Board of Directors

Don Nickelson

Terms Served: 2024-

Don Nickelson lives near Frederick, SD, with his wife, Trista, and three sons: Aiden, Gavin, and Ian. They use no-till and strip-till practices to raise corn, soybeans, oats, triticale and alfalfa in addition to some cover crops. They rotationally graze livestock, custom graze some cattle, and work to incorporate livestock on their crop land. They have had great success with bale grazing.

“Golfers say, ‘Play the course, don’t let the course play you,’” Nickelson says. “You got to look at how the ground is and what kind of grasses are there and what you can do with it. Each area is managed differently, just like in my crop ground each zone is managed differently.”

By integrating crops and livestock and focusing on improving soil health, Don says he has improved the resilience of his operation. “There’s challenges every year, and every year is a different challenge,” he said. “And what I’ve found in my soils, in building the organic matter and having better soil health, allows me to weather through whichever weather storm I’m faced with.”

He credits his stepfather for the mindset that encouraged him to implement these sustainable ag practices. “My stepfather gave me a lot of freedom that way, and that’s helped me going forward,” Don says. “I remember him always telling me, ‘Do what you think is best.’ That’s what I hope to pass along to my sons.”

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