4-H Building (601 E Centre St, Rapid City, SD). 

This event is hosted by SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H and is open to all youth, regardless of their affiliation with 4-H.

Age requirements are that the youth must be at least 8 years of age by January 1, 2018 and must not have turned 19 by January 1, 2018.

Youth Day activities include:
Livestock Judging - Team and Individual Event
Beef Cook-Off - Individual Event
Horse Quiz Bowl - Team Event
Hippology: Team Event
Livestockology: Team Event
Dog Show: Individual Event
Dog Skill-a-thon: Individual Event
YQCA Instructor Led Training

Contest rules, registration and event schedule can be found in the contestant packet. For a contestant packet, visit this iGrow link.

Scholarship opportunities

Along with the Youth Day Activities, there are also the following scholarship opportunities for youth:

Black Hills Stock Show Foundation: Application deadline is Dec. 10, 2017

The non-profit Black Hills Stock Show Foundation is truly committed to preserving the legacy of the Western Way of Life and Investing in the Future.

In support of this commitment, the Foundation provides four annual Scholarship Programs to the youth of our communities who intend to pursue careers, either in or in support of agriculture.

Applicants for Category I and Category II Scholarships must be residents of South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana or Nebraska and high school seniors planning to continue their education through an accredited university, college and/or technical institution, preferably in the five-state area identified above. All seniors satisfying this criteria are invited to apply.

Completed applications must be mailed to the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation AND postmarked no later than midnight December 10, 2017. If date falls on Saturday/Sunday, the Friday immediately preceding.

Further information, along with the application packet can be found online at the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation website.

Rapid City Chamber of Commerce Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee: Application Deadline is Jan. 8, 2018

Young women and men who graduated from high school in the spring of 2017 or will graduate in the spring of 2018 are eligible to apply.

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded for formal instruction in any South Dakota accredited university, college, technical school or other recognized program preparing young people in agricultural and natural resources related fields.

Two $500 scholarships will also be offered to Western Dakota Technical Institute. Interviews for finalists will begin at 8 a.m., January 27 at the Central State Fair Office (800 San Francisco St.).

Applications must be received in the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce by January 8, 2018.

Further information, along with the application packet can be found at this link. If you have questions, contact Rachel Day 605.718.8454 or by email.

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Eat Healthy Even on the Go

Categorized: Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - With a little planning and some batch cooking South Dakotans can have some healthful meals on hand for time crunches and drop in guests.

"This concept of batch cooking or freezer meals is taking hold for some families in an effort to reduce the amount of money spent on food, and to have meals on hand which are healthy and wholesome," said Hope Kleine, SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

About Batch Cooking

Batch cooking refers to making quantity recipes, which are often frozen. The entrée is prepared from fresh foods and frozen in family portions, which can easily be pulled from the freezer and re-heated at a later date.

"The cost of meals prepared at home is generally less than the cost of prepared ready-to-eat frozen entrées, deli foods and eating out," Kleine explained. "With home prepared meals you have the ability to control the amount of sodium and calories, and limit the amount of preservatives."

Make meal prep fun

Batch cooking can also be an opportunity to get together with friends. "Groups of friends can get together and make quantity recipes or exchange dishes, and divide the portions and cost among those involved," she said.

For example, in a group of three, one makes three pans of lasagna, one makes three batches of beef soup, and one makes three batches of chicken pot pie. In the end, each member gets a pan of lasagna, a batch of soup, and chicken pot pie ready for freezing and later use.

Batch Cooking Tips

Test it first: Before making a quantity recipe, make one recipe and have group participants taste test it. "Remember, what you like in a good lasagna dish may not be what our friend likes," Kleine said.

Double up: Prepare multiple batches of main ingredients, such as beef, pork, chicken, etc.

"If you are cooking up ground beef, it's just as easy to cook up a double or triple batch and freeze the extra servings," Kleine said. "Simply reheat for tacos or your favorite casserole, and you have yourself a shortcut for those last minute meals."

Easy clean up begins here: Line casseroles and pans with parchment paper so that once the dish is prepared and frozen, it may be taken out of the container. This prevents having to have large number of pans/dishes. Then, simply wrap the item in saran wrap, and place into a Ziploc freezer bag.

Note of caution: Pyrex or glass in a freezer is easily broken.

Date and label: Date and label the items frozen. Provide directions for re-heating within the package as well as packaging extras in the wrapped item, i.e. a package of shredded cheese with the frozen package of lasagna so when you are ready to take it out, you have the topping available.

Defrost the night before: If an item is going to be baked, generally you will need to defrost the item in the refrigerator the night or day before.

Note: Do not put partially thawed or frozen food in a Pyrex or glass dish in an oven set on the pre-heat setting. When pre-heating, the oven operates at a high temperature which may cause a dish to break or explode.

Know your options: Keep a list of items in the freezer so they can be eaten in a reasonable time. Generally, it is best to consume frozen foods within one year of freezing them.

Balance the meal out: When it comes to a meal time, all you need to do is defrost the entrée, add a fresh salad or fruit and pour a glass of milk to complete your meal.

Food safety: Keep food safety in mind. When freezing, have the items somewhat cooled before they are put in the freezer. Also, do not fill the freezer too full to prevent items to be cooled below 40 degrees in a period of 2 or less hours. 

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4-Hers Donate 19,474 Pieces of Clothing

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-Hers donated more than 19,000 pieces of clothing to neighbors in need as part of the Head-to-Toe statewide service project launched in 2016.

Organized by the South Dakota 4-H Youth Council, the annual service project provides an opportunity for 4-H members to give back to their communities, explained Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator.

"4-H proudly promotes service learning," Erickson said. "Each year the Youth Council selects a project youth from all counties across the state can become involved in to create a state-wide impact."

To add some friendly competition to the service project, counties competed to see which could donate the most pieces of clothing. Tripp County won, donating nearly 7,000 pieces of clothing.

The club responsible for this win was the Clovervale Club, collecting 6,962 pieces of clothing and distributing them to 15 community organizations, shelters, non-profits and state agencies to help meet community members' clothing needs.

"When we went to the shelters to donate and we saw people who do not have what we have, it made me happy to see that I could go out of my way to help someone else other than myself," said Ryan Sell, 14.

Although their entire 4-H club was involved, Sell, together with his brother, Clay and good friend, Rowdy Moore, were the members who dedicated the most time to the endeavor - meeting for about three hours every other Friday for five months to sort clothing donated to the Tripp County Extension Office.

"It was a huge time commitment. I figured it would be a one-time collection and delivery, but then clothes kept coming," explained Jill Sell, Ryan and Clay's mom.

4-H's service to others focus, is a big reason the regional manager for South Dakota Department of Social Services enrolled her sons in the program. "I want my kids to grow up and not be self-absorbed. They need to be willing to help and be involved," Jill explained.

Because of Jill's work, her sons knew that there are many South Dakotans in need, however, it was not until Clay, participated in the Head-to-Toe service project, that he really understood what his mom meant when she told her sons they were fortunate.

"I saw the people at one of the places we dropped off clothing and was like, whoa, this is what it means not to have what you need. My mom would tell us that we have a lot compared to some, but I never actually witnessed that," explained Clay, 12 and seventh grader at Winner School District.

Clay added that because Winner does not have school on Fridays, spending time with his brother and good friend, made the time away from class fun.

"I get bored easily. This kept me busy," Clay said.

His friend, Rowdy Moore agreed.

"It was fun to spend time with the Sells and it felt good to help people because they don't have the stuff we do," Moore, also a seventh grader explained.

Hands for Larger Service

Service to others has been part of 4-H mission since the beginning of the organization more than a century ago, explained Laura Kahler, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Gregory and Tripp Counties.

"It's right here in the 4-H Pledge. 4-H has a lot of resources for volunteers and youth to connect them to projects to help their communities," Kahler said. "I am wowed by the quantity of clothing this club was able to gather and distribute and by the time the youth dedicated to the project."

Tripp County did win the state-wide competition. They county will be presented with a plaque and a $50 in 4-H Mall (shop4-h.org) credit the Tripp County 4-H Youth Program Advisor can utilize to cover costs of materials for county programming.

To learn more about how you can become involved in 4-H as a volunteer or member, visit the 4-H & Youth Community page on iGrow.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Credit: Dan Bechtold, Winner Advocate. Members of the Clovervale 4-H Club sort clothing as part of the Head-to-Toe state-wide clothing drive organized by the 4-H Youth Council.

This club collected the most at 6,962 pieces of clothing. Club members and volunteers distributed the clothing to 15 community organizations, shelters, non-profits and state agencies to help meet community members' clothing needs.
Club members pictured here include: Brindy Bolander, Rowdy Moore, Clay Sell and Ryan Sell.

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Support SDSU Students By Buying Cheese This Holiday Season

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Agronomy, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Supporting South Dakota State University (SDSU) students has never been easier—and you can please everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Through December 13, the SDSU Dairy Club is conducting their annual cheese box sales, so don’t wait to get your order in at the SDSU Dairy Bar, by mail, phone or email. In order to insure delivery in time for Christmas, mailed boxes must be ordered by December 1. Mail orders that do not need a Dec. 25 delivery deadline will be accepted until December 5. Dairy Club cheese boxes can be purchased on-site in the SDSU Dairy Bar through December 13.

“The cheese is 100 percent SDSU,” says Cole Hoyer, a SDSU senior Dairy Production major and SDSU Dairy Club President, who co-chairs the Dairy Club Cheese Box Project with fellow student Angela Wick. ”The cheese is made from milk produced on the SDSU Dairy Research & Training Facility, by SDSU students and Dairy Club members. The cheese is then made by SDSU students at the Davis Dairy Plant on campus, and is cut and packaged by SDSU students, too.”

Customers can choose to include four, one-pound blocks of cheese in each box. The Dairy Club offers a choice of 12 different types of cheese: mild cheddar, aged cheddar, bacon cheddar, smoked cheddar, white cheddar, co-jack, Monterey jack, black pepper, BBQ, Italian herb, jalapeno and Chipotle garlic. Boxes can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and Canada with a holiday greeting. Each cheese box costs $35, including shipping and handling. 

“Last year, we sold out the Chipotle garlic right away, and a lot of the cheddars go very well,” says Hoyer. “Co-jack and Italian herb are also very popular.”

If you don’t want to mail your cheese, customers can stop by the SDSU Dairy Bar to pick up cheese boxes at $25 each, or new this year, the club is selling gift bags of cheese containing two or four blocks of cheese.

The order form is available at the Dairy and Food Science Deptartment website. Orders may be mailed to SDSU Dairy Club, Alfred Dairy Science Hall, Box 2104, Brookings, SD, 57007; faxed to 605.688.6276; emailed, submitted by leaving a voicemail at 605.688.6739, or picked up at the SDSU Dairy Bar on campus. Although debit and credit cards are not accepted, this year, SDSU students can pay using Hobo Dough.

Of course, the holiday season can provide some level of concern about food safety, but cheese shipped to your destination within the U.S. by UPS generally arrives within two days and is perfectly safe to eat, Hoyer says. Our cheeses are ripened and according to U.S. Department of Agriculture information, unopened cheese can last three to six months. 

The SDSU Dairy Club has conducted cheese box sales, since the 1970s, and has seen a steady increase of sales over the past several years. The funds finance the Dairy Club’s strenuous activity schedule, scholarships, trips to visit dairies across the U.S., and some funds are also donated to other organizations.

“Last year, we helped sponsor the SDSU Dairy Challenge team, which is made up of SDSU Dairy Club members,” adds Hoyer. “We’ve also sponsored the SDSU Dairy Cattle Judging team to help pay for their transportation.”

This year, the SDSU Dairy Club will be selling 7,500 pounds of cheese—more than 2,000 boxes. SDSU alumni and local businesses are major customers.

“A lot of businesses in Brookings buy them for their employees,” Hoyer says. “We have a lot of repeat customers.” 

Orchestrating a project of this level takes a high level of planning and organization. The process begins in January each year, according to Hoyer.

“Based on the previous year’s sales, the co-chairs determine which cheeses sold the best,” he says. “From there, we decide which cheeses need to be produced and how much of each we will need, and put in the order with the Davis Dairy Plant.”

Starting in September, SDSU Dairy Club members volunteer their time two nights a week for two hours to help cut the cheese in preparation for the boxes—a task that lasts until Thanksgiving. Each time the club members work, they receive “Dairy Bucks” that can be spent on SDSU Dairy Club apparel or put toward their costs for club trips.

The process really ramps up in October. The co-chairs make sure the order forms are ready to go, determine pricing and go over the inventory of boxes and stickers. Order forms are made available in mid-October through various means.

Orders begin coming in around November 1, and SDSU Dairy Club members are busy fulfilling orders, which are mailed after Thanksgiving.

“The cheese is 100 percent SDSU,” says Cole Hoyer, a SDSU senior Dairy Production major and SDSU Dairy Club President, who co-chairs the Dairy Club Cheese Box Project with fellow student Angela Wick.

Through December 13, the SDSU Dairy Club is conducting their annual cheese box sales, so don’t wait to get your order in at the SDSU Dairy Bar, by mail, phone or email.

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Increase the Resilience of Your Ranching Operation

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep

Column by Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist and Newell sheep and cattle producer

Each year the profitability of the farm or ranch is challenged by conditions that negatively impact revenue and increase expenses.

Currently, we continue to experience drought conditions across western South Dakota. Depending on which side of the fence you stand on, some commodity prices are below the cost of production.

Using an analogy from rangeland management, producers who build resilience into their agricultural operation are positioned to lessen the risk that environment, climate, markets and finances place on profitability. 

Resilience is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

The term, resilience, fits well to when assessing the current state of a ranching operation, as well as a guide for future management decisions. 

As we end the 2017 production year and plan for 2018, there are a number of obstacles likely to affect a ranches' profitability. 

The largest obstacle to test the resilience of an operation is the current condition of its land resource due to the lack of rainfall.

Producers need to critically assess their current drought management plan. Make sure all trigger dates are in place and that the action plans connected to those dates are realistic and appropriate. 

If you don't have a drought management plan, GET ONE! How? There are a number of local resources that will provide real life, up-to-date examples and templates of drought plans suited to this region.

SDSU Extension is committed to helping producers mitigate the impact of the drought conditions while helping to build resilience in the operation.

Contact any one of our team members today. A complete listing can be found at iGrow.

As you develop your drought management plan, remember to solicit input from family and financial stakeholders.

Once a draft is completed provide a copy and explain the action plans to all involved. When climate conditions change, modify your plan accordingly.

SDSU Extension is assisting with a number of related educational programs that can help in the decision making process which will be occurring in December 2017.

Drought Management Plan Guidance

Below are contact numbers and websites that can assist in securing and developing drought management plans.

SDSU Extension staff: For a complete listing of specialists, visit iGrow and click on the Field Staff icon or call the SDSU Regional Extension Center in Rapid City at .605.394.1722.

South Dakota NRCS: Management plan link.

The NRCS website: This is the national website. Click on the State Office Tab. Once you are on South Dakota's page, click on the Contact Us tab to find contact information for your local NRCS Office and Conservation District office.

South Dakota Grassland Coalition: Visit the SD Grassland Coalition website and click on the Mentoring Network tab. There, you will find contact information of ranchers with drought plans and years of ranch management experience. These folks can provide support and clarity to your decision making process.

National Drought Mitigation Center: decision making information, drought management tools and examples of drought plans are available.

2017 South Dakota Grassland Coalition Road Show: SDSU Extension and other partnering organizations are hosting the 2017 Road Show December 11 - 15 coming to Hot Springs, Chamberlain, Crooks, Watertown and Aberdeen. Visit the SD Grassland Coalition website and click on the events tab to learn more.

Intro to Ranching for Profit and New Ways to Think About Your Business: Featuring Dave Pratt, this event is sponsored by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

The event will be held in Belle Fourche at the Branding Iron Steakhouse (South Hwy 85 Belle Fourche) December 14-15, 2017. The event begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

For more information, visit the SD Grassland Coalition website and RSVP to Judge Jessop 605.280.0127 or email.

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Miner County 4-Hers at National Livestock Judging Contest

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Four Miner County 4-H members represented South Dakota, placing eleventh overall in the national livestock judging competition held during the 2017 North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) held in Louisville, Kentucky Nov. 14.

The team qualified for this event, placing first during the 2017 South Dakota State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held September 16, 2017 on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings.

The 2017 South Dakota 4-H Senior Livestock Judging Team, made up of Miner County 4-H youth included: Carter Calmus, Benjamin Connor, Hanna Peterson and Logan Schlim.

"Livestock evaluation provides youth the ability to communicate effectively, make decisions, work under pressure and think swiftly," said Maria Feldhaus, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Miner County.

During the livestock judging contest, youth compare their perception of an animal against the ideal, whether market or breeding animals and defend that opinion.

Youth place livestock visually and then orally explain their reasons for placing.

"These activities expose youth to not only livestock judging, but youth learn team work, effective communication skills, analytical thinking and gain confidence to defend decisions," Feldhaus said. "Youth gain leadership skills while livestock judging that will help them excel in other areas of their lives through their ability to make and justify decisions quickly."

Event placings

Carter Calmus, was recognized as the fifth overall individual, placing third in sheep/goats judging; Logan Schlim, was recognized as the twelfth place in oral reasons; and

The team placed fifth in sheep/goats judging and placed eighth in oral reasons.

"I congratulate this team and all the hard work and time they have dedicated," Feldhaus said.

Coach Robert Peterson accompanied the team to the contest. Peterson was also responsible for hosting two practice sessions each week during the month leading up to the national competition. Austin Langemeier also assisted the group in preparing for the contest.

The travel and lodging for this competition were sponsored by the following: the Livestock Industry 4-H Trust Fund, South Dakota 4-H, Miner County Livestock Judging Alumni, and the Miner County Pork Producer's Council.

To learn more about 4-H and how you can become involved as a member or volunteer, visit the 4-H & Youth community page.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy of iGrow. The first place 2017 South Dakota 4-H Senior Livestock Judging Team represented South Dakota at the North American International Livestock Exposition on November 14, 2017. Pictured here, left to right: Coach Robert Peterson, Ben Connor, Logan Schlim, Hanna Peterson and Carter Calmus.

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Hillman SDSU Distinguished Animal Science Alumni

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Horse, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Department of Animal Science recently announced that Howard Hillman, Sioux Falls, SD, has been selected as the 2017 SDSU Distinguished Department of Animal Science Alumni Award recipient.

The SDSU Distinguished Department of Animal Science Alumni Award recognizes the accomplishments of alumni who have impacted the agricultural industry, communities and individuals across the state, nation and world. Contributions of Distinguished Alumni would include outstanding professional accomplishment, sustained service to agriculture, and/or distinguished leadership.

“The Department of Animal Science is proud to recognize Mr. Hillman with this award for his contributions to the beef cattle industry,” says Joe Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head. “Howard Hillman first distinguished himself as a member of the 1962 SDSU National Champion Livestock Judging Team and went on to even greater success as a producer of superior Angus genetics.”

Hillman received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from SDSU in 1963. While at SDSU, he was active in several organizations, including the livestock judging team that won the national championship in 1962. After graduation, Hillman returned as a managing partner to the diversified family farming and ranching operation, BonView Farms, near Canova, SD.

From the time of his return through the farm’s dispersal in 1999, the BonView name became synonymous with high-quality, production-oriented Angus Cattle. Hillman maintained a world-renowned seedstock operation, producing Angus genetics for decades that have influenced the international value of Angus cattle. Numerous BonView-produced sires have headlined AIs studs, including sires that historically rank in the top high-usage bulls of all time in the breed. These bloodlines continue to genetically impact leading registered herds and commercial cattle programs.

BonView Farms was an early adopter and advocate for the use of performance data to characterize Angus genetics. Hillman’s focus on the improvement of economically relevant traits positively impacted the profit potential of his commercial bull customers.

When BonView Farms was in production, Hillman and his family graciously hosted tours and practice sessions for the SDSU Livestock Judging Team. “The quality of the cattle was top-notch and Howard, along with his wife, JoAnne, were always extremely accommodating to the teams, even providing steak dinners to them,” Cassady relates. The Hillmans remain loyal Jackrabbit supporters.

Hillman has judged most major livestock shows throughout the U.S. BonView Farms showed many champion Angus cattle throughout the country including at the Chicago International and Denver National Western Stock Show. They have offered genetic advancements to the Angus breed through annual production sales.

Active not only as a producer, Hillman was also a volunteer and leader in the American Angus Association and the Angus Foundation, serving as President and on the Board of Directors for Certified Angus Beef. One of the many leadership roles that he accepted was chairman of the Leadership Cabinet for the “Vision of Value,” the Angus Association’s first capital campaign launched in 2006. He led a fundraising effort with a goal of $11 million in donations for the Angus Foundation. Because of these and other efforts, Howard has been inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation.

Howard and JoAnne continue to champion the need for youth leadership and have funded scholarships with the American Angus Association and at SDSU to continue this charge.

Learn more about the SDSU Animal Science Department at their website. Contact Cassady for more information by email.

Photo: JoAnne (left) and Howard Hillman (center) accept the 2017 South Dakota State University Distinguished Department of Animal Science Award from Dr. Joe Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head.

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Win $500 in Cash From McCrory Gardens!

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - McCrory Gardens will be giving someone a very merry Christmas gift—to the tune of $500 in cash.

“McCrory Gardens is pleased to collaborate with Bank Star on this fun holiday giveaway,” says Lisa Marotz, McCrory Gardens Director of Operations. ”The drawing will be held on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.”

Giveaway tickets are $20 each or $100 for six tickets, and will be available starting Nov. 28. You can buy tickets at the McCrory Gardens Education & Visitor Center, 631 22nd Ave., Brookings. You can also call 605.688.6707 or email to purchase tickets. As a privately funded non-profit organization, all proceeds from this fundraiser go to support the preservation and growth of McCrory Gardens-the region’s only botanic garden.

McCrory Gardens will be offering many opportunities for those interested to buy tickets during the holiday season: The big man himself will be visiting McCrory Gardens! Bring the kids to visit with Santa at no charge on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 2-5 p.m.

Before or after visiting with Santa, ride in a horse-drawn trolley through the arboretum. Trolley rides depart from the Education and Visitor Center from 2-4:30 p.m., with the last ride leaving at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for SDSU students with their student ID, $5 for youth age 6-15, and kids 5 and under are free.

Enjoy an evening stroll through a holiday wonderland of lights. McCrory Gardens are open evenings from 5-7 p.m. from Dec. 2-31 for the third annual Garden Glow. The Garden Glow includes an enchanted forest of fresh evergreen trees lining the terrace lawn, each dressed in 1,000 twinkling lights. Santa’s summer home will be on view as the iconic Cottage in the Gardens will be decked out, and Santa’s workshop will be available for guests to peek in and see what the elves are busy making. New this year in the Garden Glow is Candy Land. Based on the classic children’s board game, the Perennial Garden will include all of the stops along the Candy Land path.

Santa will also be at McCrory Gardens several evenings from 5-7 p.m. as well: Dec. 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Visits to see Santa are free.

If you can’t make it to bring the kids to see Santa while he’s here, children can still let him know what they want for Christmas. McCrory Gardens offers a place where kids can drop off their letter to be sent to the North Pole.

Admission for Garden Glow is as follows: McCrory Gardens members, SDSU students with a current ID and kids 5 and under can get in for free; adults are $4; and youth age 6-15 are $2.

While visiting McCory Gardens for these holiday events, get your holiday shopping done at the gift shop, which features unique souvenirs and keepsake items.

For more information about McCrory Gardens, visit their website

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Focus on Females: Heifer Development Conference

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host Focus on Females: Heifer Development Conference on December 19, 2017 at the SDSU Extension Mitchell Regional Center (1800 E Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301) from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.

"Focus on Females: Heifer Development Conference has been designed for beef producers, students and agriculture professionals interested in learning more about the best management practices associated with developing replacement heifers for cow herds in South Dakota," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

People of all backgrounds and levels of experience are welcome.

The program will bring in experts in heifer development, reproduction and economic fields to discuss the importance of proper heifer development on the longevity and profitability of cow/calf operations.

Registration for the event is $20 with a special $10 rate for students. Pre-registration is requested however, registration is also accepted at the door. To pre-register, visit the iGrow events page.

Agenda

9:30 a.m.     Registration
10 a.m.        Making Sense of Heifer Development & Management Strategies
Key Note Speaker: Dr. Patsy Houghton
Houghton is President and General Manager of Heartland Cattle Company, Professional Heifer Development and Research Center in McCook, Nebraska.
She has advanced degrees in both nutrition and reproduction, which she applies daily while managing a 5,000 head custom heifer development program. Houghton will share with us the components of a successful heifer development program necessary to place productive females into cow herds right here in South Dakota.
Lunch          Networking Lunch
1 p.m.          Impact of Heifer Development on Reproductive Success & Longevity: George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist
1:45 p.m.     Market Outlook
2:15 p.m.     Heifer Development Panel - Ask the Experts
3 p.m.          Closing Remarks    

Contact Taylor Grussing at 605.995.7378 or by email with any questions.

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SD Grassland Coalition Annual December Road Show

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Reports to Partners, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition, SDSU Extension and other partnering organizations celebrate another successful year by offering a great educational opportunity to members and non-members alike during the 2017 Road Show December 11 - 15 coming to several South Dakota Communities. 

Gabe Brown will be the featured speaker during the roadshow stops in Hot Springs, Chamberlain, Crooks, Watertown and Aberdeen. 

Event organizers ask that attendees RSVP to the contacts listed for each location below if possible for the meal, but walk ins are welcome. Registration at each event will begin at 9:30 am. Cost is Free to current Grassland Coalition members and $30 for non-members and includes a 1-yr membership with admission to Coalition events, tours, etc. For any general questions, contact Judge Jessop at 605.280.0127.

"The South Dakota  Grassland Coalition has really done well in identifying with producers in South Dakota and the region," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

Bauman is one of many SDSU Extension staff who work closely with the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. He was involved in developing the agenda for the road show.

"The annual road show not only reflects how well the Coalition's leadership listens to the needs of our producers, but it also reflects how willing the Board members are to lead," Bauman said.

More on Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown is recognized as a national leader in the soil health movement. He converted his North Dakota farm from conventional tillage and grazing practices to a regenerative approach that has drastically reduced input expenses and increased profitability. These new management practices have also improved the overall health of his soil, livestock and lifestyle.

During the road show, Gabe will share details of transitioning a farm away from conventional mentality and methods. He will discuss how the decision to embrace alternative management has improve the health of the air, water, plants, animals and people associated with his operation's farming and grazing strategies.

"Gabe Brown's message was very impactful when he joined us in 2015, and we have no doubt that his message will resonate with all who attend, regardless of what type of operation you are currently managing - and regardless of where in South Dakota you operate your farm or ranch business," Bauman said.

2017 SD Grassland Coalition Road Show Agenda

Hot Springs
Date: Monday, December 11, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (MST)
Location: American Legion Hall (1045 Jennings Ave, Hot Springs, 57747)
RSVP to: Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist
605.394.1722 or by email  

Chamberlain
Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Road Show & Annual Meeting
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CST)
Location: AmericInn (1981 E King St, Chamberlain, 57325)
RSVP to: Judge Jessop - S.D. Grassland Coalition
605.280.0127 or by email
*Following the road show, the S.D. Grassland Coalition Annual Meeting will begin at 12:35 p.m. 

Crooks
Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CST)
Location: Crooks Community Center (701 S Western Ave, Crooks, 57020)
RSVP to: Judge Jessop, S.D. Grassland Coalition
605.280.0127 or by email

Watertown
Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CST)
Location: Codington County Extension Complex (1910 West Kemp Ave)
RSVP to: Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist, by email or (605) 882-5140  or Jan Rounds, by email or at 605.882.5140    

Aberdeen
Date: Friday, December 15, 2017

Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CST)
Location: Dakota Event Center (720 Lamont St S, Aberdeen, SD 57401)
RSVP to: Valeree DeVine, 605.426.6951 ex.3 or by email 

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Resource For Caregivers of Native American Elders

Categorized: Healthy Families, Aging

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Native Americans have a rich culture that is important when addressing aging and caregiving. When working with Native American elders, Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist encourages caregivers to review resources developed by Native People for Native people.

Some of these resources can be found at the National Resource Center on Native American Aging.

"This group works to identify Native elder health and social issues and works to support community-based solutions," Brown explained.

Through the Resource Center, caregivers can access education, training and technical assistance. Their website also provides access a variety of resources, including a needs assessment tool, newsletters, exercise curriculum, and caregiver curriculum. Please visit the National Resource Center on Native American Aging to learn more.

Disclaimer: The preceding is presented for informational purposes only. SDSU Extension does not endorse the services, methods or products described herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind regarding them.

Courtesy of iGrow. Native Americans have a rich culture that is important when addressing aging and caregiving. When working with Native American elders, Leacey E. Brown, SDSU Extension Gerontology Field Specialist encourages caregivers to review resources developed by Native People for Native people. 

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Wessington Springs Annual Springs Showdown

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H youth and other beef project enthusiasts packed the Jerauld-Buffalo Counties 4-H grounds November 5, 2017, to participate in the annual Springs Showdown Calf Show.

Eighty youth from Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota exhibited 90 breeding heifers and 50 market steers and heifers. The show also included a 4-H livestock judging contest and livestock skill-a-thon.

"This show provided 4-H youth with a great opportunity to demonstrate their beef and livestock knowledge," said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Sanborn, Aurora & Jerauld/Buffalo Counties.

Brady Jensen, South Dakota State University Livestock Judging Coach evaluated the cattle and youth showmanship skills.

"Tremendous quality throughout the show," Jensen told spectators and exhibitors as he chose the top five in the steer show at the end of the day.

Several individuals and area businesses sponsored the event.

"As a non-profit show, sponsors play a huge role in the success of this show and we couldn't do it without their support. $10,000 in sponsorships and entry fees were paid back to youth in attendance," Erin Yost, Springs Showdown committee treasurer.

Awards

Top five overall breeding heifers included: Champion, Sydney Johnsen, Wessington, with a purebred Simmental heifer; Reserve Champion, Storm Johnsen, Wessington, with a Maine-Anjou heifer; third place, Trevor Bergh, Florence, with an Angus heifer; fourth place, Lex Larson, Valentine, Nebraska, with a Hereford heifer; fifth place, Harlee Heim, Wessington Springs, with a Foundation Simmental heifer.

Top five overall market beef included: Champion, Tate Bergh, Florence, with a crossbred steer; Reserve Champion, Abbi Henderson, Adel, Iowa, with a Charolais steer; third place, JD Thompson, Wessington Springs, with a Chianina steer; fourth place, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs, with a crossbred steer; and fifth place, Abbi Henderson, Adel, Iowa, with a market heifer.

Showmanship

Top five beginner showmanship winners: Champion, Kinsly Altena, George, Iowa; Reserve Champion, Piper Blum, Reliance; third place, Chance Blum, Reliance; fourth place, Teagan Scheel, Alpena; fifth place, Kerstynn Heim, Wessington Springs.

Top five junior showmanship winners: Champion, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; Reserve Champion, Trever Bergh, Florence; third place, Payton Beare, Ree Heights; fourth place, Sydney Johnsen, Wessington; fifth place, Lex Larson, Valentine, Nebraska.

Top five senior showmanship winners: Champion, Fletcher Larson, Valentine, Nebraska; Reserve Champion, Storm Johnsen, Wessington; third place, Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls; fourth place, Lauren Verlinde, Tracy, Minnesota; fifth place, NaLea Dunsmore, Wessington.

4-H Livestock Judging Contest

Thirty-nine youth competed in the livestock judging contest. Youth evaluated feeder calves, market goats, and breeding ewes. The beginner ages also tested their knowledge with sheep parts identification while junior and senior age groups evaluated a sow class based on EPDs.

Top Five Beginners:

First place, Teagan Scheel, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Second place, Kerstynn Heim, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Third place, Jayna Blume, Hughs County
Fourth place, Rylan Fagerhaug, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Fifth place, Makynna Heim, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties

Top Five Juniors:

First place, Mason Schelske, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Second place, Payton Tobin, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Third place, Landen Christensen, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Fourth place, Payton Beare, Hand County
Fifth place, Dillon Kammerer, Meade County

Top Five Seniors:

First place, Riley Larson, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Second place, Talli Heim, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Third place, Quinten Christensen, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Fourth place, Sawyer Naasz, Brule County
Fifth place, Lex Larson, Cherry County, Nebraska

4-H Livestock Skill-a-thon

Youth tested their knowledge identifying breeds of livestock and the continent they originated. In the equipment category youth identified tools used with artificial insemination. The parts of digestive systems in swine and goats were identified. Youth also were able to look at 17 different cuts of meat from a beef animal and label the retail and whole cuts accordingly.

Top Two Seniors:

First place, Quinten Christensen, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Second place, Sawyer Naasz, Brule County

Top Two Juniors/Beginners:

First place, Carissa Scheel, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties
Second place, Mason Schelske, Jerauld-Buffalo Counties

The beef project area is just one of many different project areas 4-H offers. For more information about how to get involved as a member or volunteer, contact your local Extension office. A complete listing can be found on iGrow.org.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Abbi Henderson, Adel, Iowa was awarded Reserve Champion in the market beef class with a Charolais steer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show the following five beginner showmanship winners include: Champion, Kinsly Altena, George, Iowa; Reserve Champion, Piper Blum, Reliance; third place, Chance Blum, Reliance; fourth place, Teagan Scheel, Alpena and fifth place, Kerstynn Heim, Wessington Springs.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Harlee Heim, Wessington Springs, ranked fifth overall in the breeding heifers class with a Foundation Simmental heifer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Storm Johnsen, Wessington, received Reserve Champion in the overall breeding heifers class with a Maine-Anjou heifer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Tate Bergh, Florence, was named champion in the overall market beef class with a crossbred steer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Talli Heim, Wessington Springs, placed fourth in the overall market beef class with a crossbred steer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Trevor Bergh, Florence, placed third overall breeding heifers with an Angus heifer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, JD Thompson, Wessington Springs, placed third in the market beef class with a Chianina steer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Lex Larson, Valentine, Nebraska ranked fourth in the overall breeding heifers class with a Hereford heifer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, Sydney Johnsen, Wessington received champion overall in the breeding heifers class with a purebred Simmental heifer.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show, the top five senior showmanship winners include: Champion, Fletcher Larson, Valentine, Nebraska; Reserve Champion, Storm Johnsen, Wessington; third place, Allyson Beninga, Sioux Falls; fourth place, Lauren Verlinde, Tracy, Minnesota and fifth place, NaLea Dunsmore, Wessington.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Springs Showdown Calf Show the top five junior showmanship winners include: Champion, Raylee Fagerhaug, Wessington Springs; Reserve Champion, Trever Bergh, Florence; third place, Payton Beare, Ree Heights; fourth place, Sydney Johnsen, Wessington and fifth place, Lex Larson, Valentine, Nebraska.

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I-29 Moo University 2018 Winter Workshop Series

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The I-29 Moo University collaboration will be offering their Winter Workshop Series January 8-12, 2018. They encourage all dairy producers, students, stakeholders and industry personnel to attend.

The series focus is From Field to Bunk: Growing and Feeding Dairy Quality Forages. The workshop series will take place in five locations including: Mandan, North Dakota; Watertown, South Dakota; Pipestone, Minnesota; Orange City, Iowa and Norfolk, Nebraska.

Register by December 29, 2017. Registration is $50 per person and $25 for students. Late registration is late $65 and $30 for students. Late registration fees begin December 30. To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

Workshop Series Details

  • North Dakota workshop will be held January 8, 2018 in Mandan at the Baymont Inn & Suites (2611 Old Red Trail Northwest Mandan, North Dakota 58554);
  • South Dakota workshop will be held January 9, 2018 in Watertown at the Codington County Extension Complex (Kitchen Mtg. Room) (1910 West Kemp Avenue, Watertown, SD 57201);
  • Minnesota workshop will be held January 10, 2018 in Pipestone at the Pipestone Veterinary Services (1801 Forman Drive, Pipestone, MN 56164);
  • Iowa workshop will be held January 11, 2018 in Orange City at the Sioux County Extension Office (400 Central Ave. NW, Suite 700, Orange City, IA 51041); and
  • Nebraska workshop will be held January 12, 2018 in Norfolk at the Lifelong Learning Center at Northeast Community College (NECC), (601 East Benjamin Ave., Norfolk, NE 68701). 

Learning Objectives: To improve the sustainability of the dairy production system. Attendees can expect the following:

  1. Learn to incorporate cover crops and new forage genetic lines into the forage production system for dairies.
  2. Producers will increase their understanding of forages and cover crops in dairy rations.
  3. Improve dairy and labor management skills in the areas of feeding management and safety protocols. 

Workshop Agenda 
9:30 a.m. - Registration & Refreshments
10 a.m. - New Forage Genetic Lines and how they Impact the Dairy Industry - Bruce Anderson, Professor of Agronomy, UNL Extension Forage Specialist

  • Learn how forage genetic improvements in corn silage, sorghums and cover crops can influence the soil health and dairy diet performance in your operation.

10:45 a.m. - Cover Crops - incorporating them into your Forage Production System - Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

  • Learn about cover crop incorporation into your fields, rotation considerations and planting methods.

11:30 a.m. - Break
11:45 a.m. - Incorporating Cover Crops into Dairy Rations - James C. Paulson, Associate Professor Forage Specialist and Nutritionist

  • Incorporate the nuts and bolts of cover crops into your dairy farm, maximizing nutrition and profitability.

12:30 p.m.  - Lunch
 1:30  p.m. - Sponsor recognition
 2:00  p.m. - Silage Pile Safety training for you & your employees - Keith Bolsen, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Kansas State University, "The Silage Man,"  Nationally known speaker in silage production and safety practices.

  • Is your silage program safe? Silage safety practices and considerations to come home safely at the end of the day for you, your employees and family members.

 2:45 p.m. - Evaluating Dairy Diets from the Nutritionist, to the Employee, to the Cow. – authored by Fernando Diaz, DVM, PhD – Dairy Nutrition and Management Consultant – Rosecrans Dairy Consulting, Co-presented by Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist & Jim Salfer, U of M Regional Extension Dairy Educator.

  • Understand feeding inefficiencies as you deliver diets to your dairy herd.

3:30 pm - Evaluation & Adjourn

For more information, contact the I-29 Moo University Winter Workshop: From Field to Bunk, Program Committee Chairs; Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist by email or 605.882.5140; or Kimberly J. Clark, UNL Extension Dairy Educator by email or 402.472.6065.

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Glenn Muller Receives Animal Science Award

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Glenn Muller, Executive Director of the South Dakota Pork Producer’s Council (SDPPC), was recently recognized with the South Dakota State University Friend of the Department of Animal Science Award during the Department’s scholarship and awards banquet.

Muller is a graduate of SDSU with a degree in Agricultural Education. During his time at SDSU he was a four-year participant in Little International, the largest student-run livestock exposition in the United States. He later returned to judge the Little International swine competition and served as Master of Ceremonies for the event in 2012. Three of Muller’s children and two of their spouses have attended SDSU.

“Glenn Muller’s leadership throughout the livestock industry in support of the Department of Animal Science has been critical to our success,” explains Joe Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head. “The faculty could not have selected a more deserving individual for this recognition.”

Muller’s experiences in agriculture include teaching agriculture and serving as FFA advisor at West Lyon Community School in northwest Iowa, as well as teaching Adult Farm/Ranch Management at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls. He has worked in the agriculture division of First American Bank and was employed in risk management of the swine procurement department of John Morrell and Co.

Muller served as President of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council in the early 1990s. He was invaluable in helping SDSU develop an extension swine program relevant to the needs of South Dakota’s pork producers. During his tenure at John Morrell, he was instrumental in the company’s accommodation of SDSU judging teams and helped welcome SDSU Animal Science classes both for educational opportunities within the plant and tours of the facility. He was a strong supporter of John Morrell’s contribution to SDSU’s Pork Classic basketball game, which raises $10,000 annually in support of Animal Science scholarships. He also instigated a program to provide $2,000 annually to both the SDSU Livestock Judging Team and the SDSU Swine Club.

Muller received the 2013 South Dakota Honorary Master Pork Producer Award, 2014 SDSU Gamma Sigma Delta Honored Alumni Award and 2015 Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Agri-business Citizen of the Year.

“Glenn has been a tremendous leader for all of agriculture,” Cassady relates. “He has assisted the SDSU Animal Science Department in multiple ways for more than 25 years, including supporting fundraising and legislative efforts that led to construction of our new SDSU Swine Education and Research Facility.” Muller’s efforts with the state legislature were essential in helping the project win both approval and $2 million in state support. Muller’s relationship with the Minnesota and Iowa pork councils helped gain additional support and substantial contributions to the building project.

Cassady says, “Many of the donors’ gifts to the Swine Education and Research Facility project were a direct result of Glenn’s hard work. With his leadership the South Dakota Pork Producers Council voted to provide $25,000 for a Master’s Degree assistantship to support an assistant manager at the new facility. The assistant manager position is critical to successful operation of the facility.”

Muller has also been supportive of both SDSU research and protecting the health of South Dakota’s livestock industry. He was one of four leaders who worked diligently to obtain funding for renovation of the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL). “It was Glenn’s contacts and the respect people have for him as a leader that helped propel the approval for the renovation,” Cassady notes. Muller served as a speaker for the ADRDL groundbreaking on August 31.

To learn more about the SDSU Department of Animal Science, contact Cassady by email.

Photo: Glenn Muller, Executive Director of the South Dakota Pork Producer’s Council, left, is presented with the SDSU Friend of the Department of Animal Science Award by Dr. Joe Cassady, SDSU animal Science Department Head.

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Look Beyond Input Marketing Claims

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Collecting unbiased data from well-designed research can have a large impact on farmers' bottom.

"Farmers spend millions of dollars on agronomy products each year. The best way to determine if a product or practice is effective prior to purchase or implementation, is to ask for the data and research backing a company's claims," explained Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

Berg is part of a multi-state team of Extension personnel working together to clear up confusion among producers when it comes to research. Together they have published a series of articles which delve into four research topics including: replicated vs. side-by-side comparisons, how to set up on-farm research, interpreting research terms and data, and the topic of this article, interpreting and clarifying ag product marketing claims.

This is the fourth and final article, written by this team, to help producers see legitimate research from biased information produced to sell inputs. To view past articles, visit iGrow and search by Sara Berg's name.

In addition to Berg, the team includes: Lizabeth Stahl, University of Minnesota; Josh Coltrain, Kansas State University; John Thomas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

See through marketing ploys

New on-farm technology provides many farmers with real-time data access. "With large amounts of data and fast access to information and product marketing, producing a commodity requires many decisions," Berg added. "Knowing that a product has been tested and shown to make a difference should be a deciding factor when making purchases. Yet, it is not that simple in most cases."

The reason? Berg explained that although data may be included on packaging, sometimes companies leave vital information off when advertising because many view it as confusing and unnecessary.

"False research claims or partial truths are found alongside accurate claims about quality products in marketing around the world," Berg said. "Separating falsified or misleading claims from those that are not is crucial."

One method Berg said some marketers use is to display limited data in a skewed or biased manner by changing the scale of a graphic (Figure 1). Another method is to add disclaimers (Figure 2), or provide vague information and/or nothing to compare the product claims to (Figure 3). However, some companies and institutions provide excellent data with honest results for farmers to choose from; even in these cases, one must understand how to interpret the data (Figure 4).

"When a product is falsely promoted, often the customer is provided only baseline information needed to make a sale. It is vital that farmers take time to look over product information, ask questions and understand data presented to them," Berg said. "Marketing claims are not always falsified or skewed, but knowing how to spot poorly-backed claims can provide farmers peace of mind in knowing they are investing in products or adapting practices that have been properly tested."

Figure 1. Yield trial results (fictional example). The scale on the Y-axis begins at '40', which can create an optical illusion for the reader and skew the appearance of data. When the axis does not begin at '0', results can be misleading. In addition, no statistical analysis and little background information is provided, so the reader has no way of knowing if, for example, yields are from strips in fields or replicated trials.

Figure 2. Alfalfa yield trial results (fictional example). There is no background information about how or where the data was collected and there are no statistics for the reader to determine if significant differences were found. In addition, the disclaimer at the bottom of the table could nullify any findings should the company choose to do so.

Figure 3. Hybrid characteristic advertisement (fictional example). This figure describes a corn hybrid with highly enticing descriptive words that may catch the reader's attention. No data is provided and there is nothing to compare the above product claims against.

Figure 4. Comprehensive table (fictional example). Table includes relevant background information about the trial and statistics to help in interpretation of the information provided.

For more information on research trials and statistics see parts 1, 2, and 3 of this 4-part article series. If questions should arise, contact an SDSU Extension agronomy team member for data interpretation assistance. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

Courtesy of iGrow. New on-farm technology provides many farmers with real-time data access. "With large amounts of data and fast access to information and product marketing, producing a commodity requires many decisions," Berg added. "Knowing that a product has been tested and shown to make a difference should be a deciding factor when making purchases. Yet, it is not that simple in most cases."

The reason? Berg explained that although data may be included on packaging, sometimes companies leave vital information off when advertising because many view it as confusing and unnecessary. 

Courtesy of iGrow. One method Berg said some marketers use is to display limited data in a skewed or biased manner by changing the scale of a graphic.

Figure 1. Yield trial results (fictional example). The scale on the Y-axis begins at '40', which can create an optical illusion for the reader and skew the appearance of data. When the axis does not begin at '0', results can be misleading. In addition, no statistical analysis and little background information is provided, so the reader has no way of knowing if, for example, yields are from strips in fields or replicated trials.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 3

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 4

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Kelli Larson new Program Assistant

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Kelli Larson recently joined the SDSU Extension team to serve as an SDSU Extension Program Assistant.

In this role, Larson will provide support and assistance to SDSU Extension staff working in 4-H Programming and Youth Development Operations.

"Kelli has a strong background in customer service and agriculture along with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science from SDSU, and that combination is a tremendous asset to the South Dakota 4-H program," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

More about Kelli Larson

Growing up, Kelli Larson showed horses as a 4-H member. She remembers the experience as a highlight of her summers and teaching her valuable life skills. "I met so many people who were interested in the same things I was. I learned to cheer for my competitors and, whether I won or lost, 4-H taught me to help everyone out," Larson said.

Prior to this new role with SDSU Extension, Larson worked in the SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Academic Programs Office as a senior secretary.

She is eager to serve South Dakotans through this new role. "I enjoy working with people and being part of a team. I have a lot of respect for the professionals who work to promote 4-H and youth programming and look forward to providing them with the support they need to best serve South Dakota."

To learn more about South Dakota 4-H and how you can become involved, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

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Donation to SDSU Feed Processing Facility

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Lone Star Enterprises, Lennox, S.D., has donated a new Triple Lone Star roller mill to the South Dakota State University (SDSU) feed processing facility.

The SDSU feed processing facility produces more than 1,250 tons of feed annually for the university’s livestock teaching and research facilities for beef, dairy, equine, sheep and swine. This equipment upgrade replaces two machines previously used in the feed processing facility.

“This donation will help us to ensure that the quality of the feed we’re milling, in support of our educational and research units, is representative of current industry standards,” says Dr. Joseph Cassady, Animal Science Department Head. 

The new roller mill will allow feed to be milled at a higher quality and consistency, so livestock will achieve increased feed utilization.

“The Lone Star roller mill is easy to use and maintain,” says John Goebel, SDSU feed processing facility manager. ”It’s very well built and allows for worry-free grain processing that needs little monitoring.”

The SDSU feed processing facility employs SDSU students to assist with processing and packaging feed for the various educational and research units. A Lone Star representative initially proposed the donation.

“We’re proud to be able to collaborate with SDSU on facilitating the means for students to have a state-of-the-art machine to process grains so they can understand how processed grains can influence the nutrition and health of animals,” says Brenda Bakken, CEO, Lone Star Enterprises. “It’s a good feeling to provide opportunities to local communities and South Dakota State University students.”

Lone Star Enterprises is a family owned and operated company based in Lennox, S.D., with 13 employees. Lone Star has also donated a roller mill to the North Dakota State University feed processing facility.

For more information about the SDSU Animal Science Department, visit their website here. For more information about Lone Star Enterprises, visit the Lone Star Enterprises website.

Photo: Brenda Bakken, CEO, Lone Star Enterprises, left, stands near the Triple Lone Star roller mill that the company recently donated to SDSU. Bakken is joined by Dr. Joseph Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head, and John Goebel, SDSU feed processing facility manager.

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Enjoy the Holiday Season at McCrory Gardens

Categorized: Community Development, Communities, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Join in the holiday fun at McCrory Gardens! 

“This holiday season, McCrory Gardens is offering something for everyone,” says Lisa Marotz, McCrory Gardens Director of Operations. ”We’re excited to see folks come out and enjoy the holidays in the gardens and arboretum as they make this a part of their holiday tradition.”

Mark your calendars now for the exciting holiday events that McCrory Gardens has to offer:

The big man himself will be visiting McCrory Gardens! Bring the kids to visit with Santa at no charge on Sunday, Dec. 3 from 2-5 p.m. 

Before or after visiting with Santa, ride in a horse-drawn trolley through the arboretum. Trolley rides depart from the Education and Visitor Center from 2-4:30 p.m., with the last ride leaving at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for SDSU students with their student ID, $5 for youth age 6-15, and kids 5 and under are free.

Enjoy an evening stroll through a holiday wonderland of lights. McCrory Gardens are open evenings from 5-7 p.m. from Dec. 2-31 for the third annual Garden Glow. The Garden Glow includes an enchanted forest of fresh evergreen trees lining the terrace lawn, each dressed in 1,000 twinkling lights. Santa’s summer home will be on view as the iconic Cottage in the Gardens will be decked out, and Santa’s workshop will be available for guests to peek in and see what the elves are busy making. New this year in the Garden Glow is Candy Land. Based on the classic children’s board game, the Perennial Garden will include all of the stops along the Candy Land path.

“Garden Glow is great fun for all generations,” adds Marotz. “It’s a popular spot for couples to get engaged and for families to make wonderful holiday memories.”

McCrory Gardens Education & Visitor Center will once again be home to the largest fresh evergreen tree in Brookings—at about 20 feet. 

Admission for Garden Glow is as follows: McCrory Gardens members, SDSU students with a current ID and kids 5 and under can get in for free; adults are $4; and youth age 6-15 are $2.

Santa will also be at McCrory Gardens several evenings from 5-7 p.m. as well: Dec. 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. Visits to see Santa are free.

If you can’t make it to bring the kids to see Santa while he’s here, children can still let him know what they want for Christmas. McCrory Gardens offers a place where kids can drop off their letter to be sent to the North Pole.

While visiting McCory Gardens for these holiday events, get your holiday shopping done at the gift shop, which features unique souvenirs and keepsake items.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without support from McCrory Gardens’ wonderful donors,” Marotz says. “Many local residents don’t know that we’re privately funded.”

For more information about McCrory Gardens, visit the McCrory Gardens website

Photo: Lisa Marotz, McCrory Gardens Director of Operations.
 

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Young Entrepreneur Credits 4-H for Developing Confidence

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension/iGrow.org

Carrots don't grow on vines like tomatoes, a fact all gardeners understand. Yet, if you've never pulled a carrot top, unlodging the vibrant vegetable from the soil, it may be one of many misunderstood food facts, explains Anna Maifeld, owner of Glory Garden, an online source for fresh, local produce and eggs.

"A mom was visiting my garden with her kids and was shocked to learn carrots grow underground," Maifeld says.

How vegetables are grown and harvested is one of many reasons, the young entrepreneur invites Glory Garden customers to visit her Crooks garden throughout the growing season.

"Visiting the garden helps (customers) be closer to their food," she explains. "Knowing where your food comes from and being connected with the person who grows it, is really what's at the heart of the local food movement."

Her ability to connect with customers has helped the 21-year-old grow her business.

"When I first started, I thought I'd spend 90 percent of my time in the garden and 10 percent of the time marketing."

In reality, Maifeld says she spends more time marketing her business than she does in her garden - posting recipes, blogging, maintaining her website and giving presentations to potential customers.

The 4-H alumnus credits her confidence in presenting information and answering questions to the years of serving as a club officer, giving talks, public presentations and judging competitions she participated in throughout her 4-H career.

As a young 4-Her "I was nervous and my voice would get shaky." Overtime and with years of practice giving presentations and answering judge's questions, "I became pretty confident and, today, I am no longer nervous."

Maifeld recently gave a five-minute presentation on Glory Garden to a group of more than 50 during a 1 Million Cups event in Sioux Falls.

"4-H definitely helped me with that. If I had not done 4-H, I would have fallen through the floor. I simply would not have had the confidence," she says of the event that introduced a few new consumers to Glory Garden.

Glory Garden: Giving Customers a Choice

Four years ago, before launching Glory Garden, Maifeld was like many 17-year-olds. She spent a lot of time in the months leading up to graduation trying to figure out what she wanted to do after high school. She knew that she did not want to pursue a college degree. She knew she loved gardening.

"I liked gardening, being outside - even weeding. I thought, 'if I could be outside, working in the sun and getting exercise, and if I could make a business out of this, that is what I wanted to do,'" she recalls.

Maifeld began doing research to determine how she could turn her passion for gardening into a viable career. She considered the CSA (community supported agriculture) business model. In this model, customers pay a yearly membership fee to a vegetable grower in exchange for a weekly supply of fresh produce.

Through her research, she discovered customer retention in a traditional CSA model was only 30 percent.

"To me that didn't seem sustainable. I didn't want to have to rebuild my customer-base each year," Maifeld says. "What I heard from CSA members is they don't get to choose what vegetables they receive. What if they don't like eggplant? Or, they don't know what to do with a pound of rutabagas?"

Listening to this feedback, Maifeld designed Glory Garden to give customers the option to select the type and quantity of produce they wanted to purchase.

"I wanted to give my customers a choice of what they received," she explains. "And, I didn't want to spend my Saturdays at a Farmers Market wondering if the produce I grew and picked would sell."

Twice each week, during the growing season, she takes an inventory of what is ready to pick and then posts that information on her website. Customers select the vegetables they want and the quantity. Maifeld picks the fresh vegetables and delivers the produce to her customers at one of six pick up locations.

Four years later, her Glory Garden continues to expand. In the off season, Maifeld dedicates time to making homemade rag rugs and other items for her Etsy shop and running a sewing/alteration business.

"I enjoy the fact that by owning my own businesses I get to spend my time doing what I enjoy. That is also challenging, because when there is a job to be done, no matter how long it takes, there is no one else here to do it but me," she says.

To learn more about Maifeld and Glory Garden, visit the Glory Garden website.

To learn about how you can become involved in 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy photo. Anna Maifeld is the owner of Glory Garden, an online source for fresh, local produce and eggs. She credits 4-H with helping her develop skills necessary to grow her business.

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Farm Credit Services of America Donation Supports SDSU Precision Agriculture Building Project

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University is pleased to announce it has received a $500,000 gift from Farm Credit Services of America to support the construction of a Precision Agriculture Facility on the SDSU campus.

The facility will be a hub for research, teaching and innovation that covers the entire spectrum of precision agriculture and will enable collaboration with differing disciplines within that space.

Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, Don Marshall, states, “SDSU is extremely grateful to Farm Credit Services of America for their support of the Precision Ag project at this substantial level. Their generosity and our shared vision of the future of agriculture will help position SDSU students and researchers to address the grand challenges of global food security with technology and efficient production methods that sustain our natural resources for future generations.”

SDSU offers the first four-year Precision Agriculture degree in the U.S. The degree is a collaborative effort encompassing the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department and College of Engineering. The SDSU Precision Agriculture degree keeps students at the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving intersection of agronomics, high-speed sensor technology, data management and advanced machinery development. Students will be prepared for lifelong careers that support economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture.

“We, like our customers, are interested in efficient practices that maximize production and profits. We are proud to support South Dakota State University as it helps lead innovation in agriculture”, notes Bob Schmidt, Senior Vice President for FCSAmerica in South Dakota. “Graduates from this program will be ready to meet the technology and expertise needs of employers in agronomy, equipment and more. Producers will have additional support in applying precision ag to their operations because of the work that will be done in this facility.”

Photo: Bob Schmidt, Senior Vice President for FCSAmerica in South Dakota, second from right, presents a $500,000 gift in support of the SDSU Precision Agriculture Facility to SDSU President Barry Dunn, second from left, Bill Gibbons, Interim Director of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station, left, and Interim Dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Don Marshall, right. 

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Dakota Fresh Food Hub Connects Local Restaurants

Categorized: Community Development, Local Foods

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension/iGrow

It's 8 a.m. Thursday morning and already the Bread and Circus kitchen is full of activity prepping for the day's lunch and supper crowds.

Staff chop vegetables, fry salted almonds, breakdown pork shoulders, roast beets and mix ingredients for the restaurant's vege-burger.

Amidst preparations, Chef Jordan Taylor takes a few moments to greet Lee Storo and inspect a delivery of local produce.

"What do you think of these carrots," Storo asks, holding up a bunch of robust carrots boasting heirloom shades of white, red, yellow and violet.

Below the carrots, more crates are laden with swiss chard, onions, butternut squash, potatoes and heirloom tomatoes; all produce raised locally by members of the Dakota Fresh food hub.

Dakota Fresh food hub was organized two years ago to unite South Dakota farmers, like Storo and his wife Mary, who operate Mary's Kitchen and Gardens on 10 acres of farmland north of Beresford, and connect these small farmers with wholesale consumers - food markets and restaurants, like Bread and Circus.

"Buying from Dakota Fresh is smarter because I am supporting the local guy and more often than not, these smaller farmers are doing things the right way," explains Taylor, who has spent his entire career as a chef cooking with fresh, local ingredients.

On any given day, 90 percent of the ingredients used in his lunch or dinner menu are locally sourced. As he discusses his menu, Taylor casually names the farmer who raised nearly every ingredient - mushrooms for the veggie burger were grown in Renner by Jerry Ward of Hackberry Hollow Farm; the beets and butternut squash used in the beet butternut squash salad are from Mary's Kitchen and Gardens; pork belly was purchased from Ashby Natural Pork in Adrian, Minnesota; the bread was baked by Dakota Earth in Alcester and the chicken, used in his Moroccan chicken salad, was raised by Free Happy Farm in Brookings.

"Buying local is important to me because I don't want to feed people what I don't want to eat," Taylor says.

Farm to table right here in South Dakota

Initially aided by a two-year Local Foods Promotion Program Implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded to SDSU Extension in 2015, Dakota Fresh food hub is led by a board of directors made up of its farmer members.

"This grant has allowed us to get the infrastructure in place to get this business model rolling," says Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist who helped administer the grant. "Watching individuals make a profit as small farmers is really inspiring."

Prior to the food hub, many of Dakota Fresh's 17 members marketed their own produce and made their own deliveries.

"It can be complicated for us to get our products into the hands of multiple customers on our own. I did sell to some Sioux Falls customers previously, but today my sales have increased substantially because the food hub streamlined our marketing allowing us to focus more on production," explains Kristianna Gehant Siddens, an Astoria farmer who raises culinary and seed garlic as well as grassfed lamb.

The system she references allows her to bring her garlic to a local aggregation point - saving her precious time to focus on the demands of her farm. It also created one point of contact for farmers and those wanting local produce, increasing efficiencies for farmers as well as those buying wholesale produce.

"It really makes things easier," says Rachel Saum, Produce Manager at Co-op Natural Foods, an organic, natural and whole foods grocery store that serves about 2,000 customers each week.

Saum explains that the food hub sends her an e-mail each week listing what produce is available locally from 17 farmers. "I send an e-mail back and get one delivery. It makes for a more efficient system - it's really worked well for us."

Prior to Dakota Fresh, Saum would need to contact 12 to 15 individual growers to access the produce she can now access through one e-mail.

Carnaval Brazilian Grill's Chef, Nicholas Skajewski, echoes Saum's comments. "I was sourcing local before the food hub, but it wasn't easy. I would have to drive to the Farmers Market downtown and hope I got there before everyone else or buy from the Natural Foods Co-op," says Skajewski, listing freshness as a large factor for buying locally grown produce.

"There is such a difference. First, visually; the color of fresh vegetables that were given time to ripen before they were harvested - they are vibrant. And, no chemicals or hormones were added to give them that natural color," he explains. "When they were just picked the day before, or even that morning, you get a much more true, earthy flavor."

Recognizing that many who dine at the locally-owned Brazilian restaurant appreciate locally-sourced produce, Skajewski includes the name of farmers who raise the produce and the South Dakota town where it was grown throughout the restaurant's diverse salad bar.

"As a local business, supporting local businesses is key for us," Skajewski says.

The face of fresh

Like Taylor, as Skajewski slices into a mushroom, he acknowledges its grower, Dan Rislov, owner of Dakota Mushrooms and Microgreens from Sioux Falls. "It's nice when you can build a relationship with the person growing the ingredients. I asked Dan a while back if he would also grow portabellas for me, and he did," says Skajewski.

He plucks a few leaves of oregano and shares another story. The Beresford herb producer, Tammy Andrews, employs members from the high school FFA chapter to help harvest her herbs. "They get a kick out of seeing the herbs they pick end up in one of our dishes that ends up on Facebook."

Getting to know the consumers of their produce is a bonus benefit to her gardening business, says Mary Storo. "We have been doing this long enough that we have gotten to see our customers' kids grow up," she says of the Farmers Market and CSA (community supported agriculture) side of her business. "Building relationships with customers is another way this food hub is completely different from a truck that backs up to the door and food that is delivered by its driver, not the farmer who grew it. It's important to us as an organization that we continue to grow those relationships."

Courtesy of iGrow. Bread and Circus chef and co-owner, chef Jordan Taylor, greets Lee Storo and inspects a delivery of local produce. Storo and his wife, operate Mary's Kitchen and Gardens on 10 acres of farmland north of Beresford. They are among 17 farmers who make up Dakota Fresh food hub, a South Dakota-based organization that connects small farmers with wholesale consumers - food markets and restaurants, like Bread and Circus.

Courtesy of iGrow. Carnaval's Chef Nicholas Skajewski preps some local produce he recently purchased from Dakota Fresh food hub - a South Dakota-based organization which connects local farmers with restaurants and food markets.

Recognizing that many who dine at the locally-owned Brazilian restaurant appreciate locally-sourced produce, Skajewski includes the name of farmers who raise the produce and the South Dakota town where it was grown throughout the restaurant's diverse salad bar.

"As a local business, supporting local businesses is key for us," Skajewski says.  

Courtesy photo. Kristianna Gehant Siddens, an Astoria farmer who raises culinary and seed garlic as well as grassfed lamb is one of 17 South Dakota farmers to belong to Dakota Fresh food hub - a South Dakota-based organization which connects local farmers with restaurants and food markets.

Courtesy of iGrow. Carnaval's Chef Nicholas Skajewski preps some local produce he recently purchased from Dakota Fresh food hub - a South Dakota-based organization which connects local farmers with restaurants and food markets.

Recognizing that many who dine at the locally-owned Brazilian restaurant appreciate locally-sourced produce, Skajewski includes the name of farmers who raise the produce and the South Dakota town where it was grown throughout the restaurant's diverse salad bar.

"As a local business, supporting local businesses is key for us," Skajewski says.

Courtesy of iGrow. A crate of local produce ready to deliver to one of several Sioux Falls' restaurants and food markets who purchase wholesale local produce from the Dakota Fresh food hub, a South Dakota-based organization which unites South Dakota farmers who raise produce, honey, meat and eggs with South Dakota businesses, like restaurants and food markets.

Courtesy of iGrow. Local produce lines the shelves at Co-op Natural Foods, one Sioux Falls business which buys from the Dakota Fresh food hub, a South Dakota based organization which unites South Dakota farmers who raise produce, honey, meat and eggs with South Dakota businesses, like restaurants and food markets.

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2018 South Dakota 4-H Calendar

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During the 2017 South Dakota State Fair, 2,556 photos taken by South Dakota 4-Hers were evaluated by judges. Those photography exhibits which were selected as Judge's Choice and Honorable Mention winners will be featured in the annual South Dakota 4-H Calendar.

"Photos that wow the judges are marked with a "WOW" on their exhibit tag, placed in a separate area and are then re-evaluated for entry into the calendar," said Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.

Twenty-five Judge's Choice and 25 Honorable Mention photos were selected to be included in the 2018 calendar.

The 2018 calendar will include images from 45 4-H youth, ages 8 to 18 from 26 South Dakota counties.

Judge's Choice photos were awarded to: Laci Svennes, Beadle County; Tyler Neth, BonHomme County; Steven Neth, BonHomme County; Sawyer Naasz, Brule County; Nicolette Schmidt, Clark County; Jennifer Tonak, Clark County; Garrett Mertens, Grant County; Joel Opdahl, Hamlin County; Noah Everson, Hamlin County; Haley Schnathorst, Hand County; Caleb Hodges, Lake County; Juliana Hodges, Lake County; Gracen Juffer, Lincoln County; Adam Bishman, Lincoln County; Alex Ruud, Lincoln County; Brittany Hazel, Minnehaha County; Jaden Crowser, Pennington County; Alissa Stephens, Pennington County; Tanner Eide, Potter County; Brooklyn Beringer, Potter County; Brooklyn Swenson, Sanborn County; Mackenzie Jordan, Union County; Heather Maier, Yankton County. Some youth had more than one photo receive a Judges Choice award.

Honorable Mention photos were awarded to: Madelyn Larsen, Beadle County; Callie Mickelson, Campbell County; Emily Rolfes, Clay County; Kaitlyn Sandland, Davison County; Callie Westendorf, Douglas County; Nicolette Hoffman, Douglas County; Landon Coyle, Hand County; Mercedes Jarding, Hanson County; Johnathon Neuharth, Hughes/Stanley County; Tobe' Carias, Lincoln County; Isabelle Vargas, Lincoln County; Heather Storbakken, Marshall County; Ella Stiefvater, McCook County; Jonathan Butler, McPherson County; Kodi Retzer, McPherson County; Mercedes Shangreaux, Pennington County; Olivia Miller, Pennington County; Abby Steen, Roberts County; Jaxen Dockter, Roberts County; Kellen Rempp, Roberts County; Zane Rohde, Tripp County; Wade McClanahan, Tripp County; Heather Maier, Yankton County. Some youth had more than one photo receive an Honorable Mention.

Fundraiser to support South Dakota 4-H

All proceeds from calendar sales will go to promote 4-H events. The 2018 South Dakota 4-H Calendar is available online at the iGrow Store.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

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Managing Soil Maximizing Profit Meeting Dec 1

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the Managing Soil Maximizing Profit meeting Dec. 1, 2017 in Sioux Falls.

"This meeting is designed for farmers and agriculture professionals interested in learning more about maintaining healthy soil while remaining profitable," said Sara Berg, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

The meeting will be held at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 E. 8th St. Sioux Falls, SD 57103). Meeting registration begins at 8:15 a.m. (central). Speakers begin at 8:45.

All are welcome to the meeting, which features information on a variety of agronomic topics presented by farmers, and SDSU, NDSU and UNL Extension staff and faculty as well as a representative from Natural Resources Conservation Service.

November 24, 2017 is the registration deadline. To register, visit the iGrow Events page or call 605.782.3290. To cover costs, this meeting is $20. Certified Crop Advisor credits are available. Participants can also register the day of the event.

Topics include: commodity outlook, cover crop systems, livestock integration, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs, carbon cycling, and no-till planting.

Workshop speakers include: Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist; Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Research Station; Doug Landblom, NDSU Animal Scientist; Deron Reusch, USDA-NRCS District Conservationist; Jose Guzman, SDSU Assistant Professor; Paul Jasa, UNL Extension Research Engineer, and South Dakota farmers. 

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Transportation to the 2017 Range Beef Cow Symposium

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is providing free transportation to the 2017 Range Beef Cow Symposium held Nov. 28-30 in Cheyenne, Wyoming at Little America (2800 West Lincolnway Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009, 800.445.6945).

"Producers attending can expect to learn from leading experts and producers discussing markets, genetics, drought and mineral management, as well as other current issues," said Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

To register and for complete symposium details visit the Ragen Beef Cow Symposium website.

Transportation details

Deadline to reserve a seat is November 22, 2017. To reserve a seat on the bus, contact Paulette Morse at 605.394.1722. The bus will depart from the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Rapid City, November 27 at noon MDT.

Note: If your hotel reservations are not at Little America, you will be responsible to find transportation from your hotel to the conference.

Speaker details

Greg Hanes with the U.S. Meat Export Federation will address symposium attendees on international beef trade. Jim Robb, Senior Agricultural Economist at the Livestock Marketing Information Center, will share insight into factors affecting the 2018 livestock and feed grain outlook. CattleFax will be sharing tips on managing risk in the beef industry.

Several speakers will focus on the beef end-product. Deb VanOverbeke, Georgo Chiga Endowed Professor, will start this topic off with an overview of the most recent National Beef Quality Audit.

The Culinary Kitchen will provide a meat cutting demonstration.

Cindy Goertz, Wyoming Pure and John Lundeen, National Cattlemen's Beef Association will be part of a consumer demand panel discussion.

The agenda is filled with many more experts including:

Justin Derner at the High Plains Grasslands Research Station, will share some different perspectives on drought management.

Troy Hadrick will share their success through using genetic tools for selection and marketing of beef.

Bob Weaber at Kansas State University and Matt Spangler at University of Nebraska are teaming up to provide insight in genetic selection versus visual appraisal in animal selection.

Craig Bieber will share some of his cattle management when dealing with droughts.

Symposium registration

Preregistration for the symposium is available online at the Range Beef Cow Symposium website. Registration prior to Nov. 15, 2017 is available for $120 per person or $60 per student. After Nov. 15, prices increase to $160 and $80 respectively.

Single-day registration passes are available for $50 and increase to $60 after Nov. 15. For individuals wanting to attend only the half-day, hands-on sessions on Nov. 30, registration is $35 prior. After Nov. 15 these registration fees increases to $60.

Evening meal tickets for Nov. 28 and 29 are also offered for an additional fee.

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Importance of Pregnancy Detection in a Dry Year

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - With moisture levels below average in much of South Dakota, cattle producers may find results from pregnancy checking their herd useful in making management decisions moving forward, said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

"Pregnancy testing cows and removing open or even late cows from the herd may preserve valuable feed resources if drought conditions continue," Grussing said.

Pregnancy Testing Considerations

Although there are costs associated with pregnancy checking, $3 to $8 per head, Grussing urged producers to consider the value this one practice can have on other areas of the cow/calf operation.

"The overall cost of preg testing the herd is still likely less than it will cost to feed open cows throughout the winter," she said.

To maximize the investment, she recommended producers take advantage of the labor available on the day the herd is pregnancy checked to complete a few more tasks.

Below Grussing outlines a list of tasks to consider: 

  • Pregnancy check early to determine AI or early bull bred cows from late bred cows, identify twins and plan facilities and labor for the calving season.
  • Sort cows into groups to meet nutritional needs. Young heifers and older cows may need to be separated from the rest of the herd to provide more nutrients versus overfeeding the entire herd to increase energy to a few thinner cows.
  • Tag cows by calving date so it is easier to identify which cows will calve first come calving season; example: green = February, yellow = March, red = April, etc.
  • Check conformation of cows and make note of bad feet, legs, teeth, lumps, body condition score, etc. Use this data to create cow groups that may need to be sold, or have more TLC this winter (Example: take this group to the close pasture with a corral versus trailing them to pasture 5 miles away with no corral).
  • Begin winter parasite control and scour vaccine administration.
  • Weigh cows if possible. Knowing average weight of cows in the herd can help with designing rations and calculating feed inventory for the winter.
  • Compare calf weaning weight to cow weight. If cows are not weaning enough of their body weight, should certain cows be culled?
  • Pounds weaned per female exposed is calculated by taking total pounds of weaned calves divided by total cows that were exposed during the breeding season. This value is a key indicator of successful operations. It takes into account weaning weight and reproductive rates. If this number is low, first determine if it is due to poor reproductive rates (breeding, calving) or if is due to genetics or days of age.
  • Establish a marketing plan for open, late bred, poor-doers and cows culled for other reasons (attitude, feet, udder, etc.) Determine if the current market is profitable or if cows should be fed until prices go higher. Visit this iGrow link to learn more

Grussing and the SDSU Extension team is here to help when making management decisions. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff LIsting icon.

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Helping Your Farm or Ranch and Community

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - When farmers and ranchers see the census in their mailbox this year, SDSU Extension urges them to take the time to fill it out.

"Through the Census of Agriculture, producers can show the nation the value and importance of agriculture. They can help influence the decisions that will shape the future of American agriculture for years to come," said Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist of the confidential data collected only once every five years. "By responding to the Census of Agriculture, producers are helping themselves, their communities and all of U.S. agriculture."

Beck explained that the Census of Agriculture provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation.

Results show developing trends as well as needs throughout agriculture.

"The information collected is used by many, including farmers, ranchers, industry, research and the government," she said. "The information is very useful and can be used to advocate for agriculture and shape government policy," Beck added.

Fill out census by Feb. 5, 2018

The response deadline is February 5, 2018. All responses are secure and confidential as required by law. To make the process even easier, this year the census has an improved online questionnaire.

What data does the census collect?

The Census of Agriculture, taken only once every five years, looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures.

"For America's farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future and their opportunity," Beck said.

To learn more, visit the Ag Census website.

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Sheep Shearing School in ND and SD

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sheep shearing and wool classing schools will be held in Hettinger, North Dakota November 18-20, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST). A sheep shearing school will also be held in Brookings December 6-8, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (central).

"Competent shearers and wool handlers are an important infrastructure components to the growth and development of the sheep industry," said David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

The sheep shearing schools are co-hosted by SDSU Extension and North Dakota State University Extension and will provide education and resources for sheep producers to improve the quality of their wool clip as well as an opportunity to network with professionals within the sheep shearing and wool marketing circles who could provide service to the producer.

Instructors for the shearing school include: Mike Hagens, Professional Sheep Shearer, North Dakota; Wade Kopren, Professional Sheep Shearer, South Dakota; Alex Moser Professional Sheep Shearer, Iowa and Travis Hoffman, Ph.D. North Dakota and Minnesota Sheep Extension Specialist.

Instructors for the classing school include: Lisa Surber, Ph.D., Level IV Wool Classing Instructor. North Dakota State University Extension is the sole sponsor of this school.

Specific topics covered during the shearing schools include:

  • Professional shearing pattern
  • Tagging and eyeing equipment maintenance and repair
  • Wool handling and preparation

Topics covered during the wool classing school include:

  • Wool fiber growth, development and production
  • Objective measurement of wool
  • Genetic selection programs
  • Hands-on wool grading
  • Wool contamination and handling practices
  • Wool classing, packaging, labeling and marking
  • Test for Level 1 certification

The Sheep Shearing school in Hettinger will be held at the at the Adams County Fairgrounds (4th Avenue) and the Wool Classing school in Hettinger will be held at the Hettinger Armory (4th Avenue).

The Sheep Shearing school in Brookings will be held at the SDSU Sheep Research and Teaching Unit 2 miles North of SDSU Campus on Medary Avenue/77.

To register

The registration deadline for the schools is November 3, 2017. Cost for the shearing school is $125 per person and includes; tuition, a handbook, DVD and wool beanie. Cost for the wool classing school is $150 per person and includes tuition and materials.

Experienced and nonexperienced are encouraged to attend. The shearing schools are limited to 20 students per school and the wool classing school is limited to 16 students. Class size allows for one-on-one instruction.

Scholarships are available.

For more information and to register for the North Dakota schools, contact Chris Schauer at 701.567.4323 or by email.

For more information and to register for the South Dakota school, contact Jeff Held, Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist at 605.688.5165 or by email.

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YFS Fullerton Farm featured in USDA’s National Farm to School Month Spotlight

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To celebrate National Farm to School Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted Box Elder's YFS Fullerton Farm in "The Dirt" newsletter.

Operated by Rapid City Youth & Family Services (YFS), Fullerton Farm is a thriving outdoor education center designed to educate youth on the benefits of a nutritious, adequate diet and the value of wellness.

This fall, YFS teamed up with SDSU Extension to host a community Harvest Festival. More than 340 adults and children attended this free, family-friendly event at Fullerton Farm.

"Teaming up with community partners, like Youth & Family Services, is a great way to educate South Dakotans and provide applicable health and wellness information to improve the health and wellbeing of youth and families throughout the community," said Prairey Walkling, SDSU Extension Community Development Field Specialist.

The Harvest Festival provided community members with a taste of YFS's vision for family engagement and wellness.

"The children had a fabulous time digging in the dirt pile, tasting honey, fruits and vegetables and pedaling a bicycle with a blender attached to make fruit smoothies," said Darcie Decker, YFS Nutrition Director.

With a mission to help close the opportunity gap for thousands of disadvantaged children living in western South Dakota, YFS said Fullerton Farm is a venue they use when providing education about the importance of good nutrition and wellness through YFS' eight comprehensive programs, including two Head Start programs (Center-Based Head Start and Home-Based Head Start) and YFS' sponsorship of the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Fullerton Farm offers its guests an opportunity to learn about growing, preparing and preserving fresh produce. The farm has helped increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for children and families; given children opportunities to develop a taste for healthy foods while they're young; and encourages children and families to grow some of their own food. "We believe that if children grow veggies and help prepare them, they are much more likely to eat them," said Sharon Oney, YFS Grants Administrator.

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4-H Members & Friends Invited to Nov. 17 Rapid City Rush Hockey Game

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Rapid City Rush welcomes 4-H supporters to a fun filled night of hockey November 17, 2017 with events starting at 5:30 pm.

4-H members, parents, leaders, alumni and supporters are invited to a pregame social. Those associated with 4-H will also be given an opportunity to participate in a ceremonial pre-game puck drop and high five tunnels to welcome the team onto the ice. These activities - and more - will be followed by taking a 4-H picture on the ice.

Anyone interested in showing their 4-H spirit by attending the hockey game can purchase tickets through the SDSU Extension 4-H offices in Custer, Fall River, Meade, Butte/Lawrence and Pennington Counties for a reduced rate of $15 per ticket.

The order deadline is November 3, 2017. After November 3, 2017, please contact the Pennington County 4-H office as tickets will still be available at an adjusted rate.

"Our goal is to get 1,000 4-H members, parents, alumni and supporters at the game," Matthew Olson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Pennington County.

For more information, contact the SDSU Extension Pennington County 4-H Office at 605.394.2188 or by email.
 

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Blanket Buddies is the 2017-18 4-H Youth Council Service Project

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Blanket Buddies is the 2017-2018 South Dakota 4-H Youth Council's statewide community service project.

"The Youth Council challenges each county 4-H program to make the most number of fleece tie blankets to donate to a local health care facility, shelter and/or food pantry," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor.

4-H clubs, affiliates and families are encouraged to contribute to the overall county impact by making blankets as an activity following their business meetings.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for 4-H members to have exposure to teamwork to accomplish a goal, but also to understand the importance of giving back to our local communities," said Risner. "It's crucial that youth understand the impact a simple act can have on members of our community."

Any 4-H entity interested in participating in this project should contact their county 4-H office for more information on recording the number of blankets made and donated. The public is welcome to join in assisting in this service project. To contribute to your county's overall number of blankets, please contact the local county 4-H office or SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found on iGrow under the Field Staff listing.

This service project will run the majority of the 2017-2018 4-H year, with impact reports due in August. A summary of the impact will be announced at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair.

"Youth will truly be putting their 'Hands to Larger Service' with this project," said Risner.

For more information on contributing to this community service project, contact your local county 4-H office or Risner at 605.394.1722 or by email.

More about South Dakota 4-H

SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants.

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Vondrak is New SDSU Extension Community Health Assistant

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - While most of her peers let their taste buds decide whether they consume a snack or not, Melissa Vondrak needs to first review the ingredients list.

"I was diagnosed with Celiac disease when I was 12. All of a sudden I went from being normal and eating anything I wanted, to having to completely change my diet so that I avoided gluten," explains the new SDSU Extension Community Health Assistant.

A Registered Dietitian helped Vondrak and her mom navigate the gluten-free world and motivated Vondrak to pursue a degree in Dietetics at South Dakota State University.

In her role as an SDSU Extension Community Health Assistant, Vondrak will work with South Dakotans as an community dietitian for the Sioux Falls Health Department; guide SDSU Extension staff to help youth make healthy eating and lifestyle decisions as the Fuel Up to Play 60 program facilitator for Team Nutrition, and she will provide nutrition education to individuals and families as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) educator.

"Melissa has the personal and professional experience to serve South Dakotans in this diverse role," said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

Before joining the SDSU Extension team this September, Vondrak spent a year as a dietetics intern with Montana State University. Throughout the year, she gained a variety of experiences, including, but not limited to, working with community supported agriculture (CSA) farmers, teaching food preservation classes and working alongside dietitians at a hospital in Billings, Montana assessing the nutritional status of patients and assisting in medical nutrition therapies.

"I know how much working with a dietitian helped me. I will work to make a difference in the lives of South Dakotans through community nutrition outreach and one-on-one guidance," Vondrak said.

Courtesy of iGrow. Melissa Vondrak is the new SDSU Extension Community Health Assistant.

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SDSU Students Receive National Dairy Scholarships

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University (SDSU) students have been recognized for their achievements by being awarded scholarships from the National Dairy Promotion & Research Board (NDPRB).

Kirby Krogstad, Baltic, S.D., Audrey Souza, Milbank, S.D., and Jacob Weg, Worthington, Minn., will each receive a $2,500 scholarship from the NDPRB through Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI)

“The recognition for these students speaks to the quality and experience they bring with them when they come to SDSU,” says Dr. Vikram Mistry, SDSU Dairy & Food Science Department Head. “They are committed to dairy and the industry’s future. These are accomplished students and young professionals on their way to being contributors in the dairy industry.”

The annual scholarships are given to sophomore, junior or senior students enrolled in collegiate programs that emphasize dairy, including communications, marketing, business, economics, nutrition, food science and agricultural education.

“It’s gratifying and humbling to have the work I do as a student recognized,” says Krogstad. “It is also a testament to our department and the opportunities that they provide us students. Our Dairy & Food Science Department surrounds us with an amazing environment to flourish as we begin our careers.”

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, interest in a dairy career and demonstrated leadership, initiative and integrity. Candidates complete an application, submit their college transcript and write a short statement describing their career aspirations, dairy-related activities and work experiences.

For more information about the SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department, contact Dr. Vikram Mistry by email.

Audrey Souza, Milbank, S.D.

Jacob Weg, Worthington, Minn.

Kirby Krogstad, Baltic, S.D.

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Beginning Farmer & Rancher Symposium

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the Beginning Farmer & Rancher Symposium November 15, 2017 on the campus of South Dakota State University in Brookings.

To register for this free event, visit the iGrow Events page.

Transitioning back to the farm or ranch is the focus of the keynote speaker. Dr. Shannon Ferrell from Oklahoma State University will present, Having "The Talk" With Mom and Dad: Transition Strategies for Beginning Farmers.

"With many of the next generation thinking about returning to the family operation, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered to make the transition occur," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Today, there is a lot of information available on setting up an estate plan, however, a transition plan and learning to work with each other is a very important component for the operation and family to create. Dr. Ferrell does an excellent job addressing this," Gessner said.

Finances and other experts featured

The event will also feature a panel discussion on finances. "Finance is a big component to South Dakota operations, and understanding how the lending industry looks at new and beginning farmers is important," Gessner said.

The lenders selected for the panel will provide a first-hand knowledge to the attendees about that they need to be learning.

The Beginning Farmer & Rancher Symposium wraps up with the Voices of Experience panel.

"These 30 to 40-year-old individuals, who make up the panel, more than likely represent where beginning farmers and ranchers see themselves in 10 years," Gessner said.

The Symposium is geared toward 18 to 22-year-old college and technical education students however, any beginning farmer or rancher and families are encouraged to attend.

Agenda for Beginning Farmer & Rancher Symposium

11:30 a.m. Registration and check in begins at the Volstorff Ballroom, SDSU Student Union (Student Union Lane)
Noon Welcome from Donald Marshall, Interim Dean of SDSU College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
12:30 p.m. Keynote Speaker, Shannon Ferrell, Having "the Talk" with Mom and Dad: Transition Strategies for Beginning Farmers
1:45 Break
2 p.m. Finance Panel-What bankers want you to know
3:15 p.m. SDSU Ice Cream Break
3:45 p.m. Voices of Experience Panel-Beginning farmers that have been in our shoes
4:45 p.m. Door prize announcements and wrap-up

This event is free to all attendees due to sponsorship funding from the following sponsors: Farm Credit Services, The First National Bank of Sioux Falls, South Dakota Farm Bureau Young Producers Council, South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership, the Farm Legacy Group, Farm Service Agency, South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management, Wells Fargo, First Dakota National Bank and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. 

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Annual Sanborn County Fun Horse Show

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Thirty-seven 4-H members representing eight South Dakota counties gathered on October 1, 2017 at the 4-H Grounds in Forestburg for the Sanborn County Fun Horse Show an annual event held as a kickoff event for National 4-H Week by participating in horse safety training, and improving their horsemanship skills in several individual events.

"Working with horses builds confidence and provides responsibility for children, but nothing is more important than their safety," said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Sanborn, Aurora & Jerauld/Buffalo Counties.

To provide safety education, Eric Kobernusz of Mt. Vernon was invited to present during the event. Kobernusz served as the horse safety instructor and judge throughout the day. He taught members basic horse safety skills.

Safety is always at the forefront of any project done in 4-H.

Other information he taught included:

  • How to pick up a horse's foot
  • Safe ground handling
  • Checking tack
  • Loping each direction in the correct lead
  • Turning a horse on its forehand and hind quarter
  • Backing the horse on the ground

Events were held to reinforce what the youth learned earlier in the day.

Ribbons were awarded in each event to the top six finishers in each class of beginner, junior and senior participants.

Points were totaled and Grand Champion and Reserve Champion ribbons and prizes were awarded to overall beginner, junior and senior participants.

This event was sponsored by Sanborn County 4-H leaders.

To learn more about how you can become involved in 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

Results from the Sanborn County Fun Horse Show are as follows:

Showmanship

Senior:

           First place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
           Second place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
           Third place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
           Fourth place, Olivia Husmann, Davison County
Junior:
            First place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Third place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Fourth place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Cooper Ducheneaux, Davison County
Beginner:
            First place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Second place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Third place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fourth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
            Fifth place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Sixth place, Ashley Pommer, Davison County 
 
English Equitation
Junior:
            First place, Kate Long, Davison County
            Second place, Emerson Nielsen, Lincoln County
            Third place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fourth place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Fifth place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
Beginner:
            First place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Second place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County           
 
Stock Seat
Senior:
            First place, Olivia Husmann, Davison County
            Second place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
Junior:
            First place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Second place, Emerson Nielsen, Lincoln County
            Third place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Sixth place, Cooper Ducheneaux, Davison County
Beginner:
            First place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Second place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Third place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
            Sixth place, Ashley Pommer, Davison County
 
Reining
Senior:
            First place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Second place, Olivia Husmann, Davison County
            Third place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Junior:
            First place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Second place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Third place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fourth place, Emerson Nielsen, Lincoln County
            Fifth place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Sixth place, Kayeleigh Bowden, Beadle County
Beginner:
            First place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
 
Ranch Riding
Senior:
            First place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Second place, Olivia Husmann, Davison County
            Third place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Junior:
            First place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Third place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Emerson Nielsen, Lincoln County
Beginner:
            First place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Second place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County                        
 
Trail
Senior:
            First place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Second place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Junior:
            First place, Cooper Ducheneaux, Davison County
            Second place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Third place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Sixth place, Emerson Nielsen, Lincoln County
Beginner:
            First place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Third place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fourth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
 
Key Hole
Senior:
            First place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
            Second place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Third place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Junior:
            First place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Second place, Kayden Turner, Sanborn County
            Third place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Fourth place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Riley Roduner, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Sixth place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Beginner:
            First place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Third place, Shay Bechen, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
            Fifth place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Sixth place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
 
Pole Bending
Senior:
            First place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Second place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Third place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
Junior:
            First place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Third place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Riley Roduner, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fifth place, Kayeleigh Bowden, Beadle County
            Sixth place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Beginner:
            First place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Third place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
            Fifth place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Sixth place, Ashley Pommer, Davison County
 
Barrel Racing
Senior: 
            First place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
            Second place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
            Third place, Katelin Deneke, Jerauld-Buffalo County
Junior:
            First place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Third place, Tori Buffington, Beadle County
            Fourth place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Fifth place, Kadyn Turner, Sanborn County
            Sixth place, Kayeleigh Bowden, Beadle County
Beginner:
            First place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Third place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Fourth place, Hudson Fouberg, Lake County
            Fifth place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Sixth place, Ashley Pommer, Davison County
 
Break-away Roping
Senior:
            First place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
 
Flag Racing
Senior:
            First place, Mason Moody, Sanborn County
            Second place, Samantha Ford, Davison County
 
Junior:
            First place, Hannah Heezen, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County
            Third place, Riley Roduner, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Fourth place, Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fifth place, Cooper Ducheneaux, Davison County
            Sixth place, Abby Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
 
Beginner:
            First place, Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo County
            Second place, Cash Martinez, Hutchinson County
            Third place, Cannon Zoss, Sanborn County
            Fourth place, Shay Bechen, Sanborn County
            Fifth place, Alexis Roesler, Jerauld-Buffalo County
 
Overall:
Grand Champion Senior: Samantha Ford, Davison County 4-H member
Reserve Champion Senior: Mason Moody, Sanborn County 4-H member
 
Grand Champion Junior: Bailey Feistner, Sanborn County 4-H member
Reserve Champion Junior: Delaney Zoss, Sanborn County 4-H member
 
Grand Champion Beginner: Cash Martinez, Hutchinson 4-H member
Reserve Champion Beginner: Ella Kolousek, Jerauld-Buffalo 4-H member

Courtesy of iGrow. Katelin Deneke, a Jerauld-Buffalo 4-H member pictured here competing in reining during the 2017 Sanborn County Fun Horse Show held at the 4-H Grounds in Forestburg. 

Courtesy of iGrow. Cannon Zoss, a Sanborn Co. 4-H member recently participated in the 2017 Sanborn County Fun Horse Show held at the 4-H Grounds in Forestburg.  

Courtesy of iGrow. Olivia Husmann, a Davison Co. 4-H member recently participated in the 2017 Sanborn County Fun Horse Show held at the 4-H Grounds in Forestburg. 

Courtesy of iGrow. Eric Kobernusz of Mt. Vernon led equine educational workshop and served as the horse safety instructor and judge during the Sanborn County Fun Horse Show held at the 4-H Grounds in Forestburg. 

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National Volunteer E-forums are Now Offered

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H Volunteer e-forums can now be held at your local, county SDSU Extension Offices to accommodate your time and travels.

To set up a time and connection, contact your local SDSU Extension.

Help S.D. 4-H by recruiting leaders to attend these last two sessions.

"These sessions depend upon group interaction," said Audrey Rider, SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

Those who attend volunteer e-forums will be given ideas and resources to enhance their involvement, strengthen their impact and 4-H club.

"The sessions are designed to energize volunteers and provide them with a great opportunity to learn while networking with other volunteers, county-based and SDSU Extension staff," Rider said.

Sessions offered include:

November 2, 2017

Topic: STEMming into Animal Science, Growing True Leaders
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (central)
Details: Build on the roots of 4-H as we STEM our way into agriculture and animal science for experienced and new 4-H'ers.
Gain resources to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) leaders through traditional animal sciences project areas in communities.
Volunteers will gain ideas for planning and organizing fun, educational sessions for youth.

December 7, 2017

Topic: Helping 4-H'ers Grow in Life & Work
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (central)
Details: In 4-H, all youth can explore their future. Club meetings, events, camps, and after-school programs are places to develop life skills and expand their interests through 4-H.
During this session volunteers will share ideas, receive resources, and see a variety of successful programs that help youth focus on life-long learning, workforce readiness, and career exploration. Caring adults can help all young people make decisions and create their own positive future.

To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension Youth Program Advisor, a complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

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Sign Up To Join 2018 4-H Shooting Sports Hunting Team

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H now offers the Shooting Sports Hunting discipline. Sign up for an opportunity to join the State 4-H Hunting Shooting Sports team by November 13, 2017.

"In order to expand the awareness of this discipline which leads to a greater appreciation of the outdoors, 4-H in South Dakota will field a team for the 2018 National 4-H Shooting Sports Competition," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension 4-H Associate.

This is the first year the hunting discipline is offered in South Dakota. In the Hunting Discipline, competitors shoot in three discipline areas as well as participate in knowledge and skill challenges.

During the 2017 championships, the Hunting division shooting disciplines were archery, rifle and shotgun. There was also animal identification and orientation challenges as well as decision-making tests.

Apply before November 13, 2017

Selection for the Hunting team will be done through an application process. Applications are due to the State 4-H Office no later than November 13, 2017.

Based on applications, six individuals will be selected to receive training for the national competition.

"We will hold several practice sessions throughout the winter while a process will be used to select four of those six whom will make up the official team," Keimig said.

To apply, you must be a senior 4-H member who is currently involved in 4-H Shooting Sports Program. Applications are available on iGrow.

Selected applicants will be notified by December 1, 2017, at which time a practice schedule will be organized.

Participants should plan to attend at least three practices during the December to May time period.

"Participation in every discipline is not required but a basic familiarity with them will help," Keimig said.

He added that youth who have gone through hunter safety classes offered by South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks will have had a good foundation for much of the knowledge necessary.

South Dakota 4-H will make use of technology to decrease travel expense and time for practices.

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La Nina Watch Hints at Winter Season Climate Outlook

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A La Nina climate pattern is more likely than not, according to a recent forecast from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center.

"Currently, La Nina is 55 to 65 percent likely to affect our climate in the 2017-18 winter season," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Historically, La Nina climate patterns have often meant colder than average winter temperatures in the Dakotas. However, Edwards explained, this is not consistent, as La Nina events, since 1985, have not been as cold as those between 1950 and 1985.

"For the Northern Plains region there is no correlation between La Nina and winter season precipitation, and as a result it is challenging to forecast winter snowfall," she said.

Both of these historical patterns are reflected in the NOAA climate outlook released October 19, 2017.

For the months of December through February, much of the northern tier states are more likely to be colder than average, including northern South Dakota.

As far as precipitation, Edwards said there is a slightly increased chance of wetter than average conditions in western South Dakota.

"The fall season is often a season of transition," Edwards said. "This year is no exception as there have been both warm and cool periods with the western region remaining largely drier than average this season and the eastern region has had above average rainfall."

Drier weather has combines rolling

Soybean harvest is nearing completion in South Dakota's northern tier counties, which have been drier overall in recent weeks. Harvest is now underway in southern counties as drier weather has arrived and soil moisture has reduced.

Drought conditions continue to hold steady in the west. Some vegetation in drought-stricken areas did begin to green up after receiving rainfall in September.

"This does not help grazing this year but indicates that there is some hope for pasture recovery next spring if climate conditions are favorable after this year's drought," Edwards said.

Source: NOAA. Temperature outlook for December 2017 through February 2018. 

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Local Foods Connects Consumers to Growers

Categorized: Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Consumers who want to know more about where and how their food is raised are creating a bigger voice nationally.

"The increasing sales of local foods provides a bright spot for agriculture and a way to bring young farmers into agricultural production," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

O'Neill referenced a U.S. Department of Agriculture statistic which found more than 160,000 U.S. farmers sold $8.7 billion of local food directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and local distributors in 2015.

Of those producers 81 percent sold all their food within 100 miles of their farm.

"In rural communities, boosting local and regional markets can have a great impact on local economies and help keep rural families on the farm," O'Neill said. "New farmers can produce more food products on fewer acres and add value to operations that may have been in the family for years, or on new land where creativity in growing products for sale can provide a good income."

To aid American farmers wishing to sell local, Congresswomen Chellie Pingree of Maine introduced a bipartisan bill that would ease some of the hurdles small farmers face in the direct marketing of food products they raise. Readers who want to learn more can read about this in a Morning Ag Clips article found here.

To learn more about South Dakota's local food initiatives, contact O'Neill by email.

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Chute Side Vaccine Management Tips

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A good vaccination program is only as good as the techniques used in each step of administration, said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

"Seventy percent of beef operations administer vaccines to cows and calves at least one time every 12 months," said Grussing. "With many dollars being invested in vaccines and herd health each year, it's important to make sure the vaccines are taken care of, as well as administered correctly for livestock wellbeing and to help producers get the most bang for their buck."

Chute Side Tips

Below, Grussing outlines some tips to simplify the process and help producers stay organized during fall processing.

1. Start with clean equipment - draw up boiling or hot water into the syringe barrel and dry as much as possible. Periodically, syringes can be taken apart and boiled for a more thorough cleaning; however, some plastic or nylon syringes may not hold up to this process. Do not use chemical sterilants.

2. Keep vaccines cool and out of direct sunlight - Sunlight and UV light will inactivate vaccines so keeping vaccines and syringes in a cooler with ice packs while processing is critical during warm temperatures.

Low cost vaccine coolers can be made with a plastic bucket and lid or Styrofoam cooler by cutting holes in the lid or side. More elaborate vaccine coolers can be made with plastic coolers, pvc pipe and a drill.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service provides instructions for making a Chute Side Vaccine Cooler here.

3. Label Everything - label all vaccines to corresponding syringes with duct tape or different colored knobs and markers.

In addition, label the place in the vaccine cooler where they should be stored after every use to prevent mistakes. A simple 1, 2, 3 system can be utilized to alleviate any need to remember exact names of products.

4. Mix for 30 minutes - When mixing modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines, do not mix more vaccine solution than can be injected within 30 minutes.

Since MLV should be used right away and cannot be stored for future use, if an unexpected interruption occurs - chute breaks or cattle numbers do not match up with the amount of vaccine that is available - producers don't want to be stuck throwing out unused mixture.

Use a clean transfer needle to mix products and draw up new doses into the syringe with a brand-new needle every time to prevent contamination.

5. Check label for dosage and route of administration - To avoid giving the wrong dose of a vaccine or using the wrong administration method, take a few minutes to re-read vaccine labels and set syringes to the correct dosage before starting.

Also, determine the correct method of administration (subcutaneous or intramuscular) and put the correct size and length of needed on the appropriate syringe.

6. Clean and inspect - clean everything up and inspect all equipment before properly storing.

"These simple steps can help maximize efficiency when working cattle, while also improving efficacy of health programs leading to more profitable cattle on the operation," Grussing said. "Once everything is in order, processing cattle is much more enjoyable for everyone involved."

She also encouraged producers to utilize beef quality assurance best management practices by giving vaccinations in front of the shoulder in the neck region.

"Proper injection sites are not only are safer for the animal and handler but also the meat quality and wholesomeness," Grussing said.

Courtesy of iGrow. A good vaccination program is only as good as the techniques used in each step of administration, said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. One tip Grussing shares is to label all vaccines to corresponding syringes. Figure 1. Labeled cooler and vaccines ready for anyone who is loading syringes.

Courtesy of iGrow. A good vaccination program is only as good as the techniques used in each step of administration, said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. One tip Grussing shares is to label all vaccines to corresponding syringes.

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Deadline for 2018 Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Insurance

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - November 15, 2017 is the deadline to apply for 2018 Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance coverage. Before signing up, Matthew Diersen, Professor & SDSU Extension Risk/Business Management Specialist explains several aspects of the insurance which South Dakota livestock producers should consider.

"The insurance relies on a relationship between rainfall timing and forage production amounts," Diersen explained. "Producers insure against low precipitation during specific intervals for localized grids that ideally match their haying or grazing needs."

In South Dakota, the coverage is based on a Rainfall Index with indemnity payments tied to a lack of rainfall in a given area. Rainfall is grid-level and not farm- or ranch-level when measured against data made available since 1948.

"There is usually not a grazing history for individual farms, but county hay yields can be used as a proxy to measure the desired correlation," Diersen said.

Sporadic rainfall early in 2017 focused attention on insurance for pasture and forages for livestock feed. And, although the premiums to purchase Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance are subsidized similar to other crops, participation or use remains low.

In 2017, more than 75 million acres were insured with Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance nationwide. In South Dakota, despite a record 3.1 million acres insured, the percent of permanent pasture and rangeland covered is still less than 14 percent of the 22.5 million acres eligible, based on the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

"The use by county shows wide variation and no obvious pattern in where producers are using Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance coverage (Figure 1)," Diersen said.

The highest percent of acres covered, 67 percent, was in McCook County compared to no acres insured in Hamlin County.

"There can be wide variation between neighboring counties," Diersen said.

For example, 28 percent of acres in Harding County were insured, while only 7 percent of acres in Perkins County were insured.

"When aggregated, the benefits to the insured look quite clear," Diersen said.

For example, as of early October, 2017, South Dakota producers paid $10.8 million in premiums and received $17.1 million in indemnity payments.

"However, that masks the performance for individual locations," said Diersen.

He explained that while some producers have been surprised by large payments, others have been disappointed by small payments.

Correlation between rainfall & yields

Because the insurance relies on a relationship between rainfall timing and forage production amounts, producers have to allocate or weight acres across intervals.

For specific intervals in a given grid, the correlation may be very low between rainfall and yields. Other grids may have a stronger correlation, suggesting better performance of the insurance.

"There is not a lot of yield data to make robust judgments about performance," Diersen said. "But back-testing suggests some weighting methods may improve the effectiveness of the coverage."

Higher weights may be used for intervals that are correlated with low yields. Using weights in multiple intervals often, though not always, improves the correlation compared to using single intervals.

"Using a high weight for a given interval may forgo subtle relationships among intervals," he said.

New in 2018

Starting in 2018, the South Dakota non-irrigated haying base rate varies by district, ranging from $125 to $271 per acre.

The grazing base rates can change from year to year and for 2018 range from $16.20 to $35 per acre.

"Producers have to pick a productivity level from 60 percent to 150 percent of the county base," Diersen said. "They may consider a higher level if their replacement feed cost is high or a lower level if they have low yields in district."

He added that producers may also elect a low productivity level if their yields have been poorly correlated with rainfall in their grid, thus reducing premium costs for less-effective coverage.

Producers have to pick a coverage level from 70 to 90 percent of their grid base price level. Most 2017 acres in South Dakota were covered at the 90 percent level despite its lower subsidy rate. Some acres were covered at the 85 percent level. The tendency for high coverage levels increases the frequency of indemnity payments, but at premium costs.

For more information, interested insurable parties can contact a crop insurance agent or go on-line to the Risk Management Agency's Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance page. In addition, readers can visit iGrow and look up the Pasture, Rangeland and Forage insurance factsheet "Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) Rainfall Index Insurance, also available here.

Figure 1. Share of pasture acres insured with PRF in 2017.

Figure 2. Base rates by reporting district for grazing and haying in 2018

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Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule Answered

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule was developed by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in ways to minimize any food contamination risks.

"The Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule covers activities from field preparation through growth and harvest to storage and transport of the fresh produce," explained Rhoda Burrows, Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist.

While many of South Dakota growers will be exempt (see below), Burrows encouraged all growers to learn and employ basic principles of food safety.

She explained that the Produce Rule builds on previous programs, such as GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices), which have been a basis for food safety certification demanded by many wholesale buyers.

"The Produce Rule is the first time the Food and Drug Administration has issued regulations for fruit and vegetable production. It was developed in response to a number of produce-related food-borne illness outbreaks in recent years," Burrows said.

For producers, it may seem that rules and guidelines for growing fresh produce safely are constantly changing, as new laws and regulations are being phased in each year. To help address the confusion of many growers, Burrows shared answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about which laws or regulations apply to them.

Before she gets to the questions, Burrows explained that the Food Safety Modernization Act covers only produce that is "commonly consumed raw" such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, etc.

"Lists are available, in case a grower is not certain whether a given vegetable falls under the rule - for example, asparagus does not, but green beans and summer squash do," she said.

Your questions answered

Question: What do I legally have to do to market my fresh produce at a farmers market in South Dakota?

Answer: You will need a sales tax license for South Dakota and submit the sales taxes to the state. If you use a scale, you will need to have one that can be calibrated and certified by South Dakota Weights and Measures. Beyond that,

1. If your total produce sales are less than $26,000 per year, you do not fall under any produce regulations. You are still responsible for the safety of your produce, but there is no paperwork that you need to file.

2. If your total produce sales are over $26,000 and $500,000 per year, but over 50 percent of your "food" sales (and that includes grain and livestock) are at South Dakota farmers markets, restaurants or otherwise directly to consumers, you need to keep receipts to verify the destination of your produce. You also need to display your farm name, address, and contact information at the farmers market, or on produce containers delivered to the consumer.

Again, you are responsible for the safety of your produce, and we recommend you learn about produce safety through a GAPs or other food safety training, but it is not required by the state or federal government.

3. If your sales are over $500,000 per year, or more than 50% of your "food" sales are to wholesale markets, you fall under the full FSMA regulations. The rules are being phased in starting in 2018, and you need to take an official Produce Rule training as soon as possible to learn all that you will need to do and record. Contact Burrows for assistance.

Question: What all does the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule cover?

Answer: The rule is very comprehensive. A major section covers water source (wells and surface water require regular testing; surface water cannot be used post-harvest).

Other sections cover "biological amendments" (manure, compost, compost tea); domestic animals and wildlife intrusions; worker health and safety; harvest and post-harvest handling and storage. In addition to the guidelines themselves, all of the above require detailed record-keeping to verify that regulations were followed.

Question: My farm is certified organic. Are the records I keep for that certification sufficient for FSMA rules?

Answer: The record-keeping you have in place for organic certification will certainly be helpful, but you will need to add some aspects.

A publication is being prepared to help you with this, although if you take the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule training, you can see for yourself what you may need to add or alter in your current system.

Question: I can't keep birds from flying overhead and dropping on my produce in the field. What do I do?

Answer: A similar question is "Do I have to destroy my produce if a couple of deer walk through my field?" The FDA realizes that farms exist in the midst of nature and does NOT require farms to take measures to exclude animals from outdoor growing areas, or to destroy animal habitat.

The strategy instead is to recognize the food safety risks that animals might incur - primarily feces.

Growers should walk through their fields during the season and at harvest and mark any areas with feces. The feces can be carefully removed, being certain to remove all feces, along with crop or soil that may have been contacted, using a covered container.

Produce in the near vicinity (the distance depends on the crop, as well as whether there has been rainfall that might've splashed or spread the contamination) should not be harvested. All workers should be trained to watch for and know how to deal with contamination.

Question: What if my field flooded?

Answer: If flooding occurs, the timing and extent are critical.

If the flood occurs more than six months before harvest, and the water was NOT known to be heavily contaminated, such as by a feedlot or with chemical contamination, the crop can be harvested and used.

Within six months of harvest, if water all originated from pooling within the field, there is much less risk of contamination and it is not classified as a flood.

If water from outside the field floods the field and the harvestable portion of the crop was in direct contact, the produce is considered adulterated by the FDA and cannot be used as human food.

If the harvested portions of the plants, for example peppers, were above flooding, risk is much lower, and the grower should use good judgment about the probably of splashing, as well as of the source of the water.

To more information, or to participate in a Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule training, contact Burrows by email. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture helps fund food safety education and assistance for fruit and vegetable growers through a Specialty Crops Block Grant.

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Apply for the 2018 National 4-H Conference Trip

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - It's time for South Dakota 4-H members 16 to 18 years old to apply for the 2018 National 4-H Conference held in Chevy Chase, Maryland April 7 - 12, 2018.

"This is an amazing opportunity for South Dakota 4-H teen members," said Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.

As a delegate 4-H members will attend training workshops, become acquainted with government and have the opportunity to meet with state leaders. They visit various Federal Agencies to present on topics that they have researched during the week. They also go on tours of the Monuments on the Washington Mall.

"This conference gives 4-H members an opportunity to engage in personal development experiences that increase their knowledge, resources, and skills while they discuss topics affecting youth and 4-H programming nationwide," said Matthew Olson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Pennington County. "During the conference they are empowered to create positive social change in their communities and have the opportunity to practice and apply their skills in a real-world setting."

For South Dakota 4-H members, the National 4-H Conference trip is sponsored and fully funded by the South Dakota 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund.

Application deadline is Jan. 1, 2018. To apply, youth should fill out the electronic application found here. Youth must be 16 - 18 years old by the date of the event. Applicants should submit their applications to their local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing.

Once received, a designated selection committee will review applications and notify youth who are selected to attend National 4-H Conference as a delegate.

More information can be found with the application materials.

Conference overview and history

The National 4-H Conference is a premier professional and leadership development event for 4-H members, ages 16 - 19, across the U.S. and its territories.

The conference is administered by the National 4-H Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Held annually, except for several years during World War II, the camp's mission is to assist in the development of the next generation's leaders. Delegates attend training workshops, become acquainted with government and have the opportunity to meet with state leaders. More information on National 4-H Conference can be found on the 4-H website.

This experience has been a tradition for 4-H members since 1927.

In 1958, the event name, formerly known as the National 4-H Club Camp, was changed to National 4-H Conference.

Prior to 1959, delegates slept in tents on the grounds of the National Mall in front of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington, DC. In 1959, the meeting moved from the National Mall to the newly founded National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD (right outside of Washington, D.C.). 

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McCook & Roberts 4-H Members at National 4-H Dairy Conference

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H members Brianna Schock of McCook County and Kassidee Lentsch of Roberts County represented South Dakota during the National 4-H Dairy Conference held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin October 1-5, 2017.

"This event brings future dairy leaders from more than 30 U.S. states and Canadian provinces together to build upon their knowledge of the dairy industry," said Lauren Hollenbeck, 4-H Youth Program Advisor in Clay, Yankton and Union Counties.

During the event, Schock and Lentsch joined with other youth to learn about production, processing, marketing and the use of dairy products.

"They also developed a greater understanding of careers available in the dairy industry such as production, biotechnology, genetics and marketing - among others," Hollenbeck said.

The conference focused heavily on leadership and networking between industry professionals and future dairy professionals.

The conference provided many opportunities to practice both leadership and networking.

"We learned how to get out of our comfort zone and talk to new people," said Brianna Schock, 17, of Salem.

The trip was made possible with the support of the S.D Livestock Industry Trust Fund, Glacial Lakes Energy, Midwest Dairy Association and Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI).

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H members Kassidee Lentsch (left) of Roberts County and Brianna Schock (right) of McCook County represented South Dakota during the National 4-H Dairy Conference held in conjunction with World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin October 1-5, 2017. They are pictured here with Lauren Hollenbeck (middle), 4-H Youth Program Advisor in Clay, Yankton and Union Counties.

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Grazing in the Shoulder Season

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - There has been an increasing push towards lengthening the grazing season in order to feed less hay, and with good reason, explained Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Natural Resource Management Field Specialist.

"Winter feed is often one of the most expensive components of the cow-calf year. By reducing the amount of time spent feeding stored feeds, producers can realize significant savings in feed costs, labor and machinery costs," Doyle said.

Of course, grazing into and through the winter comes with many challenges. One of the simplest ways to start, Doyle said is by gradually extending the amount of time livestock graze in the fall.

"Extended grazing can help improve the long term economic and environmental sustainability of the ranch, but does not happen overnight," Doyle said.

Below, Doyle discusses strategy for tame and native pastures as well as management considerations.

"Grazing the shoulder season requires management and planning. It is not necessarily as simple as leaving the cows in the same pasture longer," he said.

Management strategies will differ depending on the plant communities and goals of the producer.

Tame pastures

Tame pastures can be an excellent option for fall grazing.

"Introduced cool season grasses will often green up and show some regrowth with the moisture and cooler temperatures of fall," Doyle said.

If pastures have received adequate rest since the last grazing period, these introduced grasses (especially smooth brome, Kentucky bluegrass, etc.) can handle fall grazing well - without impacting future productivity.

Hay fields

Hay fields, in particular sub-irrigated or meadow fields, can often regrow enough to provide a bit of late season grazing.

Fall can also be a good time, Doyle explained, to intentionally stress undesirable cool season grasses in a heavily invaded pasture to try to restore native species.

"When using this strategy, managers should take care to ensure they are limiting severe grazing to the appropriate areas and are not negatively impacting desirable plant communities," he said.  

Native range

Native range sites can produce excellent dormant season grazing, but can also be more sensitive to repeated grazing within the same year.

"Fall grazing on native range requires more planning to avoid negative impacts to the plant community," Doyle said.

He explained that a native pasture may not be suitable for fall grazing unless it has received a full growing season of deferment, was grazed lightly early in the season or ideal moisture conditions have provided excellent regrowth.

Drought management for late grazing native pastures and other management considerations

In dry years, Doyle said it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid grazing native sites twice during the growing season.

"One good strategy is to rest native pastures through the fall and use crop residue, cover crops or tame pastures until dormancy occurs on native range in winter," he said. "Many native grasses cure well and can be used as an excellent source of standing forage through the winter."

Regardless of the plant community, Doyle said the principles of sound grazing management still apply during autumn.

"One common mistake is to assume that plants can be grazed shorter during the fall because the bulk of the growing season is over," Doyle said. "However, the truth is, fall is an important time for plant and range health. It is important to leave adequate residual material to ensure plants have adequate root reserves for spring regrowth."

He added that residual material is especially important in drought years or for pastures that have been grazed recently.

"Adequate residual in fall and winter protects plant crowns and catches snow for moisture and to protect plants from extreme temperatures," he said.

Grazing too severely, except when addressing specific management goals, will only serve to cause a long term decline in pasture health and productivity.

"The season of use should be rotated among pastures to prevent dominance of one plant type and support diversity," Doyle said.

Doyle explained that the management changes when grazing forages late into the fall come with new challenges which producers should carefully consider when weighing the pros and cons of a new system.

"Challenges with grazing later in the year are primarily centered around bad weather," Doyle said.

He encouraged producers to consider the following questions:

  1. Is shelter readily accessible?
  2. Are the pastures accessible to deliver feed or bring livestock home?
  3. Are water sources reliable in cold temperatures?

"These obstacles can often be overcome, but require planning and forethought," he said.

Contact Doyle if you have any questions on fall grazing. He can be reached by e-mail.

Courtesy of iGrow. Grazing into and through the winter comes with many challenges. One of the simplest ways to start, is by gradually extending the amount of time livestock graze in the fall.

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Impact of Early Weaning on Replacement Heifers

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To manage through the drought, this year many producers have turned to early weaning their calves. How does this practice impact heifers meant for replacements?

"Research indicates that early weaning does not impact a heifer's opportunity to be retained as a replacement in the herd," said Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "Early weaning can also improve the condition and reproduction of the dam and manage through drought conditions."

Salverson added that the data also indicates early weaned heifers have the similar or greater reproductive success than normal weaned heifers.

Salverson pointed to research conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Montana.

In this study, heifers were either early weaned at 80 days or the typical 213 days of age.

Data was then analyzed to better understand weaning and its impact on heifer development phases.

Diet & Weight

The early weaned heifers were fed a 17.5 percent protein and 75 percent total digestible nutrients diet after weaning.

While the other group of heifers, the control group, remained on their dams for an additional 133 days.

By the time the control group was weaned, the early-weaned heifers, fed on a mixed ration, were heavier than the control group, weighing 526 pounds versus 493 pounds.

"This result indicates that early weaned heifers are able to successfully gain weight," Salverson said.

Feed quality essential

When early weaning onto pasture, Salverson said it is critical to have high-quality pasture along with a supplement to compete with a mixed ration.

Salverson referenced research conducted at the SDSU Antelope Range and Livestock Research Station in Northwestern South Dakota that confirms heifers can be early weaned on pasture with a supplement and have similar gains as their mates that stay on the cow.

She referenced another study conducted at the Range Research Laboratory in Miles City in which, during the heifer development phase, all heifers, early and normal weaned, were fed a 12.5 percent protein and 63 percent total digestible nutrient diet from the time after normal weaning to the end of the treatment in April.

Both groups of heifers received either a 72 or 82 percent rumen degradable protein.

"Regardless of the type of protein provided, the early weaned heifers remained heavier throughout the development period," Salverson said.

Reproductive Performance

Results from reproductive performance studies conducted at both SDSU Antelope Range and Livestock Research Station in Northwestern South Dakota and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Montana showed no difference between heat response, AI and overall pregnancy rates when looking at results from early weaned and control groups of heifers.

"These results indicate that early weaned heifers can be reproductively sound females that can stay in the herd as replacements," Salverson said. 

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2017 SD Master Lamb Producers Association Award Winners

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Brookings and Tabor are home to the 2017 South Dakota Master Lamb Producers honored at the 80th Annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Convention held in Brookings.
 
The 2017 South Dakota Master Lamb Producers include: 
Purebred Division - the Rob and Christy Zelinsky Family of Bar Zel Suffolks, Brookings;
Lamb to Finish Division - the Bon Homme Colony, Tabor.
 
To learn more about the South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association contact Jeff Held, Exec. Secretary, South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association and Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist by email

Courtesy of iGrow. Rob and Christy Zelinsky Family of Bar Zel Suffolks, Brookings were named the 2017 South Dakota Master Lamb Producers in the Purebred Producer division. They were honored during the 80th Annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Convention held in Brookings. (left to right): Jeff Held, Exec. Secretary, South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association and Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist; Rhett Zelinsky, Riggen Zelinsky, Rasea Zelinsky, Christy and Rob Zelinsky.

Courtesy of iGrow. Bon Homme Colony of Tabor, was named the 2017 South Dakota Master Lamb Producers in the Lamb to Finish Producer division. They were honored during the 80th Annual South Dakota Sheep Growers Convention held in Brookings. (left to right): Jeff Held, Exec. Secretary, South Dakota Master Lamb Producers Association and Professor & SDSU Extension Sheep Specialist; Daryus Stahl and Thomas Stahl, Sheep Flock Manager. 

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Be Proactive Protecting Personal Information

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Equifax data breach announced on September 7, 2017, affected thousands of South Dakotans.

To find out if your personal information was affected go to the Equifax website and click on 'Potential Impact.' Once you have entered the requested information, you will receive one of two messages:

  1. Personal information was not impacted; or
  2. Personal information may have been impacted.

Now that you know whether your information was impacted, what do you do?

You have a few options, explained Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist including; credit monitoring, fraud alerts and a credit freeze.

"This data breach has reminded consumers that our personal information is not private. Consumers need to be diligent about monitoring and protecting personal information," said Saboe-Wounded Head.

"Equifax if offering free credit and identity theft monitoring for a year," said Saboe-Wounded Head. "Keep in mind the monitoring is for Equifax only, not for Experian or TransUnion, the other two credit reporting agencies. Also, the monitoring is for one year only. After the year is over, you will need to purchase the credit and identity theft monitoring in order to continue the service."

Free fraud alert

A free fraud alert can be placed on your credit report, which is good for 90 days.

"When you register for fraud alert with one credit report bureau, the other bureaus will be contacted to add the alert," said Saboe-Wounded Head. "Freezing your credit file is the most effective option."

She explained that this action will prevent anyone from using your credit, including you.

The downside to freezing your credit is if you need access to your credit you will need to unfreeze. There is a charge for setting up and removing the credit freeze. Also, you have to set up the credit freeze with each credit bureau separately.

More information

Saboe-Wounded Head has prepared resources to help consumers make better decisions about how to monitor their credit after the data breach.

The iGrow article "Equifax Breach: Was My Personal Information Impacted?" explains how to check if your information was impacted and provides information for monitoring your credit report and identifying signs of fraud.

The article "25 Ways to Be Vigilant after the Equifax Data Breach," written by Dr. Barbara O'Neill from Rutgers Cooperative Extension, also provides steps you can take to monitor your credit.

To view these articles, visit the iGrow Healthy Families community.

If you have never reviewed your credit report, read the article "Reading Your Credit Report" to learn about the information contained in the report.

"The information in your credit report affects your credit score," Saboe-Wounded Head explained.

To learn about how your score is calculated and how your credit score impacts your access to affordable credit, read "Understanding Your Credit Score."

Since a credit freeze is recommended as the best option, read Dr. Barbara O'Neill's article "Credit Freeze in the Wake of the Equifax Hack" to learn about the process.

All articles can be found on the SDSU Extension website.

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