NRCS puts 80+ years of experience to work in assisting owners of America's private land with conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources. Local, state and federal agencies and policymakers also rely on our expertise. We deliver technical assistance based on sound science and suited to a customer's specific needs. Cost shares and financial incentives are available in some cases. Most work is done with local partners. Our partnership with local conservation districts serves almost every county in the nation, and the Caribbean and Pacific Basin. Participation in our programs is voluntary.
Healthy native grasslands are perhaps the most important wildlife habitat in South Dakota. Unfortunately, in South Dakota we are losing grassland acres every year to row crop production and urban sprawl. The native tall grass prairie of North America is one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the world. Grassland birds are declining faster than any other group of birds on our continent. Healthy grasslands are vital habitat for waterfowl and upland game birds like pheasants, which have a huge impact on South Dakota’s economy.
At Soil Health Labs, we’re all about helping farmers!
Our team has a proven track record of soil and crop research. We’ve partnered with producers, researchers and NRCS reps around the country, learning and collecting data from all different types of operations—from the Midwest to the Southeast, the Southwest to the Northeast.
It’s our calling to make this learning and research available to all, through videos, podcasts and digital and print articles—and along the way, help create a brighter future for producers, consumers and our soils!
The Soil Health Labs are located in the Environmental Health Sciences Department in the School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. That may be surprising to most, especially since the University of South Carolina has no Ag School! Our mission is to promote soil health, not only as something that’s good for the farmer and the environment, but also as a public health tool. Think about it – healthy soils and healthy crops mean healthy farmers and consumers (never mind an ever-improving environment). Our continued research shows that if farmers integrate the 4 principles of soil health that they can actually improve and regenerate conditions.
July of 2021, we spent a week shooting in the grasslands of South Dakota, meeting with ranchers to discuss how to make a ranching operation more resilient. Here are some of our highlights.
Special Thanks to all the ranchers and Natural Resources Conservation Service employees who took the time out of their day to make these shoots possible!
The South Dakota Cattlemen's Association (SDCA) is a producer-oriented organization trusted by consumers and producers for accurate and factual information. We support profitable cattle businesses and emphasize environmental sustainability.
Locally, the SDCA consists of 16 affiliates across five regions, engaging members in their local communities. Our specialized councils, including the Cow/Calf Council, Feeder Council, and Young Cattlemen's Council, address diverse industry needs.
Statewide, elected representatives from each region and council form the SDCA Board of Directors, advocating for our members at the state level. Our policy committee creates and promotes policies that represent South Dakota beef producers to legislative bodies, state agencies, consumer groups, and the media.
Nationally, we collaborate closely with our congressional delegation on federal issues impacting South Dakota cattlemen and women. As an affiliate of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), we proudly represent South Dakota producers nationwide, giving our members a voice and a vote in national decision-making. The NCBA's Washington office is known for effective lobbying efforts, while the Denver office provides valuable support through research, communication, membership services, and beef promotion activities.
The need for a producer led soil health organization to provide additional education and outreach throughout the state of South Dakota was identified by Jeff Zimprich, State Conservationist for the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service, in 2015. The South Dakota Grassland Coalition was approached because of their longstanding reputation for promoting the benefits of well managed grasslands to both producers and others with respect and integrity. The South Dakota Grassland Coalition Board decided to assist with the project by holding an organizational meeting May 19, 2015 at the SD Cattlemen’s conference room in Pierre.
A majority of those in attendance agreed that there was a need and the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition was officially created. A meeting was held on June 11th, 2015 during which the bylaws, as well as the vision and mission statements were created. A seven-member board consisting of Al Miron, Bryan Jorgensen, Dan Forgey, Dennis Hoyle, Doug Sieck, Levi Neuharth, and Terry Ness was organized at this time. The inaugural soil health education event was held at the Dakota Lakes Research Farm with Ray Archuleta as the keynote speaker and over 120 participants in attendance.
SD Stockgrowers works to promote the independent livestock producers of South Dakota. Everything we do relates to the ability to preserve the viability of our ranches and rural communities whether it be through proper legislation, property tax reform, school funding, or stewardship and land management.
Our President, Vice President and Executive Director work to oversee the daily operations of the organization.
We have three Regional Vice-Presidents elected at-large from three Regions of the state of South Dakota. Our Board of Directors are comprised of members elected from 17 districts around the state, with one director representing each 100 members within a given district.
We are a resolution/member organization where decisions are made by members and the Board of Directors according to policy set by our members through the adoption of Resolutions at our Annual Conventions each September.
Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) formed to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed burns. MMRPBA’s efforts will focus on land in Brule, Charles Mix, Gregory and Lyman Counties with the goal to conduct 2,000 acres of prescribed burns each year for the next three years.