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SDSU Extension Welcomes Nicholas Ciaramitaro

Categorized: Livestock, Land, Water & Wildlife, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife, Healthy Families, Health & Wellness, Community Development, Communities, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension recently hired Nicholas Ciaramitaro to serve as the SDSU Extension Agriculture & Society AmeriCorps VISTA Member.

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

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

Ciaramitaro will work in a supportive role to Jason Schoch, SDSU Extension Tribal Local Foods Associate.

"We are pleased to have Nick join our team. The SDSU Tribal Local Foods Program is working to help empower Lakota people to address food security, while simultaneously working to improve the overall general health, quality of life and well-being of the people and communities of Pine Ridge. Nick's contributions to the team will greatly expand our efforts and impacts on Pine Ridge and we look forward to working beside him on creating a culturally-appropriate, small-acreage agricultural system for new tribal farmers," Schoch said.

More about Nicholas Ciaramitaro

A recent graduate of University of Missouri with a Bachelors of Science inBiology, Ciaramitaro was eager to become involved as a SDSU Extension Agriculture & Society VISTA Member.

"It is appealing to me due to the location of the assignment, I wanted to address and understand the challenges of food security in reservations and rural communities like Winner," said Ciaramitaro, who in the future, plans to pursue a law degree focused in environmental justice.

SDSU Extension AmeriCorps VISTA Positions Open

SDSU Extension is recruiting for the following 2018-2019 AmeriCorps VISTA Positions:

Health Outreach VISTA Member - Join an exciting effort modeled after Stanford University's chronic disease self-management program, supported by premiere healthcare partners. Plan events, market the program, engage partners and more.

Healthy Schools Advisor VISTA Member - Join a team dedicated to strengthening nutrition education programs and fostering healthy school environments. Member will build support for school breakfast and farm-to-school programs.

Agriculture & Society 4-H VISTA Member - Do you desire to help shape cutting-edge, team-based programming that serves those in need? Co-lead advancement of the Science of Ag Program and Life Skills Workforce Food Access Program.

SDSU Grant Program VISTA Member - Never a dull moment in the College of Agriculture and Biological Grant Program Office. You'll build capacity for research, learn grant writing & have ready access to The BEST Ice Cream - SDSU created Cookies & Cream.

AmeriCorps VISTA national service members will:

  • Serve a one year term of service: Late Summer 2018 - Late Summer 2019
  • Earn $5,900 in education award to be used toward tuition or student loans
  • Earn a monthly living stipend
  • Gain valuable work experience and community connections
  • Receive preferential hiring post-service with federal agencies and hundreds of employers of national service across the country

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

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Learn How to Build Rain Gardens

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakotans received education and training in the design and construction of rain gardens to reduce runoff and filter pollutants thanks to workshops hosted this spring by SDSU Extension in partnership with Dakota Rural Action.

"The workshops were designed to give participants the tools necessary to build a rain garden of their own," explained David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

During the spring workshops, attendees learned about the impacts of urban stormwater runoff on water quality and gained the skills necessary to construct their own rain garden.

A rain garden is a shallow, landscaped depression that temporarily holds water runoff from impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, driveways and parking lots.

The water held in a rain garden slowly infiltrates into the soil profile, while at the same time removes pollutants.

"Rain gardens are typically used as urban stormwater best management practices to reduce rainfall runoff that would otherwise be collected in a stormwater system," said John McMaine, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer.

McMaine further explained, that depending on what plants are selected, rain gardens can also be used for pollinator habitat and shelter.

During the workshops, participants broke into teams to design rain gardens. Following the workshops, SDSU Extension staff and volunteers from Dakota Rural Action implemented elements from the teams' designs and built a rain garden in Sioux Falls.

SDSU Extension will lead a post-construction tour of this rain garden early fall 2018.

The project had partial funding support through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 319 Information and Education mini-grant.

To learn more about rain gardens, contact McMaine by email. To learn more about stormwater management visit this iGrow link.

Courtesy of iGrow. South Dakotans received education and training in the construction of rain gardens to reduce runoff and filter pollutants thanks to workshops hosted this spring by SDSU Extension in partnership with Dakota Rural Action.

During the workshops, participants broke into teams to design rain gardens. Following the workshops, SDSU Extension staff and volunteers from Dakota Rural Action implemented elements from the teams' designs to build a rain garden in Sioux Falls.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension staff and volunteers from Dakota Rural Action build a rain garden in Sioux Falls. A rain garden is a shallow, landscaped depression that temporarily holds water runoff from impervious surfaces, such as rooftops, driveways and parking lots.

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SDSU Dairy Alumnus Transforms the Dairy Industry in Alaska

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University alumnus, Joe Van Treeck, had an illustrious career in the dairy industry and has contributed to the future success of SDSU students by funding a scholarship for 30 years. His contributions to SDSU and the dairy industry have made a lasting impact.

Van Treeck graduated from SDSU in 1980 with a dairy manufacturing degree. He was recruited to attend SDSU as a non-traditional student by Shirley Seas, past dairy plant manager, while working at a butter creamery in Rapid City, S.D.

Previous to that, Van Treeck had no background in the dairy industry, growing up north of Chicago. He attended Black Hills State University to play football but decided not to finish his education there and instead went to work in Rapid City at a creamery. While at BHSU, Van Treeck met his wife Mary. Van Treeck and Mary had two children when they decided to make the move to SDSU for Van Treeck to pursue a degree in dairy manufacturing in 1978.

While at SDSU, Van Treeck was a student foreman in the SDSU Dairy Plant. He made a historic contribution to SDSU as one of two student inventors of the legendary cookies-and-cream ice cream. The other student inventor was Joe Leedom and they were under the supervision of Professor Shirley Seas.

He was also a member of the Dairy Club and the Dairy Products Judging Team.

“Many of my friendships in the industry today were formed when I was involved in Dairy Club as a student,” said Van Treeck.

He was a contestant for the 1980 SDSU Dairy Products Judging Team and was All Products Champion at the Chicago Regional Competition where the team took top honors. The team placed second at the national competition held in Portland, Ore., that year. Later, he served for ten years as a milk judge for the National Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation contest.

“Judging was important because I had a knack for the products,” explained Van Treeck. “I ended up working in the fluid milk business, so judging paid off from a quality control standpoint.”

Van Treeck received scholarship support as a student that helped him significantly and he was very encouraged that there were people supporting him, so he decided he wanted to provide the same kind of assistance to a student someday. Van Treeck and Mary have now been funding a scholarship for an SDSU student pursuing a degree in dairy for more than 30 years.

Following graduation, Van Treeck worked for Milnot Corp. in Seneca, Mo., producing canned-evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and butter. He held multiple positions beginning as laboratory manager with successive promotions to plant superintendent.

After working at Milnot Corp. for five years, Van Treeck was hired as the plant manager of Matanuska Maid Dairy in Anchorage, Alaska in 1985. The Matanuska Maid Dairy was a fluid milk, juice and cultured product processing operation.

Alaska’s unique West Coast location provided the opportunity to export goods and services and for expansion of market area for Matanuska Maid and other Alaskan-based companies. In support of the business community, the University of Alaska launched the Business-Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management program. Van Treeck seized the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in this field while working at Matanuska Maid Dairy to gain a better understanding of how to do business on a global scale. He graduated from the University of Alaska in 2002.

“I worked to turn the Matanuska Maid Dairy around by doing cutting-edge things. We became the second dairy in the country to make yogurt with artificial sweetener and the first dairy to own and manufacture PET plastic bottles for bottling milk, juice and water,” Van Treeck explained.

He went on to serve more than 20 years as President/CEO and General Manager, becoming the company’s longest tenured senior executive. The 71-year-old company ceased operation in late 2007.

Following the closing of Matanuska Maid Dairy, he served as General Manager for Anchorage Operations for Advanced Supply Chain International. The company provides third-party supply chain, logistics, procurement and maintenance optimization solutions to clients in asset-intensive industries, predominantly the natural resource extractive industries of petroleum and mining.

Van Treeck recently retired as CEO of Alaska Glacier Products, LLC in Anchorage, a position he held since 2011. It is Alaska’s number one small package bottler of Alaskan glacier sourced water from the Eklutna Glacier.

Van Treeck also owned JVT Consulting, a management consultancy providing organizational development, strategic planning, budget creation, procurement, supply chain and logistics solutions primarily for small and start-up food and beverage clientele.

In retrospect, Van Treeck credits much of his success to his education and experiences at SDSU, as well as mentors in his life who provided guidance along the way and his wife who provided encouragement and support.

“Things didn’t happen this way because of me, I got where I am because of people mentoring and supporting me,” Van Treeck said. “I feel very fortunate to have attended SDSU because my experiences and education helped me significantly throughout my entire career.”

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Joe and Mary Van Treeck travelled to Brookings from Alaska this spring to award their scholarship to dairy manufacturing major, Daniel Domenichini, at the annual scholarship banquet.

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South Dakota 4-H Seeks State 4-H Ambassadors

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Youth Development Program has officially rolled out the new State 4-H Ambassador Program designed 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.

South Dakota teens ages 14 to 18, who are currently enrolled in 4-H, are encouraged to apply. Applications can be accessed on iGrow.

Applications are due August 10, 2018 to the following address: 

SDSU Extension Rapid City Regional Center
Attn: Hilary Risner
711 N. Creek Rd.
Rapid City, SD 57703

Through the State 4-H Ambassador Program, teens will gain hands-on leadership development experiences. The program will offer more opportunities to South Dakota teens because it is designed to engage youth in leadership development through all four 4-H program priority areas, including:

  1. Ag-vocacy
  2. Leadership
  3. Health & Wellness
  4. Science

State 4-H Ambassadors will be expected to develop a customized action plan with their ambassador advisor. This action plan will outline leadership milestones they hope to achieve and 4-H activities they will take a leadership role in.

For more specifics about the roles of a State 4-H Ambassador, visit the State 4-H Ambassador Job description on iGrow.

To learn more about this opportunity, visit with your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor or contact Amber Erickson, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Field Operations Coordinator by email or 605.688.4167, or Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor by email or 605.394.1722.

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 button.

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SD Sheep Growers Association’s Premium Replacement Ewe Sale

Categorized: Livestock, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host programming valuable to South Dakota's sheep producers in conjunction with the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association (SDSGA) Premium Replacement Ewe Sale which will be held at Magness Livestock Auction in Huron (105 Custer Ave. NE) on Saturday, July 28, 2018.

SDSU Extension programming begins at 10 a.m. The auction sale begins at 2 p.m. A free lamb lunch, sponsored by the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association, will be served at Noon.

Buyers will have the opportunity to view the consignments all day and consignors will be pen side between 1 and 2 p.m. to show, discuss and answer any questions buyers may have.

The event serves several objectives of the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association's strategic plan to:

  1. Provide top quality breeding stock to sheep producers;
  2. Increase number of sheep producers in the state;
  3. Increase membership in the South Dakota Sheep Growers Association;
  4. Generate revenue to support an SDSGA Executive Secretary position; and
  5. Stimulate and enhance sheep industry infrastructure.

SDSU Extension programming will cover the following topics: nutritional needs for ewe and wool development; steps in producing a high quality wool clip and wool marketing strategies to provide greatest returns from the fleece.

It is expected that 350 to 500-head of mainly white-faced, western style Rambouillet, Targhee, Polypay and Dorset breeding ewes will be offered. Both registered and commercial breeding ewes will be available.

"This sale will provide a great opportunity for sheep producers, as well as, 4-H and FFA youth to acquire foundation genetics from reputable breeders when developing a high performing ewe flock," said David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist.

For more information about the SDSU Extension educational programing, contact Ollila by email or 605.569.0224. For more information about the sale and/or a consignment list, contact any of the following the SDSGA Premium Replacement Ewe Sale organizers: Jon Beastrom, Sale Chairman and SDSGA Director, 605.280.8120 or by email and Wade Kopren, Sale Committee member and SDSGA Director, 605.545.0842 or by email.

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2018 IFT Food Technology Conference in Chicago

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Ten students and five faculty members from South Dakota State University will attend the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Technology Conference in Chicago from July 15-18, 2018.

The Dairy and Food Science Department graduate students who are attending include Beatrice Manu, Tanvee Deshpande, Kara Konst, Bipin Rajpurohit, Aliza Sigdel, Mohamed Elfaruk and Brady Bury, as well as undergraduate student Emily Resch. Prachi Pahariya, graduate student in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, will also be attending.

Two graduate research posters will be presented. One poster is titled, “Effectiveness of a Vacuum Dough Expansion System in Measuring Dough Expansion Attributes for Predicting Bread Loaf Volume” and is authored by Bipin Rajpurohit; Daniel Brabec, a research agricultural engineer with the USDA Agricultural Research Service; Karl Glover, SDSU professor and spring wheat breeder; Sunish Sehgal, SDSU assistant professor and winter wheat breeder; Padu Krishnan, SDSU professor. Rajpurohit was also selected to present this research project in a competition at the conference.

The other poster that will be presented is titled, “Extraction of beta-carotene from carrot using ultrasound, microwave and infrared techniques,” and is authored by Prachi Pahariya and Kasi Muthukumarappan, distinguished professor and graduate coordinator.

Aliza Sigdel, Tanvee Deshpande and Prachi Pahariya received Minnesota Section IFT scholarships to attend the conference. 

Lloyd Metzger, professor, will present on “Manufacture, functionality, and applications of milk protein concentrate and micellar casein in cheese.”

Krishnan and Srinivas Janaswamy, assistant professor, will participate in the 2018 Section Leadership Forum on July 14 and 15.

Muthukumarappan and C.Y. Wang, professor, will also attend the conference.

“This conference is a really nice way to network with people, make connections and learn about other research going on,” Krishnan said.

The research work being presented was conducted through support from several competitive grants of faculty members.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

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Graduate Students Receive Honors for Research

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Tanvee Deshpande, master’s student, Mohamed Elfaruk, doctoral student, and Farzana Yesmin, master’s student, all of South Dakota State University’s Dairy and Food Science Department, recently received honors for their research.

Deshpande, working under the mentorship of Padmanaban Krishnan, Ph.D., received the second place award at the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference research poster competition in St. Louis, Missouri, for her research on developing food quality standards for distillers grains.

Her project involves the determination of standards for food quality, wholesomeness and efficacy for the use of a novel, patent-pending, food-grade dried distillers grains (DDG).

“Tanvee brings some experience from the pharmaceutical world to the DDG project and her award is recognition of the caliber of scientific work and potential economic and health implications of the discovery,” Krishnan said.

The National Corn Growers Association, along with its 49 affiliated state organizations, works to create and increase opportunities for corn growers and sustainably feed and fuel a growing world.

Elfaruk and Yesmin, working under the mentorship of Srinivas Janaswamy, Ph.D., both received honorable mention recognition at the 2018 It’s All About Science Festival in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Farzana is trying to provide research-based solutions for practical societal problems such as runoff water contamination to improve human health, and Mohamed is developing novel healthy foods toward improving human health,” said Janaswamy. “Both of them are hardworking and highly focused on research.”

Elfaruk is preparing wheat bread comprising sweet potato puree. His project focuses on utilizing sweet potatoes as a viable approach to combat Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is a major nutrition problem that could lead to blindness and weakens the immune system. Vitamin A cannot be synthesized by the human body, and therefore needs to be supplemented through diet.

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, Provitamin A. Their inclusion in daily foods would help address the Vitamin A issues. Apart from beta-carotene, sweet potatoes contain several bioactive compounds and, consequently, sweet potato inclusion in bread retards the starch digestion, which suggests prepared breads may be helpful when it comes to addressing glycemic issues.

Yesmin’s research focuses on capturing nitrates and phosphates from the runoff water using polysaccharide beads. Currently, she is developing beads composed of a variety of cations bound to alginate, food grade polysaccharide used as a viscosifier, to remove nitrates.

Because the alginate is biodegradable, Yesmin’s research could allow farmers to re-utilize the captured nutrient beads as fertilizer, saving them significant amounts of money.

The It’s All About Science Festival focuses on promoting a science-centered community by celebrating and exploring all things science, technology engineering and mathematics.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Tanvee Deshpande (center), a master’s student at South Dakota State University, received the second place award at the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference research poster competition. Pictured: Chris Novak, NCGA CEO with Jennifer Mobley, Tanvee Deshpande, Joseph Polin and NCGA CUTC Chairman, Dennis Maple.

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Tenth Leadership Class Selected for SDARL Program

Categorized: Livestock, Agronomy, Community Development

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The tenth class has been selected for the South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership (SDARL) program. Twenty-eight individuals from across the state will participate in the program that develops the skills, knowledge and character of leaders for rural communities and the state’s most essential industry.

Class X includes 13 members who work hands-on at a ranch or farm. Other members represent the diversity of agri-business, community development, and non-profit organizations that include precision agriculture, ag finance, government and multinational corporations.

Class X members include: Bill Becking, Florence; Lora Berg, Brookings; Jace Booth, Timberlake; Jay Esser, Redfield; Tom Fishback, Brookings; Lee Friesen, Olivet; Elli Haerter, Hosmer; Grant Harms, Sioux Falls; Tanse Herrmann, Whitewood; Jennifer Hoesing, Sioux Falls; Justin Ingalls, Watertown; Chris Kassube, Bath; Lance Larsen, Groton; Matt Lindgren, Watertown; Bob Metz, Peever; Krysti Mikkonen, Frederick; Lorrin Naasz, Pierre; Don Nickelson, Frederick; Heather Niederwerder, New Underwood; Sam Olson, Buffalo; Jake Prins, Eden; Jared Questad, Baltic; ReEtta Sieh, Leola; Scott Simpson, Pierre; Tyler Urban, Sioux Falls; Ryan Vanden Berge, Oacoma; Jackson Waage, Dell Rapids; and Heidi Zwinger, Colton.

“In addition to diversity across the agricultural landscape, this class is geographically diverse,” noted SDARL Executive Director Lori Cope. “Class members are from Buffalo, Sioux Falls, Peever, New Underwood and other cities and towns representing the broad expanse of agriculture and the rural nature of our state.”

The class members will begin their 18-month leadership development program in November 2018. There are 12 seminars in the SDARL leadership series, including one seminar in Washington, D.C., and one international study seminar.

“Class X continues the tradition of excellence that is the hallmark of the SDARL program,” noted Don Norton, SDARL CEO. “When this class graduates in 2020, it will bring our list of graduates to 299. These are influential and impactful leaders in South Dakota agriculture.”

Selection to the program is competitive and requires a formal application and interview. Applications for the next SDARL class will begin in January 2020.

About SDARL

The South Dakota Agricultural & Rural Leadership Foundation identifies and develops leadership for agriculture and rural communities to enhance the quality of life for all South Dakotans. The Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization funded by investing companies and associations, tuition from program participants and gifts from alumni and other donors who share a passion for developing engaged leadership for a vibrant South Dakota. In addition to the flagship 18-month leadership program, SDARL provides leadership education to FFA advisors and students, commodity boards and community organizations.

SDARL offices are located on the main and west river campuses of South Dakota State University. The Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences serves on the SDARL Board of Directors.

For more information, contact Don Norton, CEO, by email.

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I-29 Moo University Dairy Tour Focuses on Key Animal Care Protocols

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - During the Treat Me Right Implementing Best Management Practices Summer Tour, held August 3, 2018, the I-29 Moo University will be highlighting best management practices on two South Dakota dairy farms, Boadwine Farms, Baltic and Crosswind Jerseys, Elkton.

During the tour there will be discussions of farm biosecurity practices and table top demonstrations of humane euthanasia techniques. To ensure animal health and welfare, along with employee safety, there will also be discussions covering low-stress cow handling, newborn calf care and handling non-ambulatory animals or animals which are temporarily unable to walk.

"If your farm has been talking about getting protocols written, but hasn't gotten around to it, join us to learn how to write and implement various protocols in a hands-on environment," said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist.

Carroll added that this tour provides an opportunity for annual employee training as it meets the National Dairy FARM program criteria. She encourages dairy producers to sign up their employees and/or managers to attend the educational tour.
 
The tour is sponsored by I-29 Moo University, which is a collaboration of South Dakota State University, SDSU Extension, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, North Dakota State and University of Nebraska Extension; Iowa State Dairy Association; South Dakota Dairy Producers Association; Nebraska State Dairy Association; and Minnesota Milk Producers Association.

Featured dairies

Boadwine Farms is a fourth-generation, family farm homesteaded in 1874. It is now owned by Lynn and Trish Boadwine.

Boadwine Farms milks around 2,100 Holstein cows three times a day in a double 30 parallel parlor. The cows produce approximately 20,000 gallons of milk per day.

The Boadwines also farm 2,500 acres, raising primarily corn and alfalfa.

The dairy also raises their own calves and heifers.

The farm employs a team of 40 to care for the cows, calves and land. The farm has undergone several barn and feed storage expansions over the years.

The tour of Boadwine Farms will provide insight into farm biosecurity planning, discuss and demonstrate humane euthanasia techniques and showcase calf care management.

Crosswind Jerseys is a family farm established in 2003 by Ernst and Ursula Temperli along with their son, Stefan. The family has operated dairies in Switzerland and Canada before moving to South Dakota.

Today, the farm also includes Stefan's brother, Martin, who manages the heifer calves at the feedlot. The family milks around 1,300 Jersey cows three times a day in a double 20 parallel parlor and have a rolling herd average of 20,000 pounds of milk.

The farm employs a team of about 15 to care for cows and calves.

Crosswind Jerseys focuses on excellent cow comfort and animal husbandry, which they say can only be accomplished through a team effort.

Their goal is to excel in production through forage quality, longevity, and genetics.

The tour of Crosswind Jerseys will discuss low-stress loading of cows in the parlor, handling non-ambulatory animals, maternity pen management, and calf care with comfort and pain management at the forefront.

Registration information

Register at the iGrow Events page for this tour, by July 27, 2018. To cover expenses, registration is $25. Groups of three or more, from the same operation, will receive a 30 percent discount.

The bus will depart near Baltic, South Dakota fight off Interstate 29 Exit 94. Loading and registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at Friendly's Fuel Stop (47159 Hwy 114, Baltic SD, I29 Exit 94). Plan to arrive a few minutes early as the bus will depart for the first farm tour at 9:45 a.m. The bus will return to Friendly's Fuel Stop at 4:15 p.m.

All tour attendees are expected to respect farm biosecurity by riding the bus to limit vehicle traffic at the farms. If this pick-up location does not work for you or you would like to car pool, please contact: Jim Salfer, Minnesota contact, at by email or 612.360.4506 or Fred Hall, contact for Iowa or Nebraska, by email, or 712.737.4230.

The following sponsors helped cover expenses of the tour: Gold Level: Automated Dairy Specialists, LLC; Novita Nutrition and Agropur, Inc. Silver Level: Phibro; SoyBest: Multimin; Arm & Hammer; Central Plains Dairy Foundation; AgriKing and Cottonseed, LLC. Bronze Level: Calf Star; Franken Custom Cutting; Ag Processing, Inc.; Gorters Clay & Dairy Equipment of MN, Inc.; Alforex Seeds; Automated Waste Systems, LLC; Kroese & Kroese, PC; Dakota Gold/Poet; American Agco Trading Company; Stray Voltage Consulting; Western Iowa Dairy Alliance; Advanced Comfort Technology; ProAg Enginering and Zinpro.

For general questions and more information, contact Heidi Carroll by email or 605.688.6623.

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BQA Trainer Certification offered

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Veterinarians interested in becoming Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Trainers in South Dakota can pre-register for the South Dakota BQA Trainer Certification meeting, hosted by SDSU Extension August 12, 2018 at 2 p.m.

This training will be prior to the start of the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association annual meeting in the Sioux Falls Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel (3200 W Maple St., Sioux Falls, SD 57107).

South Dakota BQA Trainers can offer in-person BQA Certification Trainings to producers in South Dakota.

"This training will better equip veterinarians to assist producers in meeting the requirements of BQA certification along with the beef and dairy on-farm assessments that are becoming an expectation of packers, processors and food service companies," explained Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist & BQA Coordinator.

The South Dakota BQA Trainer certification is valid for three years.

The training will cover the following:

  1. Processes and procedures of conducting producer BQA certification trainings;
  2. Requirements and criteria of the BQA Feedyard Assessment; and
  3. Pertinent information regarding all the cattle-related quality assurance programs for both beef and dairy producers.

Registration details

August 6, 2018 is the registration deadline for the South Dakota BQA Trainer Certification course. To register, contact Carroll by email or 605.688.6623. To help cover costs of materials, the registration fee is $25.

Registration is required to ensure enough materials are available. Non-registered individuals are welcome to sit in on the course to hear updates but Trainer materials are only guaranteed for those who are registered.

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Meat & Dairy Goat Workshop in Brookings

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Sheep, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension and partners will host South Dakota's first Meat and Dairy Goat Workshop, July 14, 2018 in the Alfred Dairy Science Building (1224 Medary Avenue) on the campus of South Dakota State University, Brookings.

The conference, which is co-hosted by SDSU Extension, Value Added Agriculture Development Center and South Dakota Specialty Producers Association, will begin at 8 a.m. (CST) with registration. Workshops begin at 9 a.m. and will run until 3 p.m. Lunch will be served.

"The workshop brings together producers, academic experts and industry resources to help build a sustainable goat industry in the state," said Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist.

The event offers producers the opportunity to do the following:

  • Build their knowledge through science-based educational information;
  • Interact with other participants; and
  • Create connections with useful organizations and educators available to assist with all aspects of the goat industry.

The clinic is designed to provide practical information South Dakotans can incorporate into their operations.

"Whether you are contemplating goats, a new-to-goats producer, an established goat grower, a seedstock goat producer or a 4-H member, this workshop is designed for you," Rovai said.

The workshop will focus on both meat and dairy goat production, small ruminant health, nutrition and marketing topics though presentations and hands-on training.

Workshop details

Small ruminant nutrition, parasite control for goats and marketing: led by Dr. Steve Hart, Goat Specialist at the American Institute for Goat Research, Langston University, Oklahoma;

Expertise on raising meat goats: led by Dr. Gerado Caja, world renown small ruminant researcher, Veterinary Faculty, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain;

Lactation of goats: led by Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist;

Heat and cold stress effects on goat performance: led by Dr. Ahmed Salama, South Dakota State University Post Doc Research Associate;

Small Ruminant Veterinary Protocol: led by Dr. Joe Klein, South Dakota Goat Producer and Veterinarian owner of White Veterinary Services, White, South Dakota; and

Information on raising a small goat dairy herd in South Dakota: led by Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

Expertise on production, value added products and marketing will also be provided by producers and industry representatives.

Registration information

The registration deadline is July 14 as participants can register at the door. To pre-register for this event, visit the SD Speciality Producers Association website. To help cover expenses, the registration fee is $31.20. This fee includes the workshop and lunch featuring locally grown foods. Register by July 11 to ensure access to conference materials and the meal.

For questions, contact Cheri Rath, Executive Director of the South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center, by email

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2018 American Dairy Science Association Annual Meeting

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2018 annual meeting of the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) took place in Knoxville, Tenn., on June 24-27. Approximately 1,800 participants from around the world attended. The South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department was represented by 21 participants that included seven faculty members and 15 students and staff.

Department personnel presented approximately 40 research papers ranging in topics from dairy nutrition and product processing methods to microbiology and food safety. The research presented reflected the work of the past year supported by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU, dairy farmer check-off funds and other external grants acquired by faculty members.

There were over 20 presentations on thesis and dissertation work of graduate students, much of which will be subsequently published in scientific journals. Karla Rodriguez-Hernandez, doctoral student under the mentorship of Jill Anderson, and Neha Neha, doctoral student under the mentorship of Sanjeev Anand, each received third place in their respective oral research presentation contests.

The 2018 SDSU Dairy Club publication, Dairy Digest, received first place in the Outstanding Chapter Yearbook Contest in which dairy clubs from universities around the country submitted their publications. Abigail Hopp, current president of Dairy Club, was the editor.

Professor Sanjeev Anand received the ADSA International Dairy Foods Association Teaching Award in Dairy Manufacturing in recognition of his teaching excellence.

Faculty members Johan Osorio, assistant professor, and Maristela Rovai, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist, were invited to serve as chairs of scientific presentation sessions in their areas of expertise.

Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry participated in the ADSA Foundation Board meeting and ADSA Discover Conference Steering Committee meeting. Jill Anderson, associate professor and current president of the Midwest ADSA, also participated in ADSA board meetings.

Numerous SDSU Dairy and Food Science Department alumni presented research papers and participated in various events. Robert Roberts, SDSU alumnus and Head of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University, served as Chair of the ADSA Foundation.

The department also hosted an alumni reception where approximately 50 people attended and had an opportunity to make new and old connections.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Kirby Krogstad was one of the students who presented their undergraduate research at the 2018 ADSA annual meeting.

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SDSU’s Volga Research Farm Summer Tour July 19

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University’s Volga Research Farm will host its annual Summer Tour on July 19, 2018 at the farm located at 21260 464th Ave., Volga. The tour begins at 4:00 p.m. and ends at dusk. 

The farm is located approximately 1.5 miles south of Volga on Brookings County Road 5. 

The summer tour will feature plot tours highlighting research happening on the farm, as well as presentations and demonstrations on weed management, cover crops, crop and insect management, and weather updates by SDSU faculty and SDSU Extension staff.

The summer tour is free of charge and open to the public. No pre-registration is necessary. A meal will be provided.

Tentative Tour Schedule and Topics

Tour 1: Weed Management

Pre-Emergent Herbicides and Weed Management Strategies in the Glyphosate-Resistant Period: Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Management Coordinator

Tour 2: Cover Crops

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen and Cover Crop Relationships: Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist

Managing Cover Crop Opportunities and Challenges: Sara Bauder and David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialists

Herbicide Interactions with Cover Crops: Gared Shaffer, SDSU Extension Weeds Field Specialist

Tour 3: Crop and Insect Management

What’s Causing Problems and What to be Watching for in 2018: Adam Varenhorst, SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist

2018 Update on Crop Performance Testing: Jonathan Kleinjan, SDSU Extension Crop Production Associate

Tour 4: Weather Information

What’s New in Weather and New Tools on the Mesonet at SDState: Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist, and Nathan Edwards, Mesonet Manager

Between tours, stop and talk with Connie Tande, SDSU Extension Plant Diagnostician, about plant sample tissues, identification of peats and field problems.

The tour is sponsored by the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and South Dakota Wheat Commission.

For more information on the tour contact Paul O. Johnson by email or 605.688.4591. 

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Northeast Research Farm Hosts Summer Tour July 12

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University’s Northeast Research Farm will host its annual Summer Tour on July 12, 2018 at the farm located at 15710 455 Ave., South Shore. The tour begins at 4:00 p.m. and ends at dusk.

The farm is located approximately 15 miles north of Watertown at the junction of Highway 20 and 455th Ave. or 2 miles west of the I-29 South Shore exit (193).

The summer tour will feature plot tours highlighting research happening on the farm, as well as presentations and demonstrations on pest management, small grain varieties and agronomy and nutrient management by SDSU faculty and SDSU Extension staff.

The summer tour is free of charge and open to the public. No pre-registration is necessary.

Tentative Tour Schedule and Topics

Weed Control Updates: Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator

Plant Disease Update: Emmanuel Byamukama, SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist

Small Grain Diseases: Shaukat Ali, SDSU Small Grains Pathologist

Insect Pest Update: Adam Varenhorst, SDSU Extension Specialist Field Crop Entomologist

Spring Wheat Breeding: Karl Glover, SDSU Spring Wheat Breeder

Oat Breeding: Melanie Caffe, SDSU Oat Breeder

Crop Production Update: Jonathan Kleinjan, SDSU Extension Crop Production Associate

Soil Management Issues: David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, and Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist

Nutrients in Crop Residues: Howard Woodard, SDSU Soil Fertility and Soil Management Researcher

Split Nitrogen Management in Corn: Péter Kovács, SDSU Assistant Professor, Ag Cropping Systems

Indoor Presentations

Using Weather Data to Maximize Spray Time: Nathan Edwards, SDSU Mesonet Manager at South Dakota State University

Plant Disease Sample Issues/Questions: Connie Tande, SDSU Microbiologist and Plant Diagnostic Clinic Diagnostician

South Dakota Wheat Inc.: Caren Assman, South Dakota Wheat Inc. Executive Director

A post-tour lunch will be provided, courtesy of the South Dakota Crop Improvement Association, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and South Dakota Wheat Commission.

The tour is presented collaboratively by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU, SDSU Extension, SDSU College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences and the SDSU Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science Department.

For more information about the SDSU Northeast Research Farm Summer Tour, contact Al Heuer at 605.886.5152. 

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Workshops for Beginning Farmers/Ranchers Looking for Land

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host the workshop series, Farmland for the Next Generation, beginning August 14, 2018.

Supported by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the workshops are designed for individuals with some farming and/or ranching experience who are actively looking for land. The workshops will focus on skill-building and practical resources.

"Access to suitable land remains a chief obstacle for beginning farmers and ranchers," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. "Addressing barriers that keep new farmers from entering agriculture is also critical as senior agricultural landowners prepare to transfer more than 370 million acres in the next 10 to 20 years."

She references 2012 Census of Agriculture data that shows numbers of farmers and ranchers fell 20 percent from 2007-2012, reaching a 30-year low.

Gessner will lead the workshops, which are components of American Farmland Trust's Farmland for the Next Generation project. Gessner is one of the 25 experienced agricultural educators and service providers across the country serving in the inaugural class of Land Access Trainers.

Registration details

The six-week Farmland for the Next Generation workshop will be a combination of at-home worksheets and videos, face-to-face meetings and webinars.

Face-to-face meetings will be held at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell, located on the campus of Mitchell Technical Institute (1800 E. Spruce St.)

Face-to-face meetings and the webinar will begin at 7 PM A webinar link will be emailed prior to the webinar session. The registration deadline is July 25, 2018. To help cover costs, registration is $100 for up to two family members to participate. To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

2018 Workshop Timeline

Participants should be committed to following the meeting times and deadlines for each session:

  • July 25 - Registration deadline - all participants MUST be registered for the workshops by this date (see above registration information.)
  • August 6 - postmark deadline for all first round at-home assignments
  • August 14 - Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell
  • August 21 - Online webinar
  • August 28 - Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell
  • September 7 - postmark deadline for all second round at-home assignments
  • September 11 - Face-to-face meeting in Mitchell

Topics covered include:

Topics covered during the six-week workshop will address and introduction to land tenure, financial readiness, land tenure options, finding land, land assessment, leasing land, and purchasing land.

If you have questions, contact Gessner by email or 605.782.3290.

More about American Farmland Trust

American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Learn more at the American Farmland Trust website.

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Professor Anand Wins National Teaching Award

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy, Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sanjeev Anand, professor in South Dakota State University’s Dairy and Food Science Department, is the recipient of the International Dairy Foods Association Teaching Award in dairy manufacturing. The award recognizes outstanding teaching of undergraduate students in dairy foods.

In the past five years, Anand has influenced approximately 250 students through his teaching and mentored 25 undergraduate research students. Additionally, two doctorate and 15 master’s students have graduated under his supervision.

“Dr. Sanjeev Anand is an outstanding, passionate instructor in dairy microbiology,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry. “He is a recognized leader in the field and our students have the privilege of learning from the best.”

Currently, Anand teaches two undergraduate courses with labs, dairy microbiology and food microbiology, and one graduate course, advanced dairy and food microbiology. He also advises graduate students and serves as a mentor for undergraduate research.

“The uniqueness of his class is that he covers dairy microbiology and its impacts all the way from the farm to product,” Mistry said. “This gives our students extremely valuable insights in an understandable and practical manner. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Anand as a faculty member at SDSU.”

While teaching food safety, Anand realized the need to develop a 10-week on-line summer course dedicated completely to learning and applying the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in the dairy industry using the SDSU Davis Dairy Plant as a model. Once this is initiated, Anand will be able to provide comprehensive dairy microbiology training to students from around the world.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Sanjeev Anand, professor in South Dakota State University’s Dairy and Food Science Department

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Rosebud Water Resources Office Enlists Mesonet at SDState

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Water Resources Office has partnered with the Mesonet at SDState, South Dakota State University's statewide weather network to install a new weather station near Rosebud.

The station was installed last month to improve monitoring of the water cycle on Rosebud tribal lands.

Live Weather

The station provides live weather reports and forecasts accessible to the public at the Rosebud page on the Mesonet website. Updated every five minutes, the station monitors temperature, humidity, sunshine, pressure, rain, wind, soil temperature and soil moisture.

"This station really steps up the level of weather available to residents in the area," said Nathan Edwards, Mesonet Manager at South Dakota State University.

Water Cycle

The primary mission of the station, however, is to monitor the water cycle. The special sensors that the station has allow the calculation of the amount of water lost through evaporation and by plants. The rain gauge measures how that water is replaced by rainfall. Soil moisture sensors track the storage of water and its percolation to the water table below. Careful analysis of all these variables will allow the tribe's Water Resources Office to monitor recharge of the Ogallala aquifer.

"The data gathered from the Mesonet will play critical role in the management of water resources on Rosebud Reservation," said Syed Huq, Director of the Water Resources Office.

Rosebud Water Resources Office and Mesonet at SDState

The installation of the Rosebud Mesonet station was supported by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) funding. Rosebud Sioux Tribe Water Resources Office is entrusted to assess, evaluate, monitor, develop and protect the surface water and ground water on reservation lands.

The Mesonet consists of 27 locally-supported stations across the state that are maintained by South Dakota State University.

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Developing the Next Generation of Land Stewards

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

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension & iGrow.

Isaac Kolousek never paid much attention to the grasses his family's cattle were grazing when he checked cow/calf pairs with his dad, Scott. That is, until he began attending South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management Rangeland and Soils Days two summers ago.

"It definitely changed my perspective. Now, I notice that this grass is different from that grass and this grass grows in May and this one starts growing in July," explains the 17-year-old Wessington Springs FFA member.

Introducing youth to rangeland and soils, while enhancing their knowledge of these precious natural resources found throughout our state, is the focus of the annual event held this year in Redfield, June 26-27, 2018 and co-hosted by SDSU Extension, Spink county Conservation District and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

More than 100 South Dakota 4-H and FFA youth, ages 8 to 18 attended the two-day educational and judging event.

"We want to make South Dakota's youth aware of nature that is all around them. Too often, when youth learn about nature on TV or other media, it's focused on jungles and forests. We have a beautiful ecosystem and biome right here in South Dakota - the prairie is all around us," explained David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, who is one of the event's organizers.

Ollila has seen the first-hand benefits of Rangeland and Soils Days for more than 30 years - first as an agriculture education instructor/FFA advisor and today, as one of the many professionals who help lead the hands-on training.

"Youth are developing skills today that they will use in their future. Any successful rancher or farmer has to understand the foundational principles of how soils work and livestock producers need to understand how rangeland works with soils. Even those who will not be involved in agriculture, will have opportunities for employment," Ollila explained. "And, for all the rest, who don't use this information in their future careers, I always told my students, 'you may not go into these areas, but those of us on the prairie need you to speak on our behalf.'"

One of Ollila's former students, Dawn Gardner can relate. She said it is because of Rangeland Days and 4-H and FFA rangeland judging that she chose the career that she did.

"Because of Rangeland Days I realized I really enjoyed plants and working with them, so I chose a degree that focused on plants," explains the South Dakota State University graduate who received a bachelor's degree in biology with an emphasis in botany and a master's in wildlife and fisheries sciences.

Today, Gardner works as a senior vegetation ecologist for the environmental consulting firm, BKS Environmental Associates, Inc.

"I am identifying plants, many of which I learned at Rangeland Days, on a daily basis when we are in the field doing reclamation monitoring and baseline assessments for energy companies," she explained about her more-than-a-decade-career assessing reclamation of land to make it suitable for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat.

The prairie is the classroom

The curriculum utilized during Rangeland and Soils Days is age-appropriate and hands-on. "People of all ages are drawn to nature and this hands-on curriculum. We're out in the prairie using all our senses to explore soil and identify range plants - touch, taste, smell and feel. Seriously, we all get our hands dirty as we identify rangeland plants or rub damp soil through our fingers to determine its texture."

Hunter Eide agrees. The 16-year-old Gettysburg High School student says he enjoys being able to identify two similar looking range plants based on small differences. "It may be just a couple hairs or the seedhead - or the way it smells," said Eide, who puts the knowledge he has gained identifying plants when he's out in the prairie fixing fence with his grandpa or competing in rangeland judging contests.

In 2018, Eide was a member of the South Dakota team that won the National Range Judging competition held each year in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The national reserve champion team was Wessington Springs 4-H, also from South Dakota.

"I like the competitiveness of it. I find it interesting to learn about what these plants do and how important they are to rangeland and pasture management," Eide explained.

Since he won the national rangeland competition, during this year's Rangeland and Soils Days, Eide focused on expanding his knowledge of soils.

Eide and other youth learned about soil health, how to identify soils as well as how soil type, slope and other factors impact engineering and construction from Lance Howe, Project Leader, Soil Scientist with NRCS. Howe added the soils component to Rangeland Days 14 years ago because, as someone who spends his workweek focused on conducting and evaluating soil surveys for the federal government, he believes all South Dakotans need a basic understanding of soil health.

"Our soils are priceless. If we don't protect our soils, and understand how to manage our soils - we don't want to see what happened in the 30s happen again," Howe explained.

Sponsors of this event include: USDA NRCS, Society for Range Management, SDSU Extension, American Legion Post #92, Frankfort Ringneck 4-H Club, Redfield Energy, Animal Health Center, Full Circle Ag, Redfield Food Center, Appel Oil, Grant County Conservation District, Redfield Hardware Hank, Aurora County Conservation District, Haakon County Conservation District, Redfield Investments, Beadle County Conservation District, Hamlin County Conservation District, Redfield Seed, Baumann Lumber, James River Water Development District, Roberts County Conservation District, Burdick Bros Inc., Jessen Heating, Refrigeration and Electrical, Rude Transportation, Boyd-Wagner Agency, Lawrence County Conservation District, South Brown Conservation District, Clark County Conservation District, Marshall County Conservation District, South Dakota Soil Health Coalition, Codington County Conservation District, Millborn Seeds, Spink Conservation District, Crop Production Service, Precision Soil Management, Spink County 4-H Leaders, Dairy Queen, RDO Equipment, Young Farmer and Ranchers, Day County Conservation District, Redfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Wilber Ellis Air and Faulk County Conservation District.

2018 rangeland & soils judging contest results

After spending several hours in the field learning about rangeland and soils, many youth spent a portion of the last day of Rangeland & Soils Days competing in a variety of contests. During the contests, youth test their newfound knowledge to determine the land's capability class which, in turn, allows them to make recommended conservation treatments using vegetative and mechanical erosion controls.

There is also a homesite portion of the contest where youth assess a building location for potential issues that would occur when developing a homesite.

There are four divisions youth can compete in. New Ranger, youth 8 to 10 years old; Wrangler, youth 11 to 13 years old; Scout youth 14 to 18 with no previous judging experience/instruction and Go-Getter, youth 14 to 18-years of age who are experienced.

Below is a list of contest winners:

Rangeland Top Hand Awards: Top overall scoring individual. Scores in the judging competition (40 percent), Student talks (35 percent), and displays (25 percent) all contributed toward the award.

New Ranger Top Hand: Ty Haskell, Spink County, received a silver belt buckle as the overall top scoring youth.

Wrangler Top Hand: Bennett Gordon, Lawrence County, received a silver belt buckle as the overall top scoring youth.

Scout Top Hand: Korbin Leddy, Grant County, received a silver belt buckle as the overall top scoring youth.

Go-Getter Top Hand: Danika Gordon, Lawrence County, received a silver belt buckle as the overall top scoring youth.

Student Talks: In this division, youth presented talks on a variety of range management and/or range resource topics. Visual aids were required; Power Point preferred.

Scout/Go-Getter: Danika Gordon, Lawrence County, was recognized as the Top Scout/Go Getter from South Dakota. In 2017, Gordon also received this award and represented South Dakota by giving a talk during the 2018 Society for Range Management annual meeting. This year, the second place speaker, Korbin Leddy of Grant County, will present his talk during the 2019 Society for Range Management annual meeting in Minneapolis.

New Ranger: Ty Haskell, Spink County

Wrangler: First place, Bennett Gordon, Lawrence County; second place, Matea Gordon, Lawrence County and third place, Tate Ollila, Butte County.

Scout: Korbin Leddy, Grant County

Range & Soils Competitions:

New Ranger Range Judging top scoring individuals: First place, Bobbie Eide, Potter County; second place, Katelyn Gebhart, Perkins County; third place, Tyler Warkenthien, Spink County; fourth place, Faith Baumberger, Hand County; and fifth place, Lila Johnson, Corson County.

Wrangler Range Judging top scoring individuals: First place, Tanner Eide, Meade County 4-H team; second place, Morgan Mackaben, Butte County and third place, Tate Ollila, Butte County.

Scout Range Judging top scoring individuals: First place, Korbin Leddy, Grant County; second place, John Peterson, Meade County and third place, Jecoliah Anderson, Spink County.

Go-Getter Range Judging First Place Team: The Wessington Springs 4-H team placed first, qualifying to compete in the 2019 National Range Judging competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Team members include: Noah Hainy, Rylie Stevens and Landon Wolter.

The South Dakota Grasslands Coalition is sponsoring the team's travel expenses.

Go-Getter Soils Judging First Place Team: The Meade County 4-H team placed first, qualifying to compete in the 2019 National Range Judging competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Team members include: Hunter Eide, Randi Tivis, Kylie Shaw and Lauren Fritz.

The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is sponsoring the team's travel expenses.

Educational Displays: Youth also expanded their leadership skills and rangeland management understanding by participating in student talks and educational displays.

Student displays: In this division, youth entered a tabletop display on any range-related topic. Those youth recognized include the following:

New Ranger: Ty Haskell, Spink County;

Wrangler: First place, Bennett Gordon, Lawrence County; second place, Tate Ollila, Butte County and third place, Matea Gordon, Lawrence County;

Scout: Korbin Leddy, Grant County; and

Go-Getter: Danika Gordon, Lawrence County.

To learn more about the 2019 South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management Rangeland and Soils Days, which will be held in Redfield, contact Ollila by email.

Isaac Kolousek, identifying plants on his family's Wessington Springs ranch. He was among more than 100 South Dakota 4-H and FFA youth, ages 8 to 18 who attended the 2018 South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management Rangeland and Soils Days held in Redfield June 26-27, 2018.

The two-day educational and judging event is designed to introduce youth to rangeland and soils, while enhancing their knowledge of these precious natural resources found throughout our state.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the South Dakota Section of the Society for Range Management Rangeland and Soils Days, youth recognized with the Top Hand Award include: (left to right) Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District; Ty Haskell, Spink County; Korbin Leddy, Grant County; Danika Gordon, Lawrence and Hunter Eide, Potter County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Go-Getter Range Judging First Place Team:The Wessington Springs 4-H team placed first, qualifying to compete in the 2019 National Range Judging competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Team members pictured here with Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District, include: Noah Hainy,Landon Wolter, Isaac Kolousek and Chloe Munsen.

Courtesy of iGrow. Go-Getter Soils Judging First Place Team: The Meade County 4-H team placed first, qualifying to compete in the 2019 National Range Judging competition held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Team members pictured here with Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District, include: Randi Tivis, Hunter Eide, Lauren Fritz and Kylie Shaw.

Courtesy of iGrow. New Ranger Range Judging top scoring individuals pictured here with Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District include: First place, Bobbie Eide, Potter County; second place, Katelyn Gebhart, Perkins County; third place, Tyler Warkenthien, Spink County; fourth place, Faith Baumberger, Hand County; and fifth place, Lila Johnson, Corson County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Scout Range Judging top scoring individuals pictured here with Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District include: First place, Korbin Leddy, Grant County; second place, John Peterson, Meade County and third place, Jecoliah Anderson, Spink County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Wrangler Range Judging top scoring individuals pictured here with Jeff VanderWal, President of Spink Co. Conservation District include: First place, Tanner Eide, Meade County 4-H team; second place, Morgan Mackaben, Butte County and third place, Tate Ollila, Butte County.

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Heifer Development and Feedlot Facility Tour

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is hosting a Heifer Development and Feedlot Facilities bus tour on August 9, 2018. The tour will pick up participants in Aberdeen and Groton.

"The tour is designed for cow/calf, heifer, and feedlot beef producers to give them an opportunity to see how two Northeast South Dakota operations manage their heifer development and feedlot enterprises, as well as learn about different facility management," said Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

The tour bus will pick up registered participants in Aberdeen at the Aberdeen Mall parking lot in front of Herberger's (3315 6th Ave SE, Aberdeen) and in Groton at the Red Horse Inn Restaurant west parking lot (US-12 and 37 intersection).

Tour Schedule:

8 - 8:15 AM Registration and Load Bus at Aberdeen Mall (3315 6th Ave SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401) Park near Herberger's south parking lot.

8:15 AM Depart Aberdeen

8:45 - 9 AM Pick up in Groton at Red Horse Inn Restaurant & Lounge (2 US-12, Groton, SD 57445). Park on the west side.

9:30 AM Tour Stop: Mark and Joel Erickson Farm

Erickson brothers, Mark and Joel, operate a livestock and farming operation near Langford. They have a strong focus on developing heifers into productive cows by managing them on high forage rations year round, including grazing heifers on pasture, corn stalks and cover crops in the fall and spring.

The Ericksons will share with tour participants how they strive to efficiently manage their breeding season, calving management and also drylot finishing enterprise.

11:45 AM Depart for lunch

Noon Lunch and Industry Discussion

2 PM Tour Stop: Symens Brothers

Symens Brothers of Amherst, consists of Irwin, Paul, John, Brad and Warren Symens. They raise registered Limousin cattle and market 100 bulls and 30 heifers each year. They buy back customers' commercial calves and feed-to-finish 2,000-head each year in hoop barn confinement. They strive for efficiency in producing their own feed and raising cattle that perform in the pasture, in the lot, and on the rail. Their goal is to continue to find ways to do more with less.

4:30 PM Depart to return to Groton and Aberdeen

Registration information

To register for the SDSU Extension Heifer Development and Feedlot Facilities bus tour visit the iGrow Events page. Registration is $40 and includes transportation and lunch.

Due to limited bus space, pre-registration is required. All attendees of the tour must ride the bus due to limited parking at tour locations. During registration, select a pickup location of either Aberdeen or Groton.

If you have any questions, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist by email or 605.995.7378 or 605.680.9504. Participants may also contact, Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate by email or 605.688.5452.

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Summer Field Day Along With a No-Till and Interseeding Workshop

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University’s Southeast Research Farm will host its 57th Annual Summer Field Day from 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on July 10, 2018 at the farm located at 29974 University Road, Beresford. Preceding the field day, there will be a No-Till and Interseeding Workshop at the farm.

Field tours start at 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Indoor presentations will begin at 3:30 p.m.

The field day will feature plot tours highlighting projects and research happening on the farm, as well as presentations and demonstrations by SDSU faculty and SDSU Extension staff.

The featured speaker for the tour is Loran Steinlage, an innovative Iowa farmer who has evolved from practicing conventional tillage to strip till to no-till with cover crops, all while building soil health and revenue. He will be giving a presentation entitled, “How to Improve Soil Health and Profitability with Cover Crops and No-Till” at 5:40 p.m.

Preceding the annual field day there will be a No-Till and Interseeding Workshop, sponsored in part by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. This workshop will feature producers from South Dakota and Northeast Iowa discussing their experiences with no-till, cover crops and interseeding, particularly under wet conditions. Registration for the workshop starts at 8:15 a.m. with the first session starting at 8:45 a.m.

Tentative Tour Schedule and Topics

Corn and Soybean Herbicide Demonstrations: Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator

Oat Varieties: Melanie Caffe, SDSU Assistant Professor, Oat Breeding

Oat Nitrogen: Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist

Soybean Insect Pests: Adam Varenhorst, SDSU Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Specialist Field Crop Entomologist

Soybean Disease Update: Emmanuel Byamukama, SDSU Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist

Soybean Management for Yield and Grain Quality: Péter Kovács, SDSU Assistant Professor, Ag Cropping Systems

Rye Cover Crop and Tile Drainage: Peter Sexton, SDSU Southeast Farm Supervisor/Plant Science

Annual Forages: Sara Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

Rotation and Grazing: Sandeep Kumar, SDSU Plant Science Assistant Professor, Soil Biophysics and Management

Oat – Palisade: David Karki, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist

Corn – N Timing: Jason Clark, SDSU Extension Soil Fertility Specialist; Péter Kovács, SDSU Assistant Professor, Ag Cropping Systems

Soybean Planting Date: Graig Reicks, SDSU Plant Science

Indoor Presentations will begin at 3:30 PM 

Marketing Trends: Jack Davis, SDSU Extension Crops Business Management Field Specialist

Ag Weather Tools: Laura Edwards, SDSU State Climatologist

Drainage Water Management: John McMaine, SDSU Ag Engineering Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer

Root Rot of Corn: Febina Mathew, SDSU Assistant Professor & Field Crops Pathologist; Paul Okello, SDSU Plant Science

No-Till and Interseeding Workshop Tentative Agenda

No- Tilling Along the Vermillion River: Dick Nissen, South Dakota farmer

Coping with Wet Weather Using No-till and Cover Crops: Loran Steinlage, Iowa farmer

No-Till at the Southeast Research Farm: Peter Sexton, Southeast Research Farm Manager

Cover Crop Interseeding to Improve Soil Health and Profitability: Loran Steinlage, Iowa farmer

The field day and workshop are free of charge and everyone is encouraged to attend. For more information about the SDSU Southeast Research Farm Summer Field Day and No-Till and Interseeding Workshop, contact Ruth Stevens at 605.563.2989.

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Current Conditions Favor Disease Development in Spring Wheat

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota's spring wheat crop is at risk for Fusarium head blight (FHB) or scab development, said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Across South Dakota, the majority of spring wheat is at heading and shortly the crop will be flowering. The flowering growth stage coincides with Fusarium head blight (FHB) or scab development. Current weather conditions indicate a moderate to high risk for scab to develop in spring wheat for several counties in the state (Figure 1)," Byamukama said.

Byamukama encouraged wheat producers to protect their crop by applying a triazole fungicide on spring wheat that is approaching flowering.

Spring wheat growers in low risk areas of the state, (areas indicated in Figure 1 in green) are encouraged to scout spring wheat regularly and watch the weather.

"Weather conditions that favor fungal disease development can change in a short time," Byamukama said. "The risk for scab development is greatest at flowering and decreases over time after flowering."

Leaf rust

Leaf rust is another disease that is likely to develop in spring wheat because this rust has been found in winter wheat (Figure 2) in the state.

"This means there is inoculum in our area, moreover, current weather conditions favor leaf rust to develop," Byamukama said.

Byamukama explained that leaf rust pathogen does not survive in our area; spores are blown from the southern states.

A triazole fungicide applied for scab management will also control foliar fungal diseases including leaf rust.

Figure 1. Fusarium head blight (scab) risk in spring wheat as of 6/26/2018. Red areas indicate high risk, yellow areas indicate moderate risk, while green areas have low disease risk.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2. Leaf rust pustules on winter wheat leaves. Presence of leaf rust in winter wheat indicates potential for this disease to develop in spring wheat.

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SDSU Extension offers Feedlot Shortcourse

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is offering a Feedlot Shortcourse as an opportunity for cattle feeders to sharpen their management skills and improve their profit potential.

The SDSU Extension Feedlot Shortcourse will be a two-day event held in Brookings at the SDSU Cow/Calf Education and Research Facility classroom (2901 Western Avenue). The event begins at 8:30 AM on August 7, 2018 concludes at noon on August 8. The Shortcourse will focus on those aspects of feedlot management that have the greatest impact on profitability.

A highlight for the Shortcourse will be an in-depth segment focused on cattle handling and facility design led by Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz with Production Animal Consultation.

Lukasiewicz is a nationally recognized expert in and will help feedlot managers learn techniques to handle cattle more efficiently and with less stress to both cattle and people.

The SDSU Extension Feedlot Shortcourse will also cover topics focused on reducing cost of gain and improving outcomes, from arrival in the yard all the way to marketing.

Additional speakers on the program include:

  • Dan Loy, Iowa State University
  • Russ Daly, Professor, SDSU Extension Veterinarian, State Public Health Veterinarian
  • Zach Smith, SDSU Feedlot Research
  • Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate
  • Todd Franz, Diamond V
  • Scott Varilek, Kooima & Kaemingk

Registration is limited to 30 participants. To help cover costs, registration is $200. To register, please visit the iGrow Events page.

For more information, please contact Warren Rusche, SDSU Extension Beef Feedlot Management Associate by email or at 605.688.5452.

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2018 North American Manure Expo - August 15-16

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2018 North American Manure Expo is coming to the Swiftel Center in Brookings (824 32nd Ave.) on August 15 and 16, 2018.

This two-day, national event, hosted by SDSU Extension and partners, is an opportunity for livestock producers, professional manure applicators, consultants, specialists and many others to see the advances in the manure management industry and to learn from the region's top experts regarding manure handling and nutrient management.

"There is a strong animal feeding industry both within the state of South Dakota as well as the region, and we expect to see continued growth in the dairy, swine, beef, and poultry segments. Manure goes hand in hand with raising livestock, with both benefits and challenges. Environmental issues can arise when manure is not managed properly. As a SDSU Extension water resources field specialist, I was personally interested in bringing the Expo to South Dakota to highlight the state's animal feeding industry's ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship; with emphasis on soil health, nutrient management, and water quality," said David Kringen, SDSU Extension Water Resources Field Specialist.

Kringen added that in the Midwest, there is the opportunity to bring manure full circle by applying manure nutrients to the crops grown to feed livestock.

"Keeping the nutrients in this cycle, where they are most valuable and less harmful to the environment, is really the educational focus of the Expo," he said. "Manure management is continually evolving, with new equipment, treatment options and best management practices prescribed every year. As a fertilizer source, manure plays into precision farming decisions and data management as well."

Planning partners for the expo include the following: SDSU Extension, South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, NDSU Extension, Centrol Crop Consulting, Nutrient Advisors, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, University of Minnesota Extension, University of Nebraska Extension and Iowa State University Extension.

Registration information

For more information and to register for the Expo, visit the North American Manure Expo website.

Expo details

More than 1,000 are expected to attend the two-day North American Manure Expo where attendees will have the opportunity to participate in industry tours, educational presentations and a chance to view manure application equipment at work in the field.

Led by regional experts, researchers, and educators, the educational sessions scheduled for the morning of day two will focus on the following: manure basics, manure and the environment, manure on the job site and manure and soil health.

Below, is a complete listing of presentation topics and the experts who will lead the presentations. To view a complete agenda, visit iGrow Events.

Manure basics:

Manure Sampling: From the Farm to the Lab and Back Again - Cheri Ladwig, Chemistry/Manure Lab Lead Technician, Stearns DHIA Laboratories;

Maximizing Your Resources: Getting the Most Out of Your Manure - Andy Scholting, President/General Manager, Nutrient Advisors;

Use of Nitrification Inhibitors with Manure - Carrie Laboski, Professor & Extension Soil Scientist, Soil Fertility/Nutrient Management, University of Wisconsin - Madision;

Let's Talk About the "B" Word - Amy Millmier Schmidt, Associate Professor & Livestock Bioenvironmental Engineer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;

Manure Application Uniformity of Solid & Liquid Manure - Dan Andersen, Assistant Professor, Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University;

How Do I Know How Much I'm Applying? - Leslie Johnson, Animal Manure Management Program Coordinator, Nebraska Extension.

Manure and the environment:

Water Quality Impacts of Manure Application During the Winter - Todd Trooien, Professor, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University;

Managing Manure on Tile Drained Land - Aaron Pape, Tile Drainage Education Coordinator, UW Discovery Farms;

Understanding Microbial Fate and Transport Resulting from Manure Application - Rachel McDaniel, Assistant Professor/Water Resource Engineer, South Dakota State University;

Respiratory Hazards of Manure Laden Dust - Doug Hamilton, Associate Professor, Extension Waste Management Specialist, Oklahoma State University;

Manure Effects of Soil Physical Properties - Charles Wortmann, Professor, Soil Science, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;

Emergency Response in a Natural Disaster - Kevin Erb, Conservation Professional Training Program Director, University of Wisconsin - Extension.

Manure on the job site:

Working Across Language Barriers - Chela Vazquez, Project Coordinator, Immigrant Dairy Worker Health and Safety, Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, University of Minnesota;

Public Perception - Rick Martens, Executive Director, Minnesota Custom Applicators Association;

Manure Spill Prevention, Planning & Response - Neal Konda, Natural Resources Engineer, South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources;

After the Manure Pit: Surviving a Near Death Encounter with Hydrogen Sulfide - Jerry Nelson, Former Dairy Farmer, Freelance Author, Ad Salesman and Writer for the Dairy Star;

Manure Pit Safety: Don't be Complacent - Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist;

Conflict Resolution: How to Communicate with Various Personality Styles - Mary Berg, Extension Specialist, Livestock Environmental Management, North Dakota State University, and Jodi Bruns, Extension Specialist, Center for Community Vitality, North Dakota State University.

Manure and soil health:

Can Manure Improve Soil Health? - Teng Lim, Associate Professor of Extension, University of Missouri;

Transforming Manure Management from "Waste" to "Worth" - Rick Koelsch, Professor of Biological Systems Engineering & Animal Science Extension, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;

Using Compost in a Cropping System: A Farmer's Perspective - Joe Breker, Farmer, North Dakota;

Manure Management Rate Effects on Soil Health in South Dakota - Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist;

Can Manure Application Improve Soil Health? - Linda Schott, Extension Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska - Lincoln;

Manure and Cover Crops BMP's - Melissa Wilson, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota.

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SDSU Extension Accepting Applications for beefSD

Categorized: Livestock, Beef

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is now accepting applications for beefSD Class 4.

BeefSD is an intensive two-year educational program designed to take participants to the next level in beef production. Class 4 is scheduled to start in the fall of 2018. To date, 110 people from 62 South Dakota cattle operations have completed the program.

"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,"said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

All are welcome to apply, but preference will be given to applicants who have been making farming and ranching management decisions for 10 years or less of their adult life.

"Many people have been in the beef industry from a young age, but for this program, consider how long it has been since formal education (i.e. high school/post secondary) and when you began making management decisions," Harty explained.

If an applicant is not currently involved in beef production, the applicant must clearly define a plan for future involvement.

SDSU Extension will be accepting up to 20 operations into the program. It is strongly encouraged that spouces, siblings or direct family members apply as one operation.

The beefSD program consists of six main components spread over the two-year period:

  1. Interactive workshops
  2. Case studies of successful beef cattle enterprises
  3. Web-based interaction
  4. Mentoring
  5. Travel study trips
  6. Post-weaning calf performance evaluation

Past participants in the class have found great value in beefSD and encourage others to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the industry and the value of networking.

"I'm not afraid to reach out to someone if I have a question about something. I really think that networking is one of the most important tools you can have and it costs you nothing to make new friends and acquaintances. Sometimes, it really is "who you know, not what you know,'" said Brianna Jones, a cattle producer from Midland, and a member of class 2. "Because the "who" that you know may have the answers you need. And knowing where to look and who to ask is a huge first step in finding what you want to know.'"

Registration deadline is July 20, 2018

When asked to value the program one participant said, "$60,000 - the amount I made changing marketing plans. $0 - the amount we lost in an estate transfer. Priceless - the value of knowledge gained."

SDSU Extension received support from various partners to provide this educational opportunity to beginning beef producers across South Dakota, including: U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, North Central Risk Management Education Center, Pioneer Bank and Trust and South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation.

Detailed information and the application forms are available on the South Dakota Farm Bureau website at the South Dakota Farm Bureau website, application information is on the cover page under the beefSD logo. The application must be completed and submitted by July 20, 2018.

Applications can be submitted by mail or email to Ken Olson, Professor & SDSU Extension Beef Specialist at: SDSU West River Ag Center, 1905 Plaza Blvd, Rapid City, SD 57702 or by email.

For questions or more information about the program, contact Ken Olson at 605.394.2236 or by email or Stacy Hadrick, beefSD Coordinator at 605.374.1195 or by email.

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SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Farm Annual Field Day on June 28

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Cool-season crop varieties will be one focus of the SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Farm Annual Field Day scheduled for June 28, 2018. The field day will begin at 3:00 PM CDT and conclude at 8:30 PM.

Attendees will view winter wheat, field pea and lentil variety trials. Discussions focusing on the varieties will be led by Sunish Sehgal, SDSU assistant professor and winter wheat breeder, Chris Graham, SDSU Extension Agronomist, and Emily Paul from Pulse USA.

Information will be provided on the SDSU Mesonet by Nathan Edwards, Mesonet director, including recently added tools such as the spray tool and inversion predictor.

Other demonstrations will include herbicide drift symptoms, grazing and native pasture restoration work, the impact of field fires and damage mitigation and protecting soils from wind erosion. Presenters include Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, Cody Zilverberg, SDSU adjunct professor, Jose Guzman, SDSU assistant professor of soils management, and Dwayne Beck, SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Farm manager.

Jason Miller from the USDA-NRCS will lead a tour with information regarding the long-term rotations and no-till crop production systems that have been the backbone of the farm’s research work for many years.

A light meal will be served. There is no cost or required registration. Everyone interested is encouraged to attend.

The farm is located 17 miles east of Pierre on Highway 34. For more information on the SDSU Dakota Lakes Research Farm Field Day call 605.773.8120 or email

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Uncertainty for Summer Climate Outlook

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Gardens, Gardening

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) climate outlook for July through September, released June 21, 2018, shows a lot of uncertainty for the remainder of the growing season, explained Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

"According to the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, most of South Dakota is in an area with equal chances of warmer, cooler or near average temperatures for the rest of the summer season," Edwards said. "There is a lot of uncertainty in the longer range forecast this season."

The precipitation outlook for the Northern Plains is equally unclear.

"There has not been much agreement in the computer models that forecasters use for seasonal climate outlooks. Within a single month or a three-month season, there can be small regions of both very wet or very dry conditions that are difficult to forecast," Edwards said.

Edwards explained that in our region, summer is often very challenging for climate outlooks. "This year is no exception. As an example, so far this spring there has been large variability between wet and dry areas in the state," she said.

Emerging drought in the northeast and east central has been relatively local, and has not been widespread. This has been a contrast to excessive wet conditions in the southeast, where flooding is again impacting the area this week.

"This kind of variability, within a single state, is challenging to capture in a forecast on a national scale," Edwards said.

The western region of the state has gradually improved out of drought conditions and is now drought-free according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"Abnormally dry conditions remain, with some lingering concerns in local areas for forage and pasture conditions, but overall there has been sufficient rains to maintain water supplies for livestock and grass production," she explained.

Moisture will be critical, Edwards explained, as we enter corn pollination in eastern South Dakota which begins early July.

She added that because late June and early July will likely be warmer than average, rainfall will be more important during the next month. "Moisture stress during pollination can have a negative effect on corn yield," she said.

Some soybean areas are dry in the east central and northeastern part of the state.

"This crop has been slow to develop," Edwards said. "And, since rainfall is needed to activate many herbicides, weed management has been a challenge. It is hopeful that some recent moisture in the last two weeks will improve growing and post-emerge weed management conditions."

Courtesy graphic. Precipitation outlook for July through September 2018. South Dakota is in an area of equal chances of wetter, drier or near average precipitation for the three-month period.

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Landowner’s Grassland Planting & Management School

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Recognizing the need to help landowners and managers better understand the art and science of grassland establishment, SDSU Extension partnered with the S.D. Grassland Coalition and others to develop and launch the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School.

"South Dakota's ranchers and farmers often find that planting, establishing and managing native grassland plantings can be challenging. Weather, soil conditions, timing, weed issues and agency program rules can dramatically affect the success or failure of a long-term grass establishment project," said Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist.

Bauman explained there are many factors that impact grassland establishment. "Environmental issues, seed sources, planting techniques and stand management all play an important role in successes and failures," he said.

All these factors will be covered during the Landowner's Grassland Planting & Management School held July 25-27, 2018 in Watertown at the SDSU Extension Regional Center (1910 W. Kemp Ave.)

Students will begin the day with classroom instruction by local practitioners, with bus field trips to a variety of grasslands in the afternoon.

In addition to SDSU Extension, organizations involved in developing this school include the South Dakota Grassland Coalition, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Audubon Dakota, Pheasants Forever, S.D. Soil Health Coalition, S.D. Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Partners for Fish and Wildlife program and others.

Registration

Registration for the School is $180, which includes meals, materials and a one-year membership to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Registration is only $150 for current Grassland Coalition members.

For a complete agenda and to register, contact Jan Rounds by email or Pete Bauman by email or call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown at 605.882.5140.

Agenda & More details

July 25, 2018

  • 7:30 - 8 AM Registration, rolls, juice, coffee
  • 8 - 8:30 AM Welcome and Introductions
  • 8:30 - 8:50 AM Goals and Goal Setting Intro
  • 8:50 - 9:10 AM Grasslands Introduction
  • 9:10 - 9:30 AM Grasslands of Today
  • 9:30 - 10 AM Grassland Soils
  • 10 - 10:15 AM Break w/snack
  • 10:15 - 11:15 AM Seeding into cropland
  • 11:15 - 11:45 AM Seeding into sod
  • 11:45 - 12:45 PM Choosing Seed Mixes
  • 12:45 - 1 PM Load bus, lunch on bus
  • 1:00 - 3:30 PM Redlin, Scott, Blythe GPAs (Henry area)
  • 3:30 - 6 PM Double P Ranch (Willow Lake) - Field trips will also include specific instruction on soil prep, challenges, chemicals, invasive species management, etc.
  • 6 - 7 PM Supper at the lodge
  • 7 - 7:15 PM Agency/NGO grassland support programs - Intro
  • 7:15 - 8:15 PM Planning your project
  • 8:15 - 9 PM Travel back to Watertown / Adjourn

 July 26, 2018

  • 7 - 8 AM Breakfast at Extension Center
  • 8:00 - 8:20 AM Stand Establishment
  • 8:20 - 8:40 AM Stand Maintenance
  • 8:40 - 9 AM Native Range Management
  • 9:00 - 9:20 AM Fertilizing Grasslands
  • 9:20 - 10:45 AM Seeding Equipment viewing
  • 10:45-11 AM Load busses, box lunch on bus
  • 11- 9 PM Field trips will focus on stand establishment, pasture renovation, livestock integration, soil health, and alternative enterprises, supper

July 27, 2018

  • 7 - 8 AM Breakfast at SDSU Extension Regional Center
  • 8 - 9 AM Grass Enterprises
  • 9:00 - 9:30 AM Grassland Fire
  • 9:30 - 10:30 AM Open Forum
  • 10:30 - 10:45 AM Break
  • 10:45 - 11:30 AM Rainfall simulator
  • 11:30 - Noon SD Drought tool /equipment viewing
  • 12:00 - 12:15 PM Course Evaluations / Adjourn

Key features of this school will be an equipment session and field tours with visits to demonstration sites featuring planting, management, forage production, restoration, wildlife and pollinators. 

School topics will cover goal setting, grassland history and ecology, grassland soil health, seeding into cropland, seeding into existing sod, choosing seed mixes, agency program support, planning your project, planting and stand establishment, tame and native stand maintenance, fertilization, grass-based enterprises, prescribed fire use, and drought management among other topics. 

"As landowners, the board members of the S.D. Grassland Coalition recognize that private and publicly owned native, tame, and conservation grasslands are important to our livestock, agriculture, hunting, and tourism industries," said Judge Jessop, Coordinator for the S.D. Grassland Coalition. "This course will be modeled after the successful platform of the S.D. Grassland Coalition's annual Grazing School and the SD Soil Health Coalition's annual Soil Health School. Often, landowners or managers who attend the grazing or soil health schools still have a lot of questions about establishing and maintaining grasslands, and this school is designed to meet those needs."

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BQA Transportation Certification in Mitchell July 20

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT) Certification in Mitchell at Mitchell Technical Institute Nordby Trades Center, (1800 E. Spruce St.) July 20, 2018 beginning at 10 a.m. (CST). The certification runs until 2 p.m.

Currently, major packers are requiring haulers to get BQAT certification. All cattle haulers will be required to have BQA Transportation certification prior to January 1, 2020. BQA certification will be required for cattlemen prior to January 1, 2019 as packers move towards sourcing BQA certified beef.

By participating in this certification course, producers and haulers will receive the required BQA Transportation and BQA certification.

Registration information

To help cover costs, this certification training is $35 per person and includes lunch. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration will guarantee training materials are available and for meal planning. The registration fee for this in-person BQA/BQAT training has been reduced thanks to funds from National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Cargill.

Pre-registration is requested by July 16, 2018. To pre-register contact, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Field Specialist & Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator by email or 605.688.6623.

If you are unable to attend this in-person training, you can become BQA or BQAT certified online for no cost.

Another BQA Transportation training will be July 19, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in Luverne, Minnesota. To learn more about this event, contact Ashley Kohls, Minnesota BQA Coordinator, by email or 612.618.6619.

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President of SD Cattlemen’s Association Reflects on 4-H Experience

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

By Lura Roti, for SDSU Extension/iGrow

Nausea used to overcome Mud Butte rancher, Larry Stomprud when he needed to lead a meeting, speak before a group or to a 4-H livestock reasons taker.

"I hated speaking in front of people, but I was forced into it because of positions I was elected to or my competitive nature," Stomprud says.

Thankfully, the President of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association eventually overcame the feeling; because today, in his current leadership role, Stomprud meets with congressional leaders and others representing nearly 1,000 of the state's cattle producers.

"Also, a lot of not having those kind of nerves today when I talk to my Congressman or woman, is the fact I know and believe in what I am talking about," he says of advocating for issues and policy on behalf of cattle producers. "Life experience also helps."

4-H livestock judging is one of the many life experiences Stomprud, 69, credits with helping him achieve a more comfortable relationship with public speaking.

"It's a little difficult to separate 4-H from all the rest of things - FFA, college, grade school programs, declam competitions, military teaching experiences - but, when I look back, one of the things that sticks out in my mind is the critical thinking skills and the ability to express those through oral reasons, that I got from livestock judging," Stomprud explains.

Growing up on a cattle ranch in rural South Dakota, Stomprud says 4-H was a family tradition. "My Grandfather (Lawrence Ingalls) was a 4-H leader for years and years and years. When I got to be 4-H age, it was a natural thing to become a member. As simple as that."

He explains that his family is a "competitive lot." And, 4-H livestock judging was the competition of choice. "We like to win. We did our best to be first. In order to be first, you had to get as many points as you could - that includes giving oral reasons," he says. "There were five of us and my sister, Elaine, who is 18 months younger than me, is probably even more competitive than me, so we had a friendly competition in livestock judging going."

In 1963, Stomprud was on the winning Meade County 4-H livestock judging team at the Western Junior Livestock Show in Rapid City, earning the opportunity to judge at the National Western Livestock Show in Denver, Colorado.

"I made lifelong friends through 4-H. I still have friends I met on that trip," he says.

Advice from Theodore Roosevelt

Cattle were always a passion for Stomprud, but circumstances weren't right for him to return to the ranch after he graduated from South Dakota State University in 1971 with a degree in Wildlife Biology.

He spent the first nine years after college working for S.D. Game, Fish and Parks. At one point he tried to return home to ranch, but for a number of reasons, the timing wasn't right, so instead, he accepted the opportunity to serve a tour in Germany (he was an officer in the S.D. Army National Guard).

One tour turned into multiple tours. Stomprud served more than a decade in Germany.

When Stomprud retired from the Army in 1995, the timing was right for him to come home.

"I always liked cattle and ranching. My dad, Calvin, was ready to cut back," Stomprud explained.

When he returned to the ranch, Stomprud says he knew it was important that he become involved in an organization that supported ranchers and South Dakota's cattle industry. So, he attended a S.D. Cattlemen's meeting. Impressed by what he experienced, he joined.

In 2014, he was asked to serve as vice-president.

Service to others is another skill he credits to 4-H. "Officer positions were handed out and rotated around, so we learned parliamentary procedure and how to be a leader," he explained.

Throughout his life, Stomprud says his philosophy on service is best described in his favorite Theodore Roosevelt quote.

"Every man owes a part of his time, and money, to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions in his sphere."

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 and Mud Butte rancher, Larry Stomprud, 69, serves South Dakota livestock producers as President of South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. He credits 4-H livestock judging as one of the many life experiences that helped him achieve a more comfortable relationship with public speaking.

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Seeing Stunted Yellowing Corn in Patches?

Categorized: Agronomy, Corn

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If growers are seeing stunted yelling corn in patches, it could be due to corn nematodes, said Emmanuel Byamukama, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Several plant parasitic nematodes infect corn leading to reduced plant vigor, stunted growth and yield loss," he said.

Plant parasitic nematodes are microscopic worm-like organisms that live in the soil. They have a "feeding straw-like" structure called a stylet that they use to injure the plant roots and suck nutrients from the plant cells.

"Some of the nematodes feed from the outer surface of the root without entering the root (ectoparasites), whereas other types enter the root and feed from within the root (endoparasites)," Byamukama explained. "Infected roots have reduced water and nutrient uptake and wounds created by nematode feeding can be entryways for fungal pathogens."

Byamukama added that nematodes, in general, are slow movers.

"They are spread through tillage and water movement within the soil," he said. "This is the reason corn plants with severe nematode infection appear in patches (Figure 1)," he said.

Nematode infection in corn usually goes unnoticed or can be mistaken for other diseases such as root rots or nutrient deficiency. Yield loss due to nematode infection can still occur without necessarily observing above ground symptoms.

Sampling for Corn Nematodes

The first step to effective nematode management, Byamukama said is diagnosing the type and density of corn nematodes in the soil.

"Since corn nematodes can be inside the root and also on the surface of the root, diagnosis of these nematodes requires sampling both soil and corn roots," he explained.

For fields suspected to have corn nematodes, four to six plants should be carefully dug out without injuring the roots when corn is still young (before V6).

The stalk can be cut off and only the root mass sent to the Plant Diagnostic Lab: SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic, SPSB 153, Box 2108, Jackrabbit Dr., Brookings SD 57007.

To increase chances of determining if nematode infection is causing the symptoms being observed, Byamukama encourages growers to collect another set of four to six plants from parts of the field with no symptoms.

To sample the soil, use a probe or a shovel to obtain 20 cores of soil between 6 to 8-inches within the root zone.

Soil from non-symptomatic areas should be collected separately to determine population densities in symptomatic and non-symptomatic areas.

Up to 2 cups of soil for each location within a field can be mailed or dropped at the SDSU Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

Corn Nematode Management

Every corn field may, to some extent, harbor corn nematodes.

"What determines the need to apply corn nematode management practices is the type and density of nematodes infecting corn in a given field," Byamukama said.

For instance, he explained, the threshold for needle nematode is 10 nematodes/ 100 cubic centimeters of soil whereas for spiral nematode, the threshold is 1000 nematodes.

"That is why it is important to have the soil and corn plants tested in the lab to determine the type and density of different nematodes infecting corn," Byamukama said.

The most common management practice is crop rotation. However, some the nematodes that infect corn can also infect other crops such as soybean.

"Therefore, this practice alone may not be effective against certain nematodes that have a wide host range," Byamukama said.

Nematicide seed treatments are another corn nematode management practice.

The commercially available nematicide seed treatments include Aveo, Avicta Complete, Nemastrike, and Poncho Votivo.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1. Stunted and yellowing corn plants in a patch. Picture taken June 4, 2018, South-Central South Dakota.

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Agronomy Field Specialist Relocated to Mitchell Regional Center

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sara "Berg" Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, recently relocated from the SDSU Extension Regional center in Sioux Falls to the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell.

"Sara's role in serving South Dakota's growers remains the same, the only change is the location of her office," explained Alvaro Garcia, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Director & Professor.

As an SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, Bauder works with a team of researchers, entomologists, plant pathologists and other agronomists within the Land Grant system in South Dakota and other states to best serve South Dakota growers' agronomic needs.

"The ability to collaborate with experts in all areas of agronomy is incredible. If a grower has a particular issue and I don't know the best solution, I simply pick up my phone or send an e-mail and, most often, I'm able to provide a solution," Bauder explained.

She added that the unbiased nature of SDSU Extension also makes her role as an agronomy resource unique.

"Our focus is not making money or selling products. Our team collaborates to help provide research-based, best practices and solutions to our growers so they can continue to improve their management systems," Bauder said.

To contact Bauder, e-mail her or call the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell at 605.995.7378. To view a complete list of SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialists who serve South Dakota's growers, visit iGrow and click on the Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. Sara "Berg" Bauder, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist, recently relocated from the SDSU Extension Regional center in Sioux Falls to the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell.

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4-H Volunteer Launches Kids in the Kitchen

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

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Breakfast for 11-year-old Abby Christensen isn't coming from a cold cereal box this morning. Instead, she cracks a few eggs into dish, beats them and pours the mixture into a skillet. Once the eggs are the right consistency, she adds ham, folds the edges over the filling and sprinkles the omelet with cheese.

"It feels good being able to cook on my own because I can make whatever I want, like this omelet or French toast - sometimes I even make a meal for my family," explains the Bennett County sixth grader.

Although she has played the role of sous chef to her mom, Amy, since she was a toddler, Christensen's confidence in cooking for herself is due in large part to Kids in the Kitchen.

Kids in the Kitchen is a weekly, school-year program held in the Home Economics kitchen of Bennett County High School. When school lets out at 4 p.m., Abby and about 15 to 20 of her peers gather to prepare a meal together under the guidance of 4-H volunteers, like her mom, Amy and Tauna Ireland.

The purpose of the weekly 4-H event is to empower youth, like Abby, with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home, explains Ireland.

"If you have food in your home, but don't know what to do with it, it doesn't do you any good," says Ireland, who came up with the idea for Kids in the Kitchen after witnessing hungry youth attending an afterschool program at her church just for the meal. "If kids need food, I feel like that is a basic need. If people aren't fed, you can't feed their spirit; so, I thought, why not teach them how to cook so they can feed themselves."

Kids are welcome to make messes in this kitchen

It was fall 2015 when Ireland came up with the idea. She was grieving the recent loss of her mom, Ria Hatch, who she says inspired her to make the idea a reality. "She was always looking out for the 'least of these.' If she knew someone was hungry, she would have fed them.'"

Ireland adds that her mom was instrumental in teaching her to cook. "She encouraged us to cook. She let us make messes and experiment," says Ireland, who has 11 siblings. "I remember, she let me make divinity as a 10-year-old."

By September 2016, Ireland was leading the first Kids in the Kitchen program. She began by promoting the program to fourth and fifth graders, selecting some kid-friendly recipes and, with funds she and her husband, Brent, set aside from their monthly budget, purchasing equipment and ingredients.

At first, the group met in her church's kitchen, but soon outgrew the space. She reached out to the Bennett County Principal, Nick Redden, who quickly volunteered the school's Home Economics kitchen.

Entirely hands-on, during Kids in the Kitchen, youth work together and do all the food preparation - following the recipe, measuring, cutting, stirring, sautéing, clean up - everything.

Once the meal is prepared, they sit down and enjoy it together. The youth are sent home with the recipe.

"At first, people were nervous that we let the kids use knives, but we teach them the safe way to cut using the claw and the saw method," Ireland says. "At 10 or 11, they are eager to learn and they are capable of learning pretty complicated things."

To date, the group, which averages 15 youth each week, have prepared more than 115 recipes. Although some recipes are elaborate, like chocolate crepes and homemade pasta noodles, Ireland and Amy, who is a weekly volunteer, look for recipes that include ingredients youth have at home.

"We try to keep it simple, but delicious. We want to show them that you don't have to go to a restaurant to eat fettuccini Alfredo or fish tacos," Amy explains. "Many of our kids' families receive commodities, so we look for creative ways to prepare what they receive."

According to feedback, the program is working.

"I run into parents or grandparents who tell me, their kids are cooking. One grandma told me that her granddaughter made our meatball recipe for the entire family for a holiday meal. Another mom, I ran into at the grocery store with her daughter, told me, 'she is the one taking cooking classes so she is the one who cooks.' The kids are receiving positive feedback from their families,'" Ireland says.

Today, most of the ingredient funds come from small grants Ireland has applied for or are donated by community members. She worked with Mary Kay Sell, SDSU Extension 4-H Program Assistant - Bennett County, to run Kids in the Kitchen as a 4-H event hosted by Tip Top 4-H Club. All funds go through the club account.

"Kids learn by doing," Sell says. "This program addresses a very real issue of kids going hungry, not because there isn't anything in the home to eat, but because they do not know how to prepare the food that is available."

Along with Amy, each week about three to five adults volunteers show up to help out.

"People are willing to donate their time if their time isn't wasted," Ireland says.

Amy would agree. "We have an awesome group of kids who are eager to learn. They are totally hands-on in the kitchen. They don't just stand there and wait for us to tell them what to do, they come in and begin going to the cupboards for supplies and measuring out ingredients," she says.

To learn more about Kids in the Kitchen, contact Ireland 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 icon.

Courtesy photo. Fourth and fifth grade Bennett County youth prepare to make tacos during Kids in the Kitchen a weekly, school-year program held in the Home Economics kitchen of Bennett County High School and organized by 4-H volunteer, Tauna Ireland.

The purpose of the weekly 4-H event is to empower youth with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home.

Youth pictured include (left to right):Mikaela Gist, Abby Christensen, Tae Shawn Little Thunder and Teagan Kolb.

Courtesy photo. Entirely hands-on, during Kids in the Kitchen, youth work together and do all the food preparation - following the recipe, measuring, cutting, stirring, sautéing, clean up - everything. Youth pictured here cutting tomatoes include: Abby Christensen, Mikeala Gist and Topaz Rivera.

Courtesy photo. 4-H volunteer, Tauna Ireland (center) developed Kids in the Kitchen to empower youth with the skills necessary to prepare meals, from scratch, for themselves at home. She is pictured here with two participants, siblings, Alison (left) and Louis Novotny. 

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Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 100 rural community leaders from across South Dakota came together to participate in Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet. This event was hosted by the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of De Smet in May.

The event was held in downtown De Smet businesses. Shop owners and managers shared their entrepreneurial journeys, while speakers and presenters shared their experiences & knowledge on a variety of topics: Funding for Community Projects, Entrepreneurial Experiences, Agritourism and Value Added Agriculture, and Engaging Community Members.

The idea for creating and hosting the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference came when members of the SDSU Community Vitality Team spent two days in April of 2017 attending a "Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities" Conference in McCook, Nebraska. That conference, hosted by University of Nebraska Extension, offered an interesting venue twist: conference sessions were held in main street businesses. First tried by Michigan State University with success, the University of Nebraska Extension duplicated the innovative idea in McCook. Now SDSU Extension has reproduced the idea in De Smet.

There were also resource providers who were available to discuss tools to assist communities and entrepreneurs alike. The following were represented: South Dakota Community Foundation, Lake Area Tech, SD Department of tourism, Dakota Resources, SD Small Business Development, SD Rural Life and Census Data Center, SD Planning Districts, East River Electric and SDSU Extension Community Vitality.

"The combination was powerful, with all groups learning from each other," said Paul Thares, SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist and one of the event coordinators.

To learn more about how the SDSU Extension Community Vitality works to strengthen South Dakotans and their communities, contact Kenny SherinSDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Director by email. The team plans to host a similar event in 2019.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 100 rural community leaders from across South Dakota came together to participate in Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet. This event was hosted by the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Team and the Community of De Smet in May.

Courtesy of iGrow. Keynote Speaker was Sarah Calhoun, owner of Red Ants Pants shares her story during the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet.

Calhoun is the Executive Director of the Red Ants Pants Foundation and Producer of the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. Along with the keynote, Calhoun also presented two sessions the first: coming under the topic Funding Community Projects; How to Throw a Party in a Cow Pasture on a Zero Dollar Budget: the second: was under the topic Entrepreneurial Experiences; Start a Brand with No Experience? For more information on Sarah Calhoun Red Ants Pants, the Foundation or Music Festival click here: https://redantspants.com/.

Courtesy of iGrow. Dave Anderson (standing), President, Mt Vernon Economic Development Group, presenting to conference participants on "Affordable Housing for Rural Communities - Our Story." Host location in De Smet was Ward's Store.

Courtesy of iGrow. During the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet a panel of young entrepreneurs shared their experiences of choosing to live in or near a rural communities where they have started and continued their businesses.

Panelists include (left to right): Justin Fruechte, Ward, owner of Sturdy Post Ranch; David Anderson, Wilmot, owner of Route 15 Body Works; Michelle Weber, Lake Benton, owner of Michelle Weber Studio and Darcie Lee, De Smet, owner Darci Lee Yoga.

Courtesy of iGrow. An Agritourism Round Table discussion focused on Agritourism Opportunities in South Dakota, during the Energize! Exploring Innovative Rural Communities Conference in downtown De Smet.This discussion took place at the Wilder Welcome Center in downtown De Smet.

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South Dakota Change Network Cohort Meeting

Categorized: Community Development, Communities

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota change agents will gather in Mitchell June 19-21, 2018 to celebrate the positive change they are making in communities across the state as a result of a projects inspired and developed during a year-long fellowship, through the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, a project funded by the Bush Foundation and advised by SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist, Kari O'Neill.

"South Dakota Change Network Cohort is designed for South Dakotans working to lead change in their organizations and communities," explained O'Neill.

Over this last year, members of the first South Dakota Change Network Cohort have met several times in person and online to learn about and apply principles of inclusion, diversity and equity to a project of their choice.

They followed curriculum developed by National Art Strategies out of Washington, D.C. who received funding for organizing and providing content from the Bush Foundation.

During the Mitchell meeting, Cohort members will learn about Leadership as a Verb, Competing Values, and Creating High Quality Programs from nationally-known speaker, Dr. Valerie Myers, University of Michigan. They will also glean more knowledge about Intercultural Conflict from Minneapolis trainer Janice Downing.

Meet the cohort members:

To participate in the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, members underwent an application and selection process. They were selected based on their desire to become change agents in their regions.

All participants have outlined projects they will be completing to improve either an organization or community that they represent. Through the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, these change agents received small grants to help them complete their projects.

Individuals selected champions they work with to mentor and encourage them as they work on their projects and apply what they have learned in the cohort to their lives.

Current cohort members from around the state, and their project issues include:

  • Jill Baker, Sioux Falls - developing a community of care for veterans and military families
  • Stacey Berry, Madison - inclusive higher education student organizations
  • Jared Hybertson, Centerville - welcoming new ethnic groups to small towns
  • Kelsey Kenzy Sutton, Burke - building stronger rural community engagement
  • Billy Mawhiney, Sioux Falls - bringing Boys & Girls Clubs to Public Housing
  • Patti Martinson, Rapid City - highlighting art in equality around GLBT programming in Rapid City
  • Carla Miller, Sioux Falls - providing training for parents and educators on preschool social and emotional development
  • Alli Moran, Eagle Butte - increasing higher education enrollment of high school youth on Cheyenne River Reservation
  • Andrea Powers, Hot Springs - attracting young people to the region
  • Traci Smith, Sioux Falls - developing a revolving bail fund for offenders dealing with behavioral health disorders
  • Adam Strenge, Sioux Falls - working on inclusive student organizations at SE Tech
  • Peter Strong, Rapid City - building capacity in Native American artists in the region to expand their work
  • Viola Wahn, Parmelee - introducing students to native plants and their uses in health and wellness
  • Ernest Weston, Porcupine - developing a higher education Native student board

More about the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation's mission is to "invest in great ideas and the people who power them." They fund programs in the 3-state region (SD, ND, MN) around create solutions to problems, and building opportunities for all people. Funding for the Change Network was geared toward finding local individuals ready to make positive change in their organizations and communities as leaders.

For more information

Media is invited to interview participants on June 21 at 3 p.m. Media should RSVP to O'Neill by email.

For more information about the South Dakota Change Network Cohort, contact O'Neill by email. The application deadline is closed and the selection is currently underway for the 2018-2019 South Dakota Change Network Cohort.

Courtesy of iGrow. The 2017-2018 South Dakota Change Network Cohort includes the following South Dakotans: (left to right) Carla Miller, Sioux Falls; Jill Baker, Sioux Falls; Viola Wahn, Parmelee; Jared Hybertson, Centerville; Stacey Berry, Madison; Kelsea Sutton, Burke; Alli Moran, Eagle Butte; Ernest Weston, Porcupine; Billy Mawhiney, Sioux Falls; Adam Strenge, Sioux Falls; Patti Martinson, Rapid City; Traci Smith, Sioux Falls; Andrea Powers, Hot Springs and Peter Strong, Rapid City.

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SDSU Students Named Finalists in MN Princess Kay Program

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Three South Dakota State University students are among a total of 12 finalists from almost 84 contestants state-wide competing for the title of Minnesota’s 65th Princess Kay of the Milky Way. 

Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, and Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, were named finalists on May 20.

The 12 finalists will compete throughout the summer for the top position which will be announced on the eve of the opening of the 2018 Minnesota State Fair in late August. They will have their likeness carved in blocks of butter during the fair.

Princess Kay and county dairy princesses make appearances to help explain dairy farm families’ commitment to taking care of their animals and resources, while providing nutrient-rich dairy products. The participant chosen as Princess Kay will make appearances not only during the fair’s 12-day run, but throughout the entire year.

Selection to be a Princess Kay finalist requires knowledge of the dairy industry, as well as strong communication abilities among other professional attributes. Each princess submitted an application, participated in a personal interview, prepared and delivered a speech, and participated in a mock media interview.

“Selection of these students as Princess Kay finalists is an indication of their knowledge of and commitment to the dairy industry, as well as their professionalism and leadership qualities. SDSU, and especially the Dairy Science program, is proud to have them as students,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry.

Several other SDSU students have also received this honor in the past, including Abby Hopp, Margaret Socha, Kyla Mauk (who was named Princess Kay of the Milky Way in 2016) Makaila Klejeski, Chelsea Schossow and Sarah Post.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

From left, SDSU students Ashley Maus, dairy manufacturing and dairy production major from Freeport, Rebekka Paskewitz, dairy club member and agricultural education and leadership major from Browerville, and Calissa Lubben, dairy production major from Edgerton, were recently named finalists for Minnesota’s Princess Kay of the Milky Way. They will compete for the title during the 2018 Minnesota State Fair.

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2018 Regional Academic Advising Award

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Howard Bonnemann, lecturer and advisor in the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department, is a recipient of the Region 6 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Region 6 covers Iowa, Manitoba, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwest Territories, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and South Dakota.

Bonnemann advises undergraduate students from their sophomore through senior years in the dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science majors. He also teaches a range of dairy and food science courses. He has been with the Dairy and Food Science Department since 1997, first as the Dairy Plant Manager and since 2011 in an instructor and advisor role. 

“This a most well-deserved award for Howard in recognition of his advising excellence,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry. “He spends a lot of time with students to personalize their advising and to be sure they are on track, and he understands the curriculum exceptionally well. Howard is an outstanding instructor as well and is an asset not just for the department, but also for our college.”

NACADA promotes and supports quality academic advising in institutions of higher education to enhance the educational development of students.

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 farm 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 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.

Dr. Howard Bonnemann, South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science lecturer and advisor, recently received the Region 6 Excellence in Academic Advising Award from the National Academic Advising Association.

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National Dairy Month: Learn More About Dairy From Farm to Table

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

Written by Whitney Blindert Midwest Dairy Council

June is National Dairy Month, so what better time to learn more about where your milk comes from?

You're probably curious - and we can help! Start by learning more about the dairy farm families in South Dakota dairy farm families in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest by visiting the Midwest Dairy website and clicking on the Farm Life link.

Want to visit a dairy farm? We've got you covered! Midwest Dairy provides an online farm experience. You can take a 10-stop video tour to experience how milk from real cows, on a real Midwest farm, becomes the fresh, naturally nutrient-rich dairy foods you love.

Do you have specific questions about dairy from farm-to-table? Take 48 seconds to watch the journey your milk makes in about 48 hours.

If you're fond of eating local foods, then choose dairy as a part of your diet. Milk is locally produced in every state, so it doesn't have to travel far from home.

What about dairy cow care? Dairy farmers know that if you take good care of your cows, your cows will take good care of you. Visit our site to learn how they do this through a nutritious diet, regular medical care and comfortable living conditions.

Feel like celebrating? World Milk Day kicks off June 1, 2018 with events going on around the globe. Or, join us in celebrating National Dairy Month and beyond with our simple, tasty, and nutritious recipes. Everything from savory pizzas and creamy parfaits, to chocolate milk and tempting cheese plates is deliciously, extraordinarily, undeniably dairy! To view recipes and more visit the World Milk Day website.

Local dairy experts

South Dakota's dairy farmers have a support team within SDSU Extension. To learn more about how the SDSU Extension dairy team supports your local dairy farmers, visit iGrow and search for this article: SDSU Extension Collaborates to Serve Dairy Producers Along I-29.

Courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association. June is National Dairy Month, so what better time to learn more about where your milk comes from? You're probably curious - and we can help! Start by learning more about the dairy farm families in South Dakota dairy farm families in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest by visiting the Midwest Dairy website and clicking on the Farm Life link.

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Dakota Lakes Research Farm Field School June 19

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host a field school June 19, 2018 at the Dakota Lakes Research Station outside of Pierre (21310 308th Ave., Pierre). This event is also hosted by the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

The event will run from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. (CST) and lunch is provided. The event is open to the public. Registration is requested.

Information covered during the event is focused on the needs of agricultural businesses, consultants and government personnel who work with farmers and ranchers in central and western South Dakota.

Attendees will gain knowledge about weeds, insects, soils and farm management, and have the option to tour the research station. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with the SDSU Extension team and other agricultural professionals.

Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credits available

Those who attend can earn two soil and water CCA credits, one nutrient management CCA credit, two pest management CCA credits and one crop management CCA credit.

Registration information

Registration is requested. To register, visit the iGrow Events page. Registration after June 8, 2018 is $65 to cover costs and materials. Registration on or before June 8 is $50. The registration fee is non-refundable unless event is cancelled.

For more information, contact Ruth Beck, SDSU Extension Agronomy Field Specialist by email or contact Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist by email.

Additional directions

The Dakota Lakes Research Station is located at 21310 308th Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. It is approximately 17 miles east of Pierre on S.D. Hwy 34. 

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Wheat Stem Maggot Adults Observed in South Dakota Wheat

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The adult wheat stem maggots have been observed in winter wheat fields across South Dakota. However, experts from SDSU Extension, North Dakota and Nebraska say chemical management is not recommended.

"Wheat stem maggot feeding, it is still considered a minor injury and chemical management is not recommended," explained Adam Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist. "The adults don't cause significant injury, the larvae of the wheat stem maggot cause white or bleached wheat heads later in the season."

Wheat that is damaged by the wheat stem maggot results in a white/dry head and stem to the first node where the flag leaf is attached. Researchers at SDSU Extension are working collaboratively with researchers from North Dakota and Nebraska to determine peak wheat stem maggot adult flights.

Are wheat stem maggots in your fields?

The wheat stem maggot adults are small yellow flies about one-fifth of an inch long with bright green eyes.
 
Adults have three black stripes present on their thorax, with the middle stripe longer than the other two (Figure 1). Adults also have a segment on their head that extends forward beyond the eyes. Adults of the wheat stem maggot are nectar feeders and lay eggs on the leaves and stems of wheat plants.

"Magnification may be required for identification," Varenhorst said.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the stem and begin feeding near the flag leaf. This feeding prevents nutrient flow to the head.

A larger concern is that in 2017, wheat stem maggot feeding caused significant stand loss to corn fields in Nebraska. Researchers are working to determine the factors that contributed these unusual infestations.

Top view of a yellow fly with red eyes and three black stripes down its back.
Figure 1. Top view of a wheat stem maggot adult. Photo courtesy of Patrick Beauzay, North Dakota State University.

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SDSU Extension Emerald Ash Borer Workshop June 11 in Sioux Falls

Categorized: Gardens, Home & Garden Pests, Trees & Forests

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Emerald ash borer was confirmed in Sioux Falls spring 2018. What can homeowners do about this invasive insect responsible for the loss of more than 100 million ash trees in 33 states? SDSU Extension staff will answer this question during a workshop held June 11, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (CST) at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 East 8th Street).

"The emerald ash borer will kill any ash tree that is not being protected by insecticide treatments. The insect is flying and the time to treat is now," said John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist.

During the workshop, attendees will meet inside for some short presentations on emerald ash borer biology, identification, quarantines and other management concerns and then move outside for a treatment demonstration and ash identification session.

The workshop is being held rain or shine.

This event is sponsored by SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the South Dakota Arborist Association.

There is no fee or registration for the workshop. All are welcome.

If you have questions, contact John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist & South Dakota Department of Agriculture Forest Health Specialist by phone and text at 605.695.2503. You can also send him a letter or note at this address: room 230 Agricultural Hall, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007.
 

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2018 SD Rangeland & Soils Days: Learn About South Dakota’s Most Precious Natural Resources

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, South Dakota 4-H, Youth Development, Livestock, Beef, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Corn, Other Crops, Land, Water & Wildlife, Profit Tips, Soybeans, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota youth and adults are invited to participate in the 35th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 15th annual Soils Days which will be held June 26-27, 2018 in Redfield, South Dakota.

"Rangeland management learning activities are designed for a variety of age groups and expertise," said Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist and one of the event's organizers. "We begin with plant morphology and identification and include everything up to judging habitat suitability for cattle or grouse. Everyone attending Rangeland Days is sure to gain new knowledge from participating."

The two-day program is developed with training for those 8 years of age to adult.

Soils Days

Soils Days learning activities are designed for participants 14 to 18 years of age.

"Student will learn how to evaluate the physical properties of soil which include: soil texture, depth, erosion, slope, and stoniness," Ollila explained.

This information will help participants interpret permeability of water and air through the soil, surface run off and other factors which limit the soil's production potential.

Using this new found knowledge, students will determine the land's capability class which, in turn, allows them to make recommended conservation treatments using vegetative and mechanical erosion controls.

Students will also learn how to assess a building location for potential issues that would occur when developing a homesite.

After a day of active learning, the participants in both Rangeland and Soils Days will have the opportunity to measure how much they have learned by participating in contests, again designed specifically for their age level and expertise.

Competition will be offered for individuals and teams for all age groups.

Leadership Growth Opportunities for Youth 

Youth also have the opportunity to expand their leadership skills and rangeland management understanding by participating in student talks and development of educational displays.

Student displays: Youth are encouraged to enter a tabletop display on any range-related topic. Examples include: wildlife, food and habitat displays, a grazing plan for your ranch, etc.

Plant collections will be judged as a separate category and will be eligible for a special award. Plant collections will NOT count toward the Top Hand Award.

Student Talks: Talks may be presented on any aspect of range management or about any range resource. Visual aids are required; Power Point preferred.

Scout and Go Getter presentations should be more scientific than a revised 4-H demonstration. Time limits are: New Rangers 2 to 8 minutes, Wranglers 3 to 8 minutes, Scouts and Go Getters 5 to 8 minutes.
 
Competition & Awards

Plaques will presented to the first place individual in each event in each age division, and medallions to the first through third placing contestants in each event in each division.
Soils Top Hand: A silver belt buckle will go to the overall top scoring youth.

Rangeland Top Hand: A silver belt buckle will go to the overall top scoring youth in each division. Scores in the judging competition (40 percent), Student talks (35 percent), and displays (25 percent) will all count toward the award.

Participation in all three events is required to be eligible.

Scout/Go-Getter Student Talk: The Top Scout or Go Getter from South Dakota may be given the opportunity to present his/her talk at the 2019 Society for Range Management annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minneapolis.

Range & Soils Team Competition: Teams may consist of three or four members from the county 4-H program or FFA Chapter.

New Ranger and Wrangler teams will receive certificates. The top Go-Getter Range team and the top Soils team in 4-H will represent South Dakota at the National Land & Range Judging Contest held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2019.

NOTE: All team members must be current 4-H members and will not graduate before May 2019.

Registration Details

To pre-register for this event, and for more information, visit the iGrow events calendar or contact Dave Ollila at 605.394.1722.

Group of attendees
Courtesy of iGrow.org. South Dakota youth and adults are invited to participate in the 35th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 15th annual Soils Days which will be held June 26-27, 2018 in Redfield, South Dakota.

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Register Today for Grassfed Exchange National Conference Coming in Rapid City June 20-22, 2018

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

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 website. 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 busses 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 tradeshow. 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 grass-fed 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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The Experts Share Tips to Selecting the Perfect Steak

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety


BROOKINGS, S.D. - With grilling season in full swing, many grillers are in search of the perfect steak. SDSU Extension staff teamed up with the South Dakota Beef Industry Council to share their best tips to selecting the perfect steak.

"With so many different options out there it's good to have plan before you head out to shop," explained Amanda Blair, Associate Professor & SDSU Extension Meat Science Specialist. "The type of steak you select is a personal choice."

Blair explained that if a consumer knows their preferences for flavor, tenderness or marbling, selection shouldn't be too tough. However, if you're unsure, she, along with Holly Swee, Director of Nutrition & Consumer Information and Adam Rhody, SDSU Meat Lab Manager, developed this guide for you.

Traditional Steak Options

"A general rule of thumb is, the more expensive the steak, the more tender it should be. But, finding a great steak really depends on what you like," explained Rhody.

If your top priority is tenderness, a tenderloin - also known as a filet or filet Mignon - is a great option.

If you're after an extremely flavorful cut, a sirloin should be on your list.

Looking for both tenderness and flavor? Ribeyes and strip steaks are what you're looking for.

"One reason ribeyes and New York strips are so flavorful is the amount of marbling," Blair said.

Marbling is the small flecks of fat within the meat. The amount of marbling determines the grade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) beef grades typically found in grocery stores or at restaurants are Select, Choice, and Prime.

These are also related to price.

Select cuts will have the least amount of marbling and Prime will have the most. Cuts with a quality grade of Prime are most often the most expensive.

Other popular beef items for summer grilling are fajitas and kabobs.

"Grocery stores will sell these items, but you can save a little money by cutting them yourself," Rhody said.

A sirloin works great for kabobs since it is a tender, lean cut. For fajitas, try a beef skirt steak or flank steak, which can be grilled whole and sliced thinly across the grain.

New Value Cuts

Speaking of price, the beef industry has developed several new value cuts over the past few years including the flat iron, Denver cut, and chuck eye steak.

"These cuts have great flavor and tenderness and generally sold at retail for less than more traditional steaks such as the ribeye," Blair said.

However, since they're new to the market they may not always be available at retail so if a consumer has a difficult time accessing them, ask the butcher or grocer.

"The flat iron steak, in particular, is gaining popularity because it is very tender and flavorful, but they're sold in the meat case cut a couple different ways," Blair said.

She explained that one cutting method results in an oval shape with a long section of connective tissue down the middle, which can lead to tenderness issues. The more preferred cutting method results in a rectangular shaped flat iron.

Lean Beef Options

Beef is a great option to add to your diet because it contributes important nutrients such as protein, iron and zinc.

"There are plenty of lean beef options that can be incorporated into a balanced diet," Swee explained. "In fact, there are over 37 cuts that meet the government guidelines for lean."

Many popular cuts in the meat case qualify as lean such as flank steak, tenderloin, T-bone steak and 95 percent lean ground beef.

"A good rule of thumb is to look for the word loin or round in the name - which usually indicates a lean cut," Swee said.

The American Heart Association has also named nine fresh lean cuts of beef that meet the Heart Check-mark certification.

Additional Resources:

For more information, check out these videos and documents:

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Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm Holds Field Day June 19 in Brookings

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The benefits of small grains in crop rotations is the focus of the 24th Annual Field Day to be held June 19, 2018 at the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm in Brookings (3714 Western Avenue).

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. Tours begin at 10 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Lunch is sponsored by Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc.

Throughout the field day discussions will focus on bringing small grains back to South Dakota cropping systems.

"The number of acres planted to small grains in eastern South Dakota has been rapidly declining due to multiple factors that influence cropping decisions. However, there are also a number of reasons why small grains should be retained in South Dakota's crop rotations, especially when viewed as a component of the production system," said Mike Lehman, Research Microbiologist with U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS), North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory.
 
Field Day Presentations:

Dakota Small Grains - General Mills, Inc. Perspectives: Led by Tom Rabaey, General Mills, Inc.
Rabaey will discuss quality breeding programs, quality grains, proximity to markets and successful agronomy research programs which are all factors that will contribute to making the Dakotas a key supplier to General Mills and other millers.

Rabaey will speak about General Mills' investments in oat breeding, genetics, agronomy and soil science in South Dakota to enable a reliable oat and wheat supply chain going forward.

The "Why" and "What" of Soil Health Research at General Mills: Led by Steve Rosenzweig, General Mills, Inc.
Food companies are beginning to realize the importance of soil health to consumers, investors and farmers who supply the key ingredients for their products.

Rosenzweig will speak about General Mills' partnerships with farmers, suppliers, scientists, and tech companies to understand and improve soil health in their supply chains.

Field Plot Research - Small Grain Benefits: Led by Shannon Osborne, USDA-ARS
Inclusion of a small grain into crop rotations can have multiple benefits, including improved crop yield, yield stability, and soil health properties.

Osborne will present the results of long-term research that found an increase in soil aggregate stability, soil carbon and soil biology when using a small grain in rotation.

Incentives for Incorporating Small Grains into South Dakota Crop Rotations: Led by Jim Ristau, South Dakota Corn
Multiple programs exist to help growers address soil resource concerns, including increasing soil salinity. Ristau will discuss opportunities to improve soil health through diverse cropping systems.
 
Making Small Grains Work: Led by Brian Smith, Producer
Smith will discuss the role of small grains in his operation including why and how he has retained small grains in his crop rotations when many neighboring farms migrated to a corn/soybean rotation.

Small grains contribute to improved soil health and its associated benefits, but also ensure the viability and profitability of his integrated livestock production system.

Continuing education credits:
Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education credits are available in Crop Production and Soil and Water Management.

For more information about the Eastern South Dakota Soil and Water Research Farm, Inc., contact Joan Kreitlow at 605.692.8003 ext. 3.
 
For more information about the USDA-ARS North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory, contact Sharon Papiernik, Research Leader, at 605-693-5201.

The Agricultural Research Service is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NCARL in Brookings, the only ARS facility in South Dakota, is one of the nation's premier agricultural research laboratories. They develop integrated crop and pest management practices that enhance soil fertility and conservation, improve water availability and quality, increase biodiversity, and reduce insect and weed populations.

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Food Preservation Workshops Offered by SDSU Extension

Categorized: Healthy Families, Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety, Community Development, Local Foods

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension field specialists are offering Food Preservation workshops to the communities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

During workshops, participants can expect to learn about safe food preservation practices and will receive hands-on training in canning techniques.

Workshops are open to all. Youth under the age of 13 need to have an adult present to assist them during the workshop.

To help cover costs, registration is $30 for adult/youth pair. Registration includes cost of materials and lunch.

To register, go to visit the iGrow Events page.

If you have questions, contact Megan Erickson, SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, or Hope Kleine, SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Preservation workshop schedule:

Rapid City
Topic: Canning spaghetti sauce and pickles.
Date: August 1, 2018
Time: 4 - 8 pm.
Registration deadline: July 27 (Registration is limited to 15 people.)
Location: Walter Taylor 4-H Building (601 E. Centre)
Contact information: Call 605.394.1722 with questions

Sioux Falls
Topic: Canning peaches, strawberry jam and green beans
Date: June 23, 2018
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Registration deadline: June 20. (Registration is limited to 18 people.)
Location: SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 E Eighth Street)
Contact information: Call 605.782.3290 with questions Saturday.

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Mesonet at SD State to Aid Weather Decisions

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The Mesonet at SD State has installed dozens of inversion sensors and released a web-based Mesonet Spray Tool to help agricultural pesticide applicators.

The Mesonet Spray Tool reports directly measured inversion and wind conditions in real-time. Mesonet at SD State is South Dakota's weather network component of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

Available at the Mesonet website, this project is supported in part by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

Real-time spray conditions maximizes field time

When it comes to spray application, weather conditions determine timing, explains Nathan Edwards, Mesonet Engineer/Director at South Dakota State University.

"Applicators are always thinking in the term of how many minutes they can apply while the weather cooperates - this is why real-time information is invaluable," Edwards said. "Hourly weather leaves sprayable weather conditions unused, something you can't afford - especially with some newer products."

Agriculture and pesticide applicators have always utilized the weather data provided by Mesonet weather stations positioned throughout the state - outnumbering federal airport stations and providing updated information every 5 minutes.

"These are important factors when your livelihood depends on responding to rapidly changing weather conditions," Edwards said.

Direct measurement of temperature inversions

A major contributor to pesticide drift, inversions occur when cooler air layers under warmer air. This concentrates clouds of droplets that pose a drift risk.

Edwards stresses that the Mesonet Spray Tool is not based on an algorithm or estimated data. All Mesonet stations have been equipped with additional temperature sensors to directly measure temperature inversions.

It is the only network in the state with this capability.

Tailored to the Needs of Sprayers

The Mesonet Spray Tool is color-coded to match commonly used thresholds for wind speed and inversion.

Delta T, which is a measurement that relates temperature and humidity, is used to evaluate pesticide droplet lifetimes and evaporation rates. Delta T is not part of U.S. pesticide labeling, but is included for those who find it useful for nozzle selection and drift avoidance.

Growing the Mesonet

The Mesonet relies on local station sponsors to cover the costs of bringing stations to communities.

Because the Mesonet Spray Tool will enable sprayers to make the most of sprayable weather, Edwards is preparing for increased demand for new weather stations to bring these capabilities to even more areas of the state.

"We're only able to operate these stations with the support of coops, conservation districts, county governments and others," Edwards said.

To learn more about how you can get a Mesonet Weather Station in your area, contact Edwards by email.

Spray Tool and Mesonet at SD State

The Mesonet consists of 27 locally-supported stations across the state that are maintained by South Dakota State University.

The Mesonet serves the public, agriculture, natural resources, emergency management and research from its website.

Example of the Mesonet Spray Tool, an online tool developed by the Mesonet at SD State which reports directly measured inversion and wind conditions in real-time. Mesonet at SD State is South Dakota's weather network component of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU.

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There’s Something for Everyone at Dairy Fest 2018

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension, area dairy producers and dairy industry personnel invite the public to enjoy free family events during Dairy Fest 2018 held in Brookings June 2, 2018 at the Swiftel Center (824 32nd Ave).

The event is free and open to the public. It is designed for all ages to learn about dairy.

"This event is truly unique as it brings together multiple facets of the industry to celebrate the nutrient-rich benefits of dairy products and the many people - from farmers to processors to chefs - who play a role in delivering dairy to consumers," said Darrel Rennich Dairy Fest Chairmen and Diamond V Sales Representative.

Below are additional details about Dairy Fest 2018 and some of the pre-events and activities:

Picowsa's of the Central Plains Contest

View artwork created by area 4-H, FFA members and elementary and high school students as part of Picowsa's of the Central Plains contest. The artwork will be displayed and some will be offered as part of the silent auction during the Got Milk Gala held May 31, 2018. Funds raised will go to support the Dairy Fest Scholarships offered to SDSU Dairy Students. They will also be displayed throughout the Dairy Fest Carnival on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

Got Milk Gala

The "Got Milk Gala" is the premier event; where dairy will be part of the five course meal, featuring locally produced cheese. The event will be held May 31, 2018 at the Swiftel Center beginning at 6:30 PM with social hour, followed by dinner at 7:30 PM tickets are secured by invitation from a supporting table sponsor.

Perfectly paired wine will complement the dairy flavor. While enjoying the meal, community and state leaders, area business owners, industry leaders and dairy producers will be sharing the importance of dairy to the surrounding area.

This year's keynote speaker is Sue McCloskey. Sue was an art and art history student before being swept up in the world of dairy cows upon meeting her husband, Mike. They ran a successful dairy veterinary consulting practice in Southern California along with a 300 cow dairy and then 1000 cow dairy. In 1990 they sold the vet practice and became full time dairy farmers by moving to New Mexico and building a 5000 cow dairy farm. While in New Mexico, they created Select Milk Producers, now the nation's sixth largest dairy cooperative, and began thinking about how to make milk more relevant to consumers and how to tell the story of modern agriculture. In 1999, Mike and Sue moved to Northwest Indiana to build one of the largest dairy farms in the country, Prairie's Edge Dairy Farm, which currently milks 15,000 cows along with a 1,000 cow organic dairy. The most current addition to the farm will be an 800 cow robotic dairy which should become operational by early 2018. At the same time they were building farms in Indiana they opened Fair Oaks Farms, the country's largest and most recognized agritourist attraction.

Sue and Mike also served as the founders of Fairlife, which is a dairy-based health and wellness company owned by both Select Milk Producers and The Coca Cola Company. Fairlife milk, which is a high protein, low sugar, lactose free milk aimed at families, has been instrumental in refocusing the public's perception of milk from being a generic product to one that brings value and nutrition to American families. Sue has been the Creative Director for Fair Oaks Farms as well as serving as a spokesperson for Fairlife.

Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Event

Youth at the Brookings Boys N Girls Club and Teen Center will be participating in the the Fork to Farm Dairy Educational Event June 1, 2018. Participants will learn how dairy cows produce milk and how milk is turned into dairy products. Youth will also have the opportunity to make butter along with learning about different careers in the dairy industry.

Leadership training with Sue McCloskey

June 1, 2018 the Dairy Fest committee invites all interested to participate in a free two-hour leadership training session at the Swiftel Center in Brookings on June 9 AM.

The training will be led by Sue McCloskey, along with her husband, Mike. Read more about the McCloskeys under the "Got Milk Gala" subtitle above.

Dairy Fest Carnival, SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tour and Dairy Farm Tour

The farm comes to you at the Dairy Fest Carnival on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Stop by the Swiftel Center in Brookings for several hands-on family friendly activities. Some of the activities will include a live animal petting zoo of cows/calves, combine & skid steer bouncy house, Spin the Wheel of Dairy Fortune, corn and soybean box, straw bale maze, 5 gallon pail stack, cow patty golf, dairy product tasting, and a cheese plant relay race are just some of the activities that will be at this year's event.

Meet the 2018 South Dakota Dairy Princess and get your picture taken with our new royalty.

Free SDSU Ice cream will be served until it's gone for carnival participants. The carnival will be held on Saturday from 10 AM to 1:30 PM Families are encouraged to attend.

Cooking with Dairy Demonstrations

Hy-Vee dietician, Kayla Aman, will demonstrate how to create a healthy, dairy-filled snacks at the Dairy Fest Carnival.

Recipe cards will be available for you to recreate the meal at home. The cooking demonstration will take place on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at between 10 AM and 1:30 PM at the Swiftel Center.

SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tours

Wondering how the SDSU ice cream and cheese are made? Join us for a tour of the SDSU Davis Dairy Plant for a behind-the-scenes tour of how dairy products are made.

Tours will run from 10 AM till 11AM

Buses will run every 20 minutes from the Swiftel Center to bring participants to the dairy plant.

Tour and Lunch Old Tree Dairy Farm

Join us for a free lunch and free tour of Old Tree Farms in Volga. These tours will take place from 11 AM until 1:30 PM.

This is a great opportunity to see the workings of a modern family dairy farm.

Free grilled cheese sandwiches and SDSU ice cream will be served. Free transportation to the farm will be provided with buses leaving every half hour beginning at 11 AM from the Swiftel Center to the farm. Handicap accessible bussing is also available.

For more information about Dairy Fest, please contact Larissa Neugebauer, Dairy Fest Coordinator at 605.770.8233 or by email.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 30, 2018

Picowsa Painting Contest Judging

"Got Milk Gala"- Swiftel Center - invitation only event

6:30 PM - Social Hour followed by dinner at 7:30 PM

Friday, June 1, 2018

9:00 - 11:00 AM Leadership Training with Sue McCloskey - Swiftel Center - open to the public.

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Session 1: Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Sessions at Brookings Boys N Girls Teen Center

1 - 2 PM Session 2: Fork to Farm: Dairy Educational Sessions at Brookings Boys N Girls Teen Center

Saturday, June 2, 2018

10 AM - 11 AM SDSU Davis Dairy Plant Tours Buses will run every 20 minutes from Swiftel Center

10 AM - 1:30 PM Cooking with Dairy Demonstrations

10 AM - 1:30 PM Dairy Fest Carnival, at Swiftel Center, SDSU ice cream, Cow Party Golf, bouncy house, corn and soybean boxes, petting zoo, Spin the Wheel of Dairy Fortune, straw bale maze and more.

11 AM - 1:30 PM Dairy Farm Tour and Lunch - Old Tree Dairy Farm, Volga, SD

Buses will run every half hour from the Swiftel Center to the farm.

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2018 Nitrate Quick Test Training

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will be hosting Nitrate Quick Test Recertification and New Certification Training throughout June.

"To ensure the safety of forages, nitrate testing is a good safety precaution," said Karla Hernandez, SDSU Extension Forages Field Specialist.

Forage producers who were not trained to perform the Nitrate Quick Test in 2017, need to attend a Nitrate Quick Test New Certification Trainings. The trainings will last one hour. Those trained in 2017, can attend one of the recertification sessions.

Both new certification and recertification will be offered twice.

Training details

The trainings will be held June 4 and 5, 2018 across the state at SDSU Extension Regional Centers via DDN system.

June 4, 2018:

  • One-hour Recertification class will begin at 1 PM (MDT) and 2 PM (CDT).
  • One-hour Certification class will begin at 2 PM (MDT) and 3 PM (CDT).

June 5, 2018:

  • One-hour Recertification class will begin at 1 PM (MDT) and 2 PM (CDT).
  • One-hour Certification class will begin at 2 PM (MDT) and 3 PM (CDT).

Pre-register for the trainings by May 31, 2018 to ensure each location has adequate supplies. Registration costs cover the supplies needed to do the testing, as well as the test solution. Please, notice that recertification is required on an annual basis.

The New Certification Training is $35 and the recertification is $20. To register, call 605.882.5140 or email.

Training Locations

SDSU Extension Aberdeen Regional Center
13 Second Ave., SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401
Office: 605.626.2870

SDSU Extension Lemmon Regional Center
408 Eighth St. West, Lemmon, SD 57638
Office: 605.374.4177
 
SDSU Extension Mitchell Regional Center
1800 E. Spruce St., Mitchell, SD 57301
Office: 605.995.7378
 
SDSU Extension Pierre Regional Center
412 W. Missouri Ave., Pierre, SD 57501
Office: 605.773.8120
 
SDSU West River Ag Center (WRAC)
1905 Plaza Blvd., Rapid. City SD 57702
Office: 605.394.2236
 
SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center (Location is available only for June 4th)
2001 E. Eight St., Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Office: 605/.782.3290
 
SDSU Extension Watertown Regional Center
1910 W. Kemp Ave., Watertown, SD 57201
Office: 605.882.5140
 
SDSU Extension Winner Regional Extension Center
325 S. Monroe St., PO Box 270, Winner, SD 57580
Office: 605.842.1267

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Urban Ag Day Event Provides Hands-On Opportunity

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County with a grant from South Dakota Farm Bureau.

"Urban Ag Day was designed to help educate students about agriculture, and expand their knowledge about food, fuel and fiber," said Sara Koepke, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor-Grant County.

Seventy percent of the students who participated in the Urban Ag Day event do not live on farms.

"Grant County is a large agriculture community and we have a passion for educating youth about farm-to-table concepts," said Koepke. "This event allowed the students to have a hands-on opportunity with agriculture and still meet their life science education standards."

During the day, each student had the opportunity to interact with presenters at 12 stations.

4-H alumni and members led stations featuring live animals where youth learned about beef, dairy, goat, poultry, sheep and swine.

"These livestock experts explained to students how they care for their animals, proper terminology, and how we utilize agriculture in various consumer byproducts," Koepke said.

The remaining sessions were activity-based sessions, including:

  • Let's Make Butter - where youth learned about the dairy industry while making butter in a film canister.
  • The Amazing Soybean - this lesson highlighted the process of growing crops for human consumption, feed for animals and consumer byproducts.
  • Feed the Cow - students learned about healthy diet choices, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guidelines, while at the same time learning about a cow's diet.
  • What's in Your Cheeseburger? - farmers grow every part of a cheeseburger and the students learned about the process.
  • Ready, Set, Grow - students learned the process of how a seed germinates and made a plant pal necklace to showcase the germination process.

These activity-based sessions were led by Kelly Brandlee, Riverview LLP Community Relations; Jonathan Kleinjan, SDSU Extension Crop Production Associate; Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist; Chanda Engel, former SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist and Hannah Barthel, Wilbur-Eillis Sales Agronomist.

Students also had the opportunity to tour farm equipment, including a grain chopper, combine, tractor and grain cart provided by Kibble Equipment.

Each youth received a bag filled with educational items from many of our state's commodity groups, including: South Dakota Soybean Council, South Dakota Corn, South Dakota Beef Council, South Dakota Pork Council, South Dakota Sheep Growers Associations, Midwest Dairy Association, Valley Queen Cheese, Wilbur-Ellis and POET Biorefining.

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 under Field Staff Listing icon.

Courtesy of iGrow. 4-H member, Cassidy Schwagel, visits with students about poultry during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools attended the event where they spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

Courtesy of iGrow. Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist shows and visits with students about healthy diet choices, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate guidelines, while at the same time learning about a cow's diet during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools attended the event where they spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

Courtesy of iGrow. More than 80 fourth-grade students from Milbank area schools spent the day gaining hands-on knowledge of the state's number one industry of agriculture during SDSU Extension's Urban Ag Day held May 3, 2018 at the Grant County 4-H grounds.

The event was hosted by the team at the SDSU Extension 4-H Office-Grant County.

"Urban Ag Day was designed to help educate students about agriculture, and expand their knowledge about food, fuel, and fiber," said Sara Koepke, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor-Grant County.

Seventy percent of the students who participated in the Urban Ag Day event do not live on farms.

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SDSU Extension Teams up with SD Wheat Inc.

Categorized: Agronomy, Wheat

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension is collaborating with South Dakota Wheat, Inc. to organize the 2018 annual Wheat Walks in Milesville, Sturgis, Mt. Vernon and Miller beginning May 31, 2018.

During the Wheat Walk, SDSU Extension staff will be available to discuss current production issues including: weed control, insect and disease identification, management and fertilizer options for winter and spring wheat.

Each Wheat Walk will also include the in-field program where SDSU Extension staff can help identify pests that are currently in the field, and also cover any other production issues or concerns attendees might have. Following the in-field portion of the program. SD Wheat Inc. will provide growers with information on crop rotation, protein and moisture sampling.

The event will include a meal sponsored by SD Wheat Inc., Agripro (Syngenta), First National Bank and The South Dakota Wheat Commission.

Wheat Walk Details

Milesville: The Milesville Wheat Walk will be held May 31 at 4:30 PM (MST).

Location directions: Attendees should gather along the south side of SD Hwy 34, 3 miles east of the junction of SD Hwy 34 and 73.

Sturgis: The Sturgis Wheat Walk will be held June 5 at 4:30 PM (MST).

Location directions: To attend turn west off SD Hwy 79 onto Bighorn Road and travel 1.5 miles. The plots will be on the north side of the road.

Mt. Vernon: The Mt. Vernon Wheat Walk will be held June 7 at 4:30 PM (CST) just north of Mt. Vernon, SD.

Location directions: The location is 25287 397th Ave., Mt. Vernon, SD. From Mt. Vernon travel 0.5 miles north on 397th Ave. The field is on the east side of the road.

Miller: The Miller Wheat Walk will be held near Miller, SD June 14 beginning at 4:30 PM (CST).

Location directions: Interested attendees should travel 8 miles north of Miller on SD Hwy 45, turn east on 188th St. The field is located 6.5 miles east at 36630 188th Ave.

Each event will include a meal. Anyone planning to attend is asked to RSVP to 605.224.4418 three days prior to the event so organizers can plan appropriately for the meal.

More details can also be found at the South Dakota Wheat website or the iGrow Events page.

Courtesy of iGrow. SDSU Extension is collaborating with South Dakota Wheat, Inc. to organize the 2018 annual Wheat Walks in Milesville, Sturgis, Mt. Vernon and Miller beginning May 31, 2018.

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2018 Eastern South Dakota Grasshopper Forecast

Categorized: Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The 2018 cool wet spring may lead to reduced grasshopper populations, compared to 2017 says SDSU Extension entomology team.

"During 2017, many of the grasshoppers that we observed were several weeks behind schedule in growth," said Adam J. Varenhorst, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Field Crop Entomologist.

However, Varenhorst explained that trying to predict insect populations is difficult as many additional factors can contribute to their winter survival and overall spring populations.

"Our recommendation is to scout for spring grasshopper populations, as they will be the first indicator of potential problem areas," he said. "Depending on the 2018 growing season, areas with limited rainfall or drought conditions may experience increased grasshopper populations."

A look back on 2017

In 2017, researchers at South Dakota State University completed a grasshopper survey of Eastern South Dakota (Figure 1).

The last grasshopper survey conducted in Eastern South Dakota was published in 1925. Those involved in this survey included: Erica Anderson, SDSU Graduate Student; Patrick Wagner, SDSU Extension Entomology Field Specialist; Philip Rozeboom, Research Associate; Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist and Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist.

2017 was an interesting growing season with areas of South Dakota experiencing severe drought conditions.

"In some of these areas, we found that grasshopper populations were causing defoliation injury to already drought-stressed crops," Varenhorst said.

He explained that factors that can lead to increased grasshopper populations include long, warm falls, decreased ground cover, and limited spring rainfall.

Leading up to 2017, we experienced several warm falls where the first frost date occurred much later than normal.

"These conditions allowed grasshoppers to successfully lay eggs for a much longer period of time and were likely part of the reason why we saw increased grasshopper populations in the eastern half of the state," he said.

Areas of South Dakota with grasshopper populations that reached or exceeded the threshold of eight or more grasshoppers per square yard included: Hyde, Hand, Beadle, Kingsbury, Spink, Buffalo, Jerauld, Brule, Aurora, Douglas and Hutchinson counties. In addition, there were several other counties that had multiple samples near threshold levels (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Map of 2017 grasshopper abundance for Eastern South Dakota. Green triangles indicate grasshopper populations that were below threshold, orange squares represent grasshopper populations that were approaching threshold, and red circles indicate grasshopper populations that exceeded the threshold. Map courtesy of Erica Anderson.

Graphic key: Image of South Dakota with green areas indicating forested area and dark red colors indicating reservation land. There are green triangles representing areas with low grasshopper populations, orange squares representing medium grasshopper populations, and red circles representing grasshopper populations that exceeded thresholds.

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Summer Season Kicks Off with Warmer Weather

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - After a near-record cold April, May 2018 is off to a warmer than average start across much of South Dakota.

"It appears as if this trend will continue into June, as the dive into summer continues," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

In fact, temperatures across the state were above average for the first 16 days of the month.

"Most locations were two to five degrees warmer than usual for this time of year. A handful of locations in the Black Hills, south central and northeast have been more than five degrees above average so far," she said.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Outlook for June 2018, released May 17, leans towards warmer than average as well. "Current forecast projections show very good chances that the end of May and early June will be warmer than typical for this time of year in the Northern Plains," Edwards said.

Precipitation

Rainfall across South Dakota, as of May 17 has been variable, with the southeast portion of the state experiencing especially wet conditions, which brought many rivers to flood stage in early May.

"The eastern rivers have receded now that all the snowmelt has runoff, but water is still high after some recent rain events," Edwards said.

There have also been some local rain events in west central and northwestern counties, but the total for the last two weeks is only about an inch to 1.5 inches.

The southwest and northeast continue to be the driest areas of the state in the last one to two months.

"A look ahead into June's climate outlook does not provide much information for precipitation. The latest map shows equal chances of drier, wetter and near average moisture for the month ahead," she said, and explained that this is not unusual for the Northern Plains. "It is often difficult to predict spring and summer season storms. This is good news, and bad news, for those who are dry in the north, but also those that are too wet in the south and want to make some more progress in planting, fertilizer and early pesticide application."

The U.S. Drought Monitor map, released May 17, shows that a new area of moderate drought was introduced in northeastern South Dakota, along the North Dakota border.

"This area has been much drier than average for the last 30 to 60 days. Soil moisture is also dry for this time of year," Edwards said. "This has allowed spring wheat, corn and soybean planting to move ahead rapidly, but continued rainfall will be crucial for the rest of the spring season."

In the west, despite some recent precipitation, Edwards explained that it has not yet been sufficient to bring the area completely out of drought. "Moderate drought remains over a large area of western South Dakota," she said. "Stock ponds filled with early spring runoff, but grasses and pastures will need more time to recover from the last one to two years of drought. This area has overall been slightly drier than average since April 1, which is a critical moisture period for cool season grasses."

Temperature outlook for June 2018. South Dakota has an increased chance of being warmer than average in June.

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Know Your Numbers Know Your Options: Annie’s Level 2

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Corn, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - If you're a woman involved in the agriculture industry, who has questions about farm finance and leases, then Know Your Numbers Know Your Options may be the program for you.

SDSU Extension will host the four-part Know Your Numbers Know Your Options class which is focused on financial risk management in Hot Springs on Tuesdays beginning May 22, 2018 and running May 22, June 12, 19, and 26 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (MDT) at the SDSU Extension Fall River County Office (709 Jensen Highway, Ste. B Hot Springs, SD 57747).

SDSU Extension will also host the class in Philip, at the Bad River Sr. Citizen Center (115 S. Center Ave., Philip, SD 57567) from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Wednesdays, beginning May 23, 2018 and running May 23, June 13, 20, and 27.

More about Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

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.

"Annie's Project was designed to empower women by providing detailed farm/ranch management information and build networks between women. Know Your Numbers Know Your Options is an Annie's Level 2 course designed for women wanting to learn more about how to develop financial records," said Shannon Sand, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

Participation in Annie's Project is not necessary for participation in Your Numbers Know Your Options. Designed to teach key communication skills and expand leasing knowledge, Your Numbers Know Your Options provides a fun and supportive learning environment.

Registration details

Class space is limited. Pre-registration is due by May 20, 2018. To register, visit the iGrow Events page. The cost is $40 per person and covers the cost of meals. This material is based upon work supported by USDA-NIFA Under award number 2015-49200-24226.

For more information, contact Shannon Sand by email at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Aberdeen, at 605.626.2870.

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Cattle AI Schools in Philip and Mitchell

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension will host two AI Schools in South Dakota. The three-day artificial insemination (AI) schools will be held June 13, 14 and 15, 2018 at the SDSU Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station near Philip (23738 Fairview Road) and September 26, 27 and 28, 2018 in Mitchell at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell (1800 East Spruce Street).

This first day consists of classroom training pertaining to AI techniques, reproductive-tract anatomy, heat detection, AI equipment and semen handling.

Morning sessions on the following two days will focus on hands-on AI practice techniques. Afternoon classroom topics will include bull selection, EPD, heat synchronization, herd management and nutrition. The clinic ends at approximately 3:00 PM the third day.

Registration details

This event is limited to 20 participants. Individuals must reserve their spots. To cover costs, the registration fee is $400. The fee covers the cost of educational materials, supplies, facility, cow use and meals.

Philip: For more information or to register for the school at Cottonwood Range and Livestock Field Station, contact Robin Salverson, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605.374.4177 or by email.

Mitchell: UPDATE: this event has been filled but a waiting is is available. For more information or to be placed on a waiting list for the school in Mitchell, contact Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow Calf Field Specialist at 605.995.7378 or by email.

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The Year of the Hay

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Profit Tips

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

Three countries lead the world in fluid milk production: India, the U.S. and China - in this order. Demand for dairy products in China continues to increase through a combination of technology, changes in retail-supply chains, consumer trends, income growth and government policies.

With limited access to land, the choice for large Chinese dairies is to import feed. All types of hay are coveted by the Chinese market, however those with high nutrient density (more than 20 percent protein and more than 150 Relative Feed Value) are definitively attractive.

From this perspective, the U.S. alfalfa market is prime for exporting to China. In 2016, the U.S. exported 23 percent more hay to China than in 2015, and was the top supplier, with 78.6 percent of the total (1.29 million metric tons), followed by Australia (13.8 percent), Spain (3.48 percent), and Canada (3.16 percent).

South Dakota is a leader in hay production

Five states produce 35 percent of all alfalfa in the U.S., they include: California, South Dakota, Idaho, Iowa and Minnesota.

During 2013-2014 California and Idaho hay stocks dropped by 56 and 44 percent, respectively. Between 2016 and 2017, and with the exception of Idaho, which increased hay production by 29 percent, all other leading states dropped production. California dropped by 58 percent, South Dakota dropped by 31 percent, Iowa dropped by 43 percent, and Minnesota dropped by 35 percent for an overall average hay reduction of negative 36 percent.

It is unlikely that hay production will rebound during 2018. Large amounts will need to be shipped from other states to supply California's livestock and exports. The U.S.

Department of Agriculture projects hay acreage for 2018 will drop nearly 36 percent from last year.

Lower corn prices have at least helped somewhat with the tough financial times U.S. dairies and other livestock enterprises are facing.

It seems that during 2018 higher hay prices resulting from reduced stocks could hamper some of these feed cost savings that lower-priced corn brought to livestock producers in the recent past.

Farms that rely heavily on hay for either growing heifers or lactating cows, may want to lock prices. Similarly, the use of agricultural by-products (and particularly corn co-products because of their current competitive price) seem to be an economical alternative.

If the commitment of the U.S. government to allow year-round sales (including the summer) of 15 percent ethanol blends (E15) is confirmed, then feed co-product prices may become increasingly attractive.

Advantages of this approach will be to strategically stretch hay supplies for the 2018-2019 winter season.

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Registration for Livestock Environmental Training Workshop

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Profit Tips, Sheep, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The online registration for the June 27, 2018 Livestock Environmental Training Workshop hosted by SDSU Extension in Huron is now active.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

The environmental training session will be in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.). The program begins promptly at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

"The event brings together experts from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide training necessary for General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and other certifications," explained Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Registration details

Pre-registration is required by June 22, 2018.

To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 for the first person from a farm or operation and includes lunch, breaks and training materials. Additional participants from the same farm/operation can register for $50 to receive a binder or $25 for attendance only without additional binders.

At the completion of the workshop, all participants will receive a certificate to document their completion of the program.

Why training is necessary?

Spring of 2017, the S.D. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued. One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit.

Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit.

Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend.

Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

"Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation," Thaler said.

For more information, contact Thaler by email or 605.688.5435. John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer can also be contacted by email or 605.688.5610.

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Garden & Canning Hotlines Available

Categorized: Gardens, Gardening, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Answers to South Dakotans' questions are just a phone call away.

SDSU Extension Regional Centers, together with Master Gardeners across the state have opened the 2018 Garden Hotline now through September 28.

Call the numbers below with any horticulture questions. Walk-ins are also welcome, as Master Gardeners will be on site to answer questions.

  • SDSU Extension Aberdeen Regional Center: 605.626.2876 (13 2nd Avenue S.E., Aberdeen, SD 57401)
  • SDSU Extension Sioux Falls Regional Center: 605.782.3298 (2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103)
  • SDSU Extension Rapid City Regional Center: 605.394.6814 (711 N. Creek Drive, Rapid City, SD 57703)

AnswerLine for you food, family and canning needs

Year-round, consumers who have questions related to canning, food safety, cleaning tips or balanced nutrition can call AnswerLine at 1.888.393.6336.

AnswerLine is a toll-free connection to family and consumer science specialists dedicated to answering questions and directing consumers to research-based resources.

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Master Gardener Sign Up Deadline Extended

Categorized: Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Before she became an SDSU Extension Master Gardener, Arlene Brandt-Jenson's modest flower garden served to beautify her home's landscaping. Today, her garden has increased in size, beauty and it provides habitat for many butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects.

"I learned so much about how to attract certain types of butterflies based on what type of flowers I plant," Brandt-Jenson says of the eight-week SDSU Extension Master Gardener class she took in 2011. "It's pretty amazing to see a monarch caterpillar chewing on the leaf of a swamp milkweed growing in my garden and know that I'm helping these butterflies and other pollinators."

Along with learning about flowers and pollinator gardening, during the eight, once-a-week sessions, the SDSU Extension Master Gardener class teaches gardeners about every aspect of horticulture - from how to improve soil health, identifying and treating diseases and integrated pest management; to botany, plant identification, vegetable gardening, fruit production, lawn and tree care - and much more.

"This course provides in-depth information, as well as where to go for more resources," explains David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

Graper has been involved in the SDSU Extension Master Gardener program for nearly 25 years.

"In all this time, I continue to see the program satisfy curiosity, but also spark an even greater interest in learning about horticulture for participants," Graper says.

Benefiting all South Dakotans

Master Gardener classes are designed to be as hands-on as possible. Once participants have completed the eight-week session, to receive their Master Gardener certification, they must apply what they have learned by volunteering at least 50 hours to share their knowledge with their communities over the following two years.

"Answering questions from the public definitely expands my knowledge. I learn so much because I can only absorb so much from a class. However, when someone asks me a question I don't know the answer to, it makes me go back to my resources and find the answer," Brandt-Jenson explains.

Brandt-Jenson became an Master Gardener just before she took early retirement from a career as a District Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. As an Master Gardener, she continues to give at least 20 volunteer hours each year to the Watertown community. Recently, she taught an outdoor class on seeds and plants to second graders.

"It's fun to see kids get excited when they see the size difference between carrot and bean seeds," she says.

Volunteer service can vary, depending on an individual's skills and the needs of the local community.

"Some volunteers answer telephone requests for information, host plant clinics or speak to groups. Others assist with demonstration gardens, farmers markets, youth gardens, 4-H activities or write articles for local newspapers. Still others help with research projects, or serve as a volunteer coordinator," Graper explains.

In 2017 alone, SDSU Extension Master Gardeners logged more than 10,850 volunteer hours.

"Their service is invaluable," says Graper. "Master Gardeners serve every county and many communities throughout our state. They are a resource to all citizens. And many Master Gardeners give of their time and knowledge long after their mandated 50 hours are complete."

He adds that some Master Gardeners have served South Dakotans for more than 25 years.

Graper references the more than 14,000 hours which have been logged in the last 15 months, since a new Volunteer Reporting System went live. The system is a convenient way for Master Gardeners to log their volunteer activities and continuing education hours.

If a dollar amount were to be placed on the 14,000 logged hours, Graper said it would be more than $287,000 in service to South Dakotans.

"As Master Gardeners, we always keep learning," Brandt-Jenson says, emphasizing the value in networking with other South Dakota gardeners that the Master Gardener class and organization provides. "Master Gardeners are all ages and come from all backgrounds. Through Master Gardeners, I have made many friends, I would not have met otherwise."

Today, Brandt-Jenson also serves as President of the South Dakota Master Gardener Association, an organization which maintains communication among the many local Master Gardener groups and serves as a liaison with SDSU Extension. The association also provides grant funds to educational horticulture projects.

Deadline extended to May 25, 2018

The hands-on training sites for 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener program are Huron, Pierre and Rapid City. Participants may attend any of the three sites; the topics presented each week will be repeated in all three sites that week.

An updated training manual, written by SDSU Extension staff, will be utilized during the 2018 class. The first class will include picking up their training manual and learning the log-in procedure to access the online material. Trainees will need access to a computer or tablet and an email address to access the online material.

All classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

The training dates are:

  • Huron: (Tuesdays) June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24 and July 31.
  • Pierre: (Wednesdays) June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.
  • Rapid City: (Thursdays) June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26 and August 2.

Registration deadline is May 25, 2018

To register for the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training complete the online application found at the iGrow Events page.

The class fee is $250 for individuals that commit to becoming SDSU Extension Master Gardeners.

To become an SDSU Extension Master Gardener, individuals must first become an intern. To achieve intern status, individuals must complete the course and pass the online final exam. Then, interns have two years to complete 50 hours of volunteer service. For more information, contact David Graper by email.

Courtesy photo. Arlene Brandt-Jenson of Watertown is a 2011 graduate of the SDSU Extension Master Gardener program. She encourages South Dakotans interested in learning more about gardening and all things horticulture to consider enrolling in the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener class.

Registration deadline has been extended to May 25, 2018.

Courtesy photo. Before she became a Master Gardener, Arlene Brandt-Jenson's modest flower garden served to beautify her home's landscaping. Today, her garden has increased in size, beauty and it provides habitat for many butterflies, bees and other pollinator insects.

She encourages South Dakotans interested in learning more about gardening to consider enrolling in the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener class.

Registration deadline has been extended to May 25, 2018.

This photo of Joe-Pye plant with monarch butterflies was taken in Brandt-Jenson's Watertown flower garden in 2017.

Courtesy of iGrow. David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator

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Teens Answer Questions in Science of Ag Event

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota teens applied research methods to answer real-world questions impacting our state's number one industry of agriculture through SDSU Extension 4-H Science of Agriculture project.

May 8, 2018 teens from across the state, presented the results of nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges on the campus of South Dakota State University during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event.

"We developed this project to help teens develop their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM skills. And, as an opportunity for them to gain first-hand experience in applied research," explained Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Field Specialist.

Piloted in 2017, the Science of Agriculture project is designed to expose teens to the engineering process. The Science of Agriculture project begins with a question developed by a team of teens early in the school year. Then, through hands-on research, data evaluation and working with experts and professionals in the field, the team collaborates to find solutions.

"The hands-on nature of this project allowed students to make connections to how science can be applied to answer real-world questions," said Wyatt DeJong, Winner High School Agri-Science Instructor/FFA Advisor and 4-H Leader. "The more students are exposed to the how - how science and research is really used - the wiser they become."

DeJong co-coached a team of Winner High School sophomores, along with Laura Kahler, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Gregory & Tripp Counties.

The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team asked the question: What are the most profitable range management practices that are good for cattle production, soil/range health, and will build pheasant populations?

The question, 17-year-old Loren Moeller explained, was motivated by the abundance of local cattle operations and pheasant hunting in the area.

"Tripp County has a lot of beef cattle, so we're trying to find ways cattle producers can manage grazing to benefit pheasants," Moeller said. "Pheasants are a big thing in our area of South Dakota and we want to find ways to increase their populations because they have been declining rapidly due to recent winter weather."

During their judged presentation, the team explained that the ability for pheasants to have ideal habitat during the 23-day nesting period is crucial to population density. And, the team explained that as a rural, farm/ranch community, pheasant habitat in the Winner area is primarily found on private land cattle producers use for grazing.

Their hope is to find grazing practices that work well for cattle and pheasants.

To answer their question, the team worked with several experts; Pheasants Forever biologists, SDSU Extension wildlife and range specialists, as well as DeJong and Kahler.

Working with mentors is key to the Science of Agriculture's success, explained Van Kelley, Department Head of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at SDSU.

"Connecting with university faculty, SDSU Extension personnel - or really, any professional in the field of science or research - early on is beneficial because it alerts students to opportunities," Kelley said.

He added that the hands-on nature of the Science of Agriculture project may open the door to an interest in STEM careers. "I think back on my own experience, having someone show me how engineering science could help me solve problems in things I was interested in, is the reason I pursued the career I did," Kelley said.

Unlike more traditional science fairs they had participated in prior to this project, Ryder Mortenson, 16, said he actually enjoyed the Science of Agriculture project. "It was the fact that we got outside the classroom for hands-on experience and we got to get down to earth with what we were doing," he said.

To collect data for their project, Mortenson, Moeller and their teammates; Colby Kaiser, 16 and Ethan Vesley, 16 worked with cattle producers to review their grazing practices. They made on-site visits to five area ranches and documented vegetation and access to key pheasant habitat resources such as shelters, waterways, foodplots and treelines.

Based on factors essential to pheasant nesting success, the team hypothesized which grazing practices would serve the dual purpose of profitability for cattle producers and increase pheasant populations.

At this point, the team believes: "Overall, the main grazing practice is rotational grazing. It can benefit not only the pheasant population by giving the nests a break so the chicks can grow without being stepped on by a cow, but also helps the cattle industry by not grazing the grass too short to where it will never recover."

This spring, following nesting, the team is going to do follow-up research to better understanding of whether or not their hypothesis is true.

"We have more questions, but that is OK because now we have more things to work on for next year," Vesley said.

The team plans to continue their research and compete again next year. Following their judged presentation, Science of Agriculture participants hosted toured SDSU research labs, meeting with faculty and researchers.

The Winner High School 4-H team placed second. The Spink/Hand County 4-H Science of Agriculture team, which included the following team members: Hailie Stuck, Kiarra Stuck, Alana Howard and Maya Howard placed first. Each individual of the first place team received a $1,000 scholarship.

The Science of Agriculture program is sponsored by SDSU Extension 4-H, SD 4-H Leaders Association, and the SD Community Foundation. Judges for the event include: Rocky Forman, South Dakota Farmers Union; Shane Swedlund, Raven Industries and Tabitha Scott, USDA NRCS.

To learn how you can become involved in the 2019 SDSU Extension 4-H Science of Agriculture project, contact Wood by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team presents nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event held on the campus of South Dakota State University, May 8, 2018. Pictured here, (left to right) Ethan Vesley, Ryder Mortenson, Colby Kaiser and Loren Moeller.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Winner High School 4-H Science of Agriculture team presents nearly nine-months of research to a panel of judges during the inaugural Science of Agriculture Event held on the campus of South Dakota State University, May 8, 2018. Pictured here, (left to right) Ethan Vesley, Loren Moeller, Ryder Mortenson and Colby Kaiser.

Courtesy of iGrow. The Spink/Hand County 4-H Science of Agriculture team won the 2018 Science of Agriculture Event held in Brookings May 8. Team members include: Hailie Stuck, Kiarra Stuck, Alana Howard and Maya Howard. Each individual of the first place team received a $1,000 scholarship.

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SDSU Extension Collaborates to Serve Dairy Producers Along I-29

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

As kids, Greg and Jim Moes and their siblings, helped their parents milk the family's 30 dairy cows each morning and night.

For the 1950s and 60s the Moes were considered typical South Dakota dairy farmers.

Nearly six decades later, the brothers remain involved in South Dakota's dairy industry near their childhood home of Goodwin; however, their operation looks much different.

Today, Greg and Jim, along with their sons, milk 2,000 head of dairy cows.

"Things are much different today. If they (consumers) know where milk comes from, unfortunately most still think we are milking in a little red barn," says Greg Moes, 65, who works to inform consumers through annual tours of his farm which he guides for area fourth grade classes.

To remain competitive and efficient, the men rely on the latest technology and management practices - many of which they glean from the SDSU Extension dairy team, other dairy producers and experts they connect with through the I-29 Moo University Collaboration.

"Everything is changing so fast. These programs connect producers to information and other producers," says Moes, who also opens up MoDak Dairy for SDSU Extension and public tours.

Established as a multi-state learning community, the I-29 Moo University Collaboration connects extension dairy staff and dairy producers from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to share research, information and management practices through workshops, webinars, monthly e-newsletters and on-farm tours.

Collaboration with extension staff and progressive dairy producers maximizes resources and outreach, explains Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

"Although we're all focused on the dairy industry, all extension staff have expertise in specific areas. This collaboration allows us to pull from a large pool of extension staff and producers to expand our knowledge and resource base," says Erickson, who served as the 2014-2016 chair of the I-29 Moo University Collaboration.

"This collaboration allows us to reach an even larger number of producers than if we were doing these programs individually within each of our states," adds Kim Clark, Nebraska Dairy Extension Educator and current I-29 Moo University chair.

Clark explains that programming focus is determined by producers' needs and industry trends.

In 2017, more than 325 producers participated in workshops, tours and webinars that focused on robotic milkers, adding on-farm value to dairy products, planting and feeding forages and cover crops, raising dairy beef cattle, employee training and the Dairy Margin Protection Program. An additional 700 stakeholders access the I-29 Moo University e-newsletter on a monthly basis from all over the world.

Employee training is an on-going challenge, key to success, explains Moes, who employs nearly 40 individuals. "We are producers, not teachers."

For employee training, Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy Specialist with a Ph.D in Veterinary Science, has become one of the I-29 Moo University Collaborative go-to experts. Rovai is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese as she is from Brazil. Along with milking procedures, cow health and safety, Rovai collaborates with her SDSU Extension teammate, Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate and Erickson to provide dairy cattle handling and employee training workshops.

"I truly believe that when we understand the "why", we perform our jobs better," Rovai explains. "It is not profitable for dairy farmers just to say, 'do this task this way.' Employees need to understand the reason, so they perform at a 100 percent commitment level.'"

For maximum milk production, research has proven dairy cows respond to certain procedures done specific ways and they appreciate consistency.

To make training consistent and effective, Rovai, developed the SDSU Extension Dairy Toolbox training modules - produced in Spanish and English - so producers and employees have access to research-based employee training in one kit. She also collaborates with Carroll and Erickson for the Dairy Toolbox training.

"Our employees feel better about the work they do when they clearly understand what they are doing and they appreciate being able to call Maristela to visit about other questions they may have," Moes says.

It's no secret that turnover drops when employees understand and enjoy the work they do. This has been Wim Hammink's experience. Hammink co-owns Hammink Dairy LLC near Bruce with his wife, Nicolien and son, Tom. They employee 30 individuals.

In addition, to employee training and human resource advice, the Hammink's have gained valuable information on balancing forage rations and calf health by working with the SDSU Extension dairy team and I-29 Moo University collaborating partners.

"There are not a whole lot of educational opportunities available outside of SDSU Extension, unless you count different animal health or dairy equipment companies who put on trainings. But, it is nice to have access to people who are not trying to sell something," Hammink says.

Over the years, the Hamminks have hosted I-29 Moo University Collaboration on their dairy. They appreciate the opportunity the collaborative gives them to connect with other dairy producers.

"You get into your own ways of doing things, and those are not always the best ways," Hammink says. "There are so many things you can change that will impact your milk production - I would say there are endless possibilities to make small improvements. By talking with other guys you always learn what things you want to do or change and what things you are doing that you should keep doing."

To learn more about how SDSU Dairy Extension supports South Dakota dairy producers, the I-29 Moo University Collaborative or to request a customized on-farm training from SDSU Extension staff in English or Spanish contact Erickson by email or Rovai by email.

Greg Moes operates a 2,000-head dairy near Goodwin.

Employee training is an on-going challenge, key to success. To make training consistent and effective, Maristela Rovai, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Dairy and Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist provide by request personalized individual trainings in English and Spanish. In this picture, skid load safety training is being provided.

Established as a multi-state learning community, the I-29 Moo University Collaboration connects extension dairy staff and dairy producers from North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska to share research, information and management practices through workshops and on-farm tours.

Wim Hammink co-owns Hammink Dairy LLC near Bruce with his wife, Nicolien and son, Tom. They employee 30 individuals. In addition to employee training and HR advice, the Hammink's have gained valuable information on balancing forage rations and calf health by working with the SDSU Extension dairy team and I-29 Moo University collaborating partners.

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Teens Learn About Water Quality Along the Missouri

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota teens ages 13 to 18, are invited to navigate the Missouri and learn about water quality during SDSU Extension and South Dakota 4-H Project WATER, held July 23-27.

"Water is a resource we all rely upon. This learning adventure gives youth hands on experience in canoeing, gathering water quality samples and an overall look at water quality in South Dakota," said Katherine Jaeger, SDSU Extension Youth Outdoor Education Field Specialist.

Project WATER (Watershed Assessment Through Environmental Research) will take teens down a stretch of the Missouri River during which they will test water quality at various sites.

Participants will receive instruction in canoe safety and camping, as well as additional lessons from SDSU Extension professionals on water quality testing, environmental indicators, and various uses of technology in environmental research.

SDSU Wellness Center will provide the necessary gear and safety for this venture.

Space is limited to 12

In its first year, Project WATER is limited to 12 youth. Enrollment in South Dakota 4-H is not required to participate. Registration will open on May 14, 2018 and will remain open until June 8. To register, visit the iGrow Events page.

To help cover costs, registration for Project WATER is $350 per participant and includes all meals and equipment.

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Keeping Horses Safe from Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)

Categorized: Livestock, Horse

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

In recent weeks, equine herpesvirus (EHV) infections have affected horses in South Dakota and the surrounding region.

These horses have been associated with travel to and from events such as rodeos where they have contact with numerous horses from a wide area.

While in general, herpesvirus infections in horses are not rare, this particular strain of the virus (the "neurologic" form) can cause severe and even fatal illnesses in those affected - this illness is sometimes referred to as "equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy" or EHM.

Like the other strains, the neurologic form of the virus is quite contagious and can easily be passed from horse to horse.

Horses affected with EHM show signs of illness that begin with fever and possibly some mild respiratory issues such as runny nose, sneezing, and cough.

Over the next several days, nervous system problems may develop. These signs may include incoordination, weakness or paralysis of one or more legs (which might look like lameness), muscle tremors, loss of tail and bladder function and, finally, an inability to rise.

Infected horses spread the EHV virus mostly through breathing and fluids from the nose and mouth.

Close contact with an infected horse is usually necessary for a horse to catch the virus, but buckets, halters and other tack can carry the virus from one horse to another.

An infected horse can be a source of infection even before they start showing serious signs of illness.

Horse owners can take steps to prevent EHM from affecting their horses:

  • During events, limit the horse's contact with other horses and equipment used by other horses.
  • When arriving home, keep the horse separate from other horses for a period of three weeks. This will allow for easier recognition of illness and will prevent the spread to horses that have remained at home. Limit person and equipment contact between the isolated horse and other horses. Avoid bringing the horse to events until after that time period has passed.
  • Clean and disinfect any equipment, tack or trailers that accompanied the horse to the event.
  • Keep horses up to date on routine preventive vaccines and parasite control.

While current "rhino" vaccines do not appear to protect against neurologic strains of EHV, preventing these other illnesses will prove valuable in restoring the health of a horse potentially affected with EHM.

In addition, all horse owners should obtain the necessary Certificates of Veterinary Inspection/health papers when horses cross state lines.

Certain horse events may require these papers regardless of the horse's origin. This practice not only ensures that horses showing early signs of illness do not travel and spread it to others, it also allows for officials to contact horse owners promptly if their horse has unknowingly been exposed to an EHV-infected horse.

When signs of EHM are suspected, a horse owner should promptly contact their veterinarian. Take care to isolate the affected horse from others as soon as possible, limit visitor traffic, and manage tack and equipment so other horses are not exposed. The veterinarian may take nasal swab samples for a diagnosis, but this is usually only successful early in the course of the disease.

There is no specific treatment or cure for EHM, so veterinarians will outline a course of supportive care. Despite these best efforts, in many horses, the disease progresses to the point where euthanasia is necessary.

For more information about EHM and your horse's health, contact your local veterinarian. The South Dakota Animal Industry Board website and SDSU Extension also have information about EHM.

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2018 S.D. Professional’s Range Camp

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota Professionals Range Camp will be held June 5-7, 2018 at the Lamphere Campground near Sturgis (East Hwy 34).

"This camp had its origins with the Ag Lender's Range Camp and has expanded its educational content to meet continuing education credit requirements for appraisers, assessors, realtors as well as undergraduate/graduate credits for agriculture educators and agriculture industry related professionals," explained David Ollila, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist and co-coordinator for the camp.

With rangelands covering approximately 50 percent of South Dakota, Ollila explained that rangelands are an important natural resource that impacts the economy of the state.

"Rangeland is a kind of land, not a land use," Ollilla said. "Rangeland is fragile, yet durable and resilient. Management profoundly impacts the rangeland forage productivity and its value for livestock, wildlife and humans."

The Professionals Range Camps seeks to educate attendees about the productive potential of the rangeland based on the ecological range site, the similarity index of the range plant composition and the management practices that will support sustainable multiple uses. 

Participants will be able to better determine the economic value of the rangelands as well as the production and conservation practices that will improve or sustain this precious resource.

Hands-on training

The camp's itinerary is designed to place participants on area ranches that will serve as case studies toward meeting the objectives of the program.

"Attendees will participate in hands-on activities that ranchers actually use to manage their rangelands and determine the appropriate livestock carrying capacity for the current year," Ollila said.

Regionally and nationally-recognized rangeland management professionals, practitioners and ranchers will present key messages and concepts that have been proven to promote and support rangeland forage production.

Activities are scheduled into the agenda to promote valuable networking opportunities and listening sessions will occur each evening with a question and answer period for invited panelists who can share years of rangeland management experience and strategic planning scenarios when implementing practices.

Registration details

For more information and to register, contact Dave Ollila by email or 605.394.1722.

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Five SD Youth Travel to DC to Attend National 4-H Conference

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota 4-H members from Day, Clark, Haakon/Jackson and Pennington Counties traveled to Washington DC to attend the National 4-H Conference this April.

"The trip to DC was life changing! I met new friends, saw national monuments and was able to work with other students from all over the US to present a topic that I was excited to speak about," said Sage Gabriel, a 4-H member from Haakon/Jackson Counties.

Other South Dakota 4-H members to travel with Gabriel include: Kayla Fischer, Day County; Emily Foiles, Clark County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County and Jaicee Williams, Pennington County.

The trip was sponsored and funded by the 4-H Livestock Industry Trust Fund.

More about the National 4-H Conference

The National 4-H Conference is a premier professional and leadership development event for 4-H members, ages 16 to 19, from across the U.S. and its territories.

The conference is administered by the National 4-H Headquarters of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Held annually, except for several years during World War II, the camp's mission is to assist in the development of the next generation's leaders. Delegates attend training workshops, become acquainted with government and have the opportunity to meet with state leaders.

During the conference, all participating youth attended several roundtables focused on the following topics:

  • Conservation: Department of Agriculture (USDA); Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Juveniles: Department of Justice (DOJ); Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Opioids: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); National Institute of Health (NIH); National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Preparedness: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD)
  • Social Media: Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Texting: Department of Transportation (DOT); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

South Dakota's youth also participated in the following workshops:

  • Revive Civility
  • Speaking for 4-H

"The people were great and the memories were even better. I will never forget about the trip that helped me realize that it doesn't matter how old you are to make a change in your community," said Jaicee Williams, a 4-H member from Pennington County.

The youth were selected to attend based on involvement in 4-H Citizenship and community service, and the leadership skills that they have developed through 4-H activities. To learn more about how you can become involved in South Dakota 4-H as a member or volunteer, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under the Field Staff Listing icon.

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.

South Dakota 4-H members from Day, Clark, Haakon/Jackson and Pennington Counties traveled to Washington DC to attend the National 4-H Conference this April.

South Dakota 4-H members and SDSU Extension staff who attended and are pictured here include: (left to right) Amanda Bachmann, SDSU Extension Pesticide Education & Urban Entomology Field Specialist; Emily Foiles, Day County; Connie Strunk, SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist; Jaicee Williams, Pennington County; Mary-Katherine Schlichte, Pennington County; SD Representative Kristi Noem; Kayla Fischer, Day County; SD Senator John Thune; Sage Gabriel, Haakon/Jackson Counties; Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director) and Amanda Stade, SDSU Extension State 4-H Events Management Coordinator.
 

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Collaborating for Research-Based Solutions

Categorized: Livestock, Profit Tips, Agronomy, Profit Tips, Healthy Families, Community Development, Gardens

By Lura Roti for SDSU Extension

Why was their potato crop destroyed by disease some years, and other years produced a bumper crop?

As a young child growing up on his family's diversified farm in Uganda, Africa, this unanswered question frustrated Emmanuel Byamukama. It also sparked an interest in agricultural research which eventually led to his career as a South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

"Research is fascinating," explains Byamukama, who works in all areas of SDSU's land grant mission - teaching, research and extension. "It gives me a lot of joy and job satisfaction when I am able to help farmers. Through SDSU Extension we provide growers with research-based, unbiased information so they can make decisions on what practices they want to implement."

To provide research-based information, Byamukama, like all SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources staff, works closely with the team at the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at SDSU (SDSU AES).

"No one person can do everything. Because of the collaborative relationship SDSU Extension has with SDSU AES, together we can address problems, develop applicable solutions and share them with growers," Byamukama says.

Currently, Byamukama is collaborating with a team of AES agronomists, along with computer scientists and mathematicians from SDSU's Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering, to develop a tool South Dakota soybean growers can use to protect their fields from white mold.

The research is driven by concerns pouring in from numerous South Dakota soybean growers who annually lose yields and profits because they are unable to effectively treat the white mold fungus.

And, the products are not to blame. The issue is due to treatment timing. In order to be effective, fungicide needs to be applied at flowering, before any indication of a white mold attack.

White mold is a devastating, difficult-to-treat disease, Byamukama explains, because the first visual signs of the fungus in a field are dead soybean plants. However, because a white mold attack is triggered by specific weather conditions, researchers have found that there are environmental predictors which can be used to forecast the probability of white mold.

Through multi-season field analyses conducted in farmers' fields and in SDSU AES test plots, as well as weather data collected in the same locations, Byamukama and the SDSU team are developing white mold prediction models.

Once perfected, the anticipated result will be an online tool that allows farmers to determine whether or not a fungicide application is necessary. And, if it is necessary, the tool will let farmers know when to apply a fungicide.

"This information will help growers protect their soybean yields and, ultimately, become more profitable and sustainable," Byamukama says.

This research project is just one of many examples of the effective working relationship between SDSU Extension and SDSU AES, explains Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director.

"This collaboration is the land grant mission at work," Trautman says. "For more than a century, SDSU Extension has served as the communications conduit providing applicable information, based on research conducted at the university, research stations and elsewhere, to South Dakotans who need it."

Because of the grassroots nature of SDSU Extension, many research projects underway at SDSU AES are initiated in the same way as the white mold research, explains Bill Gibbons, Interim Director, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at South Dakota State University and Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

"SDSU Extension staff work closely with South Dakotans. Our SDSU Extension team has long been relied upon as a trusted source for information. So, many times, they are the first to learn of issues producers are encountering in the field. If the research is not already available, our extension staff come to the AES team for that research," Gibbons says.

Local research, like that conducted on stations and in farmers' farms across the state by SDSU Extension and AES staff is invaluable, says Byamukama, again referencing the white mold research.

"Because pathogens and environment are location-specific, the conditions that are here in South Dakota would not be the same as those found in Iowa, Minnesota or any other state. To solve local problems, we need to have access to local research," Byamukama explains.

Byamukama and the SDSU AES team will continue to collect data and test white mold prediction models throughout the 2018 growing season, field-test the system in 2019, in hopes that South Dakota farmers can begin to use the online tool growing season 2020.

To learn more about how SDSU Extension serves South Dakotans, visit iGrow. To learn more about SDSU AES, visit the SDSU Ag Experiment Station webpage.

Courtesy of iGrow. Currently, Emmanuel Byamukama, South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist is collaborating with a team of S.D. AES agronomists, along with computer scientists and mathematicians from the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering at SDSU to develop a tool South Dakota soybean growers can use to protect their soybean fields from white mold.

The research is driven by concerns pouring in from numerous South Dakota soybean growers who annually lose yields and profits because they are unable to effectively treat the fungus.

Courtesy of iGrow. "Research is fascinating," explains Emmanuel Byamukama, South Dakota State University Assistant Professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathologist.

Byamukama works in all areas of SDSU's land grant mission - teaching, research and outreach. "It gives me a lot of joy and job satisfaction when I am able to help farmers. Through extension we provide growers with research-based, unbiased information so they can make the decisions on what practices they want to implement."

Pictured here during a field day at an Agricultural Experiment Station research farm at SDSU.

Courtesy of iGrow. Karla Trautman, SDSU Extension Interim Director

Courtesy of iGrow. Bill Gibbons, Interim Director, South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station at South Dakota State University and Interim Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences.

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Youth Hazardous Occupation Safety Training in Agriculture (HOSTA)

Categorized: 4-H & Youth, Youth Development

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Youth planning to work on a farm or ranch this summer are encouraged to attend one of four Hazardous Occupations Safety Training for Agriculture (HOSTA) courses hosted by SDSU Extension this summer.

The HOSTA programs aims to help teach those young employees about the dangers associated with working on the farm and ranch.

"The agricultural industry is the only industry in the U.S. that allows youth under the age of 16 to be legal employees. Because this in an industry using equipment that can be unsafe, we encourage youth to be aware of risks and take these courses," said John Keimig, SDSU Extension Youth Safety Field Specialist.

The 2018 HOSTA courses will be held May 24-25 in Winner, June 5-6 in Aberdeen, June 7-8 in Clear Lake and June 12-13 in Rapid City.

The trainings will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first day at both locations and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second day. Lunch is provided to all participants.

Registration is required

A test will be held the second day, those passing the test will receive certification. The written exam covers 48 core task sheets. The test must be passed with a minimum of 70 percent in order for the participant to advance to the driving portion of the training.

The trainings this year are being offered in a format that all youth, ages 12 to 18 are welcome the first day. We encourage them to attend to learn the information, if they are working on their families farm/ranch.

Only youth ages 14 to15 will be able to go through the entire course and gain certification to work on a farm/ranch not owned by their family. Those age 16 and over, do not need to certify to work off their family's enterprise.

A minimum of 10 participants are required for each location. Please sign up early. Each location will evaluate attendance the week before the event and inform participants if there are changes.

Upon registration, participants will be sent a training manual. This will also include a list of the information that the students will be responsible for before arriving on site as part of the independent study portion of training.

Registration is due three days prior to each event. To register, visit iGrow Events page, search by event date.

Attend Because It's the Law

Since 1969, the United States Department of Labor has declared many agricultural tasks to be hazardous to youth younger than 16. Currently, the law states that any individual who is ages 14 to 15-years-old must be trained on the safe operation of tractors, farm machinery and other hazardous activities in the agricultural industry.

One exception to the rule is youth who are employed on their home farm. When youth reach 16 years of age this law no longer applies to their employment.

Program details

The National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program is a project the United States Department of Agriculture Research, Education and Extension Service's HOSTA Program.

HOSTA was developed to respond to the need for resources to inform and support the Youth Farm Safety Education and Certification Regulation, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The training consists of independent study as well as hands-on participation and classroom instruction.

Independent study materials will be sent to youth ages 14 to 18. SDSU Extension personnel will be coordinating the training.

A registration fee is required to cover the cost of participation and materials. Fees vary depending on the participant's age. Each age group will receive different class materials: youth, ages 12 to 13 will receive the manual; youth, ages 14 to 15 will receive a manual and certification if they pass the written and driving test and youth, ages 16 to 18 not receive any materials because certification is not required.

If you have questions, questions on HOSTA training for Agriculture, please contact Keimig at 605.688.4167 or by email

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Results of Forage Binding Survey

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Profit Tips, Sheep, Agronomy, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - What type of forage binding material do livestock producers in the Upper Midwest prefer? And, what are the impacts if livestock consumer these materials?

Looking for answers to these commonly asked questions, SDSU Extension recently completed a survey on forage binding materials. "The goal of this survey was to evaluate producer preference for forage binding materials, feeding methods and impact of binding material on livestock performance," explained Taylor Grussing, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist.

Various types of net wrap or twine are used by livestock producers in the Upper Midwest who feed bound forages.

The survey was conducted online with QuestionPro Survey Software. Producers were asked to participate through iGrow, South Dakota State University websites, social media, email lists and news releases.

The results of this survey will be utilized by SDSU Extension staff for programming purposes and as they continue to pursue research on management practices to reduce negative impacts of binding consumption on livestock health and performance.

Results

The survey was completed by 548 livestock producers across the country, including the following:

  • 80 percent - beef cow/calf producers
  • 5 percent - beef feedlot producers
  • 2.5 percent - dairy producers
  • 2 percent - sheep producers

Of those surveyed, 67 percent prefer net wrap, 26 percent of producers prefer twine and 6 percent use both net wrap and twine to bind forage.

Removal methods

The survey showed livestock producers implement a variety of removal methods based on feeding methods.

"By assessing forage binding material preferences and likelihood of removing these prior to feeding, incidence of consumption and possible accumulation might be determined," Grussing explained.

Results of the survey showed the following:

  • 54 percent - remove net wrap or twine before feeding whole bales (in bale feeder or on the ground)
  • 11 percent - remove net wrap or twine prior to grinding or processing bales
  • 24 percent - do not remove net wrap or twine prior to feeding whole bales or processing bales
  • 11 percent - sometimes remove binding material before feeding bales to livestock

Other observations:

  1. When binding materials were not removed prior to feeding, 46 percent of respondents observed livestock eating binding materials that remain on the ground.
  2. Even when forages are processed with binding materials still in place, long strands of plastic material can be found and when consumed by livestock can accumulate in the rumen.

30 percent of survey participants believe consuming net wrap may be leading cause of death

"Research shows that long-term feeding of forages, without prior removal of binding material, can cause rumen accumulation and pose challenges to livestock health," Grussing said.
In fact, 41 respondents found net wrap/ twine accumulation during a postmortem exam and 30 percent of respondents believe binding materials may be a leading cause of death on their farms and ranches. 

Symptoms of net wrap impaction reported by livestock producers include reduced feed intake and depressed performance.

"Overall annual average death loss on cow/calf operations is 2 percent," said Grussing.

She explained that if a greater occurrence is observed, livestock producers should contact their local veterinarian to conduct postmortem exams upon mortalities and examine animals for binding material accumulation in the G.I. tract.

Future Implications

Based on the results of this survey, livestock health and performance are negatively impacted when forage binding materials (net wrap and twine) are consumed.

"The obvious solution is to remove all binding prior to feeding bound forages to livestock. Yet, the constraints of increased labor and feed waste are realistic obstacles that livestock producers face when making the decision to remove binding," Grussing said.

While there are sisal and solar biodegradable binding options, the survey also showed that 86 percent of respondents would be interested in a digestible net wrap/ twine product - if it was cost effective, of equal strength to conventional binding and environmentally stable.

Overall, 58 percent of respondents are interested in learning the best management practices for feeding bound forages to livestock.

Consider this

With haying season soon arriving, Grussing encouraged forage producers to consider alternatives in binding materials as well as ways to minimize binding accumulation by implementing the following:

  1. Potentially decrease the number of wraps per bale;
  2. Use a smaller screen size when grinding hay; or
  3. Remove binding prior to feeding/ processing hay

To learn more about this topic, future programming on this topic or to provide your own comments, contact Taylor Grussing by email or 605.995.7378.
 

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Livestock Environmental Training Workshop

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Horse, Land, Water & Wildlife, Pork, Sheep, Reports to Partners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - An environmental training session for operators of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), is set for June 27, 2018 in Huron at the Crossroads Convention Center (100 Fourth St. S.W.).

Pre-registration is required and is due by May 22, 2018. To register, visit the iGrow events page. To cover the cost of the event, registration is $50 and includes lunch, breaks and training materials. The program begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Specialists from SDSU Extension, the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are offering the training.

"Past attendees of this program have come away with at least one new practice they consider adopting related to land application, livestock feeding, air quality or soil conservation," said Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

Training fulfills permitting requirements

In the Spring of 2017, the S.D. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources reissued the General Water Pollution Control Permit for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

The new permit requires existing permitted operations to obtain coverage under the proposed permit between one to four years after the General Permit is issued.

One of the proposed permit conditions for existing permitted operations is that an onsite representative attends an approved environmental training program within the last three years prior to obtaining a new permit. Also, if the person who attended training no longer works at the operation, another representative must attend training within one year.

This current training program meets the training requirement of the proposed permit as long as it is attended within three years of obtaining coverage under the new permit.

Manure applicators, producers and any other interested individuals who are not currently applying for a permit can also benefit from the information and are encouraged to attend.

Certified Crop Advisor credits are available as well.

Speaker line-up & presentation details

  • John McMaine, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer will discuss water quality.
  • Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist will lead a session on livestock nutrition options for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus content of manure.
  • Jason Roggow, a natural resources engineer with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will give an overview of the South Dakota DENR Livestock Permit program.
  • Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, will discuss managing nitrogen and phosphorus in land applications of manure.
  • Jason Gilb, Conservation Agronomist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will go through nutrient management planning worksheets.
  • John Lentz, Resource Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will cover implementing conservation practices to improve sustainability.
  • Nathan Jones, State Soil Scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, will demonstrate soil erosion and infiltration.
  • Bob Thaler, Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist, will conclude the day's training with a session on air quality and odor.

For more information, contact Bob Thaler, SDSU Extension Swine Specialist by email or 605.688.5435 or John McMaine, SDSU Extension Water Management Engineer by email or 605.688.5610.

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SDSU Dairy Teams Receive Top Finishes

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota State University Dairy Products Judging Team and Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team had noteworthy finishes at their respective competitions this spring. The Dairy Products Judging Team won the national championship at the 2018 Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest. The Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team placed seventh at the 17th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge®.

“The students’ hard work over the course of the year shows in their performance,” said Dairy and Food Science Department Head Vikram Mistry. “Our coaches and their assistants are passionate about these programs and provide students excellent direction and education. These two program reflect the unique offerings of the department, providing opportunities from farm to product.”

Dairy Products Judging Team

The 2018 Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest was held on April 18, 2018, in Milwaukee, Wis. A total of 49 undergraduate and graduate contestants from 15 universities in the U.S. participated in the contest.

Team members were Anna Hemenway, Huron, S.D.; Greg Reeter, Volga, S.D.; Megan Struss, New Ulm, Minn.; Ahmed Hammam, Assiut, Egypt. Lloyd Metzger, SDSU Professor of Dairy Science and Alfred Chair in Dairy Education, and Bennet Baker, SDSU student, served as coaches.

At the national contest, the team placed first in butter, ice cream and yogurt, second in milk and fourth in cottage cheese and Cheddar cheese. Struss was also the top overall judge, receiving the Robert Rosenbaum Award.

The team also competed in the 2018 Midwest Regional Collegiate Dairy Products Judging Contest on April 7, 2018 in Coopersville, Mich. They placed first in All Products and Hemenway achieved second overall.

"The team did exceptionally well," Metzger said. "Dairy products judging teaches the students to identify flavor and quality defects in six different dairy products. This critical skill helps manufacturers produce products that have the desired taste and texture, as well as helping to quickly identify and correct problems that can occur during the manufacturing process."

In dairy products judging, students evaluate the appearance, texture and flavor of milk, butter, Cheddar cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cottage cheese. Members of the judging team often obtain a position in quality control or manufacturing and they use their product judging skills to identify issues and improve the quality of dairy products.

According to Mistry, students from SDSU have been competing in dairy products judging since the beginning of the judging program in 1916. SDSU has won the national championship nine out of the last 10 years and 24 times in the 96-year history of the contest.

Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team

The Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge Team participated in the 17th Annual North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge® (NAIDC) held April 12-14 in Visalia, Calif. The SDSU team placed seventh overall at the national contest. 

The team consisted of Olivia Bartel, New London, Wis.; Kelli Berger, Lake Benton, Minn.; Caleb Blaisdell, Starbuck, Minn.; Audrey Souza, Milbank, S.D. Melissa Schmitt, Assistant Manager at the SDSU Dairy Research and Training Facility served as coach. Students Chelsea Schossow and Jacob Weg were assistant coaches.

“Participating in Dairy Challenge gives students a great opportunity to not only use the knowledge learned in class, but also to gain hands-on experience in evaluating a dairy farm,” Schmitt said. “This program is very beneficial to be involved in, as it helps to better understand the economics of running a dairy business and what it takes to be a successful dairy farmer.”

In total, 235 students from 38 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada attended this educational event. Participants visited six dairy farms in California as part of their training to help farmers evaluate and adapt management to optimize success and animal care. Also, industry professionals presented cutting-edge research, new programs and career opportunities to students.

Each contest team received information from an area dairy, including production and farm management data. After an in-person inspection of the dairy, students interviewed the herd owners. Each team developed a farm analysis and recommendations for nutrition, reproduction, milking procedures, animal health, housing and financial management.

The event culminated with team members presenting recommendations and then fielding questions from a panel of judges. These official judges included dairy producers and industry experts in dairy finances, reproduction, nutrition and animal health. Judges evaluated presentations for accuracy of analysis and recommendations, with awards presented at a final banquet.

According to Mistry, SDSU students have been competing in the Dairy Challenge event since 2003.

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 newly renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to which is the new state of the art Davis Dairy Plant. The South Dakota State University dairy farm 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. Learn more at the Dairy and Food Science webpage.

Photo 1: Dairy Products Judging – Left to Right: Coach Lloyd Metzger, Anna Hemenway, Gregory Reeter, Megan Struss, Ahmed Hammam, Assistant Coach Bennet Baker.

Photo 2: Dairy Challenge – Left to Right: Coach Melissa Schmitt, Assistant Coach Jacob Weg, Olivia Bartel, Kelli Berger, Audrey Souza, Caleb Blaisdell, Assistant Coach Chelsea Schossow. 

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Livestock Windbreak Design Principles and Resources

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Dairy, Pork, Sheep

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Windbreaks, both constructed and planted, can improve conditions for livestock in windy and cold conditions.

"Windbreaks increase the effective temperature that an animal is exposed to during cold weather, keeping them comfortable, more efficient users of feed, and at a lower risk of cold stress which can lead to disease," explained Joe Darrington (former SDSU Extension Livestock Environment Associate).

What to consider when installing a windbreak

The main considerations of windbreak design are windbreak height, orientation, length and density.

Height: Windbreak height is the highest point on the structure or tallest row of trees.

Generally, the protected zone of the windbreak will extend out 10 to 15 times the height of the windbreak with a 50 percent reduction in wind-speed.

Figure 1 shows a conservative example of the protected area calculation for a windbreak.

Orientation: Orientation of the windbreak is ideally perpendicular to the cold winter wind.

"Given that wind patterns fluctuate around the state, wind roses can be used to evaluate the frequency of wind direction in your area," Darrington said.

Wind roses can be found on the SD Mesonet website at this link: https://climate.sdstate.edu/tools/windrose/windrose.shtm.

Length: Windbreak length is the uninterrupted distance between roads or paths through the trees.

Ideally, Darrington explained the ratio of windbreak length and tree/windbreak height is 10 to one. Which means, that to develop a full protected zone, a 10-foot tall windbreak should be 100-feet long.

Density: Density is the ratio or fraction of solid space in relation to total space.

"Density impacts the effectiveness of a windbreak by controlling how much wind blows through the windbreak versus blowing over the windbreak," Darrington said.

He explained that the denser the windbreak the greater the initial reduction in wind speed. But, the wind speed increases faster on the downwind side of the windbreak which decreases the protected area.

Additionally, very dense shelterbelts and solid fences create a larger negative pressure area just behind the windbreak. This causes snow to build up in large drifts.

The target for livestock windbreak density is 60-80%. Figure 1. is a conservative example of the protected area calculation for a windbreak.

Constructing windbreaks

Windbreaks can be built to be mobile or permanent.

"The biggest considerations to take into account are the wind load that the structure needs to withstand and the density of the windbreak," Darrington said.

Wind load: Wind pressure loads for a 10-foot-high windbreak can exceed 20 pounds per square foot if winds exceed 85 miles per hour.

"This means that for a solid windbreak (most extreme condition) with posts in the ground every 10-feet, the wind can exert more than 2,000 pounds of force on each post," he explained.

Posts of diameter 8-inches or greater, with underground portion below the frost line (3 to 5-feet depending on location) should be adequate in permanent systems.

In mobile systems, the base needs to be broad enough and heavy enough not to tip over - or move.

Figure 2 is an example of a mobile wind break that is used at the SDSU Cow-Calf Education and Research Facility.

"An important note is that mobile systems connect together and can be set up to create a corner which provides greater protection for multiple wind directions and reinforces each individual section," Darrington said.

Density: The density of the windbreak is important to control to increase the size of the protected area, reduce the physical load on the windbreak, and limit snow drift formation on the downwind side.

To target 80 percent density measure the width of the solid material you are using for the windbreak panels, and divide by 0.80, this will give you the center to center spacing that you need to reach 80% density. See Figure 2.2 for equation and example.

Planting windbreaks

When planting windbreaks the principles described above still apply, but Darrington said we have less control over the growth characteristics of the plants regarding density.

"Density is controlled by the types of shrubs and trees planted, their spacing, and how many rows are used," he explained.

Coniferous trees maintain their leaves throughout the winter and improve the winter time density. Deciduous trees lose their leaves and provide less density in the winter time.

"A benefit of living shelterbelts is that they can provide significant snow storage capacity, especially if they are wide; this can also be a detriment however if there is inadequate drainage out of the shelterbelt in the spring thaw," Darrington said.

Shelter belt sizing

When sizing a shelterbelt, Darrington said it is important to determine how many head will be in the pasture at one time through the winter. Multiply by the amount of space per head depending on how much space you would like to give them.

"Remember, the less space, the greater the likelihood of muddy conditions in spring," Darrington said.

Once the desired area is determined, you can calculate the planting length required using the equation found in Figure 2.3.

Other considerations

Roads, feed alleys and cattle alleys should never be less than 75 feet downwind of a shelterbelt, or 50 feet upwind, as snow accumulation and storage usually occurs within these areas and could cause unnecessary snow blowing/moving duties.

If you have any questions or comments contact Darrington by email.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2: Windbreaks, both constructed and planted, can improve conditions for livestock in windy and cold conditions.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 1 Target density should be between 60-80 percent for wind protection, and that width and species selection determine density in planted windbreaks.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2.2: Using 1 x 8's for the windbreak we find a spacing of 9.0625 inches. Feel free to round up or down to the nearest quarter inch, if rounding up the density is 78 percent, if down the density is 80.5 percent. Which means that between each board there will be a 1.75-2 inch space.

Courtesy of iGrow. Figure 2.3 Use this equation to determine the length of a windbreak based on desired protected area.

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SDSU Professors Collaborate to Publish Conservation Biology Book

Categorized: Livestock, Agronomy, Land, Water & Wildlife

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Experience from 30 years of work led two South Dakota State University professors to collaborate with other experts in conservation biology to publish a book titled, “Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations.”

“Climate change has created potentially disruptive situations which means we have to learn to manage many plants and animal populations,” Charles Fenster, professor in the Department of Biology and Microbiology at SDSU, said. “One example is that certain species found on the tops of mountains in the American southwest hundreds of years ago are now found in places such as the Black Hills. Species have evolved to adapt to changing conditions. The alternative is that they become extinct.”

Work on the book started in 2011. The book provides valuable insight into how management of fragmented plant and animal populations can improve through practical applications of conservation biology. Whether to maintain genetic isolation is a major issue for managers of wild animal and plant populations.

Fenster and Michele R. Dudash joined others to co-author the book. Dudash is a professor and Head of the Department of Natural Resource Management in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences. She is a population biologist. Her research focuses on both the ecological and genetic factors responsible for a population's persistence or demise in nature.

Fenster developed an early interest in population dynamics and genetics. He has focused on the conservation of biodiversity, which this book represents. His current work focuses on the origin of genetic diversity through the study of mutations.

Dudash and Fenster are experts in the field of inbreeding and documenting the consequences of crosses to alleviate inbreeding. They have worked at various locations across the United States, earning respect for their research and developing relationships with other scientists conducting similar work. They accepted positions at SDSU in Brookings in 2015 and have continued to collaborate with experts in their field.

The work of the couple led them to join forces with Richard Frankham, Emeritus Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia and Jonathan D. Ballou, Scientist Emeritus, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Institution and others.

Frankham encouraged them to develop a paper on the subject of genetic management and that idea grew into the fundamental premise for this book. That original work has been cited over 300 times since 2011, providing the foundation for the book which called on the talents of this group of authors.

The value of the book comes from its use as a tool to teach conservation biology, conservation genetics, and wildlife management, Dudash said. The authors predict that between 3,000 and 5,000 copies of the textbook will provide the basis for upper level graduate students to understand the fundamentals of managing populations for the future. 

By making people aware of the impact of changes, habitat can be restored. This is what is happening with the Dakota skipper butterfly.

“We need to get the word out and try to actively manage populations or we let the situation continue and watch the species disappear,” Dudash said. “There are many populations that have adapted to their environments. Thus there is some fear about introducing genetic variation from populations that are hundreds of miles away.”

Fenster said prairie chickens thrive in the Midwest. However, in Illinois, the grassland environment where the prairie chickens occur have been replaced by fields of corn and soybeans. Consequently, the few remaining populations are isolated from one another as they exist in similarly isolated patches of prairie. There has been very little hatching success in that area, leading to fewer and fewer birds, likely associated with loss of vigor following mating between relatives. Introducing genotypes from another state restored genetic diversity and hatching success improved. The authors indicate that same dilemma is increasing and is faced by tens of thousands of species. “We are not advocating for a change in farming practices,” Dudash said. “We want to create an awareness of what is happening and why it happens. “

Dudash and Fenster point out in the book that inbreeding difficulties with wildlife can be understood by looking at the selective breeding that takes place in cattle herds. If animals are too closely related, deformities such as dwarfism can result. Another example would be the concern about dogs developing hip problems and genetic abnormalities that occur at puppy mills.

Fenster said outbreeding depression can occur as a consequence of animals that are brought together from different areas in an effort to maintain the integrity of species. The offspring of that union may perform less well than the individual parents. However, the book demonstrates that even if mixing is at first deleterious, populations can recover and eventually thrive. It’s an important paradigm shift in thought.

Collaborating on the book has been very rewarding, Dudash said. “We have worked as a team to write and edit every chapter to make sure it is intellectually engaging and reader-friendly. It has been a wonderful experience to meet and learn from others in this field.”

“We are proud to be associated with SDSU and South Dakota,” Dudash said. “People know we are a resource. To get started on proposing sound genetic management decisions, we first had to pin down a definition of what is a species for conservation. There are more than two dozen definitions of what is a species. We needed to identify a practical definition. Thus we wrote a paper on this topic, which has been adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and cited over 100 times since 2012. That work has been incredibly impactful at the global scale, impacting management around the world, which is pretty exciting.”

Next chapter

“We are in the process of working on a second book, which will be more a primer focused at individuals who are actively engaged in the management of species and their habitat,” Fenster said. “The work can apply to many systems in South Dakota. An example would be the Badlands and need to manage the habitat for the black-footed ferret. The book will provide the fundamental principles with recommendations for managers. It will provide specific ideas, much like a cookbook."

SDSU Professors Dr. Charles Fenster, left and Dr. Michele Dudash collaborated on the “Genetic Management of Fragmented Animal and Plant Populations” book.

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USDA Margin Protection Program Changes

Categorized: Livestock, Dairy

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The I-29 Moo-University Extension collaboration along with the Minnesota Milk, South Dakota Dairy Producers, Iowa State Dairy Association, Nebraska State Dairy Association and the North Dakota Livestock Alliance, are hosting a webinar May 2, 2018 11:30 a.m. (CST) to help dairy producers understand changes made to the Margin Protection Program (MPP) by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which were signed into law on February 9, 2018.

These changes included a new signup for 2018 which began April 9, 2018 and will end on June 1, 2018.

Webinar details

The webinar will feature Marin Bozic, University of Minnesota Assistant Professor in Dairy Foods Marketing Economics.

To register for the webinar visit their online registration. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

More on changes

"It is important to note that the new MPP signup allows producers to make new elections for 2018, even if you had previously signed up that are now retro-active back to January 1, 2018," said Tracey Erickson, SDSU Extension Dairy Field Specialist.

Erickson also encourages producers to note that if they previously elected coverage for 2018 they must now make a new election or they will not have coverage in 2018.

"Producers will need to register and complete form CCC-782, along with electing a coverage level if they want coverage for 2018. Additionally, a $100 administrative fee will be assessed unless a qualified waiver is available," she explained.

Changes to the Milk Protection Program include the following:

  • Revised premium costs for Tier 1 levels
  • Tier 1 volume was increased from 4 to 5 million pounds
  • Indemnities are now determined monthly
  • There is an exemption for the administrative fee for limited resource, beginning, veteran, and disadvantaged producers. Dairy operators who were enrolled previous to 2018 and paid the administrative fee may request a refund if they qualify for this exemption.

For additional information about the Dairy Milk Protection Program visit the USDA's web information page or to access the Margin Protection Program Decision Tool aid go to the FSA website.

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2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener Training

Categorized: Gardens, Master Gardeners

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The registration deadline for summer 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training classes is May 19.

To become a Master Gardener, trainees must attend eight days of hands-on classroom training that will be held one day per week for eight weeks in three cities in South Dakota this summer. Supplemental training information will be available online for individuals to review. This year SDSU Extension also has a new SD Extension Master Gardener training manual.

"This gives us a chance to directly interact with the Extension Master Gardener trainees and for them to get to know each other as well as other Extension Master Gardeners that are already in their area of the state," said David Graper, SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist & Master Gardener Program Coordinator.

The 2018 Master Gardener training class will cover botany, plant care and identification, soils, vegetable and fruit production, weed management, composting, integrated pest management, working as a Master Gardener and much more.

Huron, Pierre and Rapid City sites for 2018 Master Gardener Training

The hands-on training sites for 2018 are Huron, Pierre and Rapid City. Participants may attend any of the three sites; the topics presented each week will be repeated in all three sites that week.

The first class will include picking up their training manual and learning the log-in procedure to access the online material. Trainees will need access to a computer or tablet and an email address to access the online material.

All classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time.

The training dates are:

Huron: (Tuesdays) June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24 and July 31.
Pierre: (Wednesdays) June 6, 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25 and August 1.
Rapid City: (Thursdays) June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26 and August 2.

Registration deadline is May 19, 2018

To register for the 2018 SDSU Extension Master Gardener training complete the online application found at this link: Register Today at the iGrow Events page.

The class fee is $250 for individuals that commit to becoming SDSU Extension Master Gardeners.

To become an Extension Master Gardener, individuals must first become an intern.

Individuals must complete the course and pass the online final exam with a minimum of 80 percent. As an intern, they must then provide 50 hours of volunteer service back to the people of South Dakota over the next two years and report those activities using SDSU Extension online Volunteer Reporting System, to become a full-fledged Extension Master Gardener.

The fee for the course to obtain a Certificate of Recognition without the volunteer commitment is $600.

"This is a great option for individuals to receive the training for their own education or to better prepare them to work in the field of horticulture," Graper said.

In both cases, the fee includes access to the online training materials, a resource manual and the hands-on classes.

Having trouble registering? Contact the Master Gardener program by email or call 605.782.3290.

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Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers Program

Categorized: Livestock, Beef, Profit Tips

BROOKINGS, S.D. - North and South Dakota livestock producers are encouraged to participate in the Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program co-hosted by SDSU Extension and NDSU Extension.

Launched in 2017, theCattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers program is designed to help livestock operations gain a clear understanding of their herd's mineral needs and how to make significant changes, if necessary, to improve herd performance.

"Participants who took full advantage of the program last year were able to make changes to their mineral program to improve the overall health of their cattle," said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist. "A balanced mineral nutrition program is key to optimizing cattle health and reproduction. If there is an imbalance or deficiency cattle may not perform as desired."

Program details

Cattle Mineral Nutrition for Producers is an intense program and class size is limited to 30 operations; 15 in each state.

To register, visit the iGrow Events page. Registration will be open until May 21, 2018 or until all tickets are sold out.

The dates and locations for the first classes are below:

Dickinson, North Dakota training will be held May 24, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT) at the Dickinson Research Extension Center Ranch Headquarters near Manning (11090 15th ST SW Manning, ND 58642).

Lowry, South Dakota training will be held May 25, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) at Rock Hills Ranch near Lowry (30872 143rd Street Lowry, SD 57472).

Due to the nature of the program, we encourage two people to participate per operation. To help cover expenses, registration is provided at a reduced rate of $150 per operation thanks to the following sponsors:

  1. Gold sponsors: Micronutrients (a Nutreco Company) and CHS Nutrition
  2. Silver sponsors: South Dakota Grassland Coalition and Ward Laboratories, Inc.

This investment provides participants with materials, one free forage mineral analysis, a ranch visit, and lunch at both trainings.

What to expect

The program consists of a one-day training in May, followed by sample collection and ranch visits during the summer and a final, one-day training this coming fall.

During the first class, participants can expect the following:

  1. Learn the basics of mineral nutrition and mineral delivery options;
  2. Determine how animal grazing behavior can affect mineral intake;
  3. Receive training on proper forage, feed and water sampling techniques; and
  4. Learn about tools to monitor mineral consumption.

The May session will equip producers to evaluate their current mineral program to determine if it is meeting their herd's nutritional needs or if modifications are needed.

Tools will be provided to monitor mineral consumption throughout the summer to determine whether cattle are consuming mineral at the appropriate level.

Presenters will also provide some tips and tricks to help with consumption challenges.

Throughout the summer, SDSU and NDSU Extension personnel will conduct ranch visits to focus on specific needs of each producer.

During the fall session, participants will gain an understanding of applied components of mineral nutrition. These include; interpreting and utilizing forage analysis, reading a mineral tag, understanding mineral sources (i.e. inorganic, organic, and hydroxy), and determining how the mineral can meet the cow's requirements.

Professionals in the field and producers who have established mineral programs, will share the impact balanced mineral programs have had on animal health and operation finances.

For more information

For more information about the program or to be added to a waiting list for future programs, contact Adele Harty at 605.394.1722 or by email or Janna Kincheloe at 701.567.4323 or by email.

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Regional Swine Symposium May 22 in Brookings

Categorized: Livestock, Pork

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The North Central Extension & Research Activity (NCERA-57) Swine Reproductive Physiology Committee will be hosting a Regional Swine Symposium May 22, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Animal Science complex on the campus of South Dakota State University, (1097 N. Campus Drive).

Working as a multistate effort, the NCERA-57 committee comprises a diverse group of research and extension scientists with expertise across a broad spectrum of reproductive biology in domestic food animals.

"Members of the NCERA-57 committee have had major impacts on understanding of reproductive biology in swine as a focus but also produce results that impact other domestic farm species," explained Ryan Samuel, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Swine Specialist.

During the symposium, speakers representing academia, industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will share their thoughts on pertinent and emerging challenges facing the swine industry, and particularly reproduction.

Topics to be covered include:

  • An update on diseases impacting the swine industry;
  • Uterine prolapses and swine mortality;
  • Pre-weaning survival with normal and large litters and failure of the first parity female to return to estrus.

The event will conclude with tours of the new Swine Education and Research Facility. These tours will utilize the facilities' viewing windows which allow visitors to view modern hog production without having to shower into the facility.

Registration is requested

Thanks to sponsorships, this event is offered at no cost. However, because lunch is provided, registration is requested.

To register, visit wthe iGrow events page. At registration, a complete schedule and sponsor list will be available.

For more information, contact Jeff Clapper, SDSU Professor of Animal Science at 605.688.5417 or by email.

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State 4-H Leaders Sponsor Financial Assistance

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - The South Dakota 4-H Leader's Association annually sponsors financial assistance for youth wanting to attend 4-H summer camp programs.

"The South Dakota 4-H Leaders are proud to sponsor these scholarships each year. The yearly camps allow youth to meet new friends, experience new culture, learn new things, and have a lot of fun," said Donna Bittiker (former SDSU Extension State 4-H Program Director)

The many opportunities include: 4-H Camp at Lake Poinsett; 4-H camp at Camp Bob Marshall near Custer; Performing Arts Camp in Aberdeen and the Teen Leadership Conference in Brookings.

Thanks to the generous support of the South Dakota 4-H Leader's Association 4-H members can apply for $25 in financial assistance to attend 4-H Camp at Lake Poinsett or Bob Marshall or $50 for participation in Teen Leadership Conference or Performing Arts Camp.

When 4-H members apply for scholarships, they agree to share their camp experiences with one local group if they attend 4-H Camp or two local groups if they attend Teen Leadership Camp or Performing Arts participants.

"Participants can share their 4-H club or a civic group," Bittiker explained.

Participants will receive their scholarship after they submit their application.

Scholarship application details

Scholarship application forms are due by December 31, 2018. Forms can be found online.

The registration deadlines for the summer opportunities are drawing near.

Please follow these steps:

Step 1: Register for the 2018 camp and pay the full camp fee.

Step 2: Attend camp

Step 3: Tell a group about camp

  • For the $25 4-H Camp scholarship one group
  • For the $50 Teen Leadership Camp or Performing Arts Camp scholarship, two groups.

Step 4: Complete the camp assistance/scholarship application form complete with necessary signatures and
submit to the South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association.

Step 5: All youth who complete all steps will receive scholarship within 2 weeks of its receipt.

The South Dakota 4-H Leaders Association raises these funds for scholarships through two State Fair dances held Saturday and Sunday night during S.D. State Fair and through the sale of 4-H attire at the Leaders Booth in Nordby Hall during State Fair.

Both of these activities receive volunteer assistance from many of the 4-H leaders and parents throughout the state. For additional information please visit http://www.southdakota4hleaders.com/.

Questions, contact Susan Karels, SD 4-H Leaders Association President and Grant County 4-H Leader 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.

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Wet and Cool Pattern Fades into Summer Season

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to April 19, 2018 National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center outlooks, the relentless cool and wet climate pattern throughout South Dakota is likely to fade away as summer approaches.

"The outlooks show a transition away from cool and wet in the month ahead," said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist.

Based on the models, Edwards said South Dakota is less likely to have cooler than average conditions in May, with the exception of the northwest.

Record breaking spring

Reflecting on the cooler than average start to the month, Edwards said that some South Dakota locations, like Sioux Falls, broke monthly snowfall records.

"The growing season is off to a slow start with cold air and soil temperatures, and not just wet, but snowy conditions. The first half of April has been the coldest start on record across the region," she said.

Already this winter and spring, there have been record or near-record snowfall in central and eastern Montana as well. Moving into May, the outlooks show Montana and a portion of northwest South Dakota are likely to continue to be wetter than average.

"Gradually, the drought is easing in the Northern Plains region," Edwards said. "Even with cold temperatures, stock ponds are refilling and soil moisture is being slowly replenished."

She referenced the U.S. Drought Monitor's maps over recent weeks which shows improvements across the region. The worst drought areas from 2017 are now in D0, Abnormally Dry, or D1, Moderate Drought, severity levels in South Dakota.

"This is a two-class improvement from mid-winter," Edwards said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been keeping a close watch on snowpack in Montana as it has melted. They are prepared for the remaining snowmelt runoff and any spring rainfall to be captured in the reservoir system.

"The Corps is expecting higher runoff than usual this season. However, reservoir levels are low enough to accommodate the snowmelt runoff and rainfall from the prairies and mountains," Edwards said.

Summer 2018: What can we expect?

Looking ahead to the early summer season, Edwards said it is predicted that the wet soils will prevent air temperatures from getting very warm in the region.

"For the months of May through July, South Dakota has equal chances of warmer, cooler or near average temperatures overall," she said.

Precipitation is often a challenge for long-term climate forecasts in the summer season in the Northern Plains. Currently, according to NOAA, our region has equal chances of wetter, drier or near average rainfall.

"The forecast for the next one to two weeks gives some optimism that spring-like temperatures will finally arrive, as warmer air gradually comes in from the west," Edwards said.

She added that drier weather is expected overall, which will help to melt snow and dry the soils.

"This spring has been one of the most difficult for calving and lambing in recent years, with a continued pattern of cold, wet mud and snow. Perhaps at last we can plant spring wheat, and get ready for corn and soybean planting in the coming weeks," Edwards said.

Courtesy of NOAA Climate Prediction Center. May 2018 Temperature outlook for the United States. Cooler than average temperatures are favored over Montana, North Dakota and northwest South Dakota.

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Show 4-H Pride with License Plate Decal

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

BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H members, supporters and alumni can show their pride with a 4-H license plate decal.

All funds collected from the $10 decals will go to 4-H programming.

"This decal provides an opportunity to showcase 4-H pride," explained Peter Nielson (former SDSU Extension Coordinator of Youth Development Operations).

Showing your support through an organizational license plate is easy. Purchase an organizational license plate from the S.D. Department of Transportation (DOT). The 4-H decal is registered with the S.D. DOT, so all you have to do is contact the State 4-H Office at 605.688.4792 to purchase the decals.

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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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 (former SDSU Extension Coordinator of Youth Development Operations). "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 (former 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 (former 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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