WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 8: The Economics of Sustainable Agriculture
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. In this final episode we look at the business side of agriculture and profit strategies we can use when sustainability is a priority.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

EXCESS TREE SALE

The Minnehaha Conservation District will be selling excess trees next Tuesday, June 15th and Wednesday, June 16th from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. each day at the District shed, located at 1120 E. 72nd St. N., Sioux Falls.  The cost will be $3.00/tree (or $68.00 for a bundle of 25), plus tax. 

These trees will be available on a first come first served basis.  There will be NO EARLY SALES!

Directions to the District shed: 2 miles south of the Renner corner, or ¾ mile north of I-90 and Cliff Avenue on the west side of the road.


WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 7: Sustainable Grazing and Pasture Management
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. This episode highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers use to conserve and manage water. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

NACD RESPONDS TO PRESIDENT BIDEN’S FY22 BUDGET PROPOSAL

On May 28, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) released a statement regarding President Biden’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The budget proposes increases in numerous domestic agencies, including a 21% increase for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 16% increase for the Interior Department, and a 16% increase for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Within the conservation portfolio, the president’s FY22 budget proposes a funding level of $886 million for Conservation Operations, a $50 million increase to the account that funds conservation planning and technical assistance. The budget requests $774 million for the Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program within Conservation Operations.

“NACD applauds the additional funding for Conservation Operations, which funds Conservation Technical Assistance,” NACD President Michael Crowder said. “This program helps put boots on the ground in our communities to deliver locally-led conservation where it’s needed most.”

Read the full press release in NACD’s Newsroom.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 6: Sustainable Grazing and Pasture Management
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. In this episode we look at livestock grazing and how management that focuses on the health of pastures and rangelands can be better for your farm or ranch. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT — TROUT UNLIMITED

Fishing. Conservation. Community. We look to the future with hope, for even in difficult times, our mission endures. Together, we are working to protect, reconnect, and restore the places we love to fish.

Want to get involved in the local chapter of Trout Unlimited? Contact one of the people below for more information:
Chapter: 194 – Dakota
Council: 9058 – South Dakota
Contact the chapter president 
Contact the council chair 
Contact the NLC rep

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 5: Ecological Pest Management
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. In this episode we look at ways to manage pests that reduce off-farm inputs and lead to healthy crops. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

USDA TO INVEST $15 MILLION IN THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATION THROUGH INNOVATION GRANTS PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing up to $15 million to support the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands through the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program.

CIG partners use creative problem solving and innovation to address our nation’s water quality, air quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. This year, funded CIGs will focus on climate-smart strategies for water resources, soil health (focused on carbon sequestration and climate resilience), nutrient management, grazing lands conservation, and strategies to increase conservation adoption. 

“Through Conservation Innovation Grants, we’re able to co-invest with partners on the next generation of agricultural conservation solutions,” said Acting NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “Using creative problem solving and innovation, CIG partners work to address our nation’s most pressing natural resource concerns, all while helping to ensure the health and longevity of American agriculture.”

All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply. Proposals must be submitted through the NRCS Program Portal by 11:59 p.m. ET on July 19, 2021.

Complete funding announcement information can be accessed through the Conservation Innovation Grants webpage.

About the CIG Program

The CIG program has three components, CIG Classic, CIG On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials and state-level CIG. Today’s funding opportunity announcement is for CIG Classic, which supports early pilot projects or demonstrations of promising new conservation approaches, tools, and technologies. 

CIG Classic grantees must match each federal dollar invested at least one to one.

NRCS intends to expend at least 10% of the total funding for CIG Classic on projects that are focused on providing conservation benefits to historically undeserved producers.

In April, USDA announced $25 million for CIG On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, which features collaboration between NRCS and partners to implement on-the-ground conservation activities and then evaluate their impact. Incentive payments are provided to producers to offset the risk of implementing new approaches. The On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials funding opportunity deadline is June 21, 2021.

More Information

For more information on CIG, please visit the CIG website.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources including our soil, air and water. Through conservation practices and partnerships, USDA aims to enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges will require USDA and our agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside USDA stakeholders, including State, local and Tribal governments. 

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 4: Social Sustainability
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. This episode introduces key components of social sustainability in agriculture and illustrates strategies that can help farmers and ranchers succeed. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT — ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION

THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION MISSION:
Ensure the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat, and our hunting heritage.

Four men from northwest Montana recognized there were a handful of organizations that looked after ducks, turkeys, and other wildlife species but none dedicated to ensuring the future of elk. On May 14, 1984, they pooled their time, talents, and resources and officially established the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Since its humble beginnings in the mid-1980s, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation now has nearly 235,000 members whose support helped complete more than 12,700 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects that protected or enhanced more than 8 million acres of wildlife habitat and opened or improved public access to more than 1.3 million acres, much of which was completely off-limits to the public. RMEF boasts more than 12,000 volunteers working through more than 500 chapters.

Today, RMEF is one of the most effective and efficient conservation organizations in the United States. Working together with members, volunteers and conservation partners, it is a strong voice for elk, elk country, hunters, and public access as well as wildlife management and conservation issues.

Total membership for South Dakota is 4,348, and the total acres conserved in South Dakota are 109,085. If you’d like to get involved in the South Dakota chapter, contact Mason Cooper, Regional Director, by calling 875-414-0589 or emailing mcooper@rmef.org. South Dakota has several events coming up; you might want to get in on the action!

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 3: Conservation Tillage and Soil Health
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. This episode illustrates how many producers are turning to conservation tillage to improve soil health and productivity. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 2: Cover Crops and Soil Health
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. In this episode we look at the importance of healthy soils and the positive impact of cover crops. “Cover Crops and Soil Health” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

MINNEHAHA CONSERVATION DISTRICT BOARD VACANCY

Minnehaha Conservation District (MCD) invites individuals interested in contributing to conservation decisions within Minnehaha County to apply for the current vacancy on our Board to finish out the existing term. Members are expected to regularly attend monthly MCD Board meetings and represent MCD as a liaison to the public, amongst other duties. Board positions are open to all residents of Minnehaha County. Interested parties should contact MCD through phone at (605) 370-3480, or through emailing info@minnehahacd.org.

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT — THE NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

“The mission of the National Wild Turkey Federation is no less urgent today than when it was founded in 1973. What we do in the coming decades will be instrumental in not only enhancing wild turkey populations but also in the continuation of hunting and quality  wildlife habitat for countless species.

We’re losing 6,000 acres of habitat every day. Hunters fund conservation but now we’re at the point where less than 10 percent of the American population hunts, so the funding source is going away. We know we can’t solve this alone. It’s bigger than one organization. The NWTF is leading a collaborative effort to solve the problem with the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, and our contribution is our dynamic volunteer base.

Learn more about how the NWTF is making a difference for wildlife, wild places and our hunting lifestyle. Download our Annual Report.

FOR EVERY DOLLAR RAISED BY THE NWTF, 90 CENTS GOES TO MISSION DELIVERY.

Since 1985, NWTF volunteers and partners raised and spent more than $488 million toward our mission of conserving wildlife habitat and preserving our hunting heritage.”

NTWF in SOUTH DAKOTA

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE?
Episode 1: A Whole-Farm Approach to Sustainability
By Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

How do you make a farm or ranch more sustainable? There is no single answer, but SARE’s video series “What is Sustainable Agriculture?” highlights some common practices farmers and ranchers across the country use to improve profitability, quality of life, and environmental stewardship. In this episode we look at systemic sustainable production principles. “A Whole-Farm Approach to Sustainability” provides a short, animated outline of basic principles that can be used to introduce or complement more detailed training materials.

Learn more at https://www.sare.org/resources/what-is-soil-health/.

SOURCE: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT — NATIONAL DEER ASSOCIATION

The National Deer Association is the leading conservation organization dedicated to conserving North America’s favorite game animal.

We are hunters from all walks of life who share a passion for wild deer. We believe it is our responsibility to ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. As the authority on all things deer, we blend the art of hunting with the science of management to create better deer and better deer hunting.

About The National Deer Association

Re-forged on November 10, 2020, from the combined strengths of two deer organizations with 38 years of action, the National Deer Association is united for deer with a new vision to make an impact for conservation immediately and for future generations.

A new, ambitious strategic plan calls for a concentration of effort in four critical areas.

Education and Outreach

The National Deer Association will carry forward the reputation for reliable information for hunters, empowering them to be more informed, successful and engaged stewards of deer and wildlife. Teaching the non-hunting public about the keystone position of deer in the success of all wildlife conservation will be a new goal. Familiar programs, titles and multi-media channels will be strengthened and broadened through key partnerships in the hunting industry.

Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation

The highly successful and tested Field to Fork adult hunter recruitment program will be the cornerstone of the National Deer Association’s R3 effort aimed at growing hunter numbers, instilling a desire among experienced hunters to serve as mentors, and increasing acceptance of hunting among the general public.

Click here to learn more about the National Deer Association.

South Dakota Branch

NATIVE PRAIRIE WHITETAILS BRANCH
44945 288th Street
Viborg, SD 57070
Phone: (605) 864-1281
Contact: Jake Gullickson
Email: jake.gullickson89@gmail.com

NACD STEWARDSHIP WEEK BEGINS SUNDAY

NACD’s 66th Annual Stewardship Week begins Sunday! This year’s Stewardship Week will take place April 25 to May 2 and will celebrate the theme “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.”

Trees are not only beautiful and majestic, but they also support and sustain life by providing us with food and oxygen. Forests are invaluable and play a major role in every community. In addition to food, medicine and shelter, trees provide shade, help clean the air, save energy, clean our water, and offer many other benefits and value to your home and community. 

It is important that each of us understands how much trees matter and how simply planting one tree in your yard can significantly improve your quality of life. Before you do any planting, make sure you have a proper plan to ensure you get all the benefits of adding trees to your community. Contact your local conservation district to get help with tree planting, care and maintenance, as well as learn how to protect trees from invasive species. 

We can all play a part in creating a beautiful urban forest and enjoy how trees enhance our health, communities and environment. Join us to celebrate and honor trees during Stewardship Week to foster education and awareness. 

NACD established Stewardship Week 66 years ago to educate the public on the importance of soil health, water quality, pollinator habitat and other conservation topics. Stewardship Week helps to remind us all of the power each person has to conserve natural resources and improve the world.

For more ideas about how your conservation district can make a difference in your community during Stewardship Week, visit NACD’s Stewardship Week webpage. Let NACD know how you plan on celebrating Stewardship Week by emailing them.

SOURCE: NACD

WHAT’S GOING ON ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

Conservation Clips is a weekly collection of articles distributed by NACD that provides members and partners with the latest news in what’s driving conservation. These articles are not indicative of NACD policy and are the opinions of their authors, unless otherwise noted. If you have a relevant submission or need assistance with accessing articles, please contact the NACD Communications Team.

AgNet WestBiden’s Proposed Budget Brings Added Support to USDA
04/13/21 
“NACD is encouraged by the proposals to strengthen funding for conservation,” National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Michael Crowder said in a news release. 

Successful FarmingHOW FRANNY FRITZ BEAT THE ODDS IN FARMING
By Mitch Kezar
04/13/21 
She has also been a national director for the National Association of Conservation Districts. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the people. I have learned so much from the Conservation Districts. If I have a question, I know who to call.” 

Steamboat Pilot & TodayConservation district offers assistance with soil health tests, resources
By Suzie Romig
04/12/21 
When the Routt County Conservation District, with organizational roots that extend to 1942, reconstituted in spring 2019, the top priority was soil health.

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT — DUCKS UNLIMITED

Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Ducks Unlimited is a grassroots, volunteer-based organization. Its members are conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts who live primarily throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited. Its mission is habitat conservation.

Thanks to decades of abiding by that single mission, Ducks Unlimited is now the world’s largest and most effective private waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. DU is able to multilaterally deliver its work through a series of partnerships with private individuals, landowners, agencies, scientific communities, and other entities.

There are several Ducks Unlimited chapters across South Dakota. Some are holding membership and fundraising events, one as soon as Friday, April 16 in Lennox. Other upcoming events include raffles, silent auctions, dinners, youth-oriented events, and general get-togethers. You can read their monthly newsletters to learn more about their organization, become a member, and get involved.

SOURCE: Ducks Unlimited

WOMEN ON THE WING SPECIAL EVENT
A Celebration of Conservation Leaders
ZOOM Online — May 6, 2021 at 6:00 pm CDT

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Women on the Wing Initiative will inspire and provide opportunities for women to become engaged, dynamic conservationists. Women on the Wing will draw from our experience and passion to deliver local events designed to cultivate new sportswomen; connect women landowners, farmers and ranchers; and create a community of women dedicated to carrying on our upland traditions and the Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever mission.

Join Women on the Wing for this unique storytelling event where guests share their “Path to the Uplands” and their passion for supporting conservation efforts led by women. Back by popular demand, Danielle Prewett, contributing editor at MeatEater and founder of Wild + Whole, will be putting together a quail dish for participants to follow along in creating while they watch and ask questions.

SOURCE: Pheasants Forever