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.
2024 Soil Health Conference Registration Open!
The 2024 Soil Health School will be held Jan. 23-24 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City, SD! Keynote speakers include Jay Fuhrer, Jerry Hatfield, Glenn Elzinga, and Zach Smith. There will be many other speakers, breakout sessions, and opportunties to network and socialize! Join us and be a part of our 2024 Soil Health Conference!
News & Events
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – It’s often said that the best time to start improving your land was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is right now. That statement might be harder for ranchers to swallow with winter on their doorstep, nothing growing in their pastures,...
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Agricultural producers often base their land management decisions on the living things they can see above the ground – crops, livestock, forage, weeds, insects, wildlife, etc. However, new research is showing they should also consider life...
As part of the 2024 Soil Health Conference, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has announced two exciting contests for students in South Dakota. The student video and essay contests have been designed to give students the opportunity to learn more about soil...