BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota Grassland Coalition, SDSU Extension and partner organizations are cooperating to improve landowner understanding of grassland establishment and maintenance through a series of October workshops.
"As one of the team members working on this project, I'm excited about the willingness of the agency staff to share what they have learned over the years in relation to putting grass on the ground," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist, of the group that also plans to offer a Grassland Management School for July of 2018.
Organizations and agencies working alongside SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Grassland Coalition include: the Nature Conservancy, Game, Fish, and Parks, Pheasants Forever, NRCS, US Fish and Wildlife Service, SD Soil Health Coalition and Audubon Dakota.
Initial workshops will focus on grassland establishment and management in eastern South Dakota. "There is definitely a statewide need," said Bauman. "But the eastern counties have many recent and new projects that landowners are seeking advice on."
Workshops will begin with a short presentation on critical issues, and will quickly move toward more of an open discussion format between agency staff and landowner attendees. The intent of this format, explained Bauman, is to allow for individuals to ask specific questions related to their projects so that all can hear the answers.
"There is no doubt, that if one person has a question or concern about a grassland project, several others in the room will have the same issue with the same question," Bauman explained.
In addition to providing advice on projects, the group wants to get feedback from producers on the critical issues they are facing to better serve their needs.
"We are also hoping that those landowners who have experimented with tools and techniques can share what they have learned with others.
From this information, the team will develop curriculum and offer future schools that will focus on the needs of producers in various locations across the state.
October Grassland Management Workshops
There is no cost to attend the workshops. All workshops will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m. There is no registration.
Oct. 10 Workshop will be held in Pierre at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (412 W. Missouri Ave)
Oct. 11 Workshop will be held in Mitchell at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1800 E. Spruce St)
Oct. 12 Workshop will be held in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.)