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.
In attendance at the organizational meeting were agricultural producers from throughout the state and additional representatives of the following organizations:
- South Dakota State University
- South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts
- South Dakota Department of Agriculture
- South Dakota Farm Bureau
- South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association
- South Dakota Soybean Association
- South Dakota Grassland Coalition
- USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
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.
2023 Soil Health School Registration Open!
The 2023 Soil Health School will be held August 28-30 on the farms of Anthony Bly and Bruce Carlson near Garretson, SD! There will be classroom sessions, field excercises, discussion panels, and opportunities to network with researchers, industry professionals, and experienced producers who can help you on your soil health journey! Class size is limited, so learn more and register today!
News & Events
Long-term research reveals advantages of diverse crop rotations
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – It can take time for scientists to build new knowledge of biological processes, especially when those processes play out over the course of years. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service North Central...
‘Park the chisel’: First step toward soil health can be simple
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – The benefits of improved soil health for agricultural producers and gardeners are numerous and valuable – reduced input costs, improved profitability, drought and flood resilience, reduced erosion, improved water quality, increased wildlife...
Saline Soil Management: More Money With Fewer Crop Acres
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Salinity areas. Trouble spots. White deserts. Regardless of what they’re called, saline soils are a problem for South Dakota. White, salty areas where nothing grows are a common sight in fields across the state. “The amount of salinity that's...