Rural Ramblings http://agunited.org/rural-ramblings/ News from Ag United. Sat, 21 Apr 2018 06:42:12 -0500 Rural Dictionary: Cow-Calf http://agunited.org/news-and-events/rural-dictionary-cow-calf/ Blackangus.jpg

 

Cow-Calf (adj.) : When asking famers what type of farm they have, you might hear them say they have a “cow-calf” operation. This means that this farmer has chosen to focus on taking care of momma cows and their baby calves. It takes a lot of work to make sure that the cows get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and a have a lively new calf each spring. The cows and calves live together on pasture, and will be cared for on the cow-calf farm through weaning. Spring is prime calving time and farmers have been working to keep these little ones warm and dry through a snowy calving season.

 

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Source: www.beef.org

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Tue, 10 Apr 2018 11:34:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/rural-dictionary-cow-calf/
Sharing the Farm Story with Passion http://agunited.org/news-and-events/sharing-the-farm-story-with-passion/ BQA2017-BLAC-X_0275.jpg

April Featured Farmer: Pete Bakken

 

Living on the border between South Dakota and Minnesota gives Pete Bakken twice the opportunity to share information about his farm.  From fourth grade classrooms in Sioux Falls and Garretson, South Dakota, to local farm tours and the Minnesota State Fair, Pete has made it a priority to take time to listen to questions that people have about how today’s farmers raise crops and livestock.

 

“As farmers, we’re often too busy to have many hobbies, but over the years I’ve enjoyed doing outreach about agriculture and farming,” said Pete. “It has turned into both a hobby and a passion.” 

 

Pete and his brother Jay Bakken own and operate BLAC-X Farms in Rock County, Minnesota.  Their father Richard has transferred ownership and management to Pete and Jay, but is still involved in many activities around the farm and cattle feedlot.

 

The Bakkens raise corn, soybeans, alfalfa and cover crops. They have a beef feedlot with capacity for 3,000 head, and they raise a herd of about 230 beef cows that calve every spring. 

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Pete’s wife, Carrie, teaches in Luverne.  They have two children – Mikayla is 21 and Eli is 18.  

 

Pete is in his fourth year of serving as an “adopted farmer” for Ag United.  He shares a video every month with a fourth grade class at Harvey Dunn elementary in Sioux Falls and two classrooms in Garretson, South Dakota. In addition to videos, he answers questions and visits the classroom in person once a year.  

 

Pete is very active in a number of agriculture organizations and local boards.  He is the Promotion and Education Chair for Minnesota Farm Bureau and active in local cattlemens association, as well as serving on the Beaver Creek Township Board.  

 

His interest in sharing his farm’s story has evolved over the years as a result of conversations on airplanes and other places with people who have question about farming today.  

 

“It is a compliment to our industry that most people feel comfortable going to the grocery store with the confidence that their food is safe, affordable and wholesome,” he said. “I’ve found that most of the time people who have questions or concerns just want to understand why farmers or livestock producers do what they do.”   

 

When we have a conversation, farmers can usually explain the reason behind the practices on our farm, whether it to provide better care for the animals, to protect health or safety, or for financial reasons, he said.  

The Bakkens work to constantly improve how they care for their animals and conserve the land. In January, Pete and Jay were awarded the 2018 National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award for Feedyards by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  The award recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers that demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations. 

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The Beef Quality Assurance(BQA) protocol provides accountability for beef producers and reassurance to consumers about how we treat our cattle, said Pete.  It is a national program that provides guidelines for animal husbandry practices, how animals are handled during transportation, as well as use of medications and antibiotics.  

 

“The focus is on low stress handling to keep animals calm and people safe, and also good record keeping to ensure that we are using medications responsibility and following all labels and withdrawal times,” said Pete.  “Everyone who works with cattle on our farm completes the BQA training every three years.”

 

The Bakkens also participate in Discovery Farms Minnesota, a state-wide, farmer-led effort to gather water quality information under real-world conditions. 

 

“The program is an effort to provide real ‘boots on the ground’ information and data so that we can continue to improve soil health and water quality in our state,” he said.

 

The data from the project has reinforced their belief in the use of cover crops and other conservation practices.

 

“By leaving residue on the fields, it keeps the soil healthy and builds a good structure to keep moisture and nutrients in the soil,” he said.  “In one instance, we had a period of 13 inches of rain, and we only lost .6 inches of water – the soil was able to hold all the rest of it.”

 

Cover crops are planted following the harvest of cash crops like corn or soybeans.  They provide “cover” to prevent erosion and provide a structure to hold water and nutrients throughout the year.  The Bakkens have experimented with a number of crop and techniques for planting, but are currently planting a combination of turnips, radishes and cereal rye grasses. The crops are terminated just before planting the next year’s soybean or corn crop.

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“We are from a long line of farmers that have been adopting conservation practices and we are always looking for the best ways to improve soil health hand soil structure,” he said. 

 

Get a closer look at BLAC-X Farms by watching some of the videos that Pete sent to his adopted fourth grade classrooms, including during corn plantingand calving season. These videos were recorded and hosted by Michelle Rook. Pete also records short video updates on his phone throughout the year. 

 

 

 *Photos courtesy of MN Beef Council.

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Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:07:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/sharing-the-farm-story-with-passion/
March Agvocates http://agunited.org/news-and-events/march-agvocates1/ bloom.pngWe had an amazing month in March celebrating National Ag Week with events at schools, Washington Pavilion and more. Thanks to everyone who volunteered or attended and event, and thank you to the 46,000 farm and ranch families of South Dakota.    

 

Check out a few photos and videos from events:

  • Farm families and ag industry volunteers served 150 people at Banquet West.   
  • Watch the KELO-TV report of Ag Week pizza party at Webster Elementary in Yankton. 
  • See photos from the pizza party classroom visit in Milbank.

March Agvocates

Adopt A Farmer School Visits

Adam Mohrhauser

Greg Moes

 

National Ag Week School Visits

Anneleis Seffrood

Laron Krause

Kirk Baldwin

Valley Queen Cheese Staff

Kelly Brandlee

Emily Stahl

Peggy Greenway

Gregg Ode

Bruce Burkhart

Vicki Schultz

Jim Petrik

Heidi Zwinger

Greg Moes

Shari Tiewes
Paul Brandt

 

Ag Day at the Pavilion

Clint & Kelly Brandlee

Katie Schoenfelder

Sami Wiseman

Jen Hotchkiss

Dawn Nagel

 

Farmers Serving Families

Dave Poppens

Nicholas Gannon
Jeff Radel

Janet Sorum

Reid Christopherson

Jennifer & Grant Hoesing
Julie Hammer

Dave Poppens

Audra Wilson

Dani Murray
Kristyne Thull

Legend Seeds DeSmet

Lacey Namkin

Wendy Denison

Janice Mellema

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Sat, 31 Mar 2018 11:52:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/march-agvocates1/
March Rural Dictionary: Ration http://agunited.org/news-and-events/march-rural-dictionary-ration/ March is National Nutrition month, and on the farm we want to make sure both the farmers and the animals are getting proper nutrition to stay healthy. Your household might have a menu or meal plan, but animals have a carefully balanced RATION. 

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Ration - A farm animal's diet, balanced by a nutritionist. Each animal species has different nutritional requirements, and each animal has different nutritional needs according to their age. Farmers work with a livestock nutritionist to create a balanced diet using the feed they have purchased or grown. Each feed ingredient is tested for nutritional value, then the nutritionist will create a recipe or ration for the farmer to follow. The ration includes all the vitamins, minerals, and energy the livestock need to grow and stay healthy.

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Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:29:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/march-rural-dictionary-ration/
South Dakota Farm Families Recognize Ag Day with Celebrations Throughout March http://agunited.org/news-and-events/south-dakota-farm-families-recognize-ag-day-with-celebrations-throughout-march/ Classroom Pizza Parties, Ag Day at the Pavilion and More
to Highlight Agriculture’s Contribution to South Dakota

 

DSC_0085.JPGSIOUX FALLS, SD – One day isn’t enough to recognize the contribution that South Dakota’s farm and ranch families make to our state’s food supply, economy and communities, so South Dakota Farm Families is extending its National Ag Day celebration with events the entire month of March. 

 

National Ag Day is an annual event to recognize and celebrate the contribution of agriculture to our communities, health and economy.  Every year, producers, agriculture associations, corporations, universities, government agencies, and countless others across America join together to host activities in their communities. 

 

South Dakota Farm Families will host seven pizza parties with fourth and fifth grade classrooms at schools across the state.  At each classroom, a dairy farmer and a pig farmer will visit the classroom and share with students how they care for animals and raise crops, and answer questions about their farms.  They’ll explain how the pork and dairy products they produce are important ingredients in the pizzas that we all enjoy.

 

Classroom visits will include:

  • March 12 – Koch Elementary in Milbank
  • March 13 – Westside Elementary in Sisseton
  • March 19 – Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary in Mitchell
  • March 21 – Brandon Elementary in Brandon
  • March 22 – Webster Elementary in Yankton
  • March 23 – Hayward Elementary in Sioux Falls
  • March 26 – Lincoln Elementary in Watertown

 

South Dakota Farm Families will also host displays at the annual Ag Day events at Washington Pavilion, including Ag Friday at the Pavilion for third graders on Friday, March 16, and Ag Day at the Pavilion on Saturday, March 17. 

 

The “Make Your Own TMR” activity will give children the chance to make their own “Total Mixed Ration” snack, similar to how the diets for today’s livestock are mixed.  By including the right mix of several ingredients, farmers ensure that animals receive the perfect combination of energy and nutrition to keep them healthy.

 

Farm families and agriculture industry professions will also prepare and serve a meal at The Banquet in Sioux Falls on March 28.  This will be the tenth year that they have hosted the “Farmers Feeding Families” project to serve community members.

 

Visit www.agunited.com, South Dakota Farm Families on Facebook, or @SDFarmFamilies on Twitter for more information on National Ag Day activities and other events.

 

Ag United was developed through a collaboration of farm organizations that support livestock production and development and includes the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Dairy Producers, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, South Dakota Poultry Industries Association and the South Dakota Soybean Association. 

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Tue, 13 Mar 2018 08:55:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/south-dakota-farm-families-recognize-ag-day-with-celebrations-throughout-march/
Compassion and care key to being vet, farmer, and soon-to-be parents http://agunited.org/news-and-events/compassion-and-care-key-to-being-vet-farmer-and-soon-to-be-mother/ March Featured Farmer: Cody & Emily Stahl

 

IMG_4165 (1).JPGIf you overheard a conversation with Dr. Emily Stahl taking about priorities for her patients, you might think she was a medical doctor instead of a veterinarian.  Boosting immune systems, a carefully-planned diet and focus on clean, healthy environments are all important parts of how livestock producers care for their animals.

“As a veterinarian, my primary goal is to keep animals healthy,” she said.  “Just like human doctors are focused on preventative medicine and keeping their patients healthy, veterinarians would much rather have animals start healthy and stay healthy rather than treat sicknesses with medicines.”

Dr. Stahl has been practicing at Creekside Veterinary Clinic in Mitchell in 2016. Creekside is a mixed animal practice, so she cares for all animals from household pets to horses to beef and dairy cattle.

She grew up on a dairy farm near Huron, South Dakota, then attended South Dakota State University, majoring in dairy production. She attended the Iowa State University School of Veterinary Medicine.

“I grew up with cattle, and then fell in love with veterinary medicine during a high school internship,” she said.

Emily met her husband, Cody, while at SDSU, and they live and raise cattle on his family’s farm near Mitchell.  Cody also works for Genex.  They are expecting their first child in May.

The Stahls have their own cow herd and also custom raise calves and heifers for other beef producers.  Calving season runs from February through May for the Stahls. They raise and “background” calves and sell them in December or January each year.  

“It never gets old,” she says.  “We are excited each time a cow gets pregnant, and excited every time a calf is born and we see it stand up and begin nursing.”

They use artificial insemination to breed cows in their herd as another way to continue to improve the health and performance of calves.

“We can improve the genetics of our herd exponentially,” she said. “We are able to choose the bull that has the characteristics we want to improve in our herd.”

The focus on keeping animals healthy starts with good husbandry skills and vaccines to boost their immune systems, said Dr. Stahl. 

image001.jpg“When a calf is born, we make sure she receives colostrum from the cow and we begin a vaccination program, just like pediatricians recommend a vaccination program for babies,” she said.

Vaccination provides an important foundation, but producers also work to provide a healthy environment for animals.  That means different things for each livestock species, but includes clean, dry bedding and protecting animals from the elements. 

Dr. Stahl works with a variety of livestock producers with different size farms or ranches, but sees a compassion for animals in each of the farmers she works with.

“Farmers need to earn a living, but raising animals is much more than the money, it is a way of life,” she said. “It never ceases to amaze me how much livestock producers care for their animals.  Almost every time I am working with a farmer and their animals, I notice something that makes me see how much they care. 

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Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:59:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/compassion-and-care-key-to-being-vet-farmer-and-soon-to-be-mother/
February Agvocates http://agunited.org/news-and-events/february-agvocates/ February 2018 Agvocates copy.jpgFebruary is a shorter than average month, but was filled to the brim with Adopt A Farmer visits. Adopt A Farmer volunteers visited 39 classrooms this month, which equals about 900 students! Thank you to all our volunteers that made this possible and shared the story of South Dakota Ag in February.

 

Adopt A Farmer Classroom Visits

Clint & Kelly Brandlee

Heidi Zwinger

Phil Eggers

Doug Sieck

Peter Bakken

Bruce Burkhart

Adam Mohrhauser

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Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:48:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/february-agvocates/
Guest Blog: Adventures and Relationships http://agunited.org/news-and-events/guest-blog-adventures-and-relationships/ This week's Farmer's Daughter blog and radio segment are by Larissa Neugebauer, a Farmer's Daughter originally from Dimock, SD! 

 

IMG_8182.JPGAdventures and relationships are two words that can mean so many things – especially when it involves family, agriculture, and dairy farming! Growing up on a small family dairy in rural Dimock, SD, every day was a different kind of adventure; some good, some fun, and some not so great. Someone forgetting to close the gate and realizing the cows have taken a little stroll around the section, the early morning and late nights in the field during planting, harvesting, haying, learning from a young age the excitement of a newborn calf but also the sorrow of a loss of a calf or your favorite milk cow!

No matter what the adventure was on my family’s farm, one thing that remains extremely important is the relationships we made! Whether it be relationships with neighbors that lend a hand, the cattle establishing a common ground of trust between humans and animals, or the consumers to building trusting relationship that what we do on the farm is safe and done to the best of our ability, so they have a quality product!

Building relationships and dairy cows are my lifelong passions.  I combined these two things and attended South Dakota State University earning my B.S in Dairy Production and B.S. in Agricultural Leadership with minors in Animal Science and Ag. Business. After graduation, I jumped right into the industry and started even more adventures!

I enjoy playing many different roles within the dairy industry.  I work for Furst-McNess Company as a Specialty Ingredient Representative. I work on the technical sales side of the specialty feed ingredients and silage inoculants by helping salesmen with our specialty products, along with going to the farm and helping producers one-on-one find the best solutions to the problems they face on the farm!

IMG_8073.JPGWhen I’m close to home, I get to pull on my boots and head out to the barn and milk cows! I make sure to get in a tractor seat as much as I can. This helps me remember where I came from but also keep myself grounded with the day-to-day activities of a dairy farm first hand. It is extremely important to me to still be actively involved on my family’s farm because it’s where my passion for the dairy industry and caring for animals all started!

When I am not working with livestock nutrition or milking cows on my family farm, you can usually find me chatting with just about anyone that wants to talk about cows or how the dairy industry works! My Dad, Jim, has been a major advocate for the dairy industry my entire life and he has shared that passion for sharing our story with me. I believe that if we as dairy farmers, don't tell our story who will? My dad and I team up and run the malt wagon and milkshake stand at Dakotafest in Mitchell, SD every August. Another event I coordinate is Dairy Fest held in June in Brookings, SD. Dairy Fest is a free family fun event where the public can and learn about the industry along with enjoying lunch and tour on a dairy farm.  I get involved in helping with the South Dakota Dairy Princess pageant and other events that Midwest dairy hosts in the state.

 Letting consumers hear my family’s story of dairy farming, sharing some of our adventure stories, and showing photos of the farm and cows are a few of my favorite things! I love to show consumers that even though we all come from different walks of life, we can find something to laugh at along with maybe even learn a thing or two!  

 

Did you miss this week's radio segment? Listen to it now! 2.26.18 FD Larissa Neugebauer.mp3 Be sure to tune in to 1320AM and 107.9 FM each Monday at 10:00 a.m. to catch the newest Farmer's Daughter segment! 

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Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:12:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/guest-blog-adventures-and-relationships/
Rural Dictionary: CAFO http://agunited.org/news-and-events/rural-dictionary-cafo/ Feedlot.JPG
We're excited to introduce a new monthly feature - a Rural Dictionary!  Every industry relies on terms and acronyms that are used a lot, but not always explained.  Our goal is to share a term each month that you may have seen online or in news coverage and provide a little more background. Have suggestions on terms to include in future issues?  Just email your ideas to us. 
 
CAFO, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation.
A CAFO is a farm where animals are raised in confinement, either in outdoor pens or barns.  A CAFO is usually over 1,000 Animal Units (One animal unit is equivalent to one beef animal). CAFOs may house beef cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, dairy cattle, or other livestock. These modern facilities enable farmers to capture manure, keep animals comfortable, and allow farmers to keep a close eye on their livestock. They also allow farmers to protect the environment by lowering feed usage, saving water, and using less land. All CAFOs over 1,000 animal units must have a South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources permit, and are regulated as to when and where they apply their manure. 
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Wed, 07 Feb 2018 09:54:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/rural-dictionary-cafo/
January 2018 Agvocates http://agunited.org/news-and-events/january-2018-agvocates/ January 2018 Agvocates-5.pngWe started off 2018 with one of our favorite activities - Adopt A Farmer classroom visits! At these visits students get to meet their Adopted Farmer in person, as well as touch, see, and feel items from the farm. Students enjoy getting to interact with their Adopted Farmers, it’s easy to forget that they students are also learning about math, science, and technology used on modern farms.

January 2018 AgVocates

 

Adopt A Farmer

Peter Bakken

Clint & Kelly Brandlee

Bruce Burkhart

Philip Eggers

Greg Moes

Adam Mohrhauser

Dawn Nagel

Jim Petrik

Doug Sieck

Heidi Zwinger

 

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Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:42:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/january-2018-agvocates/
Raising Livestock through Trust and Transparency http://agunited.org/news-and-events/raising-livestock-through-trust-and-transparency/ Featured Farmer Profile – Rodney Elliott, Drumgoon Dairy

 

Elliott Family.pngThere is often a great deal of discussion and news coverage when a South Dakota farm family applies for a permit to build or expand a livestock farm.  What happens after their permit is approved and the animals move in? 

Regulations and inspections vary depending on the type of animal and size of farm, but it is safe to say that all permitted concentrated animal feeding operations are monitored on a regular basis to ensure that manure management, animal welfare, employee safety and many other requirements are met.  These include requirements from state, federal authorities as well as guidelines from farm industry organizations and the processors who buy the milk, meat, eggs or other products raised on each farm.

For Rodney and Dorothy Elliott of Drumgoon Dairy near Lake Norden, inspections and documenting activities are part of the daily routine and help them ensure that the dairy is doing the best it can for animals, public health, environment and employees.

“We view the permits we have to raise animals and produce milk as a privilege not as a right,” said Rodney.  “We have to work hard to protect those rights and we want to make sure that there aren’t any issues that would cause regulators, neighbors or community members to question what we are doing.”

The Elliotts relocated from Northern Ireland to South Dakota to build a new dairy farm.   They began milking cows at Drumgoon Dairy in 2006.  After an expansion in 2014, they now milk about 4750 cows in two milking parlors on the farm.  They also raise about 4000 calves and heifers.   All heifer calves are raised at Drumgoon Dairy until 6 months and then sent to a farm in Kansas to be grown, bred and returned to the farm at 7 months pregnant.

All dairy farms in the state follow strict testing processes for the milk and meat produced there. Each truckload of milk - up to six tankers a day for Drumgoon Dairy - is tested at the farm and again at the milk processor to make sure it is free of antibiotics and other contaminants.   In addition, every animal that is sold and processed into meat is inspected at the processing facility. If there are any concerns, the meat is held and all testing completed before it is processed further. 

Both state and federal milk inspectors conduct unannounced on-site visits to dairy farms to make sure that the milking parlor, milk storage and other dairy facilities meet health and sanitation requirements.  Inspectors have a detailed checklist to confirm that the farm is safe and sanitary for animals, employees and visitors.

“We have to be ready every day,” he said.  “They are looking for everything from making sure the animals have clean, fresh water to providing restroom facilities for employees, milk haulers and visitors.”

Inspectors also review animal health records and the farm’s protocols for caring for sick animals.  They review what medicines are given to sick cattle and how milk from treated cows is disposed of so it doesn’t enter the commercial supply. 

Another important area is the storage, handling and application of manure for fertilizer.

Livestock farmers must maintain updated plans that detail how livestock manure will be stored, and how and on what crop fields it will be applied to as fertilizer. These plans are kept on file at the farm as well as with state agencies.

“We submit paperwork each spring and fall to document that we’ve followed the protocol established in the manure management plan,” said Rodney.  “Proper application of manure ensures that needed nutrients are absorbed in the soil and minimizes any runoff or wasting of nutrients.” 

The dairy hires an independent company to test the nutrient makeup of the manure fertilizer and the soils where it will be applied.

“Manure is a valuable source of fertilizer, but we have to make sure that we are putting the right amount in the right fields at the right time of year,” he said. 

Manure storage facilities are inspected each year by South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources employees.  Dairy employees review the manure storage facilities every week, but Rodney noted that informal inspections happen much more often.

“When we completed a recent expansion, we designed it so storage would always be easily visible. We drive by it often, so we are constantly monitoring and making sure everything is working the way it should,” he said.

As Drumgoon Dairy has grown, so has its team of employees.  They now employ 53 people, which qualifies the farm as a “medium-size employer” and requires them to meet safety, tax and other requirements like other non-farm companies of their size.

“Human resources management has become a huge part of what we do every day, making sure that we are meeting all the appropriate safety training, safety equipment, insurance, and other requirements,” he said.  “These are important and should be expected from an employer in our community.”

The Elliotts also follow guidelines established by the dairy industry to ensure that farms meet standards for animal care.  Milk processing companies and cooperatives routinely review protocols to certify each dairy farm.  Beef, pork and poultry associations have similar training and accountability programs for their members. 

The Elliotts’ approach to farming and caring for their animals and environment has stayed consistent from the days when they were farming in Northern Ireland.

“From the first cow I owned in Northern Ireland to every cow on our farm in South Dakota, the cows always come first,” said Rodney.   “Farm size doesn’t matter when it comes to taking care of our animals.  We all have to have the best practices and equipment and pay attention to every detail.”

Technology, however, has allowed them to share their stories and hold everyone even more accountable.   

“We have a number of people on the farm each day – employees, salespeople, service providers and visitors - and each one of them now has a video camera in the phone in their pocket,” said Rodney.  

The farm regularly posts videos of daily activities on their Drumgoon Dairy page on Facebook and has hosted a number of tours and open house events. 

 “I view the right to farm here as a blessing, and something I have to work to maintain every day,” said Rodney. 

If you want to read more about the Elliot Family, check out this article by Midwest Dairy! 

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Tue, 30 Jan 2018 09:18:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/raising-livestock-through-trust-and-transparency/
Roger Scheibe Selected as 2017 AgVocate of the Year http://agunited.org/news-and-events/roger-scheibe-selected-as-2017-agvocate-of-the-year/ January Featured Partner Profile

 

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Roger Scheibe (L) accepts the 2017 AgVocate of the Year award from Ag United President, Richard Vasgaard (R). 

A collection of more than 50 milk bottles from South Dakota creameries dating back to the 1940s is just one of the ways that Roger Scheibe recognizes the role of the dairy industry and dairy farming in our state.

 

Over the past 43 years, Roger has worked in a number of roles, all with a focus on serving and supporting South Dakota’s dairy farm families.  He has been a dairy farmer, an inspector for the state’s agriculture department, an economic developer recruiting new dairies, an ag lender and now as representative of families in the checkoff and state trade association.

 

Roger was recognized as the 2018 AgVocate of the Year by the board of directors of Ag United for South Dakota at the organization’s annual luncheon in December.  The fourth annual AgVocate award recognizes South Dakotans for their work in sharing their story of modern farming with the public.

 

For the past nine years, he has served as the Industry Relations Manager for Midwest Dairy and is also the Executive Director of the South Dakota Dairy Producers Association.  Scheibe retired from Midwest Dairy at the end of December 2017.

 

Roger was raised on a dairy farm near Wolsey, South Dakota, and attended South Dakota State University where he earned a B.S. in dairy science and manufacturing. For the past nine years, he has served as the Industry Relations Manager for Midwest Dairy and is also the Executive Director of the South Dakota Dairy Producers Association.  Scheibe retired from Midwest Dairy at the end of December 2017.

 

“Roger’s dedication and service to agriculture in many roles make him very deserving of the award,” said Richard Vasgaard, Centerville farmer and president of Ag United.  “His focus has always been on finding ways to support dairy farmers in our state.  We wish him the best as he moves to retirement.”

 

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Roger with his 2017 AgVocate of the Year award, a hand painted milk bottle.

The dairy industry has evolved and changed over the years, and so have the consumers who purchase milk and dairy products.  As people are multiple generations removed from living on farms, there are more conversations about how food is raised and grown, said Roger.

 

“Some of my favorite experiences have been the opportunities to spend time with people who are not directly connected to a farm and be able to answer their questions,” he said. “Whether it is at an open house, a bus tour or event like the Sioux Empire Fair, it is rewarding to see the ‘aha’ moment when you make a connection and people understand not just what farmers do, but the reasons why they do things.”

 

Roger notes that his own family reflects this trend.  He and his wife Kay have three grown children, two grandsons and a granddaughter.  Even though their children are not working in production agriculture, they recognize the importance and economic impact of farming today.

 

“We’re all connected to ag in one way or another – as the second and third generations removed from farm, they are a good sounding board and reality check,” he said.

 

The next generation of dairy farmers and livestock producers will need to be prepared to answer more questions and share the stories of their farms and families to build confidence with the public. 

 

“Volunteering for open houses, hosting virtual tours, adopting school classrooms are all ways that today’s farm families are reaching out to connect,” he said. “It is more than giving students a book with cows and sheep, it gives people the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the farmers who actually raise crops and animals.”

 

He noted that organizations like Ag United for South Dakota, Midwest Dairy Association and others provide those connection opportunities in a variety of ways.

 

A number of factors – economic, technology, and lifestyles – have combined to change the size and distribution of dairy farms across the state as well.

 

“For a number of years, there were many cases where the next generation was not encouraged to come back to the farm, so when the parents were ready to retire, the cows were sold,” said Roger.  “The commitment to milking cows two or three times a day, plus caring for calves, crops and managing the farm business led to significant ‘quality of life’ issues.”

 

The dairy development program in the late 1990s had the goal of bringing new dairies or expanding existing farms to help revitalize smaller rural communities in the state.  With each cow representing $26,000 in economic impact and about 85 cents of every dollar staying in the community for services, wages and supplies, dairies represent a major economic engine, he said. 

 

“Now there is another transition driven by technology. We’re seeing a resurgence of interest from the next generation of dairy farms of all sizes - especially smaller farms - with the advent of robotic technologies.  ” he said. “Young people are seeing that robotic milkers, automatic calf feeders and other tools can help manage the schedule and quality of life issues that previous generations faced, and help them provide even better care for their animals.”

 

While the opportunities exist for the younger generations of dairy farmers and livestock producers, Roger sees concern that planning and zoning and permitting issues may prevent young people from building new barns or facilities that will help them get their start. 

 

“We need to find ways to work together with farmers, families, neighbors and local officials to take the emotions out of the process so we can give young people the opportunity to partner with their parents or other family members to build a foundation for their future, and the future of agriculture in our state,” he said. 

 

Watch Roger receive the award at the Annual Luncheon below!

 https://youtu.be/wE32qbCxBP0

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Tue, 02 Jan 2018 11:23:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/roger-scheibe-selected-as-2017-agvocate-of-the-year/
Thank you to ALL 2017 Agvocates! http://agunited.org/news-and-events/thank-you-to-all-2017-agvocates/

Thank you December & 2017 Agvocates.jpgOn December 13 we celebrated 13 years of Ag United for South Dakota. At our annual luncheon we announced our AgVocate of the Year, Roger Scheibe and heard from Lucas Lentsch, CEO of Midwest Dairy. We also looked back on all of the events that we held in 2017. Each one was dependent on our wonderful volunteers. We would like to thank each person that hosted a tour, rode a bus, or visited classrooms this year.  In all, it took more than 200 volunteers to complete our 2017 events! Thank you!

 

December 2017 Agvocates

Annual Luncheon

Heather Neugebauer

Sydney Sleep

 

Adopt A Farmer

Peter Bakken

Clint Brandlee & Kelly Wubben

Bruce Burkhart

Philip Eggers

Greg Moes

Adam Mohrhauser

Dawn Nagel

Jim Petrik

Doug Sieck

Heidi Zwinger

 

All 2017 Agvocates

 

Adopted Farmers 
Peter Bakken 
Clint Brandlee 
Kelly Wubben
Bruce Burkhart 
Phil Eggers 
Josh & Kara Kayser 
Greg Moes 
Adam Mohrhauser 
Dawn Nagel 
Jim Petrik 
Doug Sieck
Ross Varilek 
Heidi Zwinger
Video Tapers
for Adopted Farmers 

Courtney Anderson 
Grace Suttle 
Sara VanDerVleit 
Kari Visser 
Carter Warne 
Sami Wiseman 
Shari Thiewes -
National Ag Week 
Classroom Visits
 
Gary Blasé 
Peggy Greenway 
Gregg Ode 
Hannah Walkes 
Vicki Schultz 
Jim Petrik 
Heidi Zwinger
Bruce Burkhart 
Annelies Seffrood 
Laron Krause 
Valley Queen Cheese 
Greg & Julie Moes 
Paul Brandt 
Bruce Burkhart 
Land O’Lakes 
 Ag Day at the Pavilion 
Heidi Zwinger
Brody Selken 
LeAnne Eich 
Scott Early 
Peter Bakken 
Dorothy Elliot 

Farmers Feeding 
Families 
Dave Poppens 
Becki Forster 
Heidi Zwinger
Paul & Heather Kostboth 
Don Riley 
Janelle Atyeo 
Cheyenne Edmundson 
Steve Scholten 
Greg Eichacker 
Joe Livermonth 
Kyle & Jesslyn Huinker 
Jerry Schmitz
Dave & Charis Poppens 
Bob & Karen Thaler 
Scott Early 
Richard Vasgaard -
Janet Klink 
Julie Schwader 
Ann Hess 
Crystal Levesque 
Tri-Valley FFA 
John Hult 
Glenn Scott 
Helen Geppert 
Jim Benson 
Todd & Monica Hanten 
Marv & Joy Post 
Rapid City Beef Crawl
Shawn & Kristy Freeland
Eric & Michelle Jennings
Carl & Kari Sanders
Larry & Eileen Stomprud
Justin & Brooke Tupper
Wayne Tupper 
Pam Nelson
10th Annual Breakfast on 

the Farm 
Bob & Marilyn Ode 
Doug Ode & family 
Gregg Ode & family 
Krista Harringa 
Guy Johnson 
Zeb Johnson 
Gabe Johnson 
Eleanor Dick 
Maya Kennedy 
Rowena Rustling Raisers 4-H
Mark & Charlotte Gerhart 
Steve Wilke 
MoDak Dairy Day 
Gregg & Julie Moes family
Krista Harringa
Truman Dick 
Connor Swanson 
Dietician Farm Tour 
Tom and Katy VanderWal 
Bel Brands 
Hilltop Dairy

Cody Wright 
Laurie Johnson 
Russ Daly 
LEAD Farm Tour
Heidi Zwinger
Dan Ahlers 
Lynn Boadwine  
Jeremy Fugleberg
Heather Gessner 
Al Miron 
Sarah VanderVliet 
Know Your Milk Tour 

Stensland Family
Gay Anderson 
Heidi Zwinger
Farms After Five Tour 
Central Farmers Cooperative 
Megan Herlyn 
Tyler Klein Farm 
Valley Side Farm 
Al Miron 
John Lentz 
Holly Swee 
Adam Mohrhauser 
Stacey Sorlien 
Pechous Dairy Open House 
Bob & Nancy Pechous
Kyle & Erin Pechous   
Truman Dick
Connor Swanson
Krista Harringa  

Roger Scheibe 
Boys & Girls Club Tour 

Boadwine Farms 
Heidi Zwinger
Meadow Star Dairy Tour 
Riverview Dairy, LLP 
Tom Walsh 
Brady Janzen 
Natasha Mortensen 
Kevin Wulf 
Adam Zeltwanger 
Yankton Co. Pig Barn Tour 
Oren & Patti Stahl 
Dan Boehmer 
Steve Hohn 
Steve Schmeichel 
Steve Rommereim 
Mike & Vicki Schultz
Expo for Her 
Ashley Gelderman 
Heidi Zwinger
Guest Bloggers 
Ashley Gelderman
Allyse Thaler
Harvest Hangout 
Bruce Burkhart 
Kyle Vanderwal 
Sioux Falls Beef Craw
DJ & Danya Buseman Brandon & Laurie Johnson Adam & Ye Mohrhauser 
Tim & Sandy Naasz 
Troy & Holly Swee 
Richard & Joyce Vasgaard 
Bryant Dairy Tour 
Tom Walsh 
Brady Janzen 
Kelly Wubben 
Ben Stout 

Annual Luncheon

Heather Neugebauer

Sydney Sleep

 



*We apologize to anyone we may have missed! Thank you to all our volunteers for your help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sun, 31 Dec 2017 11:36:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/thank-you-to-all-2017-agvocates/
Dogs and Cattle Play Important Role at TSN Simmentals http://agunited.org/news-and-events/dogs-and-cattle-play-important-role-at-tsn-simmentals/ December Featured Farmer

 

1004885_424583617668556_924052081_n.jpgWe’ve all heard the saying that ‘dogs are man’s best friend,” but for many farmers and ranchers, their dogs are more than a friend or family member, they are as valuable as any employee on the operation. 

 

This is especially true for Tim and Sandy Naasz who raise beef cattle and crops on their ranch near Platte, South Dakota. He grew up with working dogs, but found a special connection when he bought his first border collie in 1997.

 

“It was a good fit right away,” he said.  In 1998, he went to his first training clinic. Learning to train dogs led to raising and training dogs for other ranchers, and Tim began competing in stock dog trial competitions in 2001.  He was named the winner of the 2012 National Cattle Dog Finals and has taken home top honors at a number of state and regional competitions, including Black Hills Stock Show, National Western Stock Show and Iowa State Fair.

 

Border collies play an important role in helping the Naasz family raise and manage their herd of about 330 registered Simmental and Simmental/Angus breed cows. 

 

“A good border collie will do the work of what two or three people can,” said Tim, when talking about how stock dogs can help in rounding up and sorting cattle.  Understanding a dog’s natural instincts or behaviors is an important part of training him and working with him to handle livestock.

 

Tim grew up on a dairy farm near Ethan, South Dakota, and milked for several years after graduating from college.  He and Sandy began ranching together on her family’s land in 1994.  They started with a herd of 125 beef cows in 1996 and have grown to calving about 330 cows each year.  They also grow corn, small grains and hay to provide feed for their livestock.

 

Tim and Sandy have two daughters.  Rebecca is a graduate of South Dakota State University and is the outreach director for Ag United for South Dakota. Sawyer is a junior in high school and active in 4-H, FFA, sports and music. 

 

A registered herd means that the Naaszes are members of the national breed association and track detailed information about each animal such as the parents, health, vaccination records, weight, performance records, and more. By carefully monitoring their calves and cows, they can continue to improve the quality and performance of their herd.

 

Simm Cow.JPG
A few of the cows at TSN Simmentals.

 

 

The heifer calves born on their ranch are either kept as replacements for their own herd, or sold to other ranches looking to build or improve the genetics in their herds. About one-third of the bull calves are sold to ranches as well.  The remaining bulls are finished in feedlots.

 

“Both Sandy and I are very interested in the potential to improve our herd through genetics and breeding,” said Tim.

 

They are active members of a number of agriculture organizations as well as local community, church and 4-H programs. Tim has been on the board of the South Dakota Simmental Association and a founding member and current president of the South Dakota Stock Dog Association.

 

The family takes cattle to the South Dakota State Fair each year and Sawyer shows cattle in 4-H and several junior Simmental regional and other shows each year.

 

In addition to raising and training dogs and competing in stock dog trials, Tim enjoys working with other stock dog handlers to continue training their dogs and sharing information.

 

Tim Naasz.png

Tim Naasz working sheep with Border Collie Lyla. 

 

There are several levels of competition for each trial, Novice, Beginner, Intermediate and Professional, with various obstacles that the dog must herd sheep or cattle through.  In the Novice level, handlers can move through the obstacles with their dog, but by the Professional level, the handler is outside the course giving commands for the dog to complete on its own.

 

Tim is hosting cattle and sheep trials this weekend, December 8 & 9 at the Yellow Rose Arena in Platte, SD.  He will also be holding a training clinic for those interested in learning how to train a dog to work livestock. To learn more about the training clinic or trials, go to the Yellow Rose Stockdog Trial Facebook Page

577101_226070004186586_361097031_n.jpg

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Mon, 04 Dec 2017 14:00:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/dogs-and-cattle-play-important-role-at-tsn-simmentals/
Thankful for November Agvocates! http://agunited.org/news-and-events/thankful-for-november-agvocates/ Thank You November AgVocates.png

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we spent the month thinking about what we are thankful for at Ag United.  Our fantastic volunteers were at the top of the list! We rely on more than 250 volunteers each year, and our programs and activities would not be possible without you. This month we hosted the Sioux Falls Beef Crawl, where guests visited with local farmers over delicious beef dishes. To finish the month we partnered with Riverview Dairy to take a bus trip to visit a dairy near Pennock, MN. We are thankful for all our volunteers!

 

Sioux Falls Beef Crawl
DJ & Danya Buseman
Brandon & Laurie Johnson
Adam & Ye Mohrhauser
Tim & Sandy Naasz
Troy & Holly Swee
Richard & Joyce Vasgaard

Bryant Dairy Tour
Tom Walsh
Brady Janzen
Kelly Wubben
Ben Stout

Adopt A Farmer
Peter Bakken
Clint Brandlee & Kelly Wubben
Bruce Burkhart
Philip Eggers
Greg Moes
Adam Mohrhauser
Dawn Nagel
Jim Petrik
Doug Sieck
Heidi Zwinger

 

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Wed, 29 Nov 2017 15:47:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/thankful-for-november-agvocates/
Nutrition is Key to Raising Healthy Turkeys, November Featured Partner Profile http://agunited.org/news-and-events/bob-drake-mcfleeg-feeds-november-featured-farmer-profile/ IMG_0950.jpgThanksgiving dinner is one of the most anticipated and planned for meals of the year for many Americans. Whether it is the time-tested recipe for stuffing or a new turkey brine recipe discovered on Pinterest, traditions and new ideas often come together to make a meal that families and friends enjoy together.

 

Did you know that it also takes detailed planning and a combination of new and traditional farming practices and technologies to make sure that the turkeys that are the centerpiece of many tables are healthy, nutritious and delicious?  Bob Drake, President CEO of McFleeg Feeds in Watertown, South Dakota, has spent his career working with farmers to make sure their turkeys and other livestock receive the best nutrition and care possible.

 

Bob was one of eight children raised on a small family farm near Platte, South Dakota.  He earned bachelor’s degrees in Animal Science and Ag Education at South Dakota State University, as well as a master’s degree in Animal Nutrition.  He worked as Nutritionist for McFleeg Feeds for 20 years until he partnered with Tim Anderson and Marshall Olson to buy the company from its founders in 2001.  Tim and Marshall lead the company’s sales efforts. The company currently has 22 employees, with an average tenure of 14 years.

 

McFleeg Feeds was founded by Boyd Fleeger and Dr. Dick McCullough in 1976. The company focused on working with farmers and creating a formulated “premix” of vitamins and minerals that poultry and pig farmers could add to feed on their farms. 

 

Just like human diets, turkeys need a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins to help them reach full growth potential.  Soybean meal is a primary source of protein (In fact, the 5 million turkeys raised in South Dakota consume about 51,000 tons of soybean meal each year!), and other ingredients including corn, liquid fat, calcium, phosphorous, salt and others.  The average turkey eats about .8 pounds of feed each day, of which .5 pounds is corn.

 

McFleeg Feeds is always looking for tested ways to improve birds’ gut health and prevent illness so they don’t need antibiotics or other medications.

 

“We work with other nutritionists and companies from around the world to deliver products that work,” said Bob.  “We have used chelated trace minerals, enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, essential oils, yeasts, oligosaccharides and many other natural products for decades to improve animal health and performance and minimize antibiotic use.”

 

Over the years, McFleeg Feeds has evolved to meet the needs of their farmer customers, including meeting the demands that food companies and consumers have for their meat and poultry products.  They currently offer a full range of vitamin premixes and other specialty products.  Their production facility in Watertown is a drug and animal protein free plant, and delivers feed to turkey, dairy, beef and other poultry farms.

 

 

 

“Raising and feeding livestock today is a lot more than just vitamins and minerals. It is the whole program that makes an operation a success,” he said. “Our nutritionists and veterinarians spend a lot of time in the barns seeing what works and doesn’t work to carefully monitor birds and stay ahead of any possible issues.”

 

The management practices for caring for poultry have evolved. For example, the large barns that house turkeys are specially designed to provide feed, water, bedding, protection from weather conditions, diseases and predators. 

 

Another change in turkey production over the years is the size of birds.  While there are some misconceptions that hormones are given to birds, it is actually a combination of better genetics, feeding programs, facilities and management that allows turkeys to grow larger.

 

Poultry and livestock production also boost rural economies and small towns, and Bob sees strong potential for turkey and poultry farmers in South Dakota.

 

In September, Hendrix Genetics broke ground on a $25 million turkey hatchery in Beresford that will hatch and transport day-old turkeys to farms across the Midwest.  The Hybrid Turkey hatchery will employ about 100 people and ensure that regional turkey farmers have more access to genetics and birds for their farms.

 

Bob is a member of the board of directors of the South Dakota Poultry Industries Association and serves as an alternate to the Ag United board of directors. 

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Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:16:00 -0600 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/bob-drake-mcfleeg-feeds-november-featured-farmer-profile/
Corn Mazes and Corn Harvest http://agunited.org/news-and-events/corn-mazes-and-corn-harvest/ IMG_20131020_151458_718.jpg My sister Sawyer and I on our own corn maze adventure. 

October is a time when lots of families head to the country. Apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes give people from town the chance to enjoy the beautiful rural landscape we have in South Dakota. It’s fun to spend a little time in the crisp fall air, and explore the countryside. As a farm kid living in the city, it feels good to escape to a place where there is room to explore. Today, Halloween, is usually the last day that corn mazes in the area are open. There are sure to be some families and teens that will try their hand at escaping a haunted corn maze.

 

This time of year, farmers are also spending a lot of time out in the cornfield. However, farmers aren’t testing their problem solving skills by finding their way through a maze, they are working hard to harvest this year’s corn crop. Harvest is the final step in a process that started many months ago. Farmers planted their corn this spring and spent the summer caring for it and watching it grow. A successful harvest depends on many factors that are out of the farmer’s control. Depending on the area, this year in South Dakota farmers have had to deal too much rain, too little rain, cool temperatures that affected crops in the end of the growing season, hail, and drought. Despite all of these challenges, it’s always exciting to get in the combine and see exactly what the yield will be this year.

 

 

 

IMG_3831.JPGIn South Dakota, farmers are expected to harvest 4.8 million acres of corn this year.  About 36% of this corn goes to feed livestock. When farmers are able to sell their corn locally, they get a better price. This is important in years where the price farmers get for their grain is low, like this year. A few cents can make the difference between losing money, breaking even, or making money on this year’s crop. Livestock are important for grain farmers too!

 

After the corn maze is shut down, that corn will also be harvested. Whether grain comes from a traditional cornfield or a local corn maze, corn harvest in South Dakota is underway! 

 

Corn Usage.png

How corn is used after harvest. 
Graph and info via Ethanol Producer

 

 

Listen to The Farmer's Daughter each Monday on KELO 1320 AM or 107.9 FM during the "It's Your Agribusiness" radio hour from 10am - 11am. Did you miss this week's Farmer's Daughter segment? Listen to it here: 10.30.17 FD Corn Mazes and Corn Harvest.mp3

 

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Tue, 31 Oct 2017 12:15:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/corn-mazes-and-corn-harvest/
October Agvocates http://agunited.org/news-and-events/october-agvocates2/ October Agvocates.jpg

During October farmers were busy with Soybean Harvest. We were fortunate to have volunteers that were willing to give a look into their work through our Harvest Hangout segments and a guest blog post. Students involved in the Adopt A Farmer program also received their first videos from their Adopted Farmer. Thank you to everyone that supported our October programs!

 

Expo for Her

Ashley Gelderman

Heidi Selken

 

Guest Blog Post
Ashley Gelderman

 

Harvest Hangout

Bruce Burkhart

Kyle Vanderwal

 

Adopt A Farmer

Peter Bakken

Clint Brandlee & Kelly Wubben

Bruce Burkhart

Philip Eggers

Greg Moes

Adam Mohrhauser

Dawn Nagel

Jim Petrik

Doug Sieck

Heidi Zwinger

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Tue, 31 Oct 2017 11:09:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/october-agvocates2/
Ashley Gelderman - A Passion for Pigs http://agunited.org/news-and-events/ashley-gelderman-a-passion-for-pigs/ IMG_1129.JPG Ashley with one of her piglets from her M.S. research

Farmer's Daughter Guest Blog

Growing up on a 4,000 head sow farm outside of Salem, SD, my passion for pigs started early in life. Farrowing (birthing of baby pigs) occurred everyday on our farm.  Being the youngest of three children, I followed my dad and brothers out to the barn any chance I could.  I loved holding newborn baby piglets, one of my fondest childhood memories, is holding the runt pigs and rocking them to sleep.  I learned at a young age the care and attention that is needed to make sure newborn piglets are started off right. 

My passion for pigs lead me to South Dakota State University, where I received my B.S. in Animal Science as well as an M.S. in Monogastric Nutrition. From there, I was fortunate to start my career in the swine industry. I have worked for other farms in farrowing to wean systems, and for SDSU Extension.  Currently, I work for Standard Nutrition as a nutritionist where I formulate diets for pigs and turkeys as well as offer trainings and site assessments to help improve on farm practices.

I have the opportunity to help many pig farmers throughout the upper Midwest by formulating the best possible diets for their pigs based on their needs and wants.  My role in formulating pig diets includes the opportunity to regularly walk barns and work with many farmers to offer individualized nutritional advice to help them ensure a happy healthy hog and ultimately a healthy pork product in the grocery store.

There are many different career opportunities available for men and women in the swine industry.  A person can be hands on with pigs whether it be on a sow farm, nursery, or on a finishing level.  They can formulate diets, sell specific feed products, mix feed at a feed mill, or deliver feed to a customer.  Just like humans need doctors, veterinarians are needed to diagnose pigs that get sick. Another opportunity is selling pharmaceuticals to treat pigs that may need treatment after they have been diagnosed by a veterinarians and a health treatment plan is developed.  Truckers are also needed for the transportation of pigs at various stages of life or working in a harvest facility. 

While my role in the swine industry may be a little different than what I envisioned when I was younger, I would not have it any other way.   It may take a little bit to find your passion and drive, but once you do it is worth it. Find something you are passionate about so when you share about your job and experiences others get excited with you.

In addition to my career in the swine industry, I am a mom to two girls ages four and two.  Along with my husband, Tony we raise cattle, corn, soybeans and hay. Even though my kids will not grow up in a swine barn like I did, I make sure to tell them about my job so they have an understanding and knowledge of pig farming. In the future, they may have 4-H pigs, but for now they are still getting their first-hand agriculture experience bottling feed calves, moving cows from pasture to pasture, feeding steers, and riding horse.

Family Pic 2016.jpg
Tony, Ashley, Sadie, and Seneca Gelderman

 

Listen to Ashley's Farmer's Daughter radio segment here: 10.23.17 FD Ashley Gelderman.mp3

*Listen weekly to the It's Your Agribusiness Show on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9FM for the Farmer's Daughter segment, Mondays between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.

 

 

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Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:07:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/ashley-gelderman-a-passion-for-pigs/
Internship Opportunity with Ag United http://agunited.org/news-and-events/2018internship/ IMG_1273.jpgInterested in helping South Dakota’s farm and ranch families tell their story to communities, neighbors and consumers?  Consider applying for an internship with Ag United for South Dakota!  The internship helps build skills in communications, event planning, social media and provides the opportunity to work with families from across the state. Want to learn more? Read the blog post from our 2017 intern Sydney Sleep.  Applications for the summer 2018 position will be due November 17. 

 

POSITION TITLE:  Intern, Summer full-time position located in Sioux Falls, SD (Position is also shared with SD Corn, and Midwest Dairy, intern will complete some activities for these organizations.)

Intern will work out of and be supervised by the Ag United for South Dakota office in Sioux Falls, SD.

 

POSITION DATES: May – Sept. 3

*Weekend of SD State Fair is a required activity. Other start and end dates depend on applicants school schedule.

 

Application Deadline: November 17, 2017

Please include cover letter, resume, and at least 2 references. Send application materials to rebecca@agunited.org

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION:
Agriculture United for South Dakota is a coalition of farm organizations formed in 2005 with a goal of keeping family farms and ranches growing. Coalition members of Ag United includes: the South Dakota Cattleman's Association, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, the South Dakota Soybean Association, the South Dakota Dairy Producers and the South Dakota Poultry Industries Association. 

Ag United works toward promoting and advancing farm and ranch families and rural communities with four guiding principles:

  • Developing communications on the connection between farm life and South Dakota's economic and social well-being.
  • Engaging those who do not tell the truth about agriculture and food production.
  • Educating consumers about the importance of food production.
  • Providing assistance to South Dakota farmers and ranchers. 

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

Assist with planning and carrying out events. This is a snapshot of some of the activities that will be completed over the summer. 

  1. Farms After Five farm tours – Designed to take South Dakota consumers to the farm, this position aid in organizing details for these events including the farms, ag professionals on the bus, participants, lunch, promotion and materials for the day.
  2. Open Houses – Several open houses are hosted through-out late spring to early fall.  Open houses are an opportunity for the public to visit South Dakota dairy, hog and beef farms. Intern will assist with promoting the event, obtain sponsors and ordering supplies for this event. 
  3. Sioux Empire Fair, State Fair – Work the dairy booth at both events and promote dairy to consumers. At Sioux Empire Fair, SD Corn will also have activities the Friday and Saturday of the fair.
  4. South Dakota Corn Golf Tournament – Help with set up, registration, serving food, ect. 

 

Public Relations

  1. This position may require an occasional blog post on a timely agriculture related issues.
  2. Develop marketing and promotional materials for various Ag United events and programs. 
  3. Communicate with the general public and answer questions about today’s agriculture
  4. Manage social media accounts and online activities.  This includes but is not limited to:
    1. Ag United’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube accounts. 
    2. Ag United’s website.

 

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITES

  • Answer various email and phone inquires.
  • Perform daily office management duties such as ordering office supplies, making copies and mailing.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

EXPECTATIONS OF EMPLOYEE

  • Reports to work and completes tasks in a timely manner
  • Adheres to all policies and procedures
  • Acts as a role model within and outside the organization
  • Performs duties as workload necessitates
  • Maintains a positive and respectful attitude
  • Maintains a demeanor that creates positive team atmosphere
  • Communicates regularly with supervisor
  • Travels as directed for various meetings and events.

 

SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS

  • Enrolled in a bachelors degree program. 
  • Agricultural industry career experience or an ag background preferred.
  • Must have excellent communications skills with the ability to work with the public.
  • Excellent organizational skills, time management, customer service and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to multi-task several projects and activities at one time.
  • Strong work ethic and able to work independently or as part of a team.
  • Ability to work with computer systems including Microsoft Office and design programs.
  • Available to work weekends and evenings to implement programs and events.
  • Have reliable transportation to and from work.
  • General design, picture and video editing skills is helpful. 

 

WORKING CONDITIONS

Working conditions include farm settings and a normal office environment, travel within the state. Some lifting is required. Must have valid drivers license. Proof of car insurance is required to drive company vehicle. Some weekends and evenings will be required.

 

This job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job, not a comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks and duties.  The Executive Director reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.  Employee may be asked to perform other duties as assigned.  

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Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:39:00 -0500 http://agunited.org/news-and-events/2018internship/