PROFILES IN SOIL HEALTH
“Preventing Wind Erosion and Capturing Moisture”
Chris Grubl, Sturgis, SD

“We only have about 8 inches of topsoil in this area, 6-8, and that’s probably being generous. If every year you lose a little of that, pretty quick you’re left with hardly anything. Now after we’ve been doing this for quite a few years, we’re not seeing that big difference anymore. The fields are getting more uniform again.” – Chris Grubl

This video features fifth generation farmer Chris Grubl and his family as they share how they are utilizing soil health practices like cover crops and integration of livestock to prevent wind erosion and capture much needed moisture. Previous generations used summer fallow but watching precious topsoil blow away each spring caused Chris to look for a better way of doing things. Grazing of cover crops and crop residue has provided more flexibility throughout the year and has allowed for more production in an economical way.

NACD EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) has an Educational Resources page on their website, and it’s now live and available to view!

Education is a critical element of the conservation effort at the local, state and national levels. Educating young people about the benefits of conservation helps to ensure the next generation will be wise stewards of America’s natural resources. NACD assists districts with their stewardship and education efforts by offering various materials and opportunities that can be used in classrooms with children of all ages.

Covering topics including soil health, wildlife, forestry and general conservation, NACD has provided information and classroom resources that are available on our partners’ websites.

To access these lessons and more, visit the NACD Educational Resources webpage.

NEW SIGNS AT THE GEVIK LEARNING AREA!

We’ve been working hard to update the Gevik Learning Area! One of the improvements was twenty new signs along the walking trail, made possible by a mini-grant from the South Dakota Discovery Center and 319 Information and Education Subcommittee. Head on out there, talk a walk, and see the signs for yourself! They’re full of information and we hope you think they enhance your walk!

If you want to learn more as you walk, we’ve also developed an online resource you can print and take along. You can also download it onto your phone, but sometimes the sun is so bright it’s hard to see your screen. This is an excellent resource for homeschool teachers, leaders of youth organizations, church groups, and/or family learning activity to help you learn more about conservation, wildlife, wetlands, and how they all work together. Click on the picture below to view and print the walking trail guide.

In case you don’t know how to get to the Gevik Learning Area, here is a map. We hope you enjoy your time there!

WATER INFILTRATION DEMO

Last Wednesday, we participated in a soil health sit down. It was a great event! We wanted to share one thing with you, and that was the water infiltration demonstration presented by Craig Veldkamp from Brookings NRCS. In the picture, you’ll see several examples of ground cover ranging from a lot to not very much. Underneath each example is a water jar. As Craig applied water to the ground cover to simulate rainfall, the water ran off each example into the jar below. As the jars filled up, the ones to the right were much cloudier than the ones to the left, reflecting that ground cover does have an effect on water infiltration and runoff. Unfortunately, our “after” picture did not turn out so we can’t share it with you. If you ever get a chance to see one of these demonstrations in person, we encourage you to do so!

OUR AMAZING GRASSLANDS
The Cammack Family
Union Center, SD

In the sixth video release of 2019, we visit the Cammack Family ranch in Union Center, South Dakota. The Cammack Family received the Leopold Conservation Award in 2018.

“We’ve planted thirty thousand trees, and a hundred years from now the only evidence of Amy and I being here will be the trees and the kids and the wildlife…” — Gary Cammack

The SD Grassland Coalition partnered with the organizations listed below to enhance the grassland planner with a release of a short video story each month during 2019 promoting healthy soils, grasslands, and ecosystems:

The Nature Conservancy, Pheasants Forever, South Dakota State University, Audubon Dakota, Ducks Unlimited, Partners for Fish and Wildlife, SD Game, Fish and Parks, SD Soil Health Coalition, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and SD Grassland Coalition

SOUTH DAKOTA GRAZING EXCHANGE

Do you own land or have pasture, native grass, crop residue, or cover crops available to be grazed? Or do you need extra grazing land or forage for your livestock this year? Check out the South Dakota Grazing Exchange!

MINNEHAHA COUNTY SOIL HEALTH SIT-DOWN!
July 30, 2019
1:00pm – 3:30pm

LEARN HOW TO PERFORM BASIC SOIL HEALTH TESTS IN THE FIELD!