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Cool and Wet Spring Slowing Down Planting Season 2018

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Spring is slow to come this year, as late season snowstorms continue to impact South Dakota.

"Indeed, as of April 10, this is currently the coldest start to April on record for many locations in the state," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

She explained that during the first third of the month, air temperatures were 12 to 20 degrees below average nearly everywhere statewide.

Crop planting

It will come as no surprise that soil temperatures are struggling this season.

Although most of Central and Southern areas are thawed out through the profile, Northern and Eastern areas still have some frost in the soil profile. According to the SD Mesonet, as of April 10, frost depth was still 2 to 4-feet deep in the Northeast.

"As we are entering into the early season for corn planting, per the crop insurance rules, we have a little way to go before the soils are ready for corn seeds," Edwards said.

When considering planting conditions, ideal soil temperatures for corn are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, the SD Mesonet is measuring 30 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit at 4-inch depth. This is about 12 degrees cooler than last year at this time for most locations.

For spring wheat germination, ideal soil temperature is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so even that crop is slow to get planted this year in many areas.

Gardening

A lot of gardeners are asking when the last frost will occur.

Although average last frost ranges from late April to mid-May, moving from east to west across the state; this growing season Edwards said an exact date is not clear.

"The climate outlook through April 24, continues to show a cool and wet pattern across the state, transitioning to warmer and drier conditions the last few days of the month," Edwards said.

She said the active storm track will likely continue during this time.

April Climate Outlook

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Outlook, April 2018 will be slow to warm and looks to continue the current cool and wet pattern.

The weather has proven to be most challenging for South Dakota's livestock producers who are in the midst of calving and lambing. Wildlife have also suffered.

"In the long run, the additional moisture will be beneficial for improving drought conditions in pastures and grazing areas, and providing early season soil moisture in cropping areas," Edwards said.

She added, "Spring-like weather will come, as it always does, and we will embrace the warm weather."

Courtesy of SD Mesonet

Figure 1. Soil temperature at four inch depth as of April 11, 2018.

Courtesy of iGrow.

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Managing Heifers to Improve Longevity

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Management strategies to develop the best possible conception rate for replacement heifers are critical to improve longevity in the herd. Hence the ultimate goal is the same: getting the heifers bred - and preferably early in the breeding season.

"Developing or purchasing replacement heifers is a huge investment and potential financial returns depend on future calf production," explained Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

Walker points to research which indicates it takes net revenue from approximately six calves to cover the development and production cost of each replacement heifer.

What the research says about time of calving: Research conducted at USDA-Meat Animal Research Center (USDA MARC) and with South Dakota herds showed that heifers who calved in the first 21 days had greater longevity and increased weaning weight compared to heifers that calved in the second 21-day period or later.

The South Dakota study looked at 2,195 heifers who calved in the first 21-day period. These heifers had increased longevity (5.1 years compared to 3.9 years).

The USDA MARC longevity data resulted in 8.2 years for heifers calving in the first calving period; 7.6 years for those calving in the second calving period and 7.2 years for heifers that calved in the last portion of the calving season.

In addition, the study reported improved weaning weights through the sixth calf born for the heifers that calved in the first calving period.

What the research says about nutritional development: It has been reported numerous times that heifers developed in a drylot and turned out to grass immediately following breeding, have fewer pregnancies in the first 21 days.

"A possible reason is a negative plane of nutrition due to re-learning grazing skills," Walker said.

Walker points to research conducted at the Antelope Research Station, which reported that when heifers were moved from drylot to range, they lost weight (3.5 pounds per day) during the first week; whereas, range-developed heifers gained weight (2 pounds per day).

However, after 27 days of grazing, there was no difference in average daily gain between heifers developed in a drylot and heifers developed on forage.

"So, when observing heifers we may not notice this short period of negative energy; however, it can impact conception rates especially the early conceptions," Walker said.

What the research says about activity level: A second possible reason in decreased pregnancy rates, may be increased activity level.

Walker discusses an experiment conducted by SDSU researchers on 69 drylot developed heifers allotted to one of two treatments:

  1. Heifers remained in the drylot; or
  2. Heifers were moved to graze spring forage for 42 days prior to breeding.

Daily activity was measured by pedometers (steps per day). Heifers that were grazing spring forage took more steps per day compared to heifers in the drylot. However, following being moved to spring pasture, heifers that remained in the drylot increased activity compared to those with previous experience grazing spring forage.

"This is significant because energy requirements increase with activity," Walker said. 

Other Considerations

The question becomes, what management strategies can help improve conception rates and promote heifers conceiving earlier in the breeding season?

"First if your heifer system is working, there is no reason to change," Walker said.

However, if a livestock producer wants to see an improvement in early-season heifer conception rates below are a few management strategies to review.

Body condition score: Heifers should be in a body condition score of 5 or 6 and range between 55 to 65 percent of their mature weight.

Conception rates are impacted by heifers that are over or under-conditioned.

Reduce changes in diet immediately following breeding: Heifers can be kept in the drylot and fed a similar diet or heifers can be adapted to pasture prior to the breeding season.

The specific number of days that heifers should be on pasture prior to the breeding season is unknown. However, heifers should be on a positive plane of nutrition at the start of the breeding season.

Estrous synchronization: Estrous synchronization will group heifers to express estrus within a similar window of time as well as allow some heifers to express estrus earlier.

Estrous synchronization can be completed with artificial insemination or natural service.

For more details on specific estrous synchronization programs and other management strategies discussed in this article, contact Walker by email.

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Tractor Supply Teams up with SD 4-H to Help Youth

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Visit your local Tractor Supply this spring and purchase a paper clover to help fund scholarships for South Dakota 4-H youth to attend 4-H camps and leadership events.

"Every year, 4-Her's in South Dakota participate in a number of 4-H programs to help improve their knowledge and leadership skills," said Peter Nielson, SDSU Extension Coordinator of Youth Development. "Tractor Supply stores are continuing their long-standing partnership with 4-H through the 2018 Spring Paper Clover Campaign to make it possible for more youth in the community to experience 4-H's youth-led, hands-on programming."

Spend $1 April 11-22 & support S.D. 4-H

April 11-22, 2018 South Dakota Tractor Supply customers can participate in the 2018 Spring Paper Clover Campaign by purchasing paper clovers for $1 or more at checkout.

The funds raised will be awarded as scholarships to individual South Dakota 4-H members wishing to attend 4-H camping experiences.

"The South Dakota 4-H Youth Development program greatly appreciates the support of Tractor Supply and the generous donations from their customers. The Paper Clover Campaign provides opportunities for youth from across the state to participate in youth camping and leadership programs," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

Since it began in 2010, the partnership between Tractor Supply and 4-H has generated more than $11,000,000 in essential funding nationwide.

The spring and fall Paper Clover fundraiser raised more than $981,000 during the Fall 2017 campaign. The fundraising effort directly supports numerous 4-H camping programs in South Dakota.

About Tractor Supply

Founded in 1938, Tractor Supply Company is the largest rural lifestyle retail store chain in the United States. As of July 1, 2017 the Company operated 1,630 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states and an e-commerce website

Tractor Supply stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers and others who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. 

Stores are located primarily in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, livestock, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware, truck, towing and tool products; (3) seasonal products, including heating, lawn and garden items, power equipment, gifts and toys; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear; and (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use.

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 Listing icon.

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MyPI Empowers Youth With Disaster Preparedness Training

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Disaster can strike a family or community at any time. Are you prepared?

SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

"This hands-on training program is designed to get teens to take ownership of their preparedness plans, so they can take an active role in protecting themselves and those close to them," explained Ryan Akers, MyPI National Project Director and Associate Extension Professor with Mississippi State Extension.

Developed in 2013, following severe storms and devastating flooding in rural communities throughout Mississippi, the program is designed to train teens in several basic areas of disaster preparedness and then equip them with the necessary skill set to train seven families they know and help them prepare.

"Many times when disasters occur - whether it be a natural disaster, house fire or car accident - many youth think they are supposed to stay out of the way and wait for professional help to arrive. Those first moments are critical. While we certainly do not train our teens to self-deploy, we do provide them with the skill set to assist those in need prior to professional first responder arrival," Akers explained.

"A quarter of our nation's population is under the age of 18 ... this program shows them that responding to a disaster is not necessarily an "adult thing," and preparedness certainly is not," Akers continued. "We all have a place in helping secure our communities and our teens are empowered when they feel that they are a part of the solution, instead of an unused resource or barrier."

MyPI provides teens with basic skills to be safe before, during and after a disaster in numerous areas of preparedness including: basic disaster preparedness, fire safety and utility control; basic disaster medical operations; light search and rescue; disaster psychology, among others.

Through MyPI, students complete a technology track, career track, disaster simulation. They also have the option to receive CPR and AED certification. MyPI also gives youth the option to gain additional training in specific types of natural disasters which may be common in their region of the country.

Once MyPI program was proven successful in Mississippi, Akers began introducing it to other states by training extension personnel, who train teens, who then assist families and friends in their communities become better prepared for emergencies and disasters. South Dakota is the twelfth state to receive a MyPI grant.

Through the program's capstone leadership program, for every 25 teens graduated, 175 households will have enhanced preparedness measures through the development of emergency supply kits and family communication plans.

By the time they graduate, teens will make a widespread community impact in addition to gaining leadership characteristics, civic responsibility, self-esteem and empowerment.

In 2014 and 2017, MyPI received the FEMA Individual Community Preparedness Division's national award for most outstanding youth preparedness program.

"The idea is not to make youth completely self-sufficient, but to give youth the skill set to do basic things until more help arrives and so they are not part of the problem," said John Keimig, the SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist, who serves as the MyPI program coordinator in South Dakota.

This work is supported by the Smith Lever Special Needs Grant program, Grant no. 2017-41210-27102/project accession no. 1014022 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

MyPI training in six South Dakota counties

MyPI training will begin mid-2018 in the following six South Dakota counties: Beadle, Brown, Clay, Harding, Minnehaha and Pennington. Local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisors and certified MyPI Instructors will be providing the training and oversight to interested youth.

To learn more about MyPI visit thier website. To learn how you can participate, contact Keimig by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

Recently, SDSU Extension 4-H staff received training in MyPI. Pictured here (left to right) R yan Akers, Mississippi State University Extension and MyPI Overall Grant Coordinator; Bobby Goff, MSU Extension; Laurie Elmore, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Harding County; John Madison, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Beadle County; Nathan Skadsen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Jane Amiotte, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Pennington County; Paul Pederson - MyPI volunteer, Clay County; Becca Tullar, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Brown County; Lauren Hollenbeck, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Clay County; John Keimig SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist and MyPI S.D. Grant Point of Contact and Dave Nichols, Mississippi State Citizens Cop Council.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension, is working to empower South Dakota teens, their families and communities through MyPI. My Preparedness Initiative or MyPI, is a two-time national award-winning youth disaster preparedness/youth leadership program developed by Mississippi State Extension and adopted by SDSU Extension.

Recently, SDSU Extension 4-H staff received training in MyPI. Here, Becca Tullar, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Brown County, practices using a fire extinguisher.

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Raise Your Hand to Support 4-H Youth & Families

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H, the largest youth development program in the nation, is calling on alumni and supporters to raise their hands to help bring 4-H to 10 million youth by 2025. Currently 4-H empowers nearly 6 million young people in every county across America, including more than 9,000 4-H'ers in South Dakota.

States with the most raised hands, have the opportunity to earn monetary awards up to $20,000.

"Having experienced our programs first-hand, our alumni know best what a positive impact 4-H had on them growing up, which is why we're reaching out to them to support the next generation of true leaders in South Dakota," said Donna Bittiker, SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director.

For more than 100 years, the 4-H impact on young people has been immeasurable.

"Whether they're running Fortune 100 companies, performing to sold-out crowds, leading community programs or volunteering to empower local youth, 4-H alumni are the epitome of true leadership," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. "Our alumni and supporters across the country now have the perfect opportunity to support 4-H youth in their communities, ensuring that the next generation has the opportunity to benefit from the 4-H experience."

Visit www.4-H.org/RaiseYourHand

As part of the Raise Your Hand campaign, which runs April 1 to May 15, 2018, 4-H is asking supporters in South Dakota to 'Raise Your Hand' to help kids in our community by providing the hands-on learning that only 4-H provides.

Joining is easy - alumni can go online and fill in their details. Raising your hand is a vote towards a $20,000, $10,000 or $5,000 award for the states with the most hands raised. Help South Dakota be one of the winning states, vote now.

"4-H gives kids the opportunity to learn by doing, to grow from not only the encouragements brought by success, but also through challenges and failures, as these skills will help them to handle whatever life may throw their way," explained Jennifer Nettles, Grammy-award winning musician, actress and 4-H national alumni spokesperson.

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 Listing icon.

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Edgar S. McFadden Symposium on Wheat Improvement to be Held in Brookings on May 1-2, 2018

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University will host the third Edgar S. McFadden Symposium on Wheat Improvement on May 1- 2, 2018.

“We are excited to host this symposium for the second time and are honored to continue to recognize McFadden’s work on wheat development,” shared Dr. David Wright, Head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. “We have some top-notch speakers this year, so I think the event will be very educational and enjoyable for all who attend.”

The symposium is focused on continuing Edgar S. McFadden’s legacy by honoring him and other global leaders in wheat research. Edgar S. McFadden accomplished the first major breakthrough in conferring genetic resistance to stem rust in 1916 in the garden of a Brookings boarding house. The seed from which it grew was named “Hope wheat.”

“McFadden’s breakthrough kindled the Green Revolution,” said Dr. Wright. “His work is still making a difference today.”

The symposium begins with a banquet at McCrory Gardens on the evening of Tuesday, May 1. Dr. R.A. McIntosh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Sydney, Australia, will be speaking about rust history and the way forward. Kevin Kephart, Vice President Emeritus for Research and Economic Development at South Dakota State University, will also be sharing the story of Edgar S. McFadden.

A scientific symposium featuring the latest research on wheat will be held Wednesday, May 2, in the SDSU Student Union.

Sanjay Rajaram, 2014 World Food Prize Winner for developing disease-resistant wheat, will kick off the day as the keynote speaker. The scientific symposium will be comprised of educational sessions featuring speakers from universities and organizations who will discuss the importance of wheat and share latest research.

All sessions are open to the public. Early-bird registration closes April 21, 2018, but onsite registration will be available. There is a reduced price for students to attend.

Register online. For more information, contact the Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department by email or 605.688.4600.

Dr. David Wright, South Dakota State University Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department Head.

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Herbicide Considerations for Cover Crop Planting

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Long residual pre-emergent or early post-emergent herbicides may cause stand reduction or complete failure of cover crops.

"Growers need to consider the rotational restrictions and intervals of herbicides before application," explained Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist. "This can become a larger issue if the cover crop will be grazed."

Rotational restrictions can be found on most herbicide labels under the title of similar wording to "rotational crop restrictions" or "rotational crop guidelines." Specific guidelines, usually found under "forage restrictions," must be followed for cover crops that are grown for feeding livestock whether for grazing or forage.

Shaffer added that depending on efficacy of the herbicide, residual can both affect in-season and/or post-harvest cover crop establishment.

Crop rotational interval

A few chemical companies add common cover crops and rotation intervals to their labels. If a cover crop is not listed on the label, it then falls into the "other" category.

Most corn, soybean and small grains herbicide labels do not have rotational intervals for non-harvested or harvested cover crops.

A crop rotation interval is the required time between application time and the time of next planting.

The crop rotation interval is required for two main reasons, Shaffer explained. First, a rotation interval ensures potential herbicide residues in the soil will not affect plant establishment. And, it ensures there are no unsafe levels of herbicide in plant tissues.

"If a producer does not intend to harvest the cover crop, the rotation interval requirement is not a legal requirement, but if the producer plans on harvesting the cover crop the label restrictions must be followed," Shaffer said.

For example, if a producer grows wheat and applies an herbicide with plant back restriction of six months for cover crops. If the grower goes ahead and plants cover crops for non-forage use five months after application, the producer would be fully responsible for any damage that occurs to planted cover crop as a result of residual herbicide.

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2018 SDSU Youth Livestock Judging Camps to be held June 7-9, 10-12

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Livestock Judging Team will host two youth livestock judging camps in Brookings, S.D. on June 7 - 9 and June 10 - 12.

The camp is recommended for fourth grade students through seniors in high school. Younger ages are also welcome to attend with a chaperone. Students will be divided based on their ages and judging levels at the camp. Introductory to advanced-level skills related to placings and reasons for judging swine, beef, goats and sheep will be taught. 

“We are really going to focus on each individual at the camp, so there will be significant one-on- one time between attendees and SDSU Livestock Judging Team members and coaches,” SDSU Livestock Judging Team Coach Brady Jensen explains.

Cost to attend the camp is $250. The registration fee includes two night’s lodging in SDSU dorms, six meals plus refreshments, recreational activities each evening, a livestock judging manual, and a camp t-shirt.

Registrations are due by May 24th. Contact Brady Jensen at 605.688.5165 or by email for more information. 

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2018 SDSU Natural Resources Camp to be Held July 16 – 20

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Department of Natural Resource Management will host its annual Natural Resources Camp for high school students on July 16 - 20, 2018.

The camp is intended for students entering ninth to 12th grades who have a strong desire to learn more about the natural world or have an interest in pursuing a career related to natural resources.

Camp activities will include fish sampling, aquatic invertebrate sampling, birds of South Dakota, stream ecology, prairie plant diversity, vegetation sampling, identifying mammal tracks, soil health, orienteering, nocturnal invertebrates, and careers in natural resources. The final list of activities is subject to change based on weather conditions or other unforeseen issues. Additional activities may also be added. 

“Natural Resources Camp was created not only for educational outreach, but also for students who are considering future careers in ecology, environmental science, rangeland ecology, natural resource law enforcement, and wildlife and fisheries,” says Michele Dudash, Natural Resource Management Department Head. “Camp is an excellent way for students to ‘get their feet wet’ and learn more about natural resource careers.”

Space for the camp is limited to 25 males and 25 females and is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration will close on May 31. The registration fee is $300 and includes lodging and meals. Camp will be held at the Oak Lake Field Station in Astoria, S.D., which is located 22 miles northeast of the SDSU campus.

To access the camp registration form and for more information, please visit the SDSU Natural Resources Camp page. Contact the Department of Natural Resource Management at 605.688.6121 or by email

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Great Plains Fire Tour Visits the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A team of professional firefighters recently met with members of the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA), in Bonesteel as part of the Great Plains Fire Tour. The team included professional firefighters from various government agencies, non-profit organizations and international firefighting agencies.

South Dakota was the last stop in a four-state tour which also included Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. The objective of the tour was to assist on prescribed fires and review prescribed burn plans created by a variety of agencies, organizations and local prescribed fire cooperatives throughout the Great Plains.

The tour travels with their own firefighting trucks, equipment and gear. All the firefighters completed their pack test and are National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWGC) I-100, S-130, S-190 and FEMA IS-700 certified.

"The MMRPBA was extremely grateful for the opportunity to spend time with this amazing group of firefighters and we hope to see them again next year," said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.

The MMRPBA had several prescribed burns scheduled for the tour in South Dakota. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. So, the MMRPBA asked the tour group to review burn plans for the upcoming burn season and spent some time discussing goals and challenges of cedar tree control and rangeland health within the Missouri River corridor in south-central South Dakota.

"Due to the extremely rugged terrain within the Missouri River Corridor, the MMRPBA sought advice on conducting prescribed burns in such difficult terrain with high fuel loads," Kelly said. "The tour group provided excellent advice on different ignition sequences as well as advice on including multiple landowners on one prescribed burn to simplify the terrain difficulties."

The MMRPBA was established in 2016 to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed fires on land along the Missouri River and surrounding areas. Kelly is involved in the organization through his role with SDSU Extension.

To learn more about the impact prescribed burns can have on your rangeland, contact Kelly by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. A team of professional firefighters recently met with members of the Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA), in Bonesteel as part of the Great Plains Fire Tour. The team included professional firefighters from various government agencies, non-profit organizations and international firefighting agencies.

Members of the Great Plains Fire Tour are pictured here with MMRPBA members. Front row left to right: Breck Klein, U.S. Forest Service (Idaho); Fernando Ivan Caceres Castro, EIRIF, La Palma (Spain); Roberto Romero Muino, GEACAM (Spain); Patty Carrick, U.S. Forest Service (Michigan); Tom Hausmann, MMRPBA Director and Erin Banwell, Forest Stewards Guild (New Mexico).

Back Row left to right: Davin Luoma, Bureau of Land Management (Utah); Angel Larriba Aldea, GEACAM (Spain); Victor Riera Jimenez, EIRIF, La Palma (Spain); Sean Kelly, MMRPBA/SDSU Extension Liaison; Sara Grim, MMRPBA Secretary/Treasurer; Brad Christensen, MMRPBA Director/Training Officer and Dave Steffen, MMRPBA Vice-Chairman. 

Not pictured: Ben Wheeler, Pheasants Forever (Nebraska); Keith Hovorka, MMRPBA Chairman; Greg Schmitz, MMRPBA Director and Mark Green, MMRPBA Director.

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Pre-emergence Herbicide Program is Always A Good Idea

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To prevent weed resistance, it is always good to start with a pre-emergence program, said Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

"Usually the pre-emergence is a different chemistry than what would be used post-emergence - and it will buy time before doing a post treatment if the pre-emergence is activated," Johnson explained.

Due to current wet, cool conditions, spring 2018 many growers may see weeds which have already germinated prior to the application of a pre-emergence product after planting.

"In order to activate most pre-emergent products, they need about one-half to three-fourth of an inch of moisture. So, if weeds germinate before the pre-emergent was activated, there may be some weeds that will continue to grow. These weeds will need a post-emergent treatment for control," Johnson said.

However, there are some pre-emergence products on the market which can kill some, small emerged weeds. Atrazine is a pre-emergence product with the largest window to control emerged weeds.

"To insure the product being used has kick back control, check you label," Johnson advised. "If it does not, consider applying a burndown with the pre-emergent to take out emerged weeds, or consider doing one more tillage pass before planting."

Johnson reminds growers that once the product has been activated, it will start to control germinating weeds and should work as normal from this time forward.

"In most cases, no chemical is lost waiting for activation. In all cases, read the label for more information on how you product works," he said. "Do not add more of the same product to the field unless it is recommended as this may cause injury to the crop. Even if the field had some temporary flooding the product is usually still there." 

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Dandelion Season is Nearly Here

Categorized: Gardens, Home & Garden Pests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Although current weather conditions have detained them, the yellow flowers of spring are beginning to emerge.

Thriving in cool damp weather, if dandelions were not sprayed last fall, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator said South Dakotans can expect to see them emerge soon.

"Spring treatments are not as effective as fall but can be used to stop the yellow flowers from producing viable seed," he said of the perennial weed that can produce multiple flowers. A large plant can produce up to 50 flowers with several seeds per flower.

This spring, Johnson said herbicide treatments can be used, either the weed and feed type granule or a liquid spray. He explained that in order for the chemical to be effective, it must enter thought the leaves.

Spray products can be applied with a variety of equipment.

"Keep sprays coarse and use low pressure to reduce the chance of spray going on non-target sensitive plants. Remember the older the dandelion the harder it will be to kill," Johnson said.

Scattered plants can be dug, but be sure to cut the root off below the ground so the crown is killed to avoid the plant coming back as a new plant.

Mark your calendars

The best time to control dandelions is after the first frost, so make a note to apply chemical fall 2018.

"Remember, even if you lawn is dandelion free this spring, the weed's seedlings can return next year," Johnson said.

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Register for 2018 Teen Leadership Conference Today

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Youth Council invites all South Dakota teens, ages 13 to 18, to attend the 2018 Teen Leadership Conference held on the South Dakota State University campus, June 4-8, 2018.

This year's camp theme is Fear Factor: Face Everything and Rise.

"Teen Leadership Conference provides teens with a fun balance of leadership training, personal growth and campus exploration," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor.

Register by April 20 and save

To register for Teen Leadership Conference, visit the iGrow Events page. Early bird registration is $275 and open until April 20, 2018. In order to receive the early bird registration, registrants must enter "TLC25."

General registration is $300 and extends from April 21-May 8, 2018.

Registration fee includes room, all meals and a t-shirt. Transportation to and from Brookings will not be provided, unless otherwise arranged by county 4-H offices.

Fear Factor: Face Everything and Rise

"The 2018 Teen Leadership Conference will provide the experiences needed to prepare youth for secondary education and career readiness," Risner explained.

Throughout the week, teens will face their fears as it applies to leadership development. Complete tract and workshop descriptions are located at the iGrow events page.

Teens will have the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of engaging networking opportunities at many landmarks across campus, such as Club 71 in the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

"Teens should attend TLC because it's a place for them to make lifelong friends and connections that they will have for the rest of their life," said Taylor McMartin, 4-H Youth Council member from Turner County.

This year, the Youth Council is excited to welcome keynote speaker, Bob Prentice, aka "Mr. Attitude." Prentice will discuss fears as they apply to leadership, with attitude of course.

For more information about the conference, please contact SDSU Extension South Dakota 4-H Youth Council Co-Advisors, Amber Erickson by email or Hilary Risner 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.

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

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SDSU Extension Hosts Youth AI Day Camp

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 30 4-H youth involved in the 4-H beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

During the day camp, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle.

"Understanding how the female and male beef reproductive tracts work is critical to a successful A.I. program," said Audra Scheel, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Sanborn, Aurora & Jerauld/Buffalo Counties.

Scheel along with Grussing and Salverson helped organize the event. "The youth asked great questions," Scheel said. "Last year the day camp was held at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell. It's our goal is to move this day camp around the state so we can provide the opportunity to youth across South Dakota. We want to see youth excited to go home and assist with A.I. on their family cattle operations."

Once they learned the basics, youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

"This is a critical part of A.I., you can have the best technician in the world inside the cow, but if the semen isn't handled correctly outside the cow, your conception rates with show it," Salverson explained to youth during the demonstration.

Youth were also able to work with real, female beef cow reproductive tracts and learn how pregnancy tests and ultrasound equipment work. These breakout sessions allowed youth to see what they are working with inside a cow. According to post day camp surveys, the hands-on portion of the day received high marks by youth attendees.

"At camp, we provided youth with knowledge and hands-on techniques of A.I., but then followed that up with how to pregnancy check cows to see how successful A.I. was. This really brings the day full circle for the kids," said Taylor Grussing.

In addition to A.I. information, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate led a session on how to handle vaccine and led a breakout session on proper protocols. Youth also engaged in a breeding soundness demonstration conducted by George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist and Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

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 Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

Front row, right to left: Tyler Rasmussen, Elkton; Cameron Noethlich, Doland; Austin Rawden, Mina; Ty Bergh, Florence; Trevor Bergh, Florence; Kahli Gall, Hurley; Riley Rasmussen, Elkton; Cassandra Twedt, Beresford and Ryan Blagg, Salem.

Middle row, left to right: Ruby Hoiten, Montrose; Natalie Grocott, Colton; Micah Leonard, Armour; Drew Pederson, Sherman; Kade Grocott, Colton; Kylie Harriman, Parker; Lexi Osterman, Conde; Ryann Grussing, Platte; Kiley Klein, Madison; Journey Mehlhalf, Menno; and Aubrie Hartley, Henry.

Back row, left to right: Elliott Chase, Salem; Katelyn Lueth, Montrose; Lindsey VanderWal, Bruce; Tessa Pederson, Sherman; Evan Bly, Garretson; Tate Bergh, Florence; Brodie Robinson, Henry; Grant Loehrer, Watertown; Nolan Dvorak, Lake Andes; Teigen Hadrick, Faulkton; and Molly Myers, Canton.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility. During the day camp, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H member, Austin Rawden, Mina, looks at a fetus with the use of an ultrasound machine during the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the day camp where SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the SDSU Extension Youth AI Day Camp held March 17, 2018, at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility 4-H member, Nolan Dvorak, Lake Andes, learns how to correctly load a syringe under the supervision of Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

More than 30 4-H youth involved in the beef project area traveled to Brookings to participate in the day camp where SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Taylor Grussing and Robin Salverson guided youth through the process of artificial insemination (AI) in beef cattle. Youth received hands-on practice in pulling, thawing and loading semen.

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SD 4-H International Program Seeks Host Families

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H International Exchange program is seeking South Dakota families to host middle-school age youth from Japan for summer 2018.

"Being a host family is a really amazing experience," said Kristi Van Tassel-Hinkle, South Dakota's 4-H International Program coordinator, a 4-H leader and the owner of New Beginnings Greenhouse in Highmore. "I enjoy seeing how much the youth change after living in a different country for a month."

Kristi was first introduced to 4-H International Exchange Program when her daughter, Brittany traveled to Costa Rica for a month-long exchange. Since that time, she has hosted three youth. This year her youngest daughter, Shelby is participating in a 4-H exchange to Japan.

"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.

Kristi explains that in addition to teaching the youth you host about life in South Dakota, her family learned a lot about the country and culture of the youth they hosted.

"In addition to the friends they have here in South Dakota, my children now have friends from Japan and Norway," she explained

Sign up to host

Host families are needed for summer 2018: July 21-August 18.

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 traveled abroad through States' 4-H International exchanges.

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

To learn more about how you can become a host family, contact Kristi Hinkle at 605.852.2298, or 605.870.0080 or email her.

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SDSU Extension Veterinarian Recognized

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

South Dakota State University recently recognized Russ Daly with the F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Service in Extension/Outreach. Daly is an SDSU Professor in the Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department, the SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian.

"Dr. Daly has dedicated his life to serving the community and stakeholders of South Dakota, the nation and the world by providing the highest quality outreach through applied research, scholarly output, consultations and the development of relationships with the public," said Jane Christopher-Hennings, Head of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department at SDSU.

Service to South Dakotans, their livestock and companion animals, has been the mission of Daly's diverse career.

"Veterinary medicine is a wonderful profession that has provided me with so many different opportunities," said Daly, who began his career as a rural, large and small animal veterinarian. "Throughout my career I have had the wonderful opportunity to truly understand the relationship between people and their animals and work to keep humans and animals healthy."

Growing up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Brown County, Daly said he always knew he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to remain closely connected to land and livestock. Initially, he didn't consider veterinary medicine.

When he first enrolled at SDSU, it was as an Agricultural Engineering student.

It wasn't a good fit.

Daly tried other majors, but he wasn't content.

Then, while reading a profile article on a local veterinarian in The Collegian, Daly's career goal became clear.

"A light bulb went off. This was the career I'd been looking for. As a veterinarian I could stay involved in agriculture, be part of a small community and, be intellectually challenged every day with the science and medicine involved in keeping animals healthy," Daly said.

In 1990, Daly received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University and was asked to join the private practice in Montrose, South Dakota where he had completed his preceptorship.

During his years in private practice, along with pets, Daly's clientele represented nearly all aspects of animal agriculture. He worked with cow/calf herds, feedlots, dairy herds and swine facilities.

"Rural South Dakota is a great place to be a veterinarian," he said, adding that today, he calls upon his experience often.

"I learned so much from the livestock producers I worked with," he said. "At first, as a new veterinarian, I wasn't very confident - it took time, mentorship from more experienced veterinarians, mentorship from livestock producers I worked with and a lot of experience."

Throughout his career, Daly says it is the human aspect of his work that is most rewarding.

"The most enjoyable part of veterinary work was interacting with clients. In private practice I got to know their families and operations well, and many clients became my friends," Daly said.

In fact, it was the opportunity to serve more South Dakotans that appealed to Daly when he was asked to join the SDSU Extension team and South Dakota State University faculty in 2005.

Daly saw his new role as a way to utilize his practical, private practice experience and collaborate with SDSU faculty and researchers to solve health challenges facing South Dakota's livestock producers and the general public.

"I get to investigate interesting questions and try to find answers," he said.

In addition to owners of pets and livestock, today as Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian Daly's clientele has expanded to encompass students, human and animal health researchers, faculty and veterinarians across the state and country.

Daly's ability to connect with those he serves is not overlooked, explained Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota State Veterinarian, S.D. Animal Industry Board in a letter of recommendation.

"Dr. Daly's resume is impressive and speaks volumes as to the many qualifications that he possesses which make him an ideal candidate for the F.O. Butler Award. It is not only that which is listed on his resume, however, that makes him deserving of the award. Rather, it is also the humble and dedicated manner in which Dr. Daly interacts with those whom he serves," Oedekoven wrote.

As the SDSU Extension Veterinarian, Daly works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

When a disease outbreak occurs or a new disease appears in the state, Daly relies on the state's veterinary network to keep him informed, aiding his  work with researchers at the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory to implement testing procedures, develop tests and treatment plans.

In his role as State Public Health Veterinarian, Daly works closely with those in human medicine. Together with medical doctors, he helped launched South Dakota One Health, a working group focused on public health education and prevention of zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are those that can be transmitted from animals to humans or humans to animals.

"There is a lot of contact between humans and animals, particularly in South Dakota where agriculture and livestock production is such an important part of our economy," explained Susan Anderson, MD, Professor and Chair of Family Medicine Department at University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and Director of Frontier and Rural Medicine Program. "Dr. Daly has worked as a vet in a small community. He understands what it is like to live and work in rural South Dakota - these are the populations we are trying to impact."

When Daly joined SDSU Extension and SDSU, he was hired based on his field experience and ability to communicate. While maintaining a demanding work schedule, Daly received a Master of Science in 2013 from SDSU.

Daly pours his heart, soul and intellect into every aspect of his work.

In 2013, he served as Interim Department Head of the SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, and Director of the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL); he serves on the South Dakota One Health working group; he is chair of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Animal Contact in Public Settings Compendium Committee; serves as chair of the SD Veterinary Medical Association Continuing Education Committee and coordinates outreach for the SDSU Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.

In addition to the F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Service in Extension/Outreach, Daly has been named Outstanding Faculty Member in Extension, by the SDSU Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture and has been nominated as the Ag-Bio Teacher of the Year.

Courtesy of iGrow. Russ Daly, SDSU Professor in the Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Department, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

Courtesy image. Growing up on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Brown County, Russ Daly, SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian said he always knew he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to remain closely connected to land and livestock. Daly his pictured here as a baby with his father, Kenneth, and grandfather Richard. 

Courtesy of iGrow. Russ Daly, SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian works closely with veterinarians across the state to understand livestock and pet owners' resource and information needs. Through bi-weekly news columns, journal articles and seminars, Daly provides research-based information and education to veterinarians and their clients.

Courtesy of iGrow. During his years in private practice, along with pets, Daly's clientele represented nearly all aspects of animal agriculture. He worked with cow/calf herds, feedlots, dairy herds and swine facilities. Today, as SDSU Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian and State Public Health Veterinarian, he calls upon his field experience often.

"Rural South Dakota is a great place to be a veterinarian," said Russ Daly.

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SDSU Extension Selected as National Anchor Partner

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension was recently selected by Everyday Democracy, a national leader in civic participation and community change, to serve as an Anchor Partner.

"It is a special honor to welcome SDSU Extension as an Anchor Partner," said Martha McCoy, Everyday Democracy's Executive Director. "Our work with them dates to the beginning of the Horizons program, in which hundreds of small communities across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest have used Dialogue to Change to address poverty and make a difference in the lives of their residents. SDSU Extension is a leader in community engagement in this area. Their work shows the power of people of all backgrounds coming together to solve public problems and create strong communities that work for everyone. We look forward to working with them, learning from them, and sharing their lessons and stories with our network across the country."

Anchor Partners are leaders in addressing structural racism, engaging all different kinds of people in public dialogue and linking dialogue to action and positive change. They are selected for their effective work and dedication to shared principles.

"Everyday Democracy is a natural partner for the work of the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team," explained Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director. "SDSU Extension has already utilized their materials addressing racism in several of our programs. We are excited to be an Anchor Partner and the benefit it will bring to South Dakota communities."

As an Everyday Democracy Anchor Partner, SDSU Extension becomes part of a national learning network, share lessons and tools on racial/social equity-driven dialogue and change practices.

Anchor Partners contribute to a larger movement of regional and national organizations dedicated to strengthening democratic capacity for community voice and change.

"Anchor Partners help build a civic infrastructure for equitable, democratic change in our country," said Valeriano Ramos, the Director of Strategic Alliances at Everyday Democracy. "We learn from them and they learn from us and each other about ways to strengthen our toolkits and practices to support authentic community participation for local problem-solving and decision-making."

Everyday Democracy first worked with the SDSU Extension Community Vitality team in 2003, when together they worked with the Northwest Area Foundation and the Horizons project with the goal of helping small, rural communities and reservations address issues of poverty through leadership training, community organizing and assisting in Dialogue to Change programs.

From 2003 until 2010, SDSU Extension Community Vitality team introduced the Horizons project to more than 40 communities and reservations throughout the state.

More about Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy helps improve the quality of civic life through dialogue, organizing, including all voices and addressing structural racism and other inequities.

In addition to helping create capacity in local communities, Everyday Democracy works with Anchor Partners around the country, whose capacity and leadership amplifies the impact of community work while building capacity in regions and nationally.

Everyday Democracy is a project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a private operating foundation dedicated to strengthening deliberative democracy and improving the quality of public life in the United States.

Since its inception, Everyday Democracy, based in Hartford, Connecticut, has worked with more than 600 communities by providing advice, training, tools and resources. It also partners with national and local organizations to strengthen the field of dialogue and deliberation and promote a stronger, more equitable democracy.

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Sign up for 4-H Camp Today

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension encourages South Dakota families to consider South Dakota 4-H summer camp options for their youth.

"Camp is a fun, safe way for South Dakota's youth to explore new topics and activities in an experiential manner," Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist.

In addition to fun, Jaeger said based on feedback from campers and their families, those who attend 4-H camp can benefit from the following:

  • Appreciate differences amongst people;
  • Listen and communicate effectively;
  • Accept responsibility in a community-living setting; and
  • Apply independent life-skills away from home

"These skills that the youth learn or improve on do not stop when they leave camp; rather, youth can transfer these abilities to any group, organization, or team that they are involved with," Jaeger said.

Counselor Benefits

Campers are not the only youth who benefit from attending camp, Jaeger said feedback from older 4-H members who serve as camp counselors also gain a lot from the experience:

  • Leadership;
  • Responsible citizenship;
  • Contribution; and
  • Teamwork

"The skills learned as a camp counselor make teens a more qualified job applicant, a better team member, and a more confident leaders," Jaeger said.

Sign up for 4-H camp today

4-H camps are available for youth 8 to 18. To register for camp, visit the iGrow Events page and look under the 4-H & Youth event category on the left hand side if the screen. Registration deadlines vary.

To sign up as a camp counselor or volunteer, visit the following iGrow.org links:

Camp Counselor Job Description.

Camp Counselor Volunteer Application.

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 Listing icon.

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Reducing Insecticide Exposure

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - To prevent accidental insecticide exposure, applicators need to take appropriate, precautionary steps when it comes to the care of their clothing following application, explained Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

"Exposure to insecticides can pose a serious health threat to the individuals working with insecticides along with their families, as families can be exposed to insecticides when contaminated work clothes are laundered at home," Varenhorst said.

In many cases, reading the insecticide label will provide the information needed regarding the use of proper personal protective equipment (PPE).

Insecticide labels list the minimum required PPE that must be worn while working with insecticides to reduce exposure.

"However, even with exercising caution when mixing and applying insecticides or disposing of used PPE a person's clothing can still be contaminated," Varenhorst explained. "Even when label recommendations are carefully followed, and PPE was worn there is still the risk of work clothing having some insecticide residues present."

Handling Clothing

It is important to exercise caution when handling and laundering clothing that was worn while working with insecticides.

  1. Potentially contaminated articles of clothing should always be handled as if they were contaminated.
  2. Clothing that is worn while working with insecticides should be changed as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk for exposure to the individual working with the insecticides and prevent potential contamination of personal vehicles and homes.
  3. When the clothing is removed, it should be placed into a sealable container that is clearly labeled "Contaminated Clothing."
  4. When handling contaminated clothing, wear chemical resistant gloves that are rated as highly resistant to the insecticide that was applied.
  5. Lightly contaminated clothes should be laundered immediately, and only with other potentially contaminated clothing.
  6. Do not wash these clothes with the rest of the household laundry.
  7. Wash contaminated clothes in hot water using a highly concentrated or heavy-duty detergent.
  8. Do not dry clothes in the dryer once they are washed.
  • Even after washing, there may still be insecticide residues present in the fibers of the clothes. The heat from the dryer will remove the residues, resulting in a contaminated clothes dryer.
  • The clothes should be line dried instead.
  • Before washing any other items in the washing machine, it is important to run the machine through one empty cycle with detergent. This will remove any remaining insecticide residues.

Direct exposure

In instances where insecticides were spilled onto clothes, remove them, and dispose of them in the same manner as used for contaminated PPE.

"Although proper laundering can remove small amounts of insecticide residue, laundering clothes with larger amounts may result in contamination of the washing machine, yourself, and others," Varenhorst said.

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Feedback to Address the Farm Economic Situation

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Soybeans, Wheat

Column by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor

Speaking in March 2018 to Newsmax Finance, Anthony Busch, a 45-year-old corn, soybeans and wheat farmer stated: "I look for a period of pretty tough times. I need to borrow money in the spring to cover the costs I pay off in the fall, so when you're buying your seeds, your fertilizer, you have to take on your debt all at once. If you want to stick in this business, you have to be an eternal optimist. We may not have cheap interest rates. But we'll still have to eat."

Mr. Busch's statements pretty much summarized what's has been going on in the U.S. farm sector for several years.

It is not just about crop production at a relatively fair price anymore, it is also about being able to sustain the farm family budget. It is about maintaining the necessary optimism to remain in business, and still be confident that the situation will turn around.

According to Bloomberg News U.S. farm income will hit a 12-year low in 2018.

In its first 2018 broadcast, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted farmer profits will drop 6.7 percent this year to $59.5 billion.

That's the lowest since 2006, down 52 percent from a record high of $123.8 billion in 2013.

To Best Serve During Tough Times, SDSU Extension Asks Agriculture Producers for Feedback

Starting a few years ago, the SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team discussed how to incorporate into its outreach research-based information that pertains to the South Dakota farm economy.

Today, we face a situation that has worsened significantly since our early efforts.

Farms are undergoing significant economic woes that have resulted in not only financial difficulties but emotional strain. To avoid assuming what South Dakota's agriculture producers' need and maximize our outreach efforts, our team put together a highly diversified Farm Economy Task Force.

This task force discussed the best approach to maximize impact - similar to what we did to address the 2017 drought effort.

In addition to myself, the task force includes: Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist; Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist; Andrea Bjornestad, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Mental Health Specialist; Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist; Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist; Lindsey Gerard, SDSU Extension iGrow Technology Coordinator; Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist; Michelle May, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Butte/Lawrence Counties; Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

To understand how we can best serve South Dakota producers we are conducting a random survey of 10 percent South Dakota agriculture producers.

The poll will go out this April together with self-addressed stamped envelopes to 10% of our farms or 3,150 out the roughly 31,150 total. Distribution will be at random in 350 farms in each of the nine quadrants that SDSU and USDA use to describe other aspects of our state: Northwest, North central, North East, West Central, Central, East Central, South West, South Central, and South East.

The survey is confidential and includes several topics including: demographics, production, finances, and sources of emotional strain.

Once we receive completed surveys, our team will also make the survey to all producers through social media.

The data of these surveys will be utilized to guide the development and distribution of SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources programming for 2018 and into the future.

If you have questions, please contact me by email.

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April is Financial Literacy Month

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - In an effort to emphasize the important of financial literacy and teach Americans how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits April is recognized throughout the U.S. as Financial Literacy month.

"Financial literacy is your ability to make sound financial decisions based on your financial knowledge. A high level of financial literacy will improve your financial well-being," said Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension Family Resource Management Field Specialist.

Let's celebrate

Throughout the month of April, the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) has developed tools and resources designed to encourage consumers to take action to improve their financial well-being.
Weekly themes for the month include:
 
April 1-7, 2018 - Planning
April 8-14, 2018 - Saving
April 15-21, 2018 -Protection through insurance
April 22-30, 2018 - General financial preparedness

To access tools and resources for each theme, visit the USA.gov website.

Information about budgeting, goal setting, tracking spending, retirement, insurance, and credit is available at the Family and Personal Finance community.

Year-round focus

Through her role with SDSU Extension, Saboe-Wounded Head, works with consumer across the state of South Dakota to improve their personal finance skills and knowledge.

Ways she works with South Dakotans to increase their financial literacy include: one-on-one financial counseling, small and large group financial programs, on-line courses, and worksite wellness programs.

To connect with Saboe-Wounded Head, e-mail or follow her on Twitter @SDSUExtFinance.

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Consumers & Packers Demanding BQA Certification

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Healthy Families, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - As of Jan. 1, 2019 one of the nation's largest processors of U.S. beef, Tyson Foods, will require that all beef they purchase is sourced from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified producers. Additionally, by Jan. 1, 2020 all cattle transporters hauling to Tyson Foods' harvest facilities will need BQA Transportation (BQAT) certification.

"Consumers care about how the food they eat is raised and this impacts their purchasing decisions," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate and the new South Dakota BQA Coordinator.

Tyson Foods, which processes 25 percent of all U.S. beef, is following the lead of their foodservice customers. Carroll explained that some retail outlets and restaurants, like Wendy's, will only buy beef sourced from BQA certified farms and ranches.

Although livestock producers raise their livestock in a responsible, humane way that may meet BQA standards, without the certification, Carroll said livestock producers could miss out on marketing opportunities. Below, she outlines the necessary steps livestock producers need to take to become certified or re-certified in these quality assurance programs.

Changes to BQA certification in S.D.

If a livestock operation is currently BQA certified, they need to know that when their certification expires, the certification process has changed.

"It's no longer as simple as filling out a renewal form," Carroll said.

To recertify, or to certify, all livestock producers need to take a BQA class online or in person. These changes to the South Dakota BQA Program took effect this year (March 1, 2018) as program management transitioned to SDSU Extension.

Other changes and updates include:

  • SDSU Extension will manage the South Dakota BQA program and a BQA Advisory Board will provide program guidance as needed.
  • The Level 2 Critical Management Plan is NO LONGER required for South Dakota BQA certification.
  • Feedyards may choose to complete a BQA Feedyard Assessment as one step to become eligible for listing on the national Feedyard Assessment Database.
  • All BQA certifications will be issued by the National Beef Quality Assurance program. No separate South Dakota certificates or numbers will be issued.
  • A South Dakota BQA Trainer program will be implemented. Veterinarians practicing in South Dakota and SDSU Extension Professionals on the Beef and Dairy Teams are eligible to become South Dakota BQA Trainers.
  • The BQA Transportation (BQAT) certification is available online.
  • According to the National BQA and National Dairy FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) programs, dairies participating in FARM are "BQA Equivalent." However, no National BQA certification number will be assigned to the dairy's herdsman, manager, or owner without directly contacting the South Dakota BQA Coordinator and providing a copy of the current FARM Animal Care Evaluation Report. Only one person per dairy will receive a BQA certification. Other employees are encouraged to complete one of the other BQA or Dairy Animal Care & Quality Assurance (DACQA) training options available.

"Producers should be aware that limited in-person trainings will be offered in South Dakota for either BQA or BQA Transportation (BQAT) certifications," Carroll said. "The best option is to complete the online course."

Cost of certification

Each of the certifications (BQA, BQAT, DACQA, and BQA Trainer) and the on-farm assessment programs (National Feedyard Assessment Database, and FARM Evaluation) are valid for three years.

All online certification courses (BQA, BQAT, and DACQA) are available at no cost and can be completed at the producer's convenience, 24/7 at the Beef Quality Assurance website.

In-person certification courses (BQA and BQAT) have a fee of $50 per person. Discounts are available for operations certifying multiple individuals.

Veterinarians interested in becoming a South Dakota BQA Trainer should contact Carroll by email. The Trainer certification fee is $25. Trainer certification courses will be available later during the summer of 2018.

Feedyards that desire to be listed on the National Feedyard Assessment Database need to complete several steps and work with the South Dakota BQA Coordinator to finish the submission process. Feedyards will need to complete a BQA Feedyard Assessment, or equivalent assessment, once every three years as one of the criteria. These assessments may be self-assessed by a feedyard staff member at no cost, or the feedyard can ask Carroll to conduct the assessment for a fee of $150 per site.

Dairies that want to have a FARM Animal Care Evaluation completed can either work with their processor or contact Carroll. Most processors and co-ops are conducting FARM Evaluations for their members. Carroll is also available for $150 per site.

To check your individual certification status or with questions on any quality assurance programs, Carroll can be contacted by email.

Producers interested in completing a BQA Feedyard Assessment or FARM Animal Care Evaluation can also contact Carroll directly to schedule a site visit.

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4-H Ambassador Program Expands Teen Leadership Opportunities

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H is launching a State 4-H Ambassador program to expand leadership opportunities for teens.

"For years South Dakota 4-H Youth Council provided leadership opportunities through event facilitation. This new 4-H Ambassador program includes these same opportunities, and so much more," said Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor who is also co-advisor of the State 4-H Ambassador program along with Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator.

Risner explained that the State 4-H Ambassador program offers more opportunities to South Dakota teens because it is designed to engage youth in leadership development through all four 4-H program areas including:

  1. Agvocacy
  2. Leadership
  3. Health & Wellness
  4. Science

State 4-H Ambassadors will be expected to develop a customized action plan together with Erickson or Risner that will outline leadership milestones they hope to achieve and 4-H activities they will take a leadership role in.

"This new program enhances 4-H program delivery and provides more leadership learning experiences for teens," Risner said.

When designing the State 4-H Ambassador program, Erickson and Risner did their research and gleaned the best ideas from other state 4-H teen leadership programs.

"The program plan will be customized to the 4-H member and their interests'. By broadening the focus, we hope to engage more teens," Erickson said. "Not all teens are interested in organizing the 4-H Teen Leadership Conference, which used to be the main focus of the State 4-H Youth Council. But, that doesn't mean those teens wouldn't be interested in educating and engaging with the public about a topic that does interest them, like robotics or the cattle industry."

High school junior and 4-H member, Sydney Hoffman agrees. "I think this appeals to more teens, because not everyone wants to stand in front of a big crowd of campers or facilitate a small group," explains Hoffman, 16, who has served as a member of the State 4-H Youth Council for two years.

Hoffman says she has developed leadership skills, like team work and public speaking, through serving on the State 4-H Youth Council and sees even more opportunities for leadership and professional development through the new State 4-H Ambassador program.

"We get to do more things and participate in more 4-H events across the state, not just conference and state fair," said Hoffman, who plans to remain involved in planning 4-H Teen Leadership Conference as a State 4-H Ambassador. "There are so many 4-Hers who don't even know about this opportunity. Because 4-H Ambassadors will be attending more events, like the state 4-H horse show or state 4-H shooting sports - it will help get the word out about this opportunity."

With more inclusivity and flexibility, Erickson and Risner hope more youth will sign up to serve as State 4-H Ambassadors.

The State 4-H Ambassador program will maintain high expectations for teens who apply. Applications for the new State 4-H Ambassador program will be available on iGrow.org mid-May 2018. Interviews will be held during the 2018 South Dakota State Fair in Huron with the option for applicants to do a Skype interview.

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

"Leadership development is vast. We believe teens want to engage in leadership development that is tied to their interests and passions. The State 4-H Ambassador program is designed to allow for endless opportunities catered to individualized goals and aspirations," Erickson said.

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 image. Sydney Hoffman, a 4-H member and junior at Bridgewater - Emery High school is excited about the new opportunities the State 4-H Ambassador program offers to 4-H teens throughout the state. She is pictured here (second from left) presenting hand tied blankets to the Huron Hospital, as part of Blanket Buddies, the 2017 4-H statewide service project.

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Ground Truth for Unbiased Agronomic Information & Training

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

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

As a kid, Brad Ruden knew he was going to attend South Dakota State University and major in agronomy.

His dad raised certified seed and would host variety plot tours. Agronomists from SDSU Extension would come out and help with the tours and conduct research on their family farm.

"Plant science always interested me, and that exposure to the university early on piqued my interests in agronomy and set the foundation of what has been my life's career," explained the Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the agricultural companies, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth of company promotions to cross check data with local testing, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Ruden's experience is not unique. Each year, the SDSU Extension agronomy team shares unbiased information and recommendations with hundreds of South Dakota agronomists and growers.

"SDSU Extension does not have to worry about making a sale. Our sole focus is providing agronomists, and the farmers they serve, with the best options," explained Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

By collaborating with the S.D. Department of Agriculture, other agencies and organizations, a national network of extension researchers and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU research infrastructure, the team provides timely information to agronomists and the growers they serve in several ways including: iGrow.org, SDSU Extension's online platform; agronomy guide books, field days, farm shows, seminars, workshops and an on-farm research website, which is funded in part by the South Dakota Soybean check off to build a community of farmers willing collaborate with SDSU researchers and SDSU Extension staff to share their own on farm research data.

SDSU Extension provides board-approved continuing education credits to certified crop advisors (CCA's) as well as private and commercial applicator training and certification.

"SDSU Extension values the collaborative relationship we have built with agronomists throughout the state. By working with our team, they can access unbiased facts to help them best serve South Dakota's farmers," explained Johnson, who also oversees the 90-plus test plots that make up the SDSU WEED (Weed Evaluation Extension Demonstration) Project, research data that is collected each growing season to provide farmers with best management practices for weed control. "This is especially important during a tight farm economy. Producers need to sort through a lot of information in order to make the best decision for their fields and their bottom line."

Field-tested, unbiased information is the reason Grant Rix, a fifth generation Brown County farmer and busy father of two, makes time to attend many agronomy-focused field days and seminars hosted by SDSU Extension and others each season.

Before returning home to farm with his dad, Rix spent the first two years of his career working as a researcher for Monsanto. Even with this background and an agronomy degree, Rix, 34, sees value in the information.

"Continuous learning is important. Things change every year - if not every month. As a farmer, I need to stay on top of different trends and technology to try and make a profit," explained Rix, who currently serves on the board for the Northeast Research Station at SDSU and the S.D. Corn Utilization Council.

"My personal philosophy is to work to out-yield low prices. This is where unbiased, agronomy information comes in. Yes, there is a lot of good research being done on the private side. But, they are looking under a biased microscope. It's nice to have SDSU researchers and SDSU Extension also doing research for us, because it is unbiased," Rix said.

Courtesy of iGrow. Providing unbiased information and training to South Dakota's agronomists and the farmers they serve is the focus of the SDSU Extension Agronomy team, explains, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Courtesy of iGrow. Providing unbiased information and training to South Dakota's agronomists and the farmers they serve is the focus of the SDSU Extension Agronomy team, explains, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator.

Courtesy image. Brad Ruden, Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the companies' data, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth to cross check data, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Courtesy image. Brad Ruden, Agronomy Tech Service Manager for Agtegra Cooperative (formerly S.D. Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator).

Throughout his diverse career, Ruden has maintained close ties to SDSU faculty and relies on SDSU Extension agronomy team as a resource to keep him and his team up to date on industry certifications. And, even more importantly, to serve as what he refers to as a "ground truth."

"One of the foundations of SDSU Extension has always been to provide unbiased, research-based information. Even though I am in a career where I can do testing myself, and I have access to all the companies' data, SDSU Extension is valuable, it serves as a ground truth to cross check data, to help us make the best recommendations for our farmers," Ruden said.

Courtesy of JL Photography, Aberdeen. Field-tested, unbiased information is the reason Grant Rix, a fifth generation Brown County farmer and busy father of two, makes time to attend many agronomy-focused field days and seminars hosted by SDSU Extension and others each season. Rix is pictured here with his wife, Tracy and sons, Conrad, 2 and Gideon, 4.

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SDSU Extension’s Voices for Food is Citizen-Led Effort to Increase Food Security

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

If your refrigerator and pantry shelves are stocked, food security is not something you spend much time thinking about—unless you are Darci Bultje.

Although the mom of three has a fully stocked kitchen, in her professional role as Community Services Director for the Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS), Bultje spends the workweek focused on improving access to food for families throughout the Lake Andes community through the ROCS Food Pantry.

"Food is something we all need. When it is not available to you, it impacts all aspects of your life," Bultje explains. "Every three years we conduct a needs assessment. Throughout our 20-county service area, food ranks among the top one or two basic needs of those we serve."

Thanks to Voices for Food, an SDSU Extension program that bolsters community support and provides flexible tools to help citizens build food security, Bultje and her co-workers are not alone in this focus.

"When you live in a poverty-stricken community, it seems like there are so many barriers to overcome. Voices for Food brought together such good people from our community. It provided us with guidance and tools to take down some of these barriers together. It made all the difference," explains Bultje of the SDSU Extension pilot program the community of Lake Andes began utilizing in 2014.

Like many rural communities, Lake Andes is considered a food desert, because most residents live 10 miles from a supermarket. Many of its community members are among the 12.6 percent of South Dakota households which experience low or very low food security.

Developing a food council is one of many how-to tips and best practices outlined in the Voices for Food toolkit. And, in the case of Lake Andes, the food council was the catalyst for citizen-led solutions to food insecurity.

"The food council brought together community members to address food security challenges and Voices for Food really opened their eyes to opportunities. Together they were able to set actionable goals and develop activities and programs to achieve those goals," said Ann Schwader, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist and Voices for Food South Dakota Project Coordinator. "My role through SDSU Extension, was to listen to their needs and help them mold some of the many tried and true solutions found within the Voices for Food toolkit to fit their unique needs."

Schwader, under the direction of Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director, was among a multi-state group of professionals who brought the Voices for Food pilot program to rural food deserts as part of a $4 million Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

SDSU Extension was selected to lead in this research project which began in 2013. The other land-grant universities involved in Voices for Food program include; Michigan State University, Purdue University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The Ohio State University and University of Missouri-Columbia.

Once the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council was developed in 2015, Schwader met regularly with its members to discuss how Lake Andes could utilize the flexible resources found within the Voices for Food toolbox to improve food security.

Made up of community stakeholders the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council, has worked with SDSU Extension personnel and utilized Voices for Food toolkit as well as grants from other organizations to increase food security in their community.

Most notably, since 2015 the steps citizens of Lake Andes took to increase food security under the leadership of the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council include the following:

  1. Update the current food pantry to be a more user-friendly and provide healthier food-choice options including more fresh produce;
  2. Develop a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the ROCS Food Pantry and Andes Central school lunch program;
  3. Set the groundwork for a community farmers market, planned to launch summer 2018;
  4. Implement Bountiful Backpacks, an SDSU Extension program designed to teach youth how to prepare healthy meals and sends youth home with ingredients to make a meal for their family;
  5. Partnered with the Yankton Sioux Tribe to provide 865 evening meals to youth during the summer months; and
  6. In November 2016, when the local grocery store closed, the council helped promote public meetings around a community grocery store, which resulted in the owner of a grocery store in a neighboring community purchasing and reopening the store in Lake Andes.

"Food is a basic need. You cannot begin to address other needs until it is met. Voices for Food has increased awareness of food and nutritional needs of children and adults throughout our community. It has provided opportunities for citizens to think outside the box and work together to increase food security," said Debera Lucas, Superintendent of Andes Central School District and a member of the Lake Andes Food and Wellness Council. "Through the food council our community has expanded the ways we approach food security."

As an educator, Lucas appreciates the hands-on nature of the solutions found within the Voices for Food toolkit. For example, sixth-graders were recruited to start plants from seed for community garden participants to use. And, using a suggestion from the toolbox, the food pantry was rearranged so that today's patrons "shop" the food pantry according to nutritional needs and family preferences.

"Today, our pantry gives patrons more of a sense of ownership over their food decisions. Instead of us handing them a box we packed, and us deciding what their family should eat, they now have an opportunity to select foods that are healthy and their family will eat," Bultje said.

Voices for Food: A step-by-step guide

Just like Bultje used tips found in the Voices for Food toolkit to redesign the food pantry, the council followed a Voices for Food best practice and made a community needs assessment one of its first items of business.

Through this needs assessment, the food council learned many residents ran out of funds and food before their EBT cards were restocked; it was difficult to access fresh produce, and the only prepared food options available in their community were fast food options.

The findings didn't surprise Mary Jo Parker, a retired educator, community volunteer and director of the public library, who was elected to serve as the food council chairperson and is the community garden coordinator.

Throughout her 40-plus year career working with Lake Andes youth, Parker sees daily reminders of food insecurity. She saw a need to provide healthy, after school snacks at the library so she reached out to Bultje, who she got to know through involvement on the food council, to see if ROCS would be able to supply the ingredients.

News spread. Every day after school hungry children pack into the library for snacks and then hang out to read or enjoy computer time. When summer vacation time rolled around, Parker maintained snack time at the library.

When she learned that the small afternoon snack was the only meal some youth had access to during summer months, she shared her concerns with the food council. The group collaborated with the Yankton Sioux Tribe on a grant to provide community youth with an evening meal. More than 850 meals were served throughout summer 2017. A summer meal program is scheduled again for 2018.

"Providing meals is a very nurturing act," Parker explained. "Being a part of Voices for Food makes me feel good because I am part of something that is lasting. Hopefully I'm teaching them gardening and food preparation skills they can use."

As an SDSU Extension program, the Voices for Food toolkit will be available to all South Dakota communities in the fall of 2018.

"This program is flexible. Whatever your community's food security needs are, Voices for Food can serve as a guide to help citizens meet those needs with research-based best practices that have worked for others," Stluka explained. "It's a great example of our Land Grant mission of outreach, research and teaching."

To learn more, contact Suzanne Stluka.

Young girl enjoying a community-hosted meal in Lake Andes
Courtesy of iGrow.org. Forming a Food & Wellness Council was one of the first steps citizens of Lake Andes took when they began working with SDSU Extension Voices for Food program to address food insecurity in their community. More than 850 meals were served throughout summer 2017.

ROCS Outreach Provider, Becky Sieh stocking shelves in the Lake Andes food pantry
Courtesy of Darcy Bultje. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Rural Office of Community Services (ROCS) team through a food pantry update that made the pantry more user-friendly for patrons and allows it to provide healthier food-choice options including more fresh produce. ROCS Outreach Provider, Becky Sieh is pictured here stocking shelves. "Today, our pantry gives patrons more of a sense of ownership over their food decisions. Instead of us handing them a box we packed, and us deciding what their family should eat, they now have an opportunity to select foods that are healthy and their family will eat," said Darci Bultje, Community Services Director for the Rural Office of Community Service.

Mary Jo Parker, Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council Chairperson
Courtesy of iGrow.org. Mary Jo Parker, Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council chairperson, uses ingredients from the local ROCS Food Pantry to make cheesy broccoli potato soup and gives samples and recipes to patrons. Another program the Lake Andes community introduced to improve food security is the SDSU Extension's Bountiful Backpack program which teaches youth how to prepare healthy meals and then sends youth home with ingredients to make a meal for their family.

Children sitting on a bench at the Lake Andes community garden
Courtesy of iGrow.org. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council in the development of a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the local food pantry.

Fresh produce from the Lake Andes community garden
Courtesy of iGrow.org. SDSU Extension Voices for Food toolkit guided the Lake Andes Food & Wellness Council in the development of a community garden where citizens and school children gain hands-on gardening training and enjoy fresh vegetables throughout the growing season. Extra produce is shared with the local food pantry.

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Grazing Beef and Financial Planning

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

Column by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor

Todd and Cheryl Ochsner, together with their five children, have been farming Concord Farms in eastern South Dakota for generations.

"In order to improve our soil's organic matter, we plant cover crops behind a crop of spring wheat. A combination of radishes, turnips for deep tillage to break up compaction and install organic matter, along with oats for carbon, crimson clover and flax for natural nitrogen building for the next crop while eliminating a lot of fungicide and pesticide application most farms require," Todd said. "Our method of sustaining and improving organic matter has been to turn a productive grain field back to how the prairie was and let mother nature do the work just like what has been done for millions of years."

The Ochsner's have embraced the concept of soil health as a key component of their beef production enterprise.

Their double cropping of cover crops behind a crop of spring wheat improves the soil organic matter. A combination of several other plants provide not only for an optimum balance for the grazing animal but also improves the structure of the soil by breaking-up the compaction.

Their philosophy and approach to grazing are an example to follow. It does not really matter if the operation is grassfed beef or a cow-calf operation, an adequate management of the cattle/pasture interface is still critical.

As spring pasture turnout approaches, drought conditions remain across regions of western South Dakota, combined with low commodity markets, many producers are facing reduced incomes. An SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources team of experts will be available on several locations in western South Dakota throughout the week of April 2, 2018 to provide producers tools and management tips they can use to proactively make decisions to optimize cattle stocking rates.

The seminar, Decision Making 2018: Grazing and Finance Planning For Agriculture Operations, will provide producers with tools to create grazing plans, which may include destocking, if dry weather conditions continue.

Speakers will include: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist - weather update and outlook; Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist - grazing and forage tools to evaluate spring turn out and expected grass production; Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist - finances: creating production and personal budgets, as well as working with bankers.

All are invited. There is no registration. This event is available at no cost. The meetings will run for two hours, with additional SDSU Extension staff on hand to answer questions. Come as you are. We understand calving and lambing season has begun.

Dates and Locations:
April 3, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Kadoka Club 27 (920 SD Highway 248, Kadoka, SD 57543)
2 - 4 PM MDT Wall Community Center (501 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790)
6 - 8 PM MDT Milesville Hall (20308 Milesville Rd., Milesville, SD 57553)

April 4, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Harry’s Hall (312 Main Street, Dupree, SD 57623)
2 – 4 PM MDT Community Center (700 Main St., TImber Lake, SD 57656)
6 – 8 PM MDT Grand Electric Social Room (801 Coleman Ave., Bison, SD 57620)

April 5, 2018

10 AM – Noon PM MDT Rec Center (108 Hodge St., Buffalo, SD, 57720)
2 – 4 PM MDT First Interstate Bank (41 5th St., Belle Fourche, SD 57717)
6 – 8 PM MDT Community Center (19617 Ballfield Rd., Union Center, SD 57787)

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SDSU 26th Annual Bull Sale Set for April 6, 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University 26th Annual Angus and Sim Angus Bull Sale is set for Friday, April 6, 2018. The sale will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the new SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility. Lunch will be provided before the sale.

Students enrolled in a spring Beef Seedstock Merchandising course, instructed by Dr. Cody Wright, oversee the sale and obtain hands-on learning opportunities while learning about livestock merchandising and marketing. Students in the class are in charge of advertising, creating and editing video footage, putting the catalog together, and providing customer service.

“This class is made up of talented individuals with a passion for the beef industry,” Wright says.

Around 30 bulls will be sold. The bulls were chosen by the class based on satisfactory semen quality and scrotal circumference.

The sale is a limited auction. On sale day, bulls will be on display beginning at 10 a.m. Prospective buyers complete a bidder card and list the bulls they would like to bid on. The auction is held in the classroom at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

The sale begins with the bulls that have the greatest number of bidders interested. For bulls with more than one interested bidder, a limited auction is held. Bids begin with the minimum bid and increase incrementally. Once a bidder declines a bid, they are out of the limited auction. The auction continues until only one bidder remains.

In the event only one bidder is interested in a given bull, they will have the opportunity to claim the bull for the minimum bid. Bulls not sold during the limited auction will be for sale at the minimum bid on a first come, first served basis after the sale. 

SDSU offers free delivery of bulls within 200 miles of Brookings. If buyers pick up their bulls, they will receive a $100 discount per head.

Buyers purchasing two or more bulls, paid by the same check and transferred to the same name, receive a 10 percent discount from their purchase price.

If a bull is not able to breed females because of a physical ailment, customers are provided with a spare bull and possibly given sale credit toward the purchase of a bull at the next sale.

“We really strive to take good care of our customers because we truly appreciate them,” Wright says. 

The SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility is located at 2901 Western Ave, Brookings, SD.

For more information or to request a sale book contact Kevin VanderWal at 605.693.2253 or by email, or Dr. Cody Wright at 605-.688.5448 or by email.

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25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota youth from 49 area schools had an opportunity to learn about their water resource during the 25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest held March 13 and 14, 2018 on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls.

"Through fun activities and displays, youth learned about the various aspects of water literacy - ranging from understanding the water cycle, to how our daily actions impact the resource," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist and member of the Water Fest planning committee.

Jaeger explained the purpose of the event is to inspire interest among fourth-graders in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM topics.

"Research shows that during the upper elementary school and lower middle school years student engagement in STEM subjects begins to decrease - particularly in female youth. Through Water Fest, we hope to make STEM education fun and engaging to can create a renewed passion or to introduce them to entirely new topic areas that may interest them," she said.

Jaeger was among a team of SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H staff who participated in organizing the event that provided fun, hands-on learning opportunities to 2,166 students.

"As the outreach arm of our land grant university, SDSU Extension has a mission to provide research-backed information to the public," Jaeger said. "This event is a great opportunity to share information with youth."

Along with Jaeger, the other SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H staff who participated in the event include: John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer; Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H STEM Field Specialist; Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Minnehaha County; Nathan Skadsen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Minnehaha County; Alicia Petersen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- McCook County and Megan Kludt, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor- Lincoln County.

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 of iGrow. South Dakota youth from 49 area schools had an opportunity to learn about their water resource during the 25th Annual Sioux Empire Water Fest held March 13 and 14, 2018 on the campus of the University of Sioux Falls.

"Through fun activities and displays, youth learned about the various aspects of water literacy - ranging from understanding the water cycle, to how our daily actions impact the resource," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist and member of the Water Fest planning committee.

The Water Fest Planning Committee is pictured here: Front row (left to right): Alicia Petersen SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - McCook County; Mary Lou Lacey, NRCS; Jill Van Veldhuizen, Siouxland Heritage Museums; Lynda Johnson, Lincoln Conservation District; Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist; Amber Lounsbery, USGS/EROS and Karen Meyer, SF Water Reclamation.

Back Row (left to right): Chuck Martinell, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Minnehaha County; Jeremiah Corbin, South Dakota Associaiton of Rural Water Systems; John Parker, Minnehaha Conservation District; Rick Lehman. NRCS and Hersch Smith, NRCS.

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SDSU Swine Club Speaker to Address Farm Succession Planning

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Swine Club will host University of Nebraska-Lincoln Professor Emeritus, Ron Hanson, on April 16 as he addresses passing down the family farm to the next generation. 

Professor Hanson’s presentation will take place at 7:00 pm at the Performing Arts Center on the SDSU campus. There is no charge to attend the event, but a free-will donation of canned goods for the Brookings Food Pantry is appreciated.

“I heard Dr. Hanson speak recently about his experiences from more than 40 years of counseling farm families in the approach and resolution of issues stemming from farm succession planning,” explains Madelyn Regier, SDSU Swine Club President and an Agricultural Education and Animal Science major. “The SDSU Swine Club believes that this information will be useful to everyone in planning for their future and the handling of their final estate”.

Ron Hanson recently retired from a college teaching and student advising career of 46 years where he earned 31 university and national award recognitions. He has received the John Deere Agribusiness Teaching Award of Excellence and the University Educator of the Year Award. Ron is the only University of Nebraska professor to have received the USDA Excellence in University Teaching Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture which is the highest national teaching honor granted to a college professor in the area of agricultural and food sciences. His two most distinguished career honors were being named the Nebraska Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation in Washington, DC and being named the Educator of the Year by the University student government.

Ron was raised on an Illinois family farm. He earned his undergraduate college degree from Western Illinois University and his graduate degrees from the University of Illinois. He has counseled with Nebraska farm families for more than 30 years to help them resolve family conflicts in a more positive manner and to improve family relations through better communications. As a widely traveled national speaker, Ron’s current efforts have been directed at resolving the family issues involved with the farm business ownership family succession and the transfer of management control between farming generations.

The SDSU Swine Club is a student-led organization dedicated to generating interest, building understanding and providing opportunities for growth in the swine industry. Collaboration with a wide variety of very supportive pork industry partners is a cornerstone that helps future pork industry leaders succeed. According to Regier, “The efforts of the SDSU Swine Club are supported by companies representing swine nutrition, swine genetics, animal health, sales, production management and equipment manufacturing. Through our club, students have an opportunity to both learn about the industry and make potential future employment connections.”

For more information contact Madelyn Regier, SDSU Swine Club President, by email, or call 507.822.5944, or contact Swine Club Advisors Crystal Levesque, Assistant Professor, by email or Ryan Samuel, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist by email, or 605.688.5431.

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Three SDSU Students Receive National Dairy Scholarship

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University students are recipients of 2018 National Dairy Herd Information Association scholarships from among a total of 22 students nationwide.

Dillon Gratz of Atwater, Minn., Jessica Kerfeld of Melrose, Minn., and Margaret Socha of Corcoran, Minn., each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Students were chosen based on scholastic achievements, leadership in school and community activities, and responses to DHI- and career-related questions. To be eligible for a National DHIA scholarship, applicants must be a family member or employee of a herd on DHI test, a family member of a DHI employee, or an employee of a DHI affiliate. The DHI affiliate for the herd of affiliate employee must be a National DHIA member.

“Dillon, Jessica and Margaret are outstanding students in the Dairy and Food Science Department, with strong interest and commitment to the dairy industry,” said Dr. Vikram Mistry, SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department head. “As freshmen they have already established their excellence and the DHIA scholarship helps recognize this excellence.”

Dillon Gratz is currently pursuing a degree in dairy production with plans of returning to the family farm and hopefully taking it over one day. His family milks 60 Holsteins and grows corn and soybeans. Gratz’s grandpa, uncle, dad and mom are all involved on the farm. He goes home on the weekends to help as well.

Along with working on the family dairy, Gratz was involved with FFA in high school and was a 2017 National Finalist in dairy proficiency. He also started showing dairy cattle in 4-H in sixth grade and last year began competing in Minnesota Holstein Association shows. Additionally, during high school Gratz was involved with National Honor Society and played football. On campus, he is currently involved with the Dairy Club and Drone Club. 

“It is really rewarding and exciting to receive a national scholarship like this one, and the support is very helpful,” Gratz said.

Jessica Kerfeld is double majoring in dairy production and dairy manufacturing. She grew up on a family dairy farm where they milk 180 Holsteins and do custom field work. Kerfeld’s parents and grandparents played an important role in her becoming involved in the dairy industry, and provided opportunities to help with American Dairy Association events, Breakfast at the Farm and daily chores.

“With my degree, I hope to find a job close to home so I can still be a part of the family farm while also helping others in the agriculture industry,” Kerfeld said. 

She is currently involved with the SDSU Dairy Club and 4-H. In high school, she was a part of the National Honor Society, an officer in 4-H, the tennis team captain, and an active member of her youth group.

“Receiving this scholarship is really encouraging to me because I know people out there are supporting my education and it relieves a lot of the stress of paying for college,” Kerfeld said.

Margaret Socha worked at a dairy farm throughout high school and fell in love with the cows and doing chores, which led her to pursue a degree in dairy production.

“I am not totally sure what I plan to do with my degree yet, but I am interested in being a herdsman or a manager at a farm,” Socha said.

She also judged dairy in FFA and is currently serving as a dairy princess for her county at home. At SDSU, she is involved with Dairy Club, Ceres Women’s Fraternity, and a Bible study.

“It is an honor to receive this since it’s a national scholarship and it is nice to receive from people in the industry that I hope to work for someday and to know I have support from them,” Socha said.

National Dairy Herd Information Association, a trade association for the dairy records industry, serves the best interests of its members and the dairy industry by maintaining the integrity of dairy records and advancing dairy information systems.

About the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department

With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing, and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry; from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the South Dakota State University Dairy Research and Training Facility provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100% job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, master's and doctorate degrees.

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Helping Calves Survive This Stressful Season

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Even the most prepared livestock producer cannot always provide a perfect start when Mother Nature gets involved during calving season.

"Weather during our Upper Midwest spring calving season can prove challenging with frigid temperatures and mud. When weather becomes a factor during calving, it can impact a calf's survival," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Below she references some research-based tips and provides livestock producers with insight into calf health products to keep on hand.

Colostrum

Colostrum, the first milk a dam produces after calving, contains a high concentration of antibodies and immunoglobulins such as immunoglobulin G (IgG).

"In order for newborn calves to receive maximum benefit and passive immunity from colostrum, research shows the calf needs to receive it within the first 12 to 24 hours after birth," Grussing explained. "Antibodies are not transferred across the placenta during gestation."

It is recommended that beef calves receive 2 to 3 quarts of colostrum within the first 24 hours of life. But what options are available when this first milk is not available?

Colostrum Replacers and Supplements

Nature's colostrum is best: The best colostrum replacement available cannot be found at a retail outlet, but in your freezer.

"If colostrum can be sourced from well-vaccinated, disease-free herd, it can be frozen in quart size freezer bags for future use," Grussing said.

To thaw frozen colostrum, take care to do it slowly by placing the bag in warm water of about 110 degrees Fahrenheit and stir every five minutes until the colostrum reaches a temperature of 104 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typically, this will take about 40 minutes.

Do not use a microwave oven as overheating proteins in the colostrum will cause them to denature and deliver little immunity to the newborn calf.

Commercial colostrum replacements: Commercial colostrum replacements can be purchased. Replacement products will have greater than 100 grams of IgG per dose.

Colostrum supplements are also available and will have 50 grams of IgG per dose.

How do producers decide between using a colostrum replacement versus a supplement? 

If maternal colostrum is completely unavailable, a replacement product should be used. However, if some maternal colostrum is available to the newborn, but not the recommended 2 to 3 quarts, a colostrum supplement can help make up the difference.

Price is reflected in the different options as colostrum replacements provide more IgG and will be more expensive, but both will help ensure more successful passive transfer of immunity and nutrients to the calf during the first 24 hours of life.

Other products:

Oral Calf Paste/Gel: Oral calf paste/gel products that come in 30 milliliter tubes have become popular in recent years as an easy way to provide additional nutrients to newborn calves. But do these pastes provide the same immunity as colostrum?

Calf pastes will vary in design to provide all or some of the following supplements: energy, vitamins, minerals, E.coli prevention, probiotics and lactic acid to name a few. 

Note: these pastes are not colostrum replacements or supplements. Therefore, it is important to not substitute one for the other based on calf needs.

"If a calf needs a small burst of energy on a cold day or appetite stimulation, these paste may be a convenient option for producers. Yet, long term benefits are not the goal of these products," Grussing said.

Electrolyte solutions: Electrolyte solutions should be used to provide fluid to calves that have scours.

Livestock producers should purchase electrolytes that also contain vitamins and minerals, especially sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate.

When a calf has scours, livestock producers should give the calf a 2-quart dose of electrolyte fluid every two to six hours as needed.

"Electrolytes are not a complete nutrient replacer, some energy and protein supplements may be necessary if the calf is not nursing consistently," Grussing said. "As long as the calf is not in severe dehydration, nursing does not prolong or worsen diarrhea."

Keep in mind that the gut healing process is still taking place after scours have stopped; therefore, continued treatment is important for full recovery.

If you have questions on any of the above products, and for assistance in preparing a calving barn health kit, Grussing encourages livestock producers to visit with their veterinarian or an SDSU Extension team member. A complete list of staff can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff icon.

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Results of Off-Target Herbicide Research Data

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Following the 2017 growing season, where many complaints over dicamba reached state Department of Agriculture offices across the nation, researchers from land grant universities set out to conduct a study assessing off-target movement of post-applied dicamba products - Engenia and Xtendimax.

"The goal of the research was to duplicate labeled applications and determine if secondary movement contributes significantly to off-target movement of both formulations," explained Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist.

He added that although Fexapan is also labeled for post-application, it was not part of this study.

The findings of this preliminary and on-going study showed a considerable portion of the total injury is attributable to secondary movement and the likelihood for some secondary movement of either product appeared high. There were no differences between formulations at any distance.

Although the on-going research was conducted by university researchers in Arkansas, Indiana, Nebraska and Tennessee, the data matters to many South Dakota soybean growers.

Of the total 170 total pesticide related investigations in 2017, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture had 117 cases related to dicamba. "To put this into perspective, in 2015 and 2016, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture had only 82 investigations each year dealing with pesticide complaints," Shaffer said.

Research details

The research was conducted by Dr. J.K. Norsworthy, G. Kruger, D. Reynolds, L. Steckel, K. Bradley and B. Young.

In each study, small plots, between 2-3.5 acres in size, were set up to be sprayed with either Engenia or XtendiMax.

Wind speed during application at each site was at or between the label requirements of 3 to 10 miles-per-hour at application. Sprayer speed was 8 miles-per-hour, spray volume was 10 gallons-per-acre. TTI 11003 type nozzles were used.

A summary of the preliminary data is in Figure 1. Below.

As shown in Figure 1, percent injury is on the Y-axis; distance of injury from plots on X-axis.

Above each product (Engenia on left and Xtendimax on right) it is indicated if injury was from secondary movement or a combination of primary and secondary movement.

Secondary movement is not affected by application but chemistry of herbicide.

The preliminary research shows that application of Engenia and Xtendimax had the largest off-target damage to susceptible plants 20 feet away from plots, followed by 100 feet with the second most injury and 200 feet with the least in both primary plus secondary and secondary alone. 

If you have questions, contact Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist by email.

Figure 1. Off-Target Movement of Engenia and Xtendimax.

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Apply to be Part of SD Change Network

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - National Arts Strategies (NAS) and SDSU Extension are seeking current residents of South Dakota who see opportunities to create systems of change in their community to apply for the upcoming South Dakota Change Network.

A year-long fellowship, the South Dakota Change Network is designed for South Dakotans working to lead change in their organizations and communities.

The South Dakota Change Network is an initiative program created by the Bush Foundation to provide South Dakotans with a challenging and supportive learning environment to build their self-awareness, leadership abilities, and systems-change skill sets. The Change Network is a collaborative effort between NAS, the Bush Foundation, SDSU Extension and Vision Maker Media.

"NAS has a long history of cohort-based programs partnering with communities across the US. This is an exciting opportunity to add our expertise in arts and community development to support and grow community change in South Dakota," said Gail Crider, President and CEO of NAS.

Participation in the South Dakota Change Network is free and all participants will have access to a small project grant to implement a related community change project.

"Through the Change Network, we are hoping to engage a diverse group of South Dakotans representative of a multitude of backgrounds, professions, ways of thinking, points of view and age," said Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by May 31, 2018.

For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit South Dakota Change Network online, click on the program's tab and scroll down to Change Network South Dakota.

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Grassfed Exchange National Conference June 20-22

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Healthy Families, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Local Foods, Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension are co-hosting the 10th Annual Grassfed Exchange National Conference in Rapid City June 20-22, 2018 at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Rapid City.

The Grassfed Exchange is a non-profit group dedicated to advancing the opportunities for grassfed livestock and regenerative agriculture.

"The South Dakota Grassland Coalition sees this conference as another opportunity to bring quality education to South Dakota's livestock producers, agency personnel, political leaders, lenders and the general public," said Jim Faulstich, chairman of the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

To register

To register for this three-day conference or to learn more about scholarships, sponsorships and vendor opportunities and more visit the Grassfed Exchange online. Space is limited for tours, so register soon.

Conference details

Wednesday June 20, 2018

Ranch Tours: Ranch tours will feature grassfed beef, bison and sheep enterprises.

At the end of the day, tour buses will meet at the Central States Fairgrounds for supper, grassfed livestock viewing, and grassfed beef and sheep carcass quality ultrasound assessment demonstrations.

Thursday & Friday June 21-22

Two days packed with speakers, panel discussions, breakout sessions/workshops, and a vendor/sponsor trade show. The day ends with a banquet and awards ceremony

Keynote: SDSU President Barry Dunn

Featured speakers:

  • Nina Teicholz, Author, The Big Fat Surprise
  • Dr. Jonathon Lundgren, award winning agroEcologist
  • Dr. Christine Jones, famed soil carbon scientist
  • Dan O'Brien, Author, Great Plains Bison and founder of Wild Idea Buffalo
  • Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Iowa State University
  • Producer panel on grassfed beef, bison, sheep, stacked enterprises and much more.

June 22 session and workshop topics: bison, multispecies marketing, grassfed genetics, diversity on the ranch, grazing management, ecosystems, young farmer/rancher forum and finance and profitability. 

Scholarships: The Grassfed Exchange also focuses on providing opportunities to young or beginning grassfed producers and will again sponsor scholarships to the conference.

More about the Grassfed Exchange

Founded by a diverse group of producers, extension personnel, marketing experts, academics and investors, the Grassfed Exchange's mission is simple and centered on regenerative grassland agriculture, healthy families, healthy soils, clean water, and thriving communities among other things.

"The Grassfed Exchange is the national leader in promoting the opportunities associated with the grassfed industry," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

The Grassfed Exchange draws heavily on volunteer experts from across the nation for its Conference Committee and Advisory Council.

"Here in South Dakota, we have a great diversity of grassland enterprises," Faulstich said. "We know beef production is our primary grass-based industry, but the Coalition is interested in supporting all types of grass-based businesses. So, whether its grassfed or conventional livestock; beef, sheep, bison, or pheasants... what we are concerned with is viable, healthy, and productive grasslands that will carry on to future generations."

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Feed at Night, Calve During the Day

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Does feeding time influence the time of calving? To answer this question, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialists Adele Harty and Taylor Grussing look to research data.

"Yes, feeding affects time of calving," Harty said. "Feeding cows later in the day and evening will increase the number of calves born during daylight hours, when it is easier for livestock producers to watch them more closely."

Gus Konefal, a rancher from Manitoba, Canada first developed this feeding method after he discovered 80 percent of his cows calved between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. when they were fed later in the day.

Konefal's method included a twice a day feeding, with first feeding between 11 a.m. and noon and second feeding between 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Supporting Research

Similar research was conducted at Iowa State University.

"This research used the Konefal feeding system, but only feeding one time per day at 4 p.m., starting two weeks prior to the expected start of calving," Grussing said.

The result? Eighty-two percent cows calved between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. with 91 percent of the calves born before 11 p.m.

"Only 9 percent of calves were born outside the window when traditional calf checks are performed," Harty said.

When heifers were separated from the data set and analyzed, 90 percent calved in this same time frame.

A survey collected from 15 beef producers in Iowa and Missouri also reported that when they fed once daily between, 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., the result was 85 percent of cows calving between 5 a.m. and midnight.

Compare this data to cows from herds not on the Konefel feeding system. That data showed an equal distribution of cows calving during the night as during the day, a 50/50 split.

Researchers at USDA-ARS at Miles City, Montana completed at three-year study evaluating differences in feeding time on calving time.

"The numbers were not as dramatic as Konefel and Iowa State data," Grussing said. "However, there was a consistent 10 to 20 percent decrease in the number of cows calving between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the late fed cows compared to the early fed cows."

Management Considerations

If you're a cattle producer who would like to see more calves born during daylight hours, below are some points to consider when implementing the Konefal calving method.

  1. Research indicated for this method to be most effective, evening feedings should be implemented one month prior to the scheduled start of calving. If feeding times are changed closer to calving, this will result in a more calves born during the day than morning feeding.
  2. Iowa State University data advises staying as close to the same feeding schedule and feed amount as possible each day. Deviating more than 15 minutes, or providing too much feed, will yield less desirable results.
  3. Maintain regular night checks. Konefal calving may simply mean that there will be less work to be done between checks due to fewer calves born during the night.
  4. The Konefal calving method works best in a drylot situation where all feed is provided. Desired effect in a grazing situation may not be seen unless supplemental hay or timing of grazing can be regulated.
  5. Weather can play a role in effectiveness. Before or during storms, cattle may not come to the bunk to eat and may be more likely to calve at night.
  6. Additional research indicates that a first calf heifer who calves during the day will tend to calve during the day the remainder of her productive years.
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Grazing and Finance Planning For Agriculture Operations

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension's team of experts recognize the challenges South Dakota's agriculture producers face as they enter the 2018 grazing season. To help ranchers with planning for the future, SDSU Extension will host several Grazing and Finance Planning meetings throughout western South Dakota beginning April 3, 2018.

"Drought conditions remain across regions of western South Dakota, combined with low commodity market prices, many producers are facing reduced incomes. As spring pasture turnout will be occurring, or should be occurring during the months of April and May, we want to be on hand to provide producers with tools and management tips they can use to proactively make decisions for stocking rates," explained Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist and one of the meeting's organizers.

All are invited. There is no registration. This event is available at no cost. The meetings will run for two hours, with additional SDSU Extension staff on hand to answer questions. Come as you are. We understand calving and lambing season has begun.

Agenda and topics

The SDSU Extension team will provide producers with tools to create grazing plans, which may include destocking, if dry weather conditions continue.

"A plan empowers a producer to make the most difficult decisions utilizing data and information, and not rely on reactive measures which leave doubts and questions in their minds," Gessner said.

She added that the tools discussed during this workshop will be helpful when meeting with lending institutions if necessary.

Speakers will include: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist - weather update and outlook; Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist - grazing and forage tools to evaluate spring turn out and expected grass production; Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist - finances: creating production and personal budgets, as well as working with bankers.

Dates and Locations:

April 3, 2018
Kadoka 10 a.m. - noon Kadoka Club 27 (920 SD Highway 248, Kadoka, SD 57543)
Wall 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wall Community Center (501 Main Street, Wall, SD 57790)
Milesville 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Milesville Hall (20308 Milesville Road, Milesville, SD 57553)

April 4, 2018
Dupree 10 a.m. - Noon Harry's Hall (312 Main Street, Dupree, SD 57623)
Timber Lake 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Community Center (700 Main Street, TImber Lake, SD 57656)
Bison 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Grand Electric Social Room (801 Coleman Avenue, Bison, SD 57620)

April 5, 2018
Buffalo 10 a.m. - Noon Rec Center (108 Hodge Street, Buffalo, SD, 57720)
Belle Fourche 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. First Interstate Bank (41 5th Street, Belle Fourche, SD 57717)
Union Center 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Community Center (19617 Ballfield Road, Union Center, SD 57787)

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Horticultural Society Spring Workshop Huron, April 21

Categorized: Community Development, Communities, Gardens, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Annual South Dakota State Horticultural Society Spring Workshop will be held in Huron April 21, 2018 at the Plains Dining and Recreation Center (960 4th St. north east).

Flowers grown from bulbs, or bulbous flowers will be the focus of the one-day workshop.

"This is an excellent opportunity to hear presentations from a nationally and internationally renowned speaker who is an authority on bulbous flowers that can help you to have a more beautiful garden, right here in South Dakota," said David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

Registration for the event is due by April 4, 2018. The workshop fee is $30 for South Dakota State Horticultural Society members and $35 for non-members. Registration fee includes lunch.

To register, send a check payable to S.D. State Horticultural Society or SDSHS to the organization's treasurer, Glenda Oakley at 1241 Frank Ave SE, Huron, SD 57350.

Event information

The event begins at 8:45 a.m. (CST).

The event's speaker is Brent Heath.

Heath is from Virginia, and is a noted authority on bulbs. He promotes the use of flowering bulbs of all kinds. Heath and his wife, Becky are co-owners of Brent and Becky's Bulbs at Gloucester, Virginia, and can be found online

At this website you can view photos, an online catalog, learn about their company and find expanded information for the topics on which he is speaking.

Event agenda
8:45 AM - Registration
9:30 - 10:30 AM - Bulbs as Companion Plants
10:30 - 10:45 AM - Break
10:45 - 12:00 PM - Pest Resistant Bulbs
12:00 PM - Lunch during which time the S.D. State Horticultural Society will host its annual business meeting
1:30 - 2:30 PM - Tantalizing Tulips
2:30 - 2:45 PM - Break and door prizes
2:45 - 3:45 PM - Lovely Long Lasting Lilies and Awesome Alliums

If you have questions or for more information, contact Glenda Oakley at 605.352.3391 or by e-mail.

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Women involved in Agriculture at Plankinton

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Wheat, Healthy Families, Aging, Family & Personal Finance, Health & Wellness, Reports to Partners, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, then Annie's Project may be the program for you. SDSU Extension is hosting Annie's Project in Plankinton beginning April 3, 2018.

Is Annie's Project 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 Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

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

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 April 3, 2018 in Plankinton at the Commerce Street Grille, (120 S Main St.). The classes continue on April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 and 8.

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

To help cover materials, registration is $100 per person. A meal will be served at each session.

Pre-registration is requested by March 27th, 2018

Pre-registration is requested by March 27, 2018. Class space is limited to 20.

To register, visit the iGrow events page.

For more information, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email for more information.

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Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Registration is now open for the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference, set for May 8-9, 2018 in De Smet.

Rural leaders and doers are invited to re-invigorate their community work during the conference, which is hosted by SDSU Extension Community Vitality together with leaders of the De Smet community.

"Participants will network with rural community leaders from across the state, hear and share success stories, and gather ideas they can take home and act on in their communities," said Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist.

Conference speakers and sessions

Conference sessions will be led by a team of experts from across South Dakota and will focus on the following:

  1. Funding for Community Projects
  2. Entrepreneurial Experiences
  3. Agritourism and Value-Added Agriculture
  4. Engaging Community Members

A panel of young entrepreneurs will also share their perspectives on building businesses in rural South Dakota.

The event will also 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. 

Registration deadline is April 30, 2018

To register for the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference visit the iGrow Events page. To cover costs, the registration fee is $59 through April 6. After April 7 through the April 30 registration deadline, the cost is $75. Youth may attend for $40.

The event will begin at the De Smet Event and Wellness Center (705 Wilder Ln) and progress through several downtown businesses.

To follow the event on Facebook search for "Energize Exploring Rural."

Downtown businesses host progressive-style conference

The conference location itself will invite innovative thinking.

Instead of discussing building rural communities in a Sioux Falls or Rapid City hotel conference room, sessions will be hosted by De Smet's downtown businesses.

Before each session begins, business owners hosting the session and their employees will briefly share their stories.

"We think it makes sense to have a conference about rural communities in a rural community," said Peggy Schlechter, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist. "This allows participants to become immersed in a rural community and relate to so many things that they see and do their own communities."

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

The Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference event is sponsored by the following: Platinum sponsors; North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and Bush Foundation. Gold sponsors;Legend Seeds, De Smet Farm Mutual Insurance Company of South Dakota and Kingsbury Electric. Silver sponsors; De Smet Chamber of Commerce and De Smet Development Corporation. Bronze sponsors; Dakotaland Federal Credit Union.

To learn more about this event contact Thares by email. To learn more about SDSU Extension Community Vitality and how the team can work with your community, contact Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director, 605.995.7378 by email.

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Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, with questions about farm finance and leases, then SDSU Extension's Know Your Numbers Know Your Options may be the program for you. This course will be held once a week for four weeks in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.) beginning April 16, 2018.

"Know Your Numbers Know Your Options is a course designed for women involved in agriculture who want to learn more about how to develop financial records, learn key communication skills and expand leasing knowledge - all while having fun in a supportive learning environment," said Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "We like to reference this course as the second level of Annie's Project, however it is not required that you attended Annie's Project course to attend this course."

Annie's Project is another course hosted by SDSU Extension that is designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women. Know Your Numbers Know Your Options, is a pilot program, similar to Annie's Project, which delves deeper into understanding and use of balance sheets, income statements, cash flows as well as cash and flex leasing.

Is this 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? Have you wished you knew more about flexible and/or cash leasing agreements?

If you answered "yes" to any one of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for Know Your Numbers Know Your Options.

Registration deadline is April 13, 2018

To register for the Know Your Numbers Know Your Options course, contact Sand at Shannon.Sand@sdstate.edu or call 605-626-2870. Class size is limited. The course runs which runs April 16, 30 May 7 and 21. Each session will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

To help cover the costs of meals, registration is $40 per person. Costs of materials are covered by a USDA-NIFA grant award number 2015-49200-24226.

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Community Vitality Team Works with All Communities

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension's Community Vitality team works with any community to help plan, set actionable goals and achieve success.

"Community can be defined many ways," explained Kari O'Neill, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist. "Some communities are set by geography, increasingly, however, the word community also defines a group of people with similar interests."

O'Neill explained that SDSU Extension Community Vitality team works to fulfill the Land Grant mission of outreach by helping people improve their lives.

"Literally," she said. "If a group wants to improve themselves or the lives of the people in the group, it's our job to help."

Since 2012, O'Neill has worked with the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) to help them organize, market and distribute their products locally.

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association is a nonprofit membership organization of growers, processors, and others interested in producing specialty crops such as; fruits and vegetables, specialty meats, wine and honey. As the organization's treasurer, Kim Brannen explained, "things that can be grown in South Dakota, sold locally to benefit local economies, and produce good food for all of our citizens."

Like all volunteer members of the organization's leadership, Brennen is a specialty food producer. Brennen owns Gavin's Point Vineyards.

"The members have a passion," O'Neill said. "They are a community of individuals with a shared mission. This is a group that is on the move."

In the beginning, O'Neill worked closely with the South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, meeting with them frequently and providing evidence-based guidance on everything from hiring a director and building an efficient distribution model.

Today, they only rely on her for advice and periodic leadership training. She recently led a workshop during a South Dakota Specialty Producers Association meeting that focused on action planning for the future.

"The event was set up to figure out how we could work together with other interest communities and organizations to work out solutions and build communication and collaboration," Brannen said. "They (SDSU Extension Community Vitality team) have a background in agriculture and understand the issues."

To learn more about SDSU Extension Community Vitality and how the team can work with your community, contact Kenneth Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director, 605.995.7378 or by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialists Peggy Schlechter (left) and Kari O'Neill, lead a workshop on action planning during a recent South Dakota Specialty Producers Association meeting.

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Road Salt & Water Quality: Growing Concern in Some Northern States

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - While road salt throughout the winter months is seen by most as a necessity in our part of the country, it can come at a cost, said David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

"While the salination of South Dakota surface waters is not a water quality concern at this time, awareness of the issue could prevent it from being a concern in the future," Kringen said.

He explained that salt corrosion can not only cause damage to our infrastructure (roads and bridges) and vehicles, it can be harmful to our freshwater ecosystems as well.

Salination (or salinization), is the process where water-soluble salts accumulate in soils, or a body of water. It is typically measured by an increase in chloride, which is an anion of many salts (i.e. sodium chloride, magnesium chloride).

In soils, salination is a concern, Kringen explained, because excess salts hinder the growth of crops by limiting their ability to take up water.

"In freshwater ecosystems, increased salinity can significantly reduce both species richness (the number of species found in an ecosystem) and relative abundance (the abundance of a given species relative to the abundances of the other species) of aquatic plants and invertebrates; which in turn, affects the entire food chain," he said.

Measuring Salinity

Salinity ranges, measured as a concentration (milligrams per liter), are categorized as fresh to highly saline and can be seen in the table.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's nationally-recommended criteria for chronic (long-term) chloride toxicity exposure for freshwater aquatic life is 230 milligrams per liter.

In South Dakota, surface waters designated as coldwater permanent fish life propagation waters are assigned a numeric standard of 100 milligrams per liter for a 30-day average and 175 milligrams per liter for a daily maximum.

"Concentrations above these limits means the water body does not support the beneficial use assigned to it," Kringen said.

For surface waters designated as a domestic water supply, the 30-day average and daily maximum concentrations are 250 milligrams per liter and 438 milligrams per liter respectively.

What research shows

A recent study conducted in 2017 investigated long-term chloride trends in 371 freshwater lakes in North America. "Results indicated that the density of roads and other impervious land cover was a strong predictor of long-term salination in Northeast and upper Midwest lakes where the study was focused," Kringen said.

Other studies also recognize the link between the salination of water bodies with the application of road salts as metropolitan areas continue to develop and grow.

"Keep in mind, runoff that enters city storm sewer systems to be channeled away is discharged untreated and delivered directly to rivers and streams; rivers and streams that we use for domestic, commercial and recreational purposes," he said.

Courtesy of iGrow. This table shows how salinity ranges, measured as a concentration (milligrams per liter), are categorized as fresh to highly saline.

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Jones & Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders Visit the Capitol

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit.

"It is through becoming aware of the legislative process that youth gain civic mindedness and a desire to inspire change within their community," said Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties.

The Jones and Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders include; representing Jones County - Matthew Birkeland, Dylan Fuoss and Bridger Hight; representing Mellette County - Elisabeth Gullickson, Tyson Hill, Tashina Red Hawk and Seth Schoon.

During the one-day event, the teens gained insight into how the South Dakota state legislative process works. The youth sat in on the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and House Transportation Committee meetings and attended the Democratic Caucus. They were invited to sit on the House floor during session and were given a tour of the Capitol by Mary Haugaard, a Draper High School alumnus and wife of Representative Steven Haugaard.

"This trip taught me that bills take a lot of time and work to become laws," said Dylan Fuoss, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader.

Throughout the day, many of the state's legislators took time out of their schedule to visit with the 4-H Junior Leaders. When the issue of non-meandered waters came up during the Natural Resources Committee meeting, the topic interested many of the members who are avid hunters and enjoy spending time outdoors.

"Senator Troy Heinert, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee was able to spend time visiting with the youth following the completion of the meeting and invited our group to the floor of the Senate chambers where he provided insight into the non-meandering water bill and also the entire legislative process," Jones explained.

Jones added that it was through the efforts of Representative James Schaefer and Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson that the youth were able to sit on the House floor during session.

"The 4-H'ers really gained an in-person, real-world view of the process of the legislative process," Jones said.

While the youth were in Pierre, they also toured the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Museum.

"This trip was fun and a great experience to learn about our government. I would recommend this trip to anyone," said Matthew Birkeland, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader.

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 Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit. Back row: Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties. Middle Back: (left to right) Tashina Red Hawk, Bridger Hight and Seth Schoon. Middle front: (left to right) Elisabeth Gullickson and Dylan Fuoss. Front row: (left to right) Matthew Birkeland and Tyson Hill.

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Insecticide Safety: How to Prevent Unnecessary Exposure

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Insecticide applications occur year-round to manage insect pests that would otherwise reduce crop yields, damage stored grain or infest houses and other structures.

When applying insecticides, South Dakotans need to take appropriate precautions to ensure their own health and safety.

"Insecticide products can be useful for the management of insect pests, especially when they are a part of an integrated pest management program. However, be sure follow label instructions and utilize caution, as misuse can prove harmful or even fatal," said Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

Below Varenhorst outlines the steps that should be taken prior to application to enhance safety.

Know Your Insecticides

Pesticides, of which insecticides are a type, are classified as either general or restricted use.

The products that can be purchased over the counter are those that are classified as general use. As the name implies, restricted use pesticides require a license to purchase and use.

Follow Label Instructions

The most important thing to remember when working with insecticides is to always follow the label instructions.

"Labels contain important safety and allowed use information," Varenhorst said. "Insecticide labels also provide the information regarding the proper personal protective equipment to wear when handling, mixing, loading or applying the product."

For most foliar applied insecticides, this list usually includes chemical resistant protective gloves, a respirator with organic vapor/acid gas cartridges, long-sleeve shirt, long pants, and eye protection.

For fumigants, the required personal protective equipment depends on the fumigant that is being used as well as the levels of the associated gas in the environment that they are being applied to.

Fumigant personal protective equipment usually consists of dry cotton gloves, long-sleeve and loose fitting clothing, and either a canister type or a self-contained breathing apparatus.

Get Licensed

If there is a need to apply restricted use insecticides to reduce insect pests, a license is required - either a commercial pesticide applicator license or a private applicator certification card.

"These licenses must be kept up-to-date in order to legally purchase and apply any restricted use products," Varenhorst said.

Commercial and private applicator licenses can be renewed either through testing at an approved site or by attending a commercial or private applicator training session.

The purpose of these renewals is to ensure that individuals dealing with restricted use insecticides remain aware of the hazards associated with these products and the methods to ensure safe and appropriate use.

"If carelessness of use or misuse occurs, exposure to these products may lead to serious injury or death," Varenhorst said.

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Fuel Up With Dairy

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During National Nutrition Month, SDSU Extension, together with the Midwest Dairy Council, encourage South Dakotans to make sure they are consuming enough dairy for a healthy diet.

"When it comes to food and nutrition, one thing most health professionals agree on is we could all benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables. What might not be as well know is the fact that most Americans also fall below their recommended daily servings of dairy foods," said Whitney (Jerman) Blindert, a dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council.

Blindert reminds folks that the federal Dietary Guidelines recommend three servings of dairy each day. Blindert said to think of one serving as 8 ounces of milk or yogurt or 1 ounce of cheese.

"Most people get only an average of 1.8 servings per day, which could mean we are missing out on important nutrients dairy foods provide," she said.

As a registered dietitian in South Dakota, Blindert said she is proud to work on behalf of dairy farmers.

"I'm passionate about combining dairy foods with fruits and vegetables, which helps make healthy eating a bit easier and allows us to Go Further with Food," she said, quoting the slogan the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is promoting this March as part of National Nutrition Month.

Below Blindert outlines tips for pairing dairy with other healthy foods. Visit the Midwest Dairy Association's recipes page for more ideas.

  • Pair cheese cubes with your favorite fruits of vegetables. Try our Rainbow Fruit & Cheese Kabobs.
  • Dip berries or grapes in yogurt for a tasty, sweet treat.
  • Whip up a dairy-based smoothie in a blender for an on-the-go snack. Add whatever fruits and vegetables you like, or perhaps those nearing the end of their shelf life.  
  • Make a yogurt-based dip for fresh vegetables. Try our Green Pea and Parmesan Dip. Feel free to skip the colander step for ease.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to vegetables and/or salads.
  • Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables, cheese and a whole-wheat tortilla.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal.
  • Pair a bottle of milk, yogurt tube or cheese stick with a piece of fruit for easy snacking on the go.
  • Add cottage cheese to fruits like peaches or pears-or try tomatoes for a savory twist.
  • Use plain Greek yogurt as a base for homemade dressings for your salad.
  • Use cheese to jazz up an egg and veggie dish. Try our Cheddar and Mushroom Breakfast Squares.
  • Pile your pizza with vegetables. Try broccoli, spinach, green pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
  • Top a baked potato with broccoli and cheese, or plain Greek yogurt.

For more information on dairy nutrition, visit the Midwest Dairy Association website.

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SDSU Extension Research Looks at Growing Early Maturing Soybeans

Categorized: Agronomy, Soybeans

BROOKINGS, S.D. - One management strategy soybean growers can implement to reduce risk associated with Mother Nature is to grow soybeans with varying maturity ratings.

"With this approach, producers are not 'putting all their eggs in the same basket' so to speak," said David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist.

He further explained that planting soybeans other than recommended maturity group for the region, especially early maturing varieties, allows producers to start harvest earlier in the fall and continue field activities such as establishing cover crops and/or timely winter wheat planting.

"Throughout recent growing seasons, growers have commented that early soybeans have performed equally well in terms of yield, if not better, than soybeans with recommended maturity ratings," Karki said.

What SDSU Extension Research Has to Say
In collaboration with interested growers and the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU, SDSU Extension established a small plot trial during the 2017 growing season at two locations in Northeast South Dakota.

The first location was at the SDSU Northeast Research Station near South Shore. The second was in a Clark County soybean grower's field near the town of Henry.

The trial used two early varieties (rated 0.2 and 0.3) and two recommended varieties (rated 0.9 and 1.0) provided by Mycogen Seeds.

All varieties were planted at two different dates: 

  1. May 5, 2017 which was early
  2. May 23, 2017 which is when soybeans are typically planted in the area.

The test plots were 10-feet-by-40-feet plots with four replications for each planting date.

Due to consistent rainfall in the second half of September harvesting was delayed more than normal and was only completed October 3, 2017.

The results featured in Table 1 show that yields, even though numerically quite different, were not statistically significant at the Henry location, especially for the early planting date.

"This could be due to weed pressure and population loss as a result of heavy rainfall in late June," said Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist.

He explained that this site received 9-inches of rain in three days the last week of June, which flooded almost half of the early planted plots.

Some early flooded plot yields were not as consistent at harvest compared to the non-flooded plots.

Therefore, the yields from flooded plots were not used while running statistics which may have contributed to large Least Significant Difference (Table 1). This resulted in difficulty to statistically distinguish mean yields for the maturity ratings used in the study.

At the Northeast Research Station, yields from the earliest maturing soybean variety (i.e. 0.2) were significantly different from the other three soybean varieties for both plating dates.

"These results suggest that planting soybean varieties that are earlier than half the maturity point than recommended for the region did not result in equal or higher yields in 2017 growing season," Karki said.

This research group plans to continue this study in the 2018 growing season. The study was funded by South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Average soybean yields of varieties rated early and recommended for two Northeast SD locations: Northeast Research Farm by South Shore and farmer cooperator field by Henry. For more information contact David Karki at 605.882.5140

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Using Weather Forecasts for Newborn Calf Health

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS,S.D. - Calving during a winter season with extreme weather swings can be concerning when caring for newborn livestock. The Cold Advisory for Newborn Livestock (CANL) forecast at the Aberdeen National Weather Service website can be a useful tool for livestock producers when preparing for new newborn calves, in particular in the first 24 hours.

"During the month of January, we saw air temperatures as low as negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit and then there were highs of more than 50 degrees," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. "The CANL tool was designed to help livestock producers prepare for extreme cold temperatures."

Created with input from Northern U.S. ranchers, experts in animal science and those who study biological responses to extreme weather conditions, the CANL forecast takes into account five factors:

  • Wind chill; 
  • Rain or wet snow; 
  • High humidity; 
  • Combinations of wind chill and precipitation; and
  • Sunshine vs. cloudy days. 

"As a result, it is a science-based method to combine several weather factors together to determine the hazardous weather risk to your newborn calves," Edwards explained.

Visit the CANL website to access the tools.

Risk Scale
When viewing CANL producers will see a six-category scale (Figure 1) which was developed to identify the risk of hazardous conditions for newborn livestock, ranging from None (green color) to Extreme (red color).

The categories are described as:

  • None: Wind chill above 41 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Slight: Wind chill less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours
  • Mild: Wind chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours
  • Moderate: Wind chill less than 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more hours or Wind Chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .02-inches precipitation
  • Severe: Wind Chill of -9 degrees Fahrenheit or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill of less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .05-inches of precipitation
  • Extreme: Wind chill of -18 degrees Fahrenheit or colder for two or more hours, or wind chill less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit and .1-inches of precipitation

Forecast Map
These risk categories are displayed on a map of Northeastern South Dakota, and they are updated at least once-per-day.

An example of the CANL forecast map looks like the map in Figure 2. This map for February 13, 2018, shows mild risk in green, moderate in yellow over most of the region, and an area of Severe risk in orange in the north central counties.

A visit to the CANL website will also display the 30-hour forecasts for wind chill, total precipitation and sky cover (cloudy vs. clear).

The CANL and related maps are only available for regions in Montana, North Dakota and Northeastern South Dakota.

six-category risk scale
Figure 1. Six-category scale to identify the risk of hazardous conditions for newborn livestock. Courtesy: CANL
 


Figure 2. Example of the CANL forecast map hazard areas in S.D. Courtesy: CANL
 

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SDSU Animal Science Department Presents Research at Midwest Section Animal Science Meeting

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University swine researchers from the Department of Animal Science will present seven research abstracts at the Midwest Section meeting of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) meeting Omaha, Nebraska, from March 12-14, 2018.

The Department of Animal Science opened the new South Dakota State University Swine Education and Research Facility on Oct. 1, 2016. The first anniversary of the grand opening of the new SDSU Swine Education and Research Facility and Wean-to-Finish Research Barn was celebrated with an inaugural SDSU Swine Day on Oct 11, 2017, in Brookings, SD.

"The new swine facilities have opened up many new opportunities for our students and researchers," says Joe Cassady, SDSU Animal Science Department Head." The swine industry has and will continue to change and SDSU is now in a great place to be a leader in research, extension, and teaching."

SDSU swine researchers will present the following research at this year's Midwest ASAS meeting:

  • Efficiency of Utilizing Standardized Ileal Digestible Lysine for Whole Body Protein Retention in Pregnant Gilts during Early, Mid, and Late Gestation. R. A. S. Navales, B. C. Thaler, and C. L. Levesque, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
  • Effect of Essential Oil Supplementation to Lactation Diets on Reproductive Performance and Fecal Characteristics of Sows. K. Fuoss1, M. D. Lindemann2, and C. L. Levesque1, 1South Dakota State University, Brookings, 2University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • Immunological Response of Pigs by Lymphocyte Proliferation by the Supplementation of Beta-Glucans. H. Kerkaert, J. Koepke, C. L. Levesque, and B. C. Thaler, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
  • Growth Performance, Organ Weights, and Blood Parameters of Nursery Pigs Fed Diets Containing Cold-Pressed Canola Cake. J. W. Lee and T. A. Woyengo, South Dakota State University, Brookings.

Research posters to be presented at this year's meeting:

  • Floor Space Allocation Effects on Heavy-Weight Finishing Pigs (over One Hundred Thirty-Five Kilograms). R. S. Samuel, B. C. Thaler, C. L. Levesque, and J. Darrington, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
  • Nutrient Digestibility of Heat- or Heat plus Citric Acid-Pretreated Distiller's Dried Grains with Solubles for Pigs. C. Zangaro and T. A. Woyengo, South Dakota State University, Brookings.
  • Comparative Analysis of Bacterial Composition in the Ileum of Weaned Pigs Fed Microbially Enhanced Soybean Meal as a Potential Ingredient Replacement in Conventional Weaning Diets. J. L. Ortman, B. St-Pierre, and C. L. Levesque, South Dakota State University, Brookings.

For more information, contact Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Nutrition Specialist, at 605.688.5431.

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beefSD Travels East to Gain Insight Into Consumer Purchasing Decisions

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A group of South Dakota cattle producers recently traveled to the east coast to learn more about what today's consumers want.

"It's important that producers of beef have a clear understanding of what beef processors expect as well as what influences the buying decisions of everyday consumers," said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and beefSD core team member.

beefSD is an intensive two-year educational program designed and led by SDSU Extension to take participants to the next level in beef production.

"Participation in beefSD is an excellent opportunity for beginning producers to increase knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the beef industry and develop the skills needed to be successful," Harty said.

The beefSD tour began in Washington, D.C., where class members toured the North American Meat Institute, visited with Senate Ag Committee Staff, met with Commodity Markets Council President, Gregg Doud and visited the Australian Embassy. Then, the group traveled to Philadelphia and New York City.

In New York, the group toured Strassburger Steaks, a family-owned meat procurement business; Stew Leonards of Yonkers, a family-owned grocery store chain; Hudson and Charles Butcher Shop, a locally-owned butcher shop in mid-Manhattan and Hello Fresh, a mail order meal service.

In Philadelphia, the group toured Sysco Philadelphia, a large distributor of food products to foodservice businesses that distributes nearly 1.6 million boxes or $111 million of beef per year.

During their tour of this facility, beefSD classmates took in a consumer panel coordinated by Sysco Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Beef Council. The panel was designed to inform South Dakota producers on what consumers - specifically millennials - are looking for, where they find their information and what decisions they are making regarding their food choices.

"What surprised us most was realizing that people rely so heavily on social media to get their information on what they eat and where they eat," said Ronda Wollman, a cattle producer from Pierre who was on the tour with her husband, John. "We as producers need to be watching what is being put out on social media so we can support what is accurate and correct what is wrong."

John added, "It was very evident that producers need to be more active on social media to share their story so that the consumer can have a better understanding of where their food comes from and how it is raised," he said.

The beefSD class was very engaged in the conversation and listened to what panelists had to share.

"What surprised me most about the consumer panel was that they talked about not eating beef very often, citing that they didn't know how to prepare it or didn't want to spend more on beef versus another protein source," said Sarah Myers a Winner cattle producer." As we consider eating habits in the Midwest, and especially rural areas, we need to remember that beef isn't always the center of the plate across the country."

When panelists discussed purchasing decisions, Newell cattle producer, Theresa Bruch was surprised by the impact labeling had on those decisions. "I was really shocked how much the millennials buy food off of trigger words such as antibiotic free, hormone free and happy cows," she said. "It was also shocking to me that their place of research fell on Pinterest if they wanted to gain more knowledge on what to eat." 

Throughout the week, beefSD classmates also took in various unique dining experiences to better understand the opportunities of east coast consumers. Some of these included: Old Ebbits Grill in Washington, D.C.; Talula's Daily in Philadelphia and Keens in New York.

beefSD is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program. To learn more about beefSD, contact Adele Harty at 605.394.1722 or by e-mail.

South Dakota cattle producers participating in beefSD

Courtesy of iGrow. South Dakota cattle producers, participating in beefSD, recently traveled to the east coast to learn more about what today's consumers want. Pictured here during a tour of Strassburger Steaks, a family owned meat procurement facility outside New York City. Front Row, L to R: Ryan Hauck, Avon; Lesley Coyle, Spearfish; Suzanne Strassburger, Owner of Strassburger Steaks; Sarah Myers, Winner; Ronda Wollman, Pierre and Adele Harty, SDSU Extension. Middle Row, L to R: Theresa Bruch, Newell; Amber Cammack, Union Center; Mary Blair, Belle Fourche; Joe Bruch, Newell; Jay Myers, Winner ; John Wollman, Pierre and Reed Cammack, Union Center. Back Row, L to R: Scott Fitzgerald, Midland; LeeAnna Fitzgerald, Midland; Chad Blair, Belle Fourche; Ty Cantrell, Philip; Andy Coyle, Spearfish; Jasper Wipf, Lemmon and Quin Seymour, Draper.

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Veterinarians Updated on Pain Control & Anesthetic Use in Food Animals

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Pork, Sheep

Column by Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian.

Providing pain control prior to and following surgical procedures is becoming more commonly accepted - and requested - by producers for their food animals. That was one of the messages brought to veterinarians by Dr. Bob Streeter, a veterinary clinician from Oklahoma State University, during the 2018 James Bailey Herd Health Conference, held February 10, 2018 on the campus of South Dakota State University.

Common procedures such as castration and dehorning have long been considered potentially painful for animals, but only relatively recently have products and techniques come to light for veterinarians to use to reduce pain associated with these surgeries.

Streeter explained that there are some benefits to the presence of pain: it's the physiologic response that makes the animal protect an injured part of the body, for example. When pain becomes chronic, however, many adverse effects on the animal have been documented, including impaired immune, cardiovascular, digestive, and neurologic functions.

Furthermore, for some animals, the physical and psychological stimulation present during some painful conditions can wind itself up to the point where severe stress sets in.

Veterinarians commonly use medications to preempt pain in surgical situations. One of the most common examples is the use of local anesthetics to block nerves when preparing for surgery such as a C-section or displaced abomasum correction. However, these medicines are also increasingly being used by veterinarians prior to more minor surgeries such as dehorning and castration.

In a similar manner, providing medications that will inhibit pain for hours or days following the procedure is also becoming more accepted. Just as a person might take a pain reliever after a minor surgical procedure, veterinarians can give similar medicines to animals.
  
Barriers & Challenges

Even though the benefits of pain relief for food animals have been increasingly well-documented, barriers to their use still exist.

These include drug residues, cost, worker efficiency, routes of administration and availability of the medications.

Since these treatments are applied to food animals, the risk of drug residues is a serious consideration.

Veterinarians are usually able to use these medications under extra-label drug use provisions, but it is then up to them to determine an appropriate slaughter (or even milk) withdrawal to implement.

A major stumbling block for many producers and veterinarians is that the fact that giving a local nerve block or administering pain medication represents extra work steps and slows down the processing of large numbers of animals.

As time goes on, however, veterinarians are devising ways of more quickly administering local anesthetics and pills in the course of chutework.

The release onto the market of a transdermal (pour-on) non-steroidal analgesic for cattle may hold promise for even more efficient treatment with pain relievers.

In Summary

It's likely that at least some animals on food animal operations can benefit in some manner from the information learned by the veterinarians at this year's Bailey Conference.

This information will just become more valuable - and more refined - over time as pain prevention and relief become more ingrained in the everyday operations of farms and ranches.  

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South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors Selected

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Five South Dakota State University students were recently selected to serve as South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors.

"The South Dakota Dairy Ambassador Program is designed to build future dairy champions to promote the dairy community and give consumers an excellent dairy experience," said Tracey Erickson, program coordinator and SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

The program is a collaborative effort of Midwest Dairy Association and SDSU Extension.

The five students selected to serve include: Sanne De Bruijn, Pollock; Dennisen Nelson, Lonsdale, Minnesota; Jenna Van Wyk, Orange City, Iowa; Angel Kasper, Owatonna, Minnesota and Katelyn Groetesch, Albany, Minnesota.

During the year, South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors will participate in consumer communication training. They will share their knowledge of and passion for dairy with students and consumers through programs and events including: the Sioux Empire Fair, Dairy Days on various Farms, Dairy Fest, Ag Day at the Pavilion and the South Dakota State Fair.

The program runs from January 1 through December 31. Upon completion of the program, the South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors will receive a scholarship of up to $1,000.

More about the 2018 South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors

Sanne De Bruijn, from Pollock, is a sophomore pursuing degrees in Dairy Production and Dairy Manufacturing with a minor in Food Safety.

Her background in the dairy industry is very diverse. She and her family are originally from the Netherlands and have also lived and operated dairy farms in New Zealand, Ohio, Wisconsin and plan to operate a dairy in South Dakota.

"The dairy industry is where my passion lies," De Bruijn said. "I am incredibly excited to use this platform to not only share my experiences, but to create a better understanding for the consumer as to why we dairy farm."

She added. "My priority is to make the connection that when we care for the animals, the animals care for us. I am excited to see what our enthusiastic group of ambassadors can accomplish in this upcoming year and how we can make a difference in dairy."

Dennisen Nelson is from Lonsdale, Minnesota. Nelson is majoring in Dairy Production and Animal Science with a minor in Ag Business.

Nelson grew up on a small family dairy milking 70 Jersey cows. Throughout his life, Nelson has been involved with dairy judging, quiz bowl and other opportunities that have expanded his knowledge of the industry.

"Being a South Dakota Diary Ambassador is important because a large number of consumers have little idea of where their food comes from," Nelson said. "When they look for that information I want them to hear my story, and share in my passion for dairy."

Jenna Van Wyk is a sophomore majoring in Dairy Production with a minor in Ag Business. Van Wyk grew up near Orange City, Iowa and has been involved in the dairy industry her whole life.

"I hope this experience provides me with the skills I need to communicate with professionals in the industry and the general public," Van Wyk said.

Angel Kasper is from Owatonna, Minnesota. She is pursuing degrees in Agricultural Leadership and Speech Communications.

Kasper grew up on a beef and cropping operation, and became involved with dairy when she started working on her uncle's dairy farm.

"Through this program I hope to gain knowledge about the dairy industry while furthering my communication skills," Kasper said. "As an ambassador I want to work on connecting with consumers and work on closing the gap from farm to table."

Katelyn Groetesch is from Albany, Minnesota. She is pursuing degrees in Animal Science and Dairy Production with an Ag Business minor.

Groetesch grew up on a small dairy farm in central Minnesota where she discovered her passion for dairy. When her family put in robotic milkers, she felt the need to further her dairy knowledge and enrolled at SDSU.

"As a dairy ambassador, my goal is to effectively communicate to consumers, share with them my passion for dairy, and be their connection to agriculture," Groetesch said.

To learn more about the South Dakota Dairy Ambassador Program, contact Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist, by email or 605.882.5140.

Courtesy of iGrow. Five South Dakota State University students were recently selected to serve as South Dakota Dairy Ambassadors. Ambassadors include: Front row (left to right) Jenna Van Wyk and Angel Kasper. Back row (left to right) Sanne de Bruijn, Katelyn Groetesch and Dennisen Nelson.

"The South Dakota Dairy Ambassador Program is designed to build future dairy champions to promote the dairy community and give consumers an excellent dairy experience," said Tracey Erickson, program coordinator and SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

The program is a collaborative effort of Midwest Dairy Association and SDSU Extension.

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Wellness Summit for South Dakota Teens

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development, Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension, in collaboration with the SDSU Wellness Center and Walmart Foundation, will host a two-day Health and Wellness Summit for South Dakota teens interested in serving as Health & Wellness Ambassadors April 5 - 6, 2018 in Brookings at the Days Inn (2500 6th St).

"This summit empowers teens by providing them with training and information on wellness and overall healthy living so they are then ready to provide leadership and role-modeling on healthy living to peers and members of their community," said Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health & Physical Activity Field Specialist.

What is a Health & Wellness Teen Ambassador?

Health & Wellness Teen Ambassadors will be trained to promote and encourage healthy living through the seven dimensions of wellness in their schools and community.

During the summit, teens will develop an understanding of the following:

The seven dimensions of wellness

  • Learn and promote healthy living choices and lifestyles
  • Create conversations, media, programming and community engagement around all dimensions of wellness
  • Specific health and wellness curricula

The Summit will include a variety of breakout sessions and interactive activities focused on the topics of wellness including:

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Financial health
  • Physical activity
  • Environmental health
  • Social health

Following the summit, participating teens are asked to complete six hours of programming. Once programming is complete, teens will be recognized as a South Dakota Health & Wellness Teen Ambassador.

"This summit is unique, as it provides extensive training in health and wellness, with the expectation that teens will return to their communities to serve as a Health & Wellness Teen Ambassadors," Prosch said.

Who can attend?

Health & Wellness Teen Ambassadors are youth who are motivated and engaged learners, teens who desire to be healthy living role-models, who are responsible, reliable and trustworthy. Ambassadors are expected to return to their hometowns and schools to communicate the value of living a healthy lifestyle.

If you or someone you know has these characteristics and is willing to partner and speak with adults, other peers and community members about health and wellness topics, you're encouraged to attend.

Registration deadline is March 25, 2018

Youth must be 13 to 17 years old at time of registration to participate in the Wellness Summit. Participants will be staying overnight at the Days Inn in Brookings with adult supervision.

This event is made possible through a grant from the National 4-H Council and Walmart Foundation. To register, visit the iGrow Events page and search for the event date of April 5. Registration is $75.

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Heifer Development Webinar Series 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Beginning March 15, 2018 SDSU Extension will host its fourth Annual Heifer Development Webinar Series.

This three-part webinar and will focus on several key areas of heifer development including ration formulation, health risk management and breeding season targets for heifer development programs.

"All three sessions will provide valuable information for commercial and seed stock producers to utilize when developing breeding females to enter mature cowherds," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

The series will run March 15, 22 and 29. All sessions will begin at noon (CST) 11 a.m. (MST) and run for one hour.

These webinars can be viewed from anywhere with internet access, allowing producers to take advantage of this learning opportunity without leaving the ranch.

Participants will be able to interact and ask questions during webinars by typing their questions into the chat box. This series will be recorded, allowing registrants to view the presentations at their leisure if they missed the live session or would like to watch sessions again.

Registration information

Registration for the Annual Heifer Development Webinar Series is $15. To register, visit the iGrow Events page or for more information contact Taylor by email or 605.995.7378.

2018 Webinar Schedule is as follows:

Session #1: March 15, 2018
Topic: Heifer Development Ration Formulation
Presenter: Chanda Engel, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

Session #2: March 22, 2018
Topic: Disease Risk Protection in Heifer Development Programs
Presenter: Dr. Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian

Session #3: March 29, 2018
Topic: Optimum vs. Maximum Heifer Pregnancy Rates
Presenter: Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist

To learn more, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email.

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Soil Health: The Foundation of Life

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

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension

Walking through the fields he has spent more than 40 years caring for, Dan Forgey says it's not the crop he's walking through that captures his attention these days, but the soil he is walking on.

"Today, I pay attention to what is growing under my feet instead of just paying attention to what is growing above the soil's surface. In fact, I spend more time thinking about what is going on below," explains Forgey, 68, the Agronomy Manager for Cronin Farms, Gettysburg, South Dakota.

His management practices affirm his dedication to soil health. Since the early 90s, Forgey has implemented no-till. He plants a diverse cropping rotation that includes 12 different warm and cool season crops. In addition, 300 acres of crop ground are planted to a diverse full season cover crop blend.

"Planting a diversified cover crop has all the plant roots and their microbes the soil likes - building soil health," Forgey says.

The farm's soils have responded to Forgey's invested focus with increased water absorption and retention, reduced erosion and an increase in organic matter.

Healthier soils have less need for inputs and are capable of supporting crops even in less than cooperative weather conditions, Forgey explains. "Even during this year's drought, the soil health helped us with yields," he says. "Soil is forgiving. Taking care of it is so rewarding because it is sustainable."

When Forgey began farming at 17, his farming practices were not sustainable. "I spent the first 24 years destroying our soils and the last 25 years making them healthy," he says. "It's been a big learning curve."

A learning curve that a community of soil health experts and enthusiasts helped Forgey navigate. "Without a doubt, I had help. You have to go somewhere for your information," Forgey says of gleaning advice from SDSU Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Soil Health and Grassland Coalitions.

Today, Forgey is a go-to soil health guru of sorts, sharing what he's learned with other farmers and landowners throughout the state and region.

He is part of a growing number of individuals and organizations collaborating to increase soil health awareness and information working together to ultimately improve soil health across the state and nation.

"Soil health is essential to sustaining South Dakota's number one industry of agriculture," explains Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist. "It's related to food security."

Bly references the grand challenge to feed a growing global population with a diminishing land resource.

"Everything we grow comes from the soil. If we don't take care of it and build up this natural resource, it endangers food security," he says. "Soil health is the way to accomplish this."

Taking care of the soil is not just the responsibility of farmers like Forgey. It's everyone's job, says Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist for NRCS in South Dakota.

"When I talk about big projects we should care about, I call them sandboxes. Because of our state's economic dependence upon agriculture, soil health is the most important sandbox South Dakotans need to get involved in. When I say South Dakotans, I mean all of us. All South Dakotans need to have a better understanding of and appreciation for our soil resource. There is room in this sandbox for everyone," says Zimprich, who is responsible for overseeing NRCS personnel and programs throughout South Dakota.

Soil health - or rather the lack of, Zimprich explains, is the reason the federal agency he serves was established.

"The NRCS was formed in 1935, born out of the Dust Bowl. We are all about helping producers, land owners and operators of private land care for natural resources," Zimprich says, explaining that 75 percent of all land in South Dakota is privately owned.

Zimprich quickly adds that the task of improving the state's soil health is too large for any one agency, organization or group to take on alone.

"The job is huge. It's so big. We have to collaborate. Also, all of us - individuals, agencies and organizations - bring different strengths to the table," Zimprich says. "When you collaborate you get to use everyone's strengths."

Bly echoes this comment.

"Through collaboration we make our message stronger and more effective," Bly says. "From the perspective of SDSU Extension, our partners are also our stakeholders. As the outreach arm of our state's land grant, we rely on our stakeholders for feedback - so we can clearly understand needs to direct our research and programming."

The unbiased nature of this team brings with it a credibility many landowners trust, says Selby farmer, Doug Sieck.

"As a producer it's tough to sort through the information and data when companies put their own data together," explains Sieck, who helped charter the S.D. Soil Health Coalition in 2015 and recently retired as its president. "When I get information from NRCS or SDSU Extension there is no commercial agenda behind the recommendations and that is important because mistakes are costly and margins are tight."

In addition to changing his management practices to no-till, planting cover crops, increasing cropping rotations and diversity and rotating his cattle herd through pastures daily during the growing season - Sieck says getting involved in workshops and seminars focused on soil health introduced him to a community of experts, farmers and landowners who are willing to step outside what is thought of as conventional, to improve soil health. This changed his mind set and the way he thinks about his lifelong career of farming.

"Spending time with out-of-the-box thinkers, impacted my attitude about farming. It's a refreshing way to look at what I do," explains Sieck, a fourth-generation South Dakota farmer. "And, I'm German, so I also like the fact that it's a new way to do things that means I won't have to buy as many inputs."

To learn more about how you can improve your soil health and become connected to South Dakota's soil health network, contact Anthony Bly by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, says soil health is essential to sustaining South Dakota's number one industry of agriculture.

Courtesy photo. Dan Forgey, the Agronomy Manager for Cronin Farms, Gettysburg says it's not the crop he's walking through that captures his attention these days, but the soil he is walking on. "Today, I pay attention to what is growing under my feet instead of just paying attention to what is growing above the soil's surface. In fact, I spend more time thinking about what is going on below." 

Courtesy photo. Selby farmer, Doug Sieck helped charter the S.D. Soil Health Coalition in 2015 and recently retired as its president. In addition to changing his management practices to no-till, planting cover crops, increasing cropping rotations and diversity, Sieck rotates his cattle herd through pastures daily during the growing season.

Courtesy photo. Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist for Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Dakota. 

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BCBH® SD Lay Leader Trainings Coming to Aberdeen

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota offers self-management programs designed to help those living with chronic health conditions and their supporters gain confidence and learn skills to better manage their own health, stay active and take charge.

"Attending a BCBH® South Dakota Lay Leader Training teaches citizens how to co-lead BCBH workshops, enhance their health, and the health of their community as they share the gift of self-management with others," said Megan Erickson, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist. "South Dakotans can make a difference by helping others to feel better, live better, be better and age strong."

2018 BCBH® South Dakota Trainings will be offered at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Aberdeen (13 Second Ave.) beginning April 11:

  • BCBH Chronic Disease Self-Management ProgramLay Leader Training: four-day training to become a leader for the chronic disease-self management program on April 11, 12, 18, and 19
  • BCBH Diabetes Lay Leader Cross-Training: one-day training for BCBH® South Dakota leaders to be cross trained in the diabetes self-management program on April 20. Must be attending Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Lay Leader Training in April or already be a certified Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Lay Leader.

More about Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota

The BCBH program is designed for those with chronic conditions that might include, but are not limited to: arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, depression, cancer, high blood pressure, breathing problems, chronic pain, anxiety, weight issues and fibromyalgia.

The BCBH Diabetes program is designed for adults with pre-diabetes and type 2-diabetes. Caregivers are also welcome to attend.

The program's workshops are co-lead by two trained leaders and consist of six two-and-a-half hour sessions with interactive group discussion.

"Better Choices, Better Health® SD is not a support group but rather a workshop on how to make small steps toward positive changes and a healthier life," explained Erickson.

The workshop topics include: managing pain, fatigue and stress; tips for healthy eating, personal exercise plans; relaxation techniques; medication how-to's; dealing with emotions; and working better with your doctor and care team and specific to the BCBH Diabetes program are meal planning, monitoring blood sugar level, and preventing or delaying complications.

The South Dakota Department of Health, South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension, and South Dakota Department of Human Services launched the Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota in an effort to teach South Dakotans with chronic health conditions ways to manage the impact of their disease on their lives and their families' lives.

For more information, call the SDSU Extension Office at 1.888.484.3800.

To register for this training, visit the iGrow Events page. Preregistration is required. The deadline is March 30, 2018.

The fee to register for CDSMP Lay Leader Training is $250. True volunteers, not sponsored by an employer/organization to attend, may have the registration fee waived and be eligible for financial assistance to attend the training, please contact Megan Jacobson by email for more information. There is no fee to register for the diabetes cross-training.

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SDSU Hosts 95th Little International March 23 & 24

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University is bringing together the Brookings community, alumni, current students and high school students once again for the 95th Little International, March 23 and 24. The event takes place on the SDSU campus in Brookings, with livestock shows on Friday and Saturday at the SDSU Animal Science Arena.

Little "I' is a two-day, student-run, agricultural exposition that carries tradition among SDSU students and alumni. A select group of 150 SDSU students plan and conduct the event that hosts a variety of contests for high school 4-H and FFA members, and SDSU students.

With over 230 SDSU students signed up to show an estimated 168 animals, and an additional 1,300 high school students being drawn to campus, Little International is easily the largest student-run exposition in the country.

SDSU's students compete by showing animals in a variety of competitions, including: beef, sheep, swine, dairy, goat and horse competitions. Additionally, participants can compete in judging contests, an auctioneering contest, barbecue competition, and meat or dairy products contests, among others.

Events are held each year in the SDSU Animal Science Arena on the "green chips, "wood shavings that are colored by staff and have become a signature of the Little "I" exposition.

"The green chips, the white picket fence...it's a big tradition in the College of Ag and Bio," general manager for Little International and senior agriculture business major, Kendrah Schafer of Goodhue, MN, said.

The annual Livestock Drawing makes it possible for any student, regardless of experience, to work with a species of their choice for three weeks prior to competition. This year, the Little "I" staff is trying to increase community outreach and participation.

"We're doing more community outreach and allowing kids who don't have the opportunity to show that opportunity," assistant manager and junior Agriculture Business major, Tristin Fliehe of Tulare, SD, said.

Not only is Little "I" a wonderful promotional event for SDSU, but it brings business to Brookings.

"Bringing back alumni, they all come here, they spend money at the businesses and promote the local economy which is really nice to see," Filehe said. "Basically Little International turns Brookings from kind of a busy town to the busiest town in South Dakota for about two days."

Friday's fitting competition begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues through the day. A full day of judging contests and fitting competitions follows. At 5 p.m., opening ceremonies begin for the livestock fitting finals.

On Saturday, the showmanship contest picks up again at 8 a.m. and continues the rest of the day. An alumni reception will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, located at 977 11th Street in Brookings. An Honored Agriculturalist from the state of South Dakota will be recognized at 8 p.m. Opening ceremonies for the evening competitions begin at 5 p.m. with showmanship finals to follow. Saturday wraps up with a round robin competition and awards ceremony.

The public is welcome to attend Friday and Saturday's competitions, and there is no charge for admission. A complete schedule of events can be found at this link.

For more information, visit the SDSU - College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Facebook page or the SDSU Little International Facebook page.

 

2018 Little International Executive Committee

A staff of 150 SDSU students plans and conducts Little International, led by an Executive Committee made up of, Back row left to right: Tye Harris), Andrea Schubloom, Jonathan Linke, Andrew Berg, Cameron Goodrich, Sam Johnson.

Middle row left to right: Lydia Hite, Peyton Dejong, Sienna Kampsen, Ashley Reiner, Madison Schafer, Alison Durheim.

Front row left to right: Brianna Buseman, Tristin Fliehe (Assistant Manager), Kendrah Schafer (Manager), Lisa Smith.

SDSU's Little International is the largest student-run livestock exposition in the country.

Many SDSU students, alumni and stakeholders come to the SDSU Animal Science Arena each March to watch Little International competitions.

This year 230 students will be showing animals during the SDSU Little International in Brookings.

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Dairy Beef Short Course Tour is March 27

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Dairy beef producers, dairy producers, industry, academia and students along the I-29 region are invited to attend the I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course Tour held March 27,2018.

Please arrive by 8 a.m. to ensure prompt departure and at 8:15 a.m. and will return at 4:30 p.m.

The tour will include two dairy beef feedlots and a livestock auction barn focused on the sale of dairy beef. The tour will cover Southwest Minnesota and Northwest Iowa.

The tour is sponsored by the I-29 Moo University.

Travel details:

The bus will leave the Denny Sanford Premier Center complex (1201 N. West Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104) at 8:15 a.m. and arrive back at 4:30 p.m.

Tour is open to the public. Register at iGrow

Tour Schedule:

8 a.m. - Register & load

8:15 a.m. - Depart - Opening Discussion on State of the Industry for Dairy Beef (on the bus), led by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate & Beth Doran, ISU Extension Beef Specialist

9:15 a.m. - Binford Farms - Luverne, Minnesota: Binford Farms is a family operation owned by Grant & Rebecca and Eric and Shari Binford. They have seven children between the two families ranging in ages from 15 to 4 years of age that they hope will become the next generation in agriculture.

Binford Farms is a farmer feeder operation with management divided between Grant managing the cattle feeding and Eric managing the farming and trucking aspects of the business. The operation has primarily fed Holsteins since 2002 from 350 pounds to finish with some Holstein calves in the mix. 

10:45 a.m. - Depart for second stop - Introduction of sponsors and bathroom break included

11:45 - 12:30 p.m. - Lunch at Tri-State Livestock Auction in Sioux Center, Iowa

12:30 pm - Tri-State Livestock - Sioux Center, Iowa: Mike Koedam, co-owner and cattle buyer will provide us with his insights regarding the buying and selling of dairy beef.

Tri-State Livestock auction market sells all classes of livestock specializing in dairy cattle. They believe that true market value of your livestock can only be achieved through competitive bidding which only an auction can provide.

1:45 p.m. - Depart for third stop

2 p.m. - Rock River Feeders - Rock Valley, Iowa: Rock River Feeders is a family owned and operated feedlot in Sioux County, Iowa.

Kent and Sylvia Pruismann, along with other family members, have taken great care to develop the feedlot with special attention to animal well-being, environmental sustainability and the incorporation of new technologies.

The feedlot currently houses 3500 head of cattle in outside yards meeting all federal and state manure management regulations.

Kent is a member of the National Cattlemen's Beef Board, so it is no surprise that Beef Quality Assurance is the normal mode of daily operation. All cattle are tagged upon arrival with an electronic identification tag, which is used to track animal origin, health and movement. Placement weight of incoming calves averages 270 pounds.

The feedlot rations are a TMR consisting of earlage, corn, wet distillers grains and mineral supplementation. They market their dairy steers on a high energy grid to JBS in Wisconsin.

3:15 p.m. - Leave for Sioux Falls

4:30 p.m. - Return to Sioux Falls Denny Sanford Premier Center

Registration information:

Registration for this event is due by March 23, 2018 and is $30 per person to cover transportation, snacks and lunch.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

If you have questions, contact Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist, by email or call 605.882.5140; or Fred Hall, ISU NW Iowa Dairy Specialist by email or call 712.737.4230. 

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KBJM Farm and Home Show in Lemmon March 9

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Community Development, Communities, Gardens, Trees & Forests, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Plan to attend the SDSU Extension seminars that interest you during the KBJM Farm and Home Show held March 9, 2018 at the Palace Theatre in Lemmon (209 Main Ave).

There is no cost to attend and everyone welcome. The event begins at noon.

Noon to 1 p.m. - Selection and Management of Trees for Western South Dakota - John Ball, Professor & SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist, will share his wit and wisdom during this seminar on selection and management of trees suitable for western South Dakota.        

1 to 2 p.m. - The Impact of Pre-Weaning Management on Lifetime Productivity of the Calf - Dr. Amanda Blair, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Meat Science Specialist, will provide an overview of SDSU research projects that focus on the influence of pre-weaning management on post weaning performance and carcass quality.

2 to 3 p.m. - Customer Service - Learn about the "Secrets of Service" - Paul Thares, SDSU Community Vitality Field Specialist will host a workshop on customer service. Come learn about the "Secrets of Service." Find out that is not necessarily what we do, it's who we serve! Those who attend will also learn; The 4 key principles: What do customers expect from us and What are your "Pickles." Whoever attends will learn and have fun!

Please contact the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Lemmon with questions, 605.374.4177.

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When Selecting a Calving Book App

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - In today's day and age, there is an app for many of the tasks livestock producers conduct each day, from keeping track of markets, banking and even calving records.

With so many options available, livestock producers looking to implement a calving app this calving season may become overwhelmed deciding which app to use.

"The famous saying you can't manage what you don't measure is true. Adaptation of new calving book apps can have a place in making recordkeeping easier and keep producers on track this calving season," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Grussing has some suggestions of things producers should consider when selecting the calving record app that is right for them.

Inputs: Apps should have inputs for cow inventory, sire inventory, along with calving data.

If the app is to be used year-to-year, check to see if new data can be added each year without removing old data.

An example of calving inputs to look for include:

  • Calf identification number
  • Birth day/year
  • Birth weight
  • Sire/dam ID
  • Gender
  • Color
  • Calving ease score
  • Single/twin
  • Udder score
  • Teat score
  • Pasture location

In addition to calving data, it might also be handy to select an app that includes breeding season and pregnancy check information within the same app.

Connectivity and Compatibility: Identify apps that can be used even when data or wifi services are not available.

The app will likely synch to an online storage system when cellular service becomes available, but may need to be set for this to occur and keep everyone using the app updated.

Also, if multiple people will be entering information, make sure all phones are compatible.

Lastly, if the calving app is being accessed by two users at the same time, ensure the app allows for data to be entered simultaneously. 

Storage: What type of storage or data program does the app synch too?

Options may include online cloud storage, computer or record keeping programs. In addition, file type is important and should be in a format that data is easy to use and capable to generate reports as needed. Example file types may include text, excel, pdf or even breed specific database programs. 

Also, producers should consider whether the app is compatible with a computer or iPad?

If apps are only accessible on a phone, it may be difficult to see mass quantities of data at one time, sort data or even print reports.

Fees: Most apps will offer a free-trial for 10 to 30 days before charging a monthly or yearly fee for services. Also, apps may vary in the amount of storage or number of animals that can be entered into the system.

Before paying for an app, make sure it provides the data storage you need and find out if extra animals can be added for a fee if that storage limit is met.   

Additional Features: In addition to calving records, look for additional features such as breeding information, gestation calculator, semen tank inventory, grazing plan and weaning and pregnancy data. 

For questions on this or other calving-related issues, contact Grussing or another SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.

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2018 Cattle Marketing Decisions

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to the most recent National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) Cattle Report, South Dakota's total cattle inventory is up from last year.

"There are currently more cattle on feed and fewer cattle outside of feedlots in South Dakota," said Matthew Diersen, Professor & SDSU Extension Risk/Business Management Specialist of the report released January 31, 2018.

With this in mind, Diersen said cattle producers will want to review futures and basis levels when making 2018 marketing decisions.

"The changes across classes were not consistent. Thus, benchmarks may prove useful for pricing and marketing decisions," Diersen said.

Cattle producers can access common benchmarks and basis levels by reviewing the SDSU Extension document, Monthly Cattle Prices and Basis Levels. This document, along with an article authored by Diersen which analyzes the NASS report, Cattle Price Considerations For 2018, can be found by visiting iGrow and searching by the document titles.

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So You Need Some Extra Labor Force on the Farm?

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

Column by Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist

As the American farm continues to grow and evolve, the need for extra labor increases. Unfortunately, many of us as agriculture producers did not sign on to become human resource managers. 

In addition, agricultural producers, as a group, tend to be very independent, do it ourselves types and the transition into people managers instead of maybe "livestock or crop managers" is not the easiest. 

Thus, if we are going to be successful in the future and our success is dependent upon hired labor, as managers, we need to develop the necessary skillset.

Below I outline some tips to intentionally recruit and hire quality employees. Some of the information is adapted from information found in a handbook, "Recruiting and Hiring Outstanding Staff," written by Bernard L. Erven of Ohio State University Department of Ag, Environmental & Development Economics.

Recruitment & Hiring

Once an operation has determined they need to hire someone either part-time or full time, they will need to put together a plan for recruiting and hiring outstanding staff. 

No simple or even complex recipe guarantees hiring success. Agriculture cannot meet its goals by hiring at the bottom of the barrel. We need to attract good people who are willing to work for others. 

Hiring good people has nothing to do with luck. The employer who seems lucky in always finding high quality people, rarely is in fact, lucky. Instead, these agriculture producers most often depend on carefully made plans and a reputation as an excellent employer. Both of which take time and patience.

Hiring Checklist

The following eight steps are a sample checklist producers can utilize to help them succeed in hiring quality employee(s).

  1. Determine the labor and management needs of the farm business that the new employee is expected to address.
  2. Develop a current job description based on needs.
  3. Build a pool of applicants.

    Some ways that you can make this happen is by keeping a list of applications that ranked high as you were filling previous positions.

    Looking to on-line data bases in which potential candidates post their resume's may provide potential candidates depending upon the job you are looking to fill within your operation.

    If the position also requires some technical or post-secondary knowledge you may look to various trade magazines to see who is leading the industry in your area and "creating a stir."

    Consider working with universities or technical schools and offer internships at your operation. These often are a great way of seeing if someone might be a good fit for your operation long term.

    Attending various industry conferences or association meetings is a way to network with others and promote your business as a superior place to work.

    Don't forget to use social media platforms to your best advantage as they may help you attract a candidate who may not have previously been aware of your job posting. These include such places as LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook. As you build your pool, it is always a good idea to get permission if you plan to retain resumes and personal contact data keeping in mind the data collection and information privacy laws laws within the United States.
     
  4. Review applications and select those to be interviewed.
  5. Interview
  6. Check references / background checks
  7. Make a selection
  8. Hire

Values

Another factor that needs to be considered is personal values. Ask yourself what is important to you as a person? Are you courageous, respectful, a collaborator, driven by performance, have a positive attitude? Are you driven by success, honorable, trustworthy, these are among many, many values that you may have as a person?

Would you, want to work for you? If not, what changes should you make to be someone who others can work for?

Take a true look at your values and try to hire people with similar values as you. 

You will be more apt to connect with that person or group as they work in your operation towards your overall purpose, vision and mission of your operation.

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SD Specialty Producers Association Meeting

Categorized: Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Specialty Producers Association (SDSPA) is hosting a set of work group sessions March 1 - 2, 2018. SDSU Extension Community Vitality staff are facilitating these work group sessions designed to re-energize statewide efforts to promote and support the growing local foods movement.

The partnership session begins at 1 p.m. (CST) March 1 at Arrowwood Resort in Oacoma (1500 Shoreline Dr, Oacoma).

Anyone with a stake in this developing market including producers, farmer's market managers and vendors, chefs, value-added businesses, local foods enthusiasts, and agencies are encouraged to attend.

The March 1 afternoon session will begin with partner briefings, producer input and work group discussions to facilitate an action plan that coordinates efforts across the state. Individual partners' organization meetings will take place in the evening. Meeting space is still available on a first come first serve basis.

Facilitated breakout sessions the morning of March 2 will address specific issues/concerns facing local foods producers and businesses in South Dakota including:

Farmer's Markets - Centralized Coordination, SNAP/EBT, Food Safety

  • Funding Your Success- Resources Available & Producer Project Experiences
  • Food Production & Positive Solutions - Specialty Meats & Access to Processing; Pesticide Drift; Current Legislative Actions
  • Agritourism Opportunities in South Dakota with Kirk Hulstein & Neil Wagner, SD Department of Tourism.

Registration deadline is Feb. 23, 2018 

To register for this event, visit the SDSPA website.

Registration for South Dakota Specialty Producers and South Dakota Beverage Producers members is $10 per person for one day, $15 per person for two days. Non-member fees are $15 per person for one day and $25 per person for two days.

If the Feb. 23 deadline is missed, an additional $5 will be charged at the door.

There is also the option to pay at the door, and register over the phone or by e-mail. If this is preferred, contact Cory Tomovick at 605.430.4699 or by email. Tomovick can also be contacted with questions.

The SDSPA will hold their annual membership meeting in conjunction with the work group sessions. The meeting will be held March 1 at 9:30 a.m. at Arrowwood Resort.

If you are not a member of the SDSPA and would like to join, simply visit the SDSPA online. Joint SDSPA and SD Beverage Producers Association membership is available for a discount price.

Specialty producers and local foods enthusiasts can stay up-to-date on relevant issues and educational opportunities by following SDSPA on Facebook.

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Climate Outlook Shows Cold Conclusion to Winter 2018

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Colder than average temperatures are likely to carry through March 2018, according to the latest National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Outlook released today, Feb. 15, 2018.

"The last two weeks of February will likely be colder than average, and that pattern is likely to carry into March," explained Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Edwards added that the northwestern states and Northern Plains are all favored to be colder than average to end the winter season. And, the winter drought of northern South Dakota appears likely to linger a while longer. Through the end of February, a relatively dry pattern will remain over the state. As March approaches, the dismal snowpack is a concern.

"After warm temperatures on Valentine's Day melted much of the low snowpack, brown ground has emerged again," Edwards said. "Without good snow cover, it is a challenge to refill the dry stock ponds, replenish soil moisture and provide moisture for ecosystems and wildlife habitat."

Looking ahead to the start of the 2018 spring season, the NOAA Climate Outlook also showed a slightly higher likelihood that western South Dakota could see some wetter conditions in March.

"This would be great news for the drought-stricken area that is still carrying drought conditions from the last one to two years," Edwards said. "Recent snowfall has prevented the area from getting much worse, but a lot of timely rains will be needed this spring to provide substantial relief in the region."

For the next three months, March through May, wetter than average conditions are also slightly favored over the northern half of South Dakota.

Edwards explained that this is a critical period for pasture, range and forages. "This area was dry last year at this time, which led into the severe drought during the growing season," she said.

The spring season is projected to bring warmer temperatures as well, as colder temperatures recede to the northwest states. "At this time, South Dakota has equal chances of warmer, colder and near-average temperatures during the next three months," Edwards said.

However, for much of the state, as we enter the 2018 growing season, Edwards said it appears that drought may hold its grip for a while into the spring.

"April and May will be more critical than in a typical year, as the soils have very little moisture in reserve due to the dry fall season last year," Edwards said. "On a positive note, there seems to be low risk of spring flooding due to low snowpack and dry soils in most of the state."

The southeast corner is in the best condition, given near normal snowfall and some soil moisture from last year's wet fall season.

Courtesy of NOAA. March 2018 temperature outlook indicates colder than average temperatures are favored over South Dakota. Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.

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Agtegra Cooperative Pledges $500,000 to SDSU Precision Ag Center Project

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

PIERRE, S.D. - Agtegra Cooperative, Aberdeen, S.D., today in Pierre announced a $500,000 donation to South Dakota State University for the Precision Agriculture Building Project proposed by the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

"We are committed to serving our farmer-members with innovation and integrity," said Agtegra Board President Hal Clemensen. "It is from our deep commitment to the vital role that precision technology will play in the success of farming that we are committing to this project."

Calling it an investment in the future of precision agriculture in South Dakota, Agtegra Board Vice President Rick Osterday, together with Clemensen, presented a check for $500,000 to SDSU College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences Interim Dean Don Marshall. The presentation was part of Agtegra Day at the Capitol.

"An investment in the future of precision agriculture supports our farmers, our future farmers and agronomists, and our communities," Osterday said. "Technology offers us the best opportunity to excel in our pursuit of improved yields, efficient production and exceptional harvests."

In receiving the donation, Marshall replied, "SDSU is extremely grateful for the generosity of Agtegra with this substantial contribution to the Precision Ag project.  We share a vision of the importance of precision technology to the future of agriculture. This gift will help prepare SDSU students for the workforce and enable our faculty and staff to contribute to innovative industry production methods that optimize efficiency and profitability while sustaining natural resources for future generations."   

The Precision Ag Center Project, when completed, will create a leading edge space for SDSU's research in and teaching of precision agriculture. SDSU is home to the nation's first four-year degree program in precision agriculture. According to Clemensen, this is the kind of project that fits with value of the new cooperative.

"This is a future-focused endeavor," Clemensen said. "We have a legacy-rich tradition of meeting challenges head-on, and of turning to innovation to achieve success."

Osterday added, "It's vital that we raise up a new generation of farmers and agronomists, skilled in knowing how to apply precision technology to feeding the world's population. The Precision Ag Center Project can help us achieve that goal, and can set apart South Dakota as a leader in that pursuit."

The total cost of the project is $55 million and will include new construction and the renovation of Berg Agricultural Hall. The new building will be located between the Animal Science Complex, McFadden Biostress and the Alfred Dairy Science Hall on the SDSU campus.

ABOUT AGTEGRA COOPERATIVE

Agtegra Cooperative, headquartered in Aberdeen, is a farmer-owned cooperative  with 900 employees in North and South Dakota serving more than 60 communities, approximately 6,770 member-owners and more than 20,000 equity holders. In addition to offering grain and agronomy services, Agtegra offers its members aerial application services, fuel, animal feed, and precision ag hardware and software products and services.

Courtsey South Dakota State University. The Board of Directors of Agtegra Cooperative presented a $500,000 pledge to South Dakota State University for the Precision Ag Building Project at SDSU. Pictured from left to right: Dr. Don Marshall, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences; Rick Osterday, First Vice President, Agtegra Cooperative Board of Directors; Dr. Barry Dunn, President, SDSU; and Hal Clemensen, President, Agtegra Cooperative Board of Directors.

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Farm Food Safety Training Sioux Falls March 3

Categorized: Healthy Families, Food Safety, Community Development, Local Foods, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A training in farm food safety will be held in Sioux Falls, March 3, 2018 for fruit and vegetable growers at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (2001 E 8th St.).

Training begins at 8:30 a.m. and will run until 4 p.m. Preregister by Feb. 28, 2018, registration details below.

"Much of the training will focus on creating farm food safety plans, focusing on potential food safety risks ranging from watering practices, animal contact, people, and equipment," said Rhoda Burrows, Professor & SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist.

Attendees will have the opportunity to map their own farm's features and assess their own operations for potential risks and scale-appropriate best practices.

Both digital and hard-copy plan templates will be available; attendees may bring their laptops to input data directly or they can simply make notes on handouts.

Topics covered will include the latest rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and determining if or when those rules will apply to a given operation.

The latest research-based recommendations for reducing risks from the field to the market will be presented, as well as information sources, templates, and other tools for optimizing production and post-harvest handling practices.

Register by Feb. 28, 2018

Space is limited. The registration deadline is Feb. 28, 2018.

The registration fee for this training is $25 and will cover materials, lunch and coffee breaks. The fee increases to $35 after deadline, and is subject to availability.

Support from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant, and the United States Food and Drug Administration allows SDSU Extension to keep the cost for participants at a minimum.

For registration information, go to the iGrow Events page or contact Burrows by email or 605.394.2236.

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2017 SD Master Pork Producers Recognized

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota.

The 2017 S.D. Master Pork Producers include: Dan Rodas, Spencer; Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes and Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids. The Honorary Master Pork Producer is Jeri Westra, Smithfield, Lennox.

This news release includes four separate releases and photos highlighting each individual recognized.

2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer Bruce Burkhart

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and is one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls.

The S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The other South Dakota honorees include: S.D. Master Pork Producers, Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes and Dan Rodas, Spencer and Honorary Master Pork Producer, Jeri Westra, Smithfield, Lennox.

More about Bruce Burkhart 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer

Burkhart originally started with a farrow-to-finish operation, and in 1998 built a 2,000-head, naturally ventilated finishing barn.

It took seven meetings with Minnehaha County officials before being approved, but Burkhart approached the situation as a teaching opportunity to educate local officials on modern pork production. His efforts proved successful, because when he applied for a permit in 2008 to build a second 2,000-head mechanically ventilated finishing barn, it was approved the first meeting.

Burkhart later switched to strictly finishing pigs so he could to do a better job managing pigs and other enterprises. In 2012 he joined the Pipestone System.

Today, he markets 8,000 pigs annually. The feed comes from the Edgerton feed mill. Burkhart utilizes split-sex feeding and hot water heat from a wood-burning furnace to keep his pigs warm.

He believes that continual preventative maintenance and paying attention to details EVERY day is what makes them successful. In 2017, the pigs in his barns had a 1.58 pound average daily gain, a 2.53 feed efficiency, and a 4.79 percent wean-to-finish mortality.

Along with sons Jase (full time) and Brandon (part time), long time employee, Lenny Stahl, helps make a successful team. Kim Morgan and Mike Vanden Bosch from Pipestone System are Burkhart's main resources.

Burkhart is also an environmental steward. He applies all the manure from the finishing barns on his own crop ground. When soil phosphorus levels were getting high on his ground close to the place, he trucked the manure 5 miles away to another set of fields to make sure they were utilizing the manure in an environmentally sustainable way. He also plants trees for odor control.

Not only is Burkhart an excellent pork producer, but in 2016 he was recognized by Ag United for South Dakota with the AgVocate of the Year award for his work on educating policy makers and the general public on what a modern family farm looks like through the Adopt A Farmer program and testifying at local hearings.

For more information regarding pork production in South Dakota, please contact Bob Thaler, Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Courtesy of iGrow. Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and is one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls.He is pictured here (third from left) with with (left to right) Tom Grady, Boehringer Ingelheim; Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist; and Joe Miller, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls.

2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer Dan Rodas

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Dan Rodas, Spencer, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and is one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls.

The S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The other South Dakota honorees include: S.D. Master Pork Producers, Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes and Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids and Honorary Master Pork Producer, Jeri Westra, Smithfield, Lennox.

More about 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer Dan Rodas

Though growing up on a dairy farm in northeast Iowa, Rodas is a natural pig person and leader.

He started with Pipestone Systems in 2002 and has moved up rapidly, holding supervisory positions at multiple barns. He managed the first barn in the Pipestone System to wean 12 pigs per litter, and now has the best producing barn in their system weaning 35.78 pigs per sow per year.

Rodas leads by example and has high standards for himself and his 18 employees. He believes this projects a "Will Do" attitude to his crew, and strives to develop a team mentality. Also, Dan believes that you have to make the difficult, but right decisions.

His philosophy appears to working because the farm also has a 92 percent farrowing rate, 15.7 pigs born live per litter, and has weaned 14-plus pigs per litter for 54 straight weeks.

Currently they wean at 19 days of age, but plan to build more farrowing rooms and wean at 24 days of age to help the pigs get off to a stronger start at weaning.

The feed for the farm comes from Central Farmers in Montrose.

Thunder Ridge utilizes DNA Genetics, and is also the highest producing farm in the DNA system. To protect the health of the animals, they follow a strict biosecurity plan, and replacement gilts are brought to the farm at weaning. Rodas believes that great protocols are essential to their success, and he also gives a lot of credit to Dr. Luke Minion, Dr. Scott VanderPoel, Dr. Emily McDowell and Jared Hemelstrand as excellent mentors and resources.

For more information regarding pork production in South Dakota, please contact Bob Thaler, Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Courtesy of iGrow. Dan Rodas, Spencer, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and is one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls. He is pictured here (third from left) with with (left to right) Tom Grady, Boehringer Ingelheim; Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist; and Joe Miller, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls.

2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer Lenny Wipf

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls.

The S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The other South Dakota honorees include: S.D. Master Pork Producers, Dan Rodas, Spencer and Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids and Honorary Master Pork Producer, Jeri Westra, Smithfield, Lennox.

More Lenny Wipf, 2017 S.D. Master Pork Producer

Wipf started working with pigs in 2002 and has been the swine manager at Lakeview Colony since 2012. He was actively involved in the building of the original barn.

The operation is a 1,000 sow, farrow-to-finish operation using Genesus genetics. There are 1,000 sows, 3,500 nursery pigs and 3,000 finishing pigs on-site.

Offsite they have three, 1,000 head finishing barns and one, 2,400 head wean-to-finish barn. Sows are bred in crates, but then put in gestation pens two days after breeding.

Wipf and his crew sort females based on weight and backfat so they can manage the sows better with less competition, and gilts are placed into their own pens. 

They also use hot water radiant heat to keep the pigs warm. Wipf has four other people working with him on-site, and there's an additional person who oversees the offsite barns and the feed mill.

Pork production is done differently at Lakeview Colony.

They are part of an "Antibiotic Free Program" with Natural Foods in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Not only are all diets free of antibiotics and animal-based feed ingredients, but they also utilize pen gestation, and farrowing crates that are turned into farrowing pens three days after farrowing.

With these unique circumstances, Wipf and his crew of four are producing an impressive 29 pigs/sow/year, which takes a lot of extra management and skill. However, Wipf credits their success to the guys doing the work, saying they all work together in a team effort.

Also, Wipf utilizes Dr. Rob Fisher & Dr. Jon Ertl from Sioux Nation for nutrition and herd health advice.

For more information regarding pork production in South Dakota, please contact Bob Thaler, Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Courtesy of iGrow. Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes, was named a 2017 South Dakota Master Pork Producer and one of three South Dakota pork producers recognized during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls. He is pictured here (third from left) with (left to right) Tom Grady, Boehringer Ingelheim; Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist; and Joe Miller, The First National Bank in Sioux Falls.

2017 South Dakota Honorary Master Pork Producer is Jeri Westra

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jeri Westra, Lennox, was named the 2017 South Dakota Honorary Master Pork Producer, and was recognized along with the three South Dakota Master Pork Producers during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls.

The Honorary Master Pork Producer award is given to an individual who, while not involved in day-to-day pork production, has made a significant contribution to the South Dakota swine industry and the farm families that make it up.

The S.D. Master Pork Producers is a volunteer organization comprised of allied industry members who have the goals of recognizing outstanding pork producers and promoting pork production in South Dakota. The three South Dakota Master Pork Producers include: Lenny Wipf, Lakeview Colony, Lake Andes, Dan Rodas, Spencer and Bruce Burkhart, Dell Rapids.

More about 2017 South Dakota Honorary Master Pork Producer Jeri Westra

Westra grew up on diversified livestock operation in southeast South Dakota. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University. Following graduation, Westra started in the packing industry first working with IBP in the late 1970's.

He then went to worked for Cloughtery Pack, Los Angles Ca. where he covered terminal markets, as well as buying out of stations in Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado. Interestingly, back then, the hogs were still loaded on rail cars and shipped to Los Angles.

Wanting to return home, Westra then took a position with Steele Siman Commission Company in the Sioux Falls Stockyards. In 1984, Westra made the move across the street and started with John Morrell & Co as area Hog Buyer covering southeastern South Dakota. Since then, he has held a variety of positions within the company. Westra currently serves as the Director of Procurement for Sioux Falls Smithfield plant.

Since the plant harvests approximately 19,500 pigs per day and more than 5.5 million pigs each year, Westra and his crew are kept very busy. However, Westra still maintains a very close relationship with the pork producers of South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. He views them more as family than clients.

Westra serves the South Dakota pork industry in many ways outside the plant. He has serve as the Lincoln County 4-H swine superintendent, and has served for many years on multiple committees of the Sioux Empire Farm Show. Westra was instrumental in purchasing the current State Fair 4-H Swine Show hogs - the show means a lot of work for Westra and his team because they individually tattoo and weigh more than 500 4-H pigs, as well as write checks to the 4-H youth that are showing them.

Westra is a supporter of the South Dakota Master Pork Producers by having Smithfield Foods donate the pork served to the 250-plus attendees of the annual banquet. Also, he is a very proud Jackrabbit alumni and supports his alma mater by having Smithfield Foods donate all the pork used at the SDSU Pork Classic basketball games, as well as the 20 pork bundles auctioned off. That support alone provides at least $4,000 additional of scholarship money to SDSU students pursuing a career in some facet of pork production.

Westra is very active in the Delaware Reformed Church, and currently serves as a church elder. Also, he has served on the Board of Center of Hope Outreach Ministry, which does Christian mission work in downtown Sioux Falls.

For more information regarding pork production in South Dakota, please contact Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist or Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Courtesy of iGrow. Jeri Westra, Lennox (left), was named the 2017 South Dakota Honorary Master Pork Producer, and was recognized along with the three SD Master Pork Producers during the S.D. Master Pork Producer banquet held this January in Sioux Falls. Tom Grady, Boehringer Ingelheim & Master Pork Producers Chair, presents the award.

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SDSU Student Prepares to Share His Story

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Passionate about farming and hunting, South Dakota State University student Cole Berkley looks forward to sharing why he wants to farm and why he hunts at the Precision Agriculture Workshop at the 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic. 

Agricultural producers and pheasant enthusiasts are invited to learn how cutting-edge farming practices can work to provide more income while enhancing habitat. The sessions will take place on Friday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.

The conference is designed for farmers, agronomists, precision specialists and ag lenders. Precision approaches put on-farm data to work to maximize profits while providing environmental benefits.

Berkley is a junior Precision Agriculture and Agronomy double-major at SDSU. His family farms in northern South Dakota near Mellette where they utilize precision agriculture techniques.

"Outside of the agriculture community, many people don't realize what precision ag is and why it's important to farmers who need a return on investment," Berkley said. "Drones do much more for agriculture than take photos. They are an important tool as they show vegetation throughout the year. By examining the aerial shots, farmers can identify spots where production is poor. From the images, farmers make decisions about how to handle their land and decide if it should be in the Conservation Reserve Program or maybe planted to grass, for example."

Those who farm and those who hunt are both concerned about the shrinking amount of land available, Berkley said. Some land has been handed down generation to generation. There is a need to maintain and improve the soil that is there. Once it is lost to unwise practices, it's hard to put it back to the way it was.

Farmers have to make tough choices as they deal with the high prices for new technology and low commodity prices. The precision tools are changing the face of farming. Decisions are made acre by acre by using multi-hybrid planters, variable rate technology in applying fertilizer and seed, and section control on planters. It's important for sportsmen to see these investments are ways farmers balance making money with their concern for the environment.

Efforts to improve soil health are a big part of precision agriculture. Planting cover crops enriches the soil and is great for wildlife, especially deer and pheasants. He shared, "We leave rows of corn along the tree belts to provide habitat. The cover crops improve the integrity of the soil and hold the soil structure in place, which benefits the habitat."

"I want people to enjoy the memories they've made while hunting, and enjoy what they have in life," Berkley said. "We appreciate the hunters who have been coming to our land from Iowa for the last 20 years. They are friends who have turned into extended family. The experiences we share through hunting provides us bonds that last a lifetime."

"I'll never forget when I shot my first buck," Berkley said. "It was my first time doing everything by myself. I still remember all the smiles, high-fives, and hugs as people congratulated me. That sticks with you. Being able to share that experience with others continues to remind me of why I hunt. I want those who are younger than me to be able to experience that as well and that is why I want to preserve opportunities on the land that we love."

WORKSHOP DETAILS

The 2018 Precision Ag Workshop is being held in conjunction with 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What: 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic Precision Ag Workshop

When: Friday, February 16th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Where: Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls

Cost: Event registration is $35 and includes a one-year Pheasants Forever membership, lunch, entry for a Henry Golden Boy Farmer Edition Rifle, and daily admission to the 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic show floor.

Speakers: The event will include a panel of Midwest producers and Precision professionals, SDSU President Barry Dunn, and Howard Vincent, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever President and CEO.

Learn more at the Pheasants Forever website.

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4-H Developed Confidence in Abilities

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

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

When Kelly (Wilkerson) Bail sold Waves of the West, her rodeo sponsor flags business, in 2016, it was with a grateful heart.

"The business supplemented our family's income and allowed me to work from home while my kids were growing up," explains Bail, 57. "I sold it because I was ready to have more time for my grandkids."

When she sold, Waves of the West, the business was more than three decades old. And, the sponsor flags Bail and a small team of seamstresses handmade, were flown in rodeo arenas across the nation and at the National Finals Rodeo.

Looking back on how her business got its start, Bail attributes her sewing skills and confidence to her years in 4-H.

She got her start sewing as a 5-year-old, making clothes for her Barbie dolls. When she was old enough to join 4-H, her mom signed her up for Mrs. Mary Ellen Murphy's 4-H sewing club, Buttons and Bows.

Murphy was an accomplished seamstress who Bail looked up to. "She was always dressed to the nines for a ranch woman - wearing wool suits with a hat and purse to match," Bail recalls.

Under the watchful eye of Murphy, as an elementary student, Bail was soon making her own clothes.

"I liked making clothes that didn't look homemade," Bail says.

When her clothing was judged, the judges would often challenge her to try a new or more difficult skill for her next project. "I learned more from the white and red ribbons than I did from the blues and purples," she says.

Later on in her 4-H career, when Mrs. Murphy was ready to retire as 4-H leader, Bail's mom, Arlene Wilkerson took over. "She spent many late night's before Dress Reviews supporting me," says Bail.

In addition to sewing skills, Bail says outside of school, 4-H was one of the few social opportunities she had. Her dad worked for Custer State Park, so the family lived in the park, nearly 20 miles from town.

"4-H got me out among people. I still have friends today that I met through 4-H," she says.

Positive feedback from judges and accumulation of blue and purple ribbons gave her confidence in her abilities. So, when the opportunity came for her to turn her hobby into a business, she was ready.

At the time, Bail was in her early 20s and working for a restaurant in Hermosa that had been asked to be a sponsor of Hart Ranch RV & Camping Resort evening rodeos.

"My boss said he needed a sponsor flag, so I said, "why don't you let me try to make one for you.' Others saw my flag and started hiring me. Pretty soon, I was hired by the Hart Ranch to make all their sponsor flags. Then Sutton Rodeo got my name and my business snowballed from there,'" Bail says.

Although she sold her business, Bail continues to sew. Only, today, when Bail sits down to her machine, it's to make blankets for her 12 grandchildren or for those in need.

Bail is among a group of seamstresses from the tri-state area who make reusable feminine products for women in Ethiopia.

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 of Bridget Teigen. 4-H alumnus, Kelly Bail, credits the skills she gained through her years as a 4-H member with developing the skills she needed to run Waves of the West. A custom rodeo flag business.

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Valuable Leadership and Life Lessons From 4-H

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

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Traversing the globe on deployments for the U.S. Air Force, Ericka (Meligan) Flanigan's thoughts often reflect on moments spent in the Stanley County 4-H Achievement Days showring.

"Showmanship taught me to give my best - even when I was tired. Showmanship was always the last event of the day, so I would have already shown 20-head of sheep and then, I had to do my best. That mentality has gotten me through several deployments," explains the Vice Wing Commander of the 70th Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing.

With 6000 service men and women answering to her, lives depend upon Flanigan's ability to be at her best and confidently make tough decisions - whether she is stationed in a combat zone or in her office at Fort George Meade, Maryland.

"I think about 4-H judging almost every day - honestly, whether making million-dollar decisions or mission critical choices. I need to think about what makes one decision better than the next," Flanigan says. "Whether it was livestock, horticulture or arts and crafts, 4-H judging contests gave me the ability to look at options and make a good decision."

Oral reasons have also come in handy, she adds. "I need to be able to back up my decisions."

Flanigan became a member of the Country Coyotes 4-H Club when she was just 8. Even before she was old enough to join, her mom and dad, Ray and Iris, served as the club's leaders. They were both 4-H alumni and eager share the benefits of involvement in the project-based organization with Stanley County youth. It didn't take long for Flanigan to become involved in every aspect of 4-H - showing horses, sheep, cattle, giving illustrated talks, serving as a club officer and competing in 4-H Rodeo.

"I did everything," she recalls. "I still have all my ribbons and buckles."

She says that the journey to those awards taught her valuable lessons and developed her into the leader she is today. "In 4-H, no matter what project you do, you have to drive yourself. I loved showing, but every year, I began at zero, with a wild heifer and I had to work to train her to lead. It was not easy, but my end goal was to be in that show ring and absolutely be able to show her. 4-H taught me the value of meaningful labor," says Flanigan, who draws several other parallels between her Air Force career and 4-H.

She lists leadership, competition and recognition for good work as some of the similarities that converted a college elective into a 23-year career.

"ROTC was a hybrid of things I had done in 4-H," says the Speech Communications graduate of South Dakota State University. "Being involved in ROTC really gave my college life a lot of meaning."

Following graduation, Flanigan's first Air Force assignment was teaching ROTC classes and developing programing on the campus of SDSU. From there, Lieutenant Flanigan entered the intelligence career field.

Today, Colonel Flanigan credits hard work, dedication and the selfless service of her parents and many other 4-H volunteer mentors with providing her with the strong foundation necessary to climb military ranks.

"Every rank takes a lot of work - there is a lot of blood and sweat behind every rank. 4-H made me tough. It also fostered teamwork," Flanigan says. "In 4-H there were so many times when I had more than one animal in the same class and I would need another 4-H member to help me show. They would help me because they knew that I would help them when they needed it. It's the same way here (in the Air Force.)"

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. South Dakota 4-H alumnus, Ericka Flanigan is the U.S. Air Force Vice Wing Commander of the 70th Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing.

Courtesy photo. South Dakota 4-H alumnus, Ericka Flanigan is the U.S. Air Force Vice Wing Commander of the 70th Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing. Flanigan credits 4-H with teaching her valuable lessons and developing her into the leader she is today. Pictured here in 1990 at the South Dakota State Fair as a member of the winning, Stanley County 4-H Beef Quiz Bowl Team. Other members of the team include (left to right): Brian Jennings, Charlie Prince and Barry Jennings.

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Food Plot Program Provides Supplemental Pheasant Habitat

Categorized: Agronomy, Drought, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - When considering land management options for upland bird habitat, a major limiting factor landowners often find is nesting cover.

Food plots are one tool a landowner can use to increase nesting cover. The term food plot refers to small plots planted to various crops or crop mixtures intended to serve as forage for wildlife.

"If nesting cover is available in sufficient quantities, then improving habitat components for chick survival and overwinter survival can be beneficial for maintaining healthy bird populations," explained Jimmy Doyle, SDSU Extension Natural Resource Management Field Specialist.

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Food Plot Program

To assist landowners in providing winter food sources for wildlife, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (SDGFP) developed a food plot program nearly 50 years ago.

Landowners can receive free corn, sorghum seed or a brood mix to plant each spring, plus a payment to help offset planting costs.

The brood mix has only been offered since 2015, Doyle explained. "South Dakota's native wildlife typically don't starve to death during a normal winter cycle, so traditional grain-based food plots are more of a novelty to wildlife than a necessity," Doyle said.

The mix was collaboratively developed by biologists from Pheasants Forever and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks in an effort to increase the value of food plot acres throughout the year.

"While traditional corn and sorghum food plots offer excellent food sources during extreme winter months, they lack much value to wildlife during other times of the year," said Brian Pauly, Private Lands Biologist, SDGFP.

Developing the brood mix

In 2014, after two years of collaboration the biologists tested the brood mix concept on a handful of Game Production Areas throughout the state.

The trial plantings were monitored throughout the growing season, and observations were made to determine which plant species performed ideally and which did not.

Using those observations, a final seed mix was developed for the inaugural planting season in 2015, when the brood mix was first offered to the public as part of the food plot program.

"The concept of growing habitat types that benefit wildlife for more than just the winter months was easily understood by landowners," Pauly said.

He explained that those landowners looking for a way to enhance pheasant populations on their properties were eager to try the new mix.

In its first three years 50 percent of all landowners enrolled in the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks' food plot program have tried the brood mix already.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's in the brood mix?

The brood mix is an annual mixture of cover crop species (i.e. canola, flax, millet, radish, sunflower), designed to flower from spring through fall and produce seed for wildlife to forage on during winter.

By flowering, the brood mix provides pollinator habitat that traditional corn and sorghum food plots lack. Pollinating insects (i.e. bees and butterflies) thrive in areas with flowering plants.

Insects comprise nearly 100 percent of a pheasant chick's diet, therefore making habitats with high insect numbers for pheasant chicks to forage a key component of pheasant production.

Simply put, more pollinating plants equal more bugs equal more food for young pheasants equal more roosters in the fall.

First and foremost, healthy pheasant populations begin with large blocks of idle grasslands for hens to nest in successfully during spring. After hatching, pheasant chicks rely on quality pollinator plants to provide both insects for food, as well as cover to hide from predators. The brood mix offers landowners a way to provide young pheasants the habitat they need to survive between hatching on the grasslands in the spring to fledging in the fall.

How should the brood mix be planted?

The brood mix can be planted anytime in spring after the danger of frost has passed, and it can be drill seeded or broadcasted and drug in.

Typically, the month of May has been an ideal time to plant the brood mix in previous years, but that may vary depending on which part of the state a property is located in and what weather trends are doing in a particular year.

Before planting, it is important the site is prepared properly. The brood mix cannot be sprayed with any chemicals once it starts growing, so it is recommended to plant this mix in an area that does not have a current weed problem.

If planted in the right area, at the right time, the plants will outcompete weeds naturally, thus negating the need to spray with chemicals at all. A long-term management plan by alternating food plots between corn/sorghum and the brood mix year-after-year will help to achieve clean, weed-free pollinator habitat annually, year-in and year-out.

How can someone enroll in the SDGFP food plot program?

SDGFP private lands biologists work with landowners to enroll in the food plot program.

Funding for these projects comes from sales of hunting licenses, and landowners must agree to allow free and reasonable hunting access.

Landowners still retain and may regulate all hunting access privileges on enrolled lands; however they cannot charge anyone a fee in exchange for hunting access.

To learn more about the food plot program, or other wildlife habitat improvements, contact SDGFP or SDSU Extension.

Pheasant Fest is Feb. 16-18, 2018

For landowners, managers, hunters or anyone interested in wildlife habitat management, the upcoming Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic in Sioux Falls is a great opportunity to learn more.

Pheasant Fest runs from February 16-18, 2018 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. To learn more visit the Pheasants Forever website.

The event includes a trade show as well as numerous seminars covering habitat management, bird dog training, wild game cooking, and more.

A workshop on the intersection of precision agriculture, wildlife habitat, and profitability will be of particular interest to farmers and landowners.

Courtesy of SDGFP. South Dakota Game, Fish & Park's Brood Mix is a diverse blend designed to provide flowering pollinator habitat through the growing season to provide valuable foraging opportunities for wildlife.

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McCrory Gardens Launches App

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - McCrory Gardens recently released a new interactive learning tool, the McCrory Gardens Explorer App. The mobile and web application was launched at the Third Thursday at the Gardens event on Jan. 18.  

Made possible through a 3M Eco Grant, the user-friendly resource is an Internet application that provides the public with access to information about the gardens. Users can find plants, locate dedicated items, discover what plants are in bloom, and use an interactive map to explore the gardens or create a personalized tour. The app also links to reputable outside sources for more information. 

"This app goes right along with our mission of connecting people and plants," said Christina Lind-Thielke, Assistant Gardener and Education Coordinator. "It supplements our educational programming and is a way to further connect youth with the garden." 

So far information and GPS locations of 6,693 individual plants, representing 1,493 different types of trees, shrubs and perennials, is available. There are many more plants in the garden so information, locations and photos of plants will continually be added to the app. 

The grant also funded a free education festival in spring 2017, transportation sponsorships for schools to facilitate field trips and 10 tablets that can be checked out from the front desk and used in the gardens. 

McCrory Gardens is maintained by professional staff under the authority of South Dakota State University, with more than 25 acres of gardens and 45 acres of arboretum. The gardens are funded primarily by donations from the Friends of McCrory Gardens, admission fees, other special gifts, and endowment returns.

The app can be found online

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19th Annual Precision Ag Conference in Aberdeen

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension and area partners will host the 19th Annual Precision Ag Conference in Aberdeen on Feb. 27, 2018. The event will be held at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel (1400 8th Ave NW) and begins at 8 a.m. with registration.

Registration

Pre-registration is $30 per person, if received prior to Feb. 25, 2017. After Feb. 25 or at the door, registration will be $35 per person. Registration can be found at the iGrow Events page.

Event schedule:

  • 8 a.m. Registration, trade show open
  • 8:30 a.m. RDO Equipment John Deere and Blue River Technologies Presented by Jacob Maurer
  • 9 a.m. Variable Rate Nitrogen - Based on What? Presented by Brad Carlson, University of Minnesota Extension
  • 10 a.m. Trade show open, Break sponsored by Agtegra
  • 10:30 a.m. Is Digital The Future Of Ag? Presented by Teddy Bekele, Winfield United
  • 11:30 a.m. Lunch Trade show open
  • 12:30 S.D. Keynote Presented by Mike Jaspers, S.D. Secretary of Agriculture
  • 1 p.m. Off-target movement - Is weather a big deal? Presented by Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist and Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist
  • 2 p.m. Trade Show open, Break sponsored by The Climate Corporation
  • 2:30 p.m. Break out session #1
  • 3 p.m. Break out session #2
  • 3:30 p.m. Door Prize Drawings
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Evaluating the Productivity of Your Herd Program

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Cattle producers are encouraged to attend the one-day program, Evaluating the Productivity of Your Herd from Start to Finish hosted by SDSU Extension February 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SDSU Southeast Research Station (29974 University Road, Beresford, SD).

"The focus of this meeting is share how various management decisions can impact the end-product and influence the economics for your cowherd. We will start with reproduction and end with carcasses," said Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

Program agenda:

Using Reproductive Technologies to Improve your Herd's Efficiency: presented by George Perry, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Reproductive Management Specialist

Finding the Best within your Herd through Calf Performance: presented by Julie Walker, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist

Can DNA Testing Predict Carcass Merit and Feedlot Performance?: presented by Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate

Seasonality, Slides and Spreads in Calf Prices: presented by Matthew Diersen, Professor & SDSU Extension Risk/Business Management Specialist

Registration deadline is Feb. 22

Registration for the event is $10 to cover lunch. To register, please call the SDSU Animal Science Department at 605.688.5165 or email Julie by February 22, 2018. If you have questions, contact Julie Walker at 605.688.5458.

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

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Understanding When to issue a 1099 Tax Form

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Profit Tips, Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - A 1099 needs to be issued to any individual a farmer or rancher paid $600 or more to during 2017, who is not a full time employee.

"Farmers and ranchers regularly pay for services from individuals who are not their full time employees. Reporting this information to the IRS helps insure the receiver pays appropriate taxes on the income," explained Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist.

Davis said typical compensation includes payments made to self-employed workers and contractors as well as rent paid to landowners.

Remember to send 1099 forms early in the calendar year so recipients have adequate time for tax preparation.

About 1099 Forms

For most farm and ranch-related work, the correct 1099 form to issue is the Form 1099-MISC. Payers are responsible for completing and sending a Form 1099-MISC to each payee.

Payers must also supply this form to the IRS. The payer also uses the information to calculate tax deductible business expenses.

For the payee, Form 1099-MISC reports the taxable earnings received in the previous calendar year.

Exceptions

Some non-employee income payments do not require a Form 1099-MISC. For example, payments to corporations generally do not require a 1099-MISC, except for medical and health care payments and attorney fees.

Also, land rental payments to real estate agents and payments for hauling grain and livestock do not require Form 1099-MISC.

In certain situations, purchase of materials and supplies are subject to 1099-MISC reporting.

For example, when an independent contractor, who is not also a dealer in supplies, performs work and provides the materials, the entire payment must be recorded on Form 1099-MISC.

If the payee normally deals in supplies, the payer reports only the payment for services rendered, but not the value of the materials.

Farm and ranch-related expenses that do not require a 1099-MISC include feed, seed, fertilizer, chemicals, fuel and other non-service items.

Completion of the Form

Form 1099-MISC requires reporting of nonemployee compensation including rent, royalties, commissions, fees and other income.

A completed form must include the payer and payee name, address and tax identification number.

An individual tax identification number is provided by the payee on a W-9 form. If the payee fails to supply their social security number (or other identification number), the payer is required to withhold a federal income tax payment.

Generally, payments reported on Form 1099-MISC are subject to self-employment taxes (Medicare and Social Security), but are not withheld by the payer.

Other 1099 Forms Submitted

Some farmers and ranchers are involved in transactions that require the submission of other 1099 forms.

For example, borrowing money for business purposes when interest is paid requires the submission of Form 1099-INT.

This is used to report more than $600 in interest paid by a borrower. Farmers and ranchers (as borrowers) may also be involved with the cancellation of debt. If so, Form 1099-C is used. When this occurs the debtor is required to report the cancelled debt as taxable income. For the person who forgave the debt, the principal and interest are tax deductible.

Form 1099-MISC and other 1099 forms can be ordered from the IRS on the IRS website.

Any producer with questions concerning the submission of 1099 forms should consult with a competent tax advisor or attorney.

1099 Forms Received

Farmers and ranchers also receive 1099 forms. For example, farmers and ranchers will receive a Form 1099-MISC if income was earned from custom work, rental payments, crop insurance proceeds or other nonemployee compensation. Other 1099 forms that producers may receive include:

  • Form 1099-A reports proceeds from forfeiture of pledged crops to the Commodity Credit Corporation Loan or CCC in full payment of a loan.
  • Form 1099-PATR reports taxable distributions received from cooperatives.
  • Form 1099-G reports certain payments from the federal government - such as Conservation Reserve Program or CRP payments.
  • Form 1099-S reports proceeds from real estate transactions.

Penalties Imposed for Failure to Issue 1099 Forms

If someone fails to send out 1099 forms in accordance with the regulations, he or she could face monetary penalties. Penalties for failure to file range from $30-$100 per 1099 for late filings or up to $250 per 1099 for intentional disregard.

For further information please see IRS Publication 225, Farmer's Tax Guide.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be reliable and correct. However, no guarantee or warranty is provided for its accuracy or completeness. This information is provided exclusively for educational purposes and any action or inaction or decisions made as the result of reading this material is solely the responsibility of readers. The author(s) and South Dakota State University disclaim any responsibility for loss associated with the use of this information.

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Feb. 16 Precision Agriculture Workshop to Highlight South Dakota Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Ag producers and pheasant enthusiasts are invited to learn how cutting-edge farming practices can work to provide more income while enhancing habitat. The Precision Agriculture Workshop at the 2018 National Pheasant Fest in Sioux Falls offer insights into the industry on Friday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Denny Sanford Premier Center.

“In 2014, I was privileged to serve on Governor Daugaard’s Pheasant Habitat Working Group,” said South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn. “One of the key strategies recommended by that group to improve habitat and conversation in South Dakota was to ‘Farm the best and conserve the rest.’ ”

He continued, “I believe that precision agriculture is the key step to accomplish that goal. Precision ag allows us to feed the world, conserve and enhance our natural resources, and provide sustainable, profitable ag production systems for farmers.”

During the workshop, Dunn will share how SDSU is working to inspire the next generation of Precision Ag Professionals and why there is a critical need for precision agriculture.

The sessions are designed for farmers, agronomists, precision specialists and ag lenders. Precision approaches put on-farm data to work to maximize profits while providing environmental benefits.

The principles, and potential benefits, of precision ag are independent of scale, Dunn said. By optimizing the use of inputs, like fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, water quality, habitat, and ultimately wildlife populations will be improved. Only about 20-30% of the current precision ag technology is being applied. Many of the benefits of precision ag have yet to be realized. A second generation of technologies is on the horizon.

A key part of the workshop will be a Farmer Roundtable addressing, “How Precision Data Produces Profits, Birds & Bucks.”

Speaking from his experience as a farmer and sportsman, Barry Little from Castlewood, S.D., will share his thoughts on precision ag and how it works to provide him with a return on his investment. The Little Farm is a fourth-generation grain and livestock operation. Little and his son Eli operate on 1,200 acres of corn, beans, wheat, and season-long cover crops as well as 600 acres of pasture.

After graduating from South Dakota State University, Little returned to the farm to continue his passion for education through employing and integrating new ideas into the farm to not only make the operation more profitable but also to improve soil and animal health and wildlife habitat. He has integrated livestock into his cropland management program, implemented diverse crop rotations, set up grazing systems and planted cover crops. Little takes pride in the wildlife his property produces and enjoys the hunting opportunities that are abundant.

Betsy Jibben, national reporter for AgDay and a SDSU alum, will serve as moderator for the farmer panel and she will serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Workshop. Others on the panel include Jeff Lake of Boyceville, WI; Jerry Ackermann of Lakefield, MN, and Michael Sandness of LaMoure, ND.

Continuing Education Units (CEU) are available for certified crop adviser.

Workshop Details

The 2018 Precision Ag Workshop is being held in conjunction with 2018 National Pheasant Fest being held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

What: 2018 Precision Ag Workshop

When: Friday, February 16th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls

Cost: Event registration is $35 and includes a one-year Pheasants Forever membership, lunch, entry for a Henry Golden Boy Farmer Edition Rifle, and daily admission to the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic show floor.

Speakers: The event will include a panel of Midwest producers and Precision professionals, SDSU President Barry Dunn, and Howard Vincent, PF/QF President and CEO.

South Dakota State University President Barry H. Dunn will be speaking at the Precision Ag Workshop during the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.

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Celebrate Engineers Week & Inspire Wonder in Youth

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Encourage your youth to explore and inspire wonder through activities during Engineers Week, February 18-24, 2018.

"Take advantage of this week's focus on engineering and use it as an opportunity to inspire wonder in our youth," said Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Field Specialist. "Our world is ever- evolving as new technologies and processes are developed to resolve issues and simplify tasks."

These new developments and inventions are often credited to engineers, but what is an engineer?

"Answering this question is a great place to begin with younger children," Wood explained.

By pure definition an engineer is 'the maker of an engine.' The word engine comes from the Latin word ingenium meaning 'clever invention.' Thus an engineer is the maker of a clever invention.

"While there are numerous types of engineers, they all creatively apply what they know about mathematics, science, and technology to develop new ideas, processes, and products," she said. "Additionally, they utilize critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and teamwork in the process."

While young children may not be able to wrap their minds around all of the scientific and technical knowledge needed to pursue a career as an engineer, Wood said it is never too early to introduce them to engineering concepts and practices.

"Children have an innate sense of wonder making them natural engineers," Wood said. "As parents and educators, we can nurture this awe and curiosity to fuel learning through investigation and design. By providing youth opportunities to explore engineering, we enhance their creativity and boost their confidence."

Engineer activities to boost creativity

Through engineering activities, Wood said we have the opportunity to develop a variety of soft skills that are used in engineering as well as a variety of other fields.

"Engineering activities foster problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills," Wood said.

Short on ideas for activities?

Wood lists the following websites for ideas:

To learn more about Engineers Week, visit the Discover e website.

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 of iGrow. Youth complete a Junk Drawer Engineering Challenge during the Central State's Fair. The challenge, Stay on Target, was part of the 2016 State Robotics Challenge. Their mission was to design a method of delivering a torpedo through a narrow trench to disable the Death Star. 

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Get Outside This Winter

Categorized: Healthy Families, Health & Wellness

Column by Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist

Do you avoid going outside in the winter months because you hate being cold? I used to, too. Then, a friend told me, "there is no such thing as bad weather, but only bad clothing choices," this message stopped me in my tracks.

Perhaps, rather than avoiding wintertime outdoor activities, I should learn how to dress for them appropriately.

When choosing clothing for those cold winter days, it's important to plan for your specific activity. Think about the:

  • Effort you will be expelling;
  • Range of motion you will need; and
  • Weather on the day you plan.

All of these factors should impact your clothing choices.

Layering works

By using the simple rule of three types of layers, you will be able to stay warm during even the coldest outdoor activities. Layers work on cold days because each serves a distinct function. Just like the wall of a house helps keep the interior warm by using drywall, insulation and then siding, the layers of clothing you choose work together to keep your body warm in cold weather.

The three layers include:

  • Base layer
  • Insulating layer
  • Outer shell

Base layer: Think of your base layer as your long underwear. It should fit somewhat snugly so that your motion is not limited. Base layers are designed to wick moisture away from your body, so cotton fabrics that trap moisture make poor base layers. Rather, choose a wool or synthetic brand.

Insulating layers: Insulating layers are often a fleece material, and they trap heat near your body. This is the layer that you can add to if your day is going to be exceptionally cold or you will be more stationary. It is better to have multiple thin insulating layers than one thick one.

Outer shell: The outer shell is your final protection against the winter elements. This shell should serve as a wind break and to keep out any precipitation that may be falling.

Not all outer shells are created equal, so make sure you make sure you do your research and plan for your specific activity and weather.

By keeping the three layers in mind as your prepare for your outdoor adventures, you will be ready to go no matter what the weather brings!

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Animal Care Wednesday Webinars For Expert Advice

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension reminds livestock and companion animal owners to tune into the 2018 season of Animal Care Wednesday Webinar series. Airing at 11 a.m. (CST) on the first Wednesday of each month, this webinar series highlights livestock and companion animal experts from across the state and region.

"Keeping animals healthy is always the first priority of every animal caregiver, young and old," explained Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

To receive reminders and log in information for Animal Care Wednesday Webinar series, send Carroll an e-mail.

Check this out

Common diseases to be aware of and watch for in show or exhibition animals was the focus of the Jan. 3, 2018 webinar hosted by Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota State Veterinarian. The Feb. 7, 2018 webinar, led by Dr. Sheila Purdum, Professor-Poultry Nutrition at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will focus on common poultry health issues in an era of few poultry veterinarians.

All webinars can be accessed by visiting the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Animal Science website, click on the Extension tab and scroll down to the Animal Care Resources link.

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Owner of Rockin’ Red Music Credits 4-H

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

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Playing piano, singing and all the while encouraging an audience full of children to dance along with her is no small feat, but it's Leslie (Fischer) Dolby's chosen career and she loves it.

"I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids dancing at my shows," explains the singer, songwriter and owner of Rockin' Red Music. "I do it all for the kids and I get so much enjoyment out of it."

Dolby first got a taste performing before crowds as a 4-H Performing Arts Troupe member. As a middle and high school youth, she attended the annual 4-H Performing Arts camp where 4-H members from across the state come together to learn songs, lines and choreographed dance moves. They then spend the summer months traveling the state performing before crowds large and small.

"Those years in the Performing Arts Troupe helped shape my musical and theatrical career," Dolby says, of the experience which motivated her to pursue a Music Business degree from Anderson University.

She got her start in children's entertainment shortly after college, working as a member of the Do Re Let's Play band. When the band dissolved in 2016, Dolby didn't want to quit, so she created her own show - writing music, lyrics and developing fun, kid-friendly programming.

Today, she takes her Rockin' Red Music show on the road performing for children at fairs, libraries and community events across the Midwest.

But, Rockin' Red Music wasn't an overnight success. Launching a small business takes a lot of creativity, management and marketing.

Dolby says her years as a 4-H member participating in activities outside of the Performing Arts Troupe, like serving as a club officer, showing animals and maintaining an annual record book, helped her with the less dramatic side of her business. 

"I remember the judges would provide feedback encouraging me to set goals for my projects that would challenge me to learn new skills and continue to develop myself for next year's project," she explains. "Owning my own business takes a lot of hustling and the ability to be proactive and take the lead on getting things done. I am the only one to do the work and if I don't set my own goals and prioritize to achieve them, no one else will."

To view portions of Dolby's Rockin' Red Music show, link to her YouTube channel by visiting the Rockin' Red website. You can also listen to her music on all digital streaming platforms.

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 Listing icon.

Courtesy photo. 4-H alumnus, Leslie (Fischer) Dolby is a singer, songwriter and owner of Rockin' Red Music.

Courtesy photo. 4-H alumnus, Leslie (Fischer) Dolby is a singer, songwriter and owner of Rockin' Red Music says she got her start performing before crowds as a 4-H Performing Arts Troupe member.

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SD is Poised to Benefit From Precision Agriculture

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - By the end of this year, $4 billion will be spent globally on precision agriculture with satellites, sensors, machines, data, and drones. It's a collective industry opportunity and offers challenges which South Dakota is ready to embrace.

As Director of Operations for the Applied Technology Division of Raven Industries, Sarah Waltner was the keynote speaker at the recent South Dakota Corn Growers annual meeting in Sioux Falls. Waltner grew up on a family hog farm and says she spent a lot of time in the hog barns, in the family fields and neighbor's fields. She graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree from South Dakota State University.

"Precision ag is the basis for what we do," Waltner said in her remarks. She explained, "Precision ag is based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra- field variability. It combines agronomic practices with farm machinery technology and with actionable data."

Farmers have to be profitable, Waltner said. It used to be that nitrogen was applied at the same rate across the field. If one field or a corner of a field had highly productive soil, applying more pounds of nitrogen was worth the increased input expense. If the soil is rocky or sandy, there would be a lower yield because the base soil will not yield much, no matter how much nitrogen is applied. Precision ag gives farmers a way to analyze the needs and the variable rate equipment allows a prescribed application of applied nutrients where needed and at most beneficial rate for the crop.

Waltner referred to a study done by the industry which shows there is a 10 to 15 percent saving in inputs for GPS- guided steering because there is less overlap or application in unnecessary areas. There is a 10 percent savings when using variable rate application. This is because nutrients are only applied where needed. In another study, 85 percent of corn growers polled believed they were more profitable after adopting more technology.

Farmers are bombarded with complicated questions, Waltner said. Do I spend money on GPS or not? What about section control? What do I do with the data? What kind of data do I use? Do I get my imagery from the sky or from in-field sensors? Really good things are happening in the industry, but it comes down to a question about how the technology can work together to help the farmer.

Specifically, no one person or company can solve the problem of data overload. Technology is very complicated.

"We have gone from no data, or not much data, to so much data that it freezes the farmers," Waltner said. "Precision ag is different from when it started and where it will be in 5 to 10 years. The key thing is figuring out the intersection between what money farmers will pay for their technology, how much do they want to spend on data, and how much do they pay for agronomy services, and how certain they are of a return from that investment."

Farmers have made investments, but 65 percent say they are not using the technology to its full potential. Dealing with this is a real opportunity and also a real challenge.

Ag is the largest sector of South Dakota's economy. Raven sees training those in the future workforce as vital to the success of precision ag. The company recently donated $5 million to help pay for the construction of a Precision Agriculture Facility at SDSU's main campus in Brookings.

Waltner says the development of the SDSU Precision Ag program will yield new research, new job opportunities and likely new companies. Graduates of the program will go back to their communities and become an important part of the state's workforce. 

"Training is huge, retention is huge," Waltner said. "With more and more complicated technology, we need a more developed workforce who understand the challenges of precision ag. Workforce development is important to the progression of the state."

Raven's background

Waltner said Raven was founded by four scientists who worked at General Mills in the Twin Cities. They moved to Sioux Falls, SD, in 1956, and the company began as a designer and manufacturer of high-altitude research balloons. Sioux Falls was chosen as the company needed an airport willing to work with balloon launches. The area was welcoming to this new company and the industry.

From that product line, Raven grew into a diversified technology company with three divisions: Raven Applied Technology, Raven Engineered Films and Raven Aerostar.

Since 1978, Raven Applied Technology has helped create, define and redefine precision agriculture. The product lines are directed toward precision ag. Waltner said, "We are about the application and system approach, making sure that we can help the farmer take action on his data with our technology."

Over half of those who work at Raven grew up on or are connected to a family farm in some way. The workforce is not from Silicon Valley. Many of the engineers are using the equipment they design in the evenings or on the weekends on their family farms. This provides a close connection between the products and the farming community. Raven designs products that are simple to use and because many of the engineers use the product themselves, it is designed with the user experience in mind.

"The biggest hurdle in the future will not be the technology but bringing usable and simple data to advance the practices," Waltner said. "If I am a farmer with only 40 growing seasons in my lifetime, I don't want to take a lot of risks. Growers shy away from what is good for them when they have to measure the risks. When 20 different companies are telling them 20 different things, there is almost too much technology available. Ag retailers need to be trained to help farmers make the best decisions which would improve their yield and reduce input costs. It's important to marry the technology with simplicity to improve yields and/or lower input costs."

The advances in technology are driven by increasing needs for the agricultural products. As populations grow, few countries are able to expand the land they farm. Improved farming techniques are needed to meet the demands, Waltner said. From state and economic benefits to the development of a highly trained workforce, South Dakota is well-positioned to benefit from precision agriculture technology and adoption.

Sarah Waltner, Director of Operations for the Applied Technology Division of Raven Industries, told attendees at the recent South Dakota Corn Growers annual meeting that training those in the future workforce is vital to the success of precision agriculture in South Dakota. Photo courtesy of South Dakota Corn Growers. 

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Effects of Cache Valley Virus During Lambing

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension Specialist, Jeff Held encourages South Dakota sheep producers to be aware of the potential for Cache Valley Virus or CVV impacting their lamb crop this lambing season.

"The winter lambing season is well underway, and in addition to dealing with cold temperatures, many flock owners have reported an unusual number of lambs born with skeletal and other developmental deformities," Held said. "We've collaborated with the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, and with other animal diagnostic labs in the region. They all have confirmed cases of lamb abnormalities caused by CVV."

CVV is a virus that is transmitted by mosquitos to sheep. If a ewe is pregnant when infected, the virus can cause dramatic neurological and muscular damage to the lambs she carries. CVV cannot be spread from an infected animal to a human or another animal, explained Larry Holler, Professor & SDSU Extension Veterinarian/Pathologist at the South Dakota Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory.

"The most dramatic effects of the CVV virus leads to birth defects in lambs, mostly affecting the brain and nervous system. The virus also affects the skeleton and muscle," Holler said. "These defects show up as fused joints, curved or twisted spines, unusually thin and underdeveloped muscles, and enlarged skulls."

Holler is working with Held to monitor the CVV outbreak this lambing season. They believe that CVV has impacted South Dakota flocks this lambing season, because high populations of mosquitos remained in the region during the early breeding season (from August into September).

"That's why we'll start to see effects now in the early lambing season," Holler said. "They are a result of mosquitoes that carried the virus biting ewes last summer and fall during critical stages of gestation. CVV has no apparent effects on non-pregnant ewes or other classes of sheep."

Infection of a ewe early in gestation, up to day 28 generally, results in fetal reabsorption, but Held said another equally critical period is between days 28 and 45 of gestation.

"Infection at this stage of pregnancy has the highest risk of CVV-caused neonatal developmental abnormalities," said Held. "After day 45 of gestation, a CVV infection is not expected to cause abnormalities in lambs."

He said that although CVV is found throughout the U.S., the reported cases affecting sheep in South Dakota and the Upper Midwest region generally are minimal. The 2011 winter lambing season was the most recent widespread reported high incidence of CVV affected lambs in the state.

In flocks with clinical CVV the percentage of the total lamb crop affected was generally less than 5%. "With CVV infections sheep-flock owners often report a higher incidence of open ewes, decreased lambing rates, and subsequently lower overall ewe reproductive efficiency," Held said.

"Lambs born with severe defects are stillborn, yet in other CVV cases the result is the birth of live lambs that are compromised due to skeletal and nervous system abnormalities," Held said. "They can be drowsy, weak or unsteady and reports indicate that normal and abnormal lambs are possible in the same litter."

Even with excellent management care practices, the mortality rate is high for these lambs born with CVV. Holler added that the virus infects pregnant ewes. Mosquitoes are the sole carrier of CVV.

Held said ewes bred later last fall, late-September or later, when mosquito activity was lower, will have a decreased chance of having abnormal lambs. Therefore lamb crops arriving in mid-February or later are expected to have lower probabilities for CVV affected newborns.

"We want to remind producers that the virus is not contagious or spread from ewe to ewe, even during the lambing season," said Holler. "Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for CVV. Since the cause is a virus, there are no treatments available, either."

Holler and Held both said that CVV is endemic, or constantly present, in sheep populations in the U.S. Clinical manifestations of the disease tend to occur in cycles, as the sheep population seems to gain some natural immunity after infection. As this immunity wanes over a period of years, the clinical effects become more prevalent.

"Sheep producers suspecting CVV should contact a veterinarian in order to rule out other causes of birth defects, miscarriages or infertility," Holler said. "Diagnosis of CVV is sometimes difficult, but can be made in the laboratory by detecting specific antibodies against CVV in the lambs."

In most cases, a diagnosis is made on the basis of the history and nature of the birth defects within the flock. Holler and Held can help South Dakota sheep producers who have questions about this virus. Contact Holler at 605.688.5798, or e-mail him or contact Held at 605.690.7033 or by email.

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4-H Experience Helps SD Legislator Serve Effectively

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

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension

Whether leading a calf around the showring or giving an illustrated talk, when Spencer Gosch competed in 4-H he knew where he stood.

"No matter what that project was - it could have been a market steer, photography, banana bread or a talk on bicycle safety - when I competed in 4-H, I either received a purple ribbon or I didn't," explains the District 23 Representative. "Through 4-H, my father taught me that I was never so good I couldn't get better and never so bad I couldn't get worse."

Gosch says involvement in 4-H instilled a drive to better himself and continuously work to improve. It's a mindset he carries into every aspect of his full life.

Along with public service, the 34-year-old is a fourth-generation farmer/rancher, an insurance agent, a sports broadcaster for the Dakota Radio Group and owns a traveling DJ business, Nighthawk Entertainment. He and his wife, Ashley, have three young children.

Growing up, Gosch says 4-H was a family tradition for him and his four siblings. Showing cattle was their project of choice.

"But, my mom always made us branch out and do other things, like illustrated talks," he says of the 4-H project area where members put public speaking skills into practice. "It was a welcoming challenge for me to get up and speak in front of people."

Looking back on the experience, Gosch says as a South Dakota Legislator he puts what he learned through 4-H illustrated talks into action each time he speaks on the House floor.

"When I open my mouth in the Legislature, I am speaking, potentially, in front of hundreds of thousands. And, what I say is going on the record," he says. "4-H taught me how to speak in a way where I get my point across without droning on."

Gosch sees this same talent among today's 4-H members. "As a sports broadcaster, I can tell who has some sort of background in 4-H, or like programs, when I conduct interviews with these young individuals. When asked, I am shocked how many kids confirm that assumption."

4-H also expanded his circle of friends beyond the rural community of Selby. "When you are in 4-H, your world opens up. 4-H provides rural youth, like me, with so many opportunities to travel and meet kids from all over," he says. "Today, I have lifelong friends, who I met through 4-H, from towns that I now represent as a Legislator. Lifelong friends who returned home and are now trying to do the right thing for their community. It is an honor to represent these people today in Pierre."

A responsibility he takes seriously. "Like I said, in 4-H I learned that I can always do more and it's our duty to help others."

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 the Field Staff Listing.

Courtesy image. District 23 Representative and 4-H alumnus Spencer Gosch.

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A Place to Call Our Own: Mt. Vernon

Categorized: Healthy Families, Families, Community Development, Communities

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension

When David and Dawnette Anderson were looking for a small town close to Mitchell to call home, they eagerly chose Mt. Vernon because of its school.

"It reminded us of the rural school we grew up in. The academics are great. Class size is small. And, if a student wants to play basketball, it doesn't matter how good or bad they are, they get playing time," explains David Anderson, father of two sons, who works in Mitchell as an electrical engineer and volunteers his time as a member of the Mt. Vernon City Council and President of the Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group.

Fortunately, when the Andersons moved to town eight years ago, they were able to find a relatively new home in their price range. Their son, Christian, enrolled in Mt. Vernon school and excelled for all the reasons his parents had hoped.

However, others looking to move to Mt. Vernon have not experienced the same success when it comes to finding a home.

"There were not many housing options in Mt. Vernon. And, if you were looking for an affordable, move-in ready home, there were not any available," Anderson explains.

Today, Anderson uses past tense to describe Mt. Vernon's housing situation, because recently, he and a group of engaged citizens have begun filling the housing void.

In the last two years the newly established, volunteer-led Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group brought four new homes to the community. All of which have sold to young professionals and families returning to build their adult lives where they grew up.

Crediting guidance from SDSU Extension's Marketing Hometown America, Anderson says the program helped a dedicated group of citizens change the conversation from "our community is shrinking" to "what can we do to encourage revitalization?"

"Marketing Hometown America allowed us to identify what was important to our community, come up with a goal and clear direction forward," Anderson says. "It allowed us to ask for citizen involvement. We have an amazing group committed to this project."

SDSU Extension's Marketing Hometown America program is designed to train community leaders to organize citizens to change the dialogue and make strategic changes to benefit their community, explains Kenny Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director.

Utilizing the Marketing Hometown America curriculum, Sherin trained Anderson and others to facilitate discussions among a diverse group of about 50 Mt. Vernon residents who volunteered to participate in the process.

Together, these citizens determined affordable housing would serve as a catalyst to encourage more young professionals and families to move to town. Which, in turn, would bolster the tax base and increase school enrollment - helping overcome two major concerns facing the rural community of just over 500.

"When you talk about marketing your town, it will not do much good if you get people interested in moving there, if there is nowhere to live," Sherin says.

The group launched a fundraising campaign and started an Economic Development Group. With the first $12,000 raised, they purchased a plot of land and worked with South Dakota Housing Development to secure a Governor's House. Built by inmates, Governor's Houses are affordable, three-bedroom, two bathroom prefabricated homes that can be easily transported from the prison where they are constructed and placed atop a foundation or basement.

The timing couldn't have been better for Cameron Deinert.

At 23, the Mt. Vernon native was tired of renting and roommates. The x-ray technician was ready to invest in a home of his own.

Deinert had just moved from Rapid City to accept a position at Mitchell's Avera Queen of Peace, and he wanted to live in Mt. Vernon.

He explains that his roots run deep in the rural community. Both of his parents grew up nearby and he has fond memories growing up in the community. He still has friends in town.

"It's the people. I grew up hanging out with a lot of kids I still hang out with. We never stayed inside, we were all involved in all kinds of sports together," Deinert recalls. "And, because it's a small town, everyone knew who you were, so we tried to stay out of trouble."

It was this urge to return to his roots that motivated him to move just eight months into his first professional job.

"I don't regret my decision to move back home. Mt. Vernon is where I want to be. It's were I see myself staying," explains Deinert.

When he was ready to buy, there weren't any move-in ready homes in his price range so he talked with the Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group about securing one of the Governor's Houses. He and his dad helped with the finish work and in October, 2017 he became a homeowner.

"It is breathtaking coming home to something that is mine. I did most of the work on the inside with my dad," Deinert explains. "It is nice to know this house is mine and I don't have to worry about resigning a lease or wonder where I am going to live next year."

Like Deinert, Alisha and Jordon Frost returned to their hometown to build their life and family. The young couple moved away after high school and started careers in Mitchell. When they had their first child, Haisley, 2, Alisha says they were ready to come home.

"We didn't want Haisley going to school in Mitchell. We feel that this small town school will give her more one-on-one time with her teacher," says Frost, who runs a small in-home daycare.

Eager to buy a home, Frost says when they began looking in Mt. Vernon, there was nothing for sale - until a Facebook posting announced the local economic development group was listing a new Governor's House for sale.

"I like the open concept and the fact there are three bedrooms and a basement we can finish someday," says Frost, who will welcome their second child in March. "It's so nice to have some place to call our own."

To learn more about SDSU Extension's Marketing Hometown America program, contact Kenny Sherin, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director by email or 605.995.7378.

Courtesy image. David Anderson, volunteers his time as a member of the Mt. Vernon City Council and President of the Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group. Working with SDSU Extension's Marketing Hometown America, Anderson, together with other community members, launched the volunteer-led Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group which to date has brought four new homes to the community. All of which have sold to young professionals and families returning to build their adult lives where they grew up.

Courtesy image. At 23, Mt. Vernon native, Cameron Deinert, was tired of renting and roommates. The x-ray technician was ready to invest in a home of his own. He purchased a Governor's House from the Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group. With some help from his dad, he did the finishing work himself. Deinert built his kitchen island using reclaimed barn wood and antique pulls.

Courtesy image. Alisha and Jordon Frost returned to their hometown of Mt. Vernon to build their life and family. The young couple moved away after high school and started careers in Mitchell. When they had their first child, Haisley, 2, Alisha says they were ready to come home. The couple purchased one of the Governor's Houses brought to town by the Mt. Vernon Economic Development Group.

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New Early Childhood Field Specialist Position

Categorized: Healthy Families, Family & Personal Finance

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Nationally, more than 60 percent of households are dual income, resulting in an increased need for early childhood education programming, explained Audrey Rider, who recently accepted a new role as the SDSU Extension Early Childhood Field Specialist.

"With both parents working, many children, too young for school, spend their days with a childcare provider. There is a need to ensure those caring for children have access to tools, resources and programming necessary to provide for the social, emotional, learning and academic needs of these children," Rider said.

The new Early Childhood Field Specialist position was designed by SDSU Extension as a position that will support and work with childcare programs and providers to increase school readiness and enhance social, emotional growth and development among South Dakota's youngest citizens.

"Audrey will interact closely with parents, teachers, early childhood professionals, caregivers, agencies and stakeholders to coordinate resources and advance initiatives for young children," said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

More about Audrey Rider

Serving South Dakotans through SDSU Extension since 2004, Audrey Rider most recently served as the SDSU Extension Volunteer Development Field Specialist.

"I love that SDSU Extension is the outreach arm of our land grant, South Dakota State University," Rider said. "I enjoy working for an organization whose research-based programming benefits a broad variety of South Dakota's citizens and their communities."

Holding a bachelors and master's in Early Childhood Education, Rider is passionate about the focus of her new role within SDSU Extension.

"Today's education demands more of Kindergarteners. Through this role, I can help connect childcare providers with new and existing SDSU Extension programming that will help ensure children are prepared to excel," Rider said.

In addition to outreach, Rider will be collaborating with other land grant universities' extension and early childhood development programming to enhance programming and resources made available to South Dakotans.

Because this is a new position within SDSU Extension, Rider encourages those involved in providing childcare to provide her with feedback on areas where they see a need for additional programming or resources. Rider can be reached by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. Audrey Rider is the new SDSU Extension Early Childhood Field Specialist. This position was designed by SDSU Extension to support and work with childcare programs and providers to increase school readiness and enhance social, emotional growth and development among South Dakota's youngest citizens.

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Importance of Keeping Records for Filing Taxes

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - While most citizens must file taxes by April 16, 2018, farmers' and ranchers' taxes must be filed by March 1, 2018. Due to the filing deadline many producers are beginning the process of gathering their important paperwork.

"In general, the law does not require any specific kinds of records (there are a few exceptions though) and a producer can choose any kind of record keeping system they wish to use for their business," explained Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Even though there is flexibility, Sand stressed the importance of maintaining a thorough record keeping system. The system needs to include a summary of all business transactions and supporting documents.

"Good record keeping makes preparing tax returns easier and supports items reported on tax returns," Sand said. "It is imperative producers also keep supporting documents such as purchases, sales, payroll, invoices and other transactions taking place in the business."

She added that it is important to keep these documents because they support the entries listed in journals, ledgers and tax returns.

Remember, most records and supporting documents need to be kept on hand for three years from when the tax return was filed. However, some records may need to be kept longer.

Beyond tax season

Sand said that in addition to taxes, there are added benefits to maintaining accurate records.

"Keeping accurate records allow producers to monitor the progress of their business, and show whether it is improving, which items are profitable, and what may need to change," she said.

Records also help producers keep track of deductible expenses, as there may be many throughout the year, and trying to remember them all might be difficult.

For more information about keeping records for filing taxes on the farm/ranch view the publication on the IRS website.

The information in this article is believed to be reliable and correct. However, no guarantee or warranty is provided for its accuracy or completeness. This information is provided exclusively for educational purposes and any action or inaction or decisions made as the result of reading this material is solely the responsibility of readers. The author(s) and South Dakota State University disclaim any responsibility for loss associated with the use of this information.

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2017 Changes to Farmer’s and Rancher’s Taxes

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Pork, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Before sitting down to prepare taxes, South Dakota's agriculture producers need to review some changes that have been made to the Farmers and Ranchers Tax Guide published annually by the IRS (publication 225).

"Tax rules and regulations change annually, so it is important for producers and tax professionals to stay up to date," said Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "These changes to the tax rules and regulations for 2017 can have some significant impacts on a producer's ability to plan for the next year and beyond."

Below, Sand outlines the majority of updates. To review the actual publication, go online to the IRS website.

  • Disaster relief for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria
  • Standard mileage rates
  • Increased section 179 deduction limits
  • Disaster losses
  • Maximum net earnings for social security
  • Qualified small business payroll tax credit for increasing research activities

Standard mileage rates: The Standard mileage rate for operating motor vehicles has changed to 53.5 cents per mile.

Expense deductions: One of the most significant changes in the guide is the 179 deduction expense that allows for producers to deduct up to $510,000 of applicable property when put into service in 2017.

"Given the changes in the commodity markets in the last couple of years it will be especially important for producers and their accountants to work together and create a tax plan that fits each producer's individual needs," Sand said.

More details on 179: The maximum amount a person can choose to deduct for most 179 property put into service in 2017 is $510,000 (where as in 2016 it was $500,000).

A new section D has been added to form 4684 to make an election to deduct a loss attributable to a federally declared disaster in the tax year immediately before the disaster year.

The maximum net self-employment earnings subject to the social security part of the self-employment tax (6.2 percent) is $127,200.

There is no maximum limit on earning subject to the Medicare part of the tax.

For tax years following December 31, 2015 A qualified small business may elect to claim up to $250,000 of its credit for increasing research activities as a payroll tax credit against the employer's share of social security tax in the first calendar quarter beginning after the date that qualified small business filed its income tax return.

January 31, 2018 deadline

Both paper and electronically filed W-2 and W-3 forms must have been filed with the Social Security administration by January 31, 2018.

Both paper and electronic files of 1099-MISC that report non-employee compensation must have been filed with the IRS by January 31, 2018.

The information in this article is believed to be reliable and correct. However, no guarantee or warranty is provided for its accuracy or completeness. This information is provided exclusively for educational purposes and any action or inaction or decisions made as the result of reading this material is solely the responsibility of readers. The author(s) and South Dakota State University disclaim any responsibility for loss associated with the use of this information.

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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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