Archive for April, 2018

News of the Day — 4/25/18


Just in time for the beautiful weather we’ve got in the forecast! Get outside and take a stroll along our trailways. Enjoy the wildlife and songs of the birds. Take a meditative walk and breathe in the fresh air. The Gevik site is a great place to relax and find balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually!

The Gevik Learning Area is 1/2 mile west of Wall Lake, or 1/4 mile north of the intersection of 266th Street and 462nd Avenue, about eight miles west of Sioux Falls.

(Photo Credit: Mick Zerr)


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News of the Day — 4/13/18


The first video is about Jeremy Smith and Trish Jenkins who own Cycle Farm, a small, diversified mixed vegetable farm located in the heart of Spearfish Valley, in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota. They grow over 40 different crop types and focus their farm management for healthy, resilient soil.


Second is a story about Kurt and Kathy Stiefvater of Salem, SD, as they share their inspiring soil health story. They cover everything from infiltration and cover crops, to economics, sustainability, and much more. Kurt and Kathy are hosting SD Soil Health Coalition’s 2018 Soil Health School September 5-7.


And the third video is about the Jordan and Sarah Reimnitz family. Jordan says, “The purpose for me for cover crops was water management, erosion, and overall soil health; to improve those that keep the living. If I can keep the living cover out there all year, whether it’s a cash crop or a cover, I would. With our farming practices, the soil structure is so much better. We know that there are many living things down there, and when you go out in our fields and dig with the living cover, the soil just looks alive.”

These Soil Health stories were produced during 2017 through an agreement of the SD Soil Health Coalition with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and South Dakota’s Conservation Districts. For more information, please visit their website at

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News of the Day — 4/11/18


We regret to inform you that due to the freezing, snow, and winter debris, we will have to close the Gevik Learning Area for safety reasons. We will post a notice to let you know when it’s open again. Also, we will be installing new signs on the trails, hopefully in the next two or three weeks. We’re all anxious to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. Hopefully the weather will be more cooperative in May, and your experience at the Gevik Learning Area, with the new signs and clean up, will be more enjoyable than ever!

Thank you for telling your friends and helping us get the word out. We want everyone to be safe and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Photo Credit: Mick Zerr)

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News of the Day — 4/10/18

We received SUCH a nice note from a local teacher and her students, and wanted to share it with everybody:

“I wanted to send MCD some positive feedback- I was teaching an environmental science lesson to some elementary students this past weekend, and when they were doing a conservation webquest they ended up on your webpage (this page here They thought I should tell you we were using the links there and found some great information so thanks 🙂

They also decided it would be nice of us to return the favor, so I had them pick out a good conservation page for us to share with you!

“Home Science: Backyard Conservation” –

It has lots of great information for kids on conservation so they thought it’d be a helpful link for you to add to the page they found… would you be able to? They’d be so proud and I’d love to show them their suggestion 🙂 Thanks so much and have a wonderful day!!

Ms. Ainsworth & Lauren, Jordan, Taylor, and Jacob”

THANK YOU, Lauren, Jordan, Taylor, Jacob, and Ms. Ainsworth! We have added your suggested link and very much appreciate the help you have offered! We would also like to make you aware of one of our projects where all of you could experience conservation and nature firsthand as you walk in a natural prairie setting. The Gevik Site has much to teach students of every age. It’s free and open to the public. Please visit for directions to the learning area and a map. There are walking trails and interpretive signs to explain what you’re seeing. If you are able to go there, we would welcome your feedback and if you take any pictures, please send them to us so we can include them on our website too. Again, we’re glad you found our website, and thank you very much for your valuable contribution!

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News of the Day — 4/6/18


We have a TON of great events coming up all the way through next January! CLICK HERE to view / download / print the schedule. Looking forward to seeing everybody there!

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News of the Day — 4/4/18


On March 30th, 2018, Mary Lou Lacey received the 2017 National Earth Team Special Recognition Award for assistance with the Earth Team program.

Well done, Mary Lou!


And congratulations are also in order for the 2018 Leopold Conservation Award finalists!

  • Cammack Ranch of Union Center: a cow/calf ranch with 10,000 grazing acres owned by Gary and Amy Cammack. The Cammack family has implemented rotational grazing, constructed windbreaks, and planted over 30,000 trees on their ranch.
  • Center of the Nation Cattle Company of Newell: a 107-year-old, fourth generation cow/calf ranch owned and managed by Jeff and Steve Smeenk, along with their wives Kim and Kay. The Smeenks practice rotational grazing and enhance sage grouse and other wildlife habitat on their land.
  • Johnson Farms of Frankfort: a crop and commercial Angus farm owned and operated by the fifth generation of Johnsons. Using cover crops, no-till practices and a diverse crop rotation, the Johnsons are committed to building soil health and sharing a message of conservation to their community.
  • Blair Brothers Angus Ranch of Vale: a family-owned Angus cow-calf, stocker and feedlot business. The family utilizes sage grouse friendly grazing and focuses on wildlife habitat in their planning.

Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation on working land. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders. Award applicants are judged based on their demonstration of improved resource conditions, innovation, long-term commitment to stewardship, sustained economic viability, community and civic leadership, and multiple use benefits.

The 2018 award recipient, who will receive $10,000 and a crystal depicting Aldo Leopold, will be announced in late April and recognized at the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association’s Annual Convention on November 28.

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