For the 2nd quarter of fiscal year 2015 (January, February, March), the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Extension Field Specialists utilized several approaches to obtain feedback from stakeholders during focus groups and extension meetings.
The SDSU Extension 2013 Annual Report highlights the impacts of programming and achievements from the past year.
The following is a compilation of feedback received from the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Advisory Board, specifically regarding SDSU Extension. Verbal feedback was provided at the December 17, 2014 ABS College Advisory meeting that was held concurrently via DDN technology at the Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, and Rapid City Regional Extension Centers and Brookings campus location.
SDSU Extension seeks broad input on its programs from citizens and clients from across the state. Information represents discussions regarding programs and needs.
During 2016 crop season South Dakota experienced moderate to dry condition across much of its landscape which had some thinking of a repeat of previous droughts. During early August the U.S. Drought Monitor showed over 50% of South Dakota in moderate drought or worse. About 9% of the state was in severe drought, and 5% in extreme drought.
Increasing livestock numbers in South Dakota offers increased economic activity to the state. Greater economic activity through livestock production increases the number of jobs and opportunities for young people to stay in rural communities. SDSU Extension has conducted multiple activities in support of South Dakota's livestock industry.
View a complete list of SDSU Extension's most-recent Native American Programs Impact Reports.
During 2014 cattle production suffered a more or less generalized nationwide retraction. South Dakota was seventh in the country in cattle and calves on farms trailing closely Iowa and Missouri. Then again, when cattle and calves on farms are considered per capita South Dakota leads the country with roughly 4.3 animals per person. The economic impact of the livestock industry in South Dakota is very significant.
Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy and in order to remain a vital component the current aging population of farmers and ranchers will need to transition their operations to the next generation of producers. By creating active plans that enable them to pass the farm business on to their own children or others that want to begin farming, a larger percentage of the traditional taxes and fees associated with estate distribution can be reinvested into the operation instead of being a costly expense for the family. As younger producers are able to continue farming and ranching they return to small towns where their children will attend the local school, local main street businesses maintain a customer base and churches remain viable.
Through the adoption and use of fundamental business principles and using a systems approach, participants in the Ag CEO program will implement best management practices for production and business and have improved farm and ranch profitability and sustainability. This results in benefits for all South Dakotans, including new leaders and improved vitality of rural communities, the opportunity for local jobs and rural economic growth, and efficient use of natural resources.
The educational goal of the Nitrate Quick Test training and certification is an awareness and education of nitrates in forages and how various nitrate levels can affect ruminant livestock, particularly cattle and sheep. A secondary goal is to provide an understanding of the opportunity to prevent nitrate toxicity in ruminant livestock through a qualitative real-time test.
The educational goals of the project are to make everyone involved in the swine industry aware of any disease that can cost producers livestock, time, emotional hardship, and in the big picture, revenue. We also want to showcase how the disease can be transmitted, therefore allowing it to be stopped at the source and reduce its spread in infecting other farms.
Growing Ag CEOs is an education opportunity for producers to continue to grow and develop their skills. The goals of this program are to equip producers with the management, financial and strategic planning tools to help them thrive in the agriculture industry well into the future. Producers in South Dakota excel at production practices, however with the changing economic times, management and financial skills are more critical to the continued success of farms and ranches.
Annie's Project is a national program that can be found in 34 states including South Dakota. Annie's Project was started in South Dakota in 2007 with two sites and has grown to 24 sites. Over that time we have received funding from USDA Farm Service Agency and three grants from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to support Annie's Project Level 1 and 2.
The American Sheep Industry established the “2 Plus” Industry Initiative in 2011 to increase flock numbers in an effort to increase lamb and wool production. It is expecting a shortage in production within the United States resulting in not only loss of market share, but also in infrastructure needed to support a viable sheep industry.
The Agricultural Human Resource Management Grant Extension is focused on expanding the Human Resource Management skillset of dairy producers, dairy employees and the dairy support industries. The video training modules are being designed to enhance personal knowledge about the Hispanic workforce, their culture, and best communication methods, along with teaching managers and owners about Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), utilizing a hands-on teaching method by putting people through an actual SOP that focuses on milk quality assurance best management practices.
The Dairy Animal Care and Quality Assurance program is a joint effort by the SD Beef Industry Council, the SD Extension, SD Dairy Producers, Mid-west Dairy Association, SD Department of Agriculture, and the SD Dairy Industry. Presently dairy beef makes up 25-33% of the beef products produced and consumed by the public.
A school sponsored by SDSU Extension teaching the principles of artificial insemination will be held during the spring of 2014. The objective of the program will be to provide cattle producers with the knowledge and skills required so that they can implement reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination and estrous synchronization into their operations.
Sustaining the Legacy: Estate Planning and Farm Transitions has been a partnership between SDSU Extension and the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion council since 2007. This project has traditionally developed conferences in various locations across the state. In the past, 4 locations a year have been targeted. These conferences provided Estate Planning and Transitions information to farm families. Topics covered include (but not limited to) communication, wills, probate, retirement planning, trusts, life insurance, and the SD long-term care partnership.
SD grasslands are a major natural resource and economic base for our livestock and recreation industries. Advancing a culture of grassland 'investment' is likely the path to long-term grassland sustainability and improvement.