Farm Tours and Community Discussion to Spotlight Crucial Role of Ag - “Let’s Talk” tour to focus on South Dakota’s climate and energy future

Release Date: 



Paige Dietrich,, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1014
Or Center for Rural Affairs (402) 687-2100

Lyons, Nebraska -  During the month of September, the Center for Rural Affairs will host a series of farm tours and community conversations discussing South Dakota’s climate and energy future and the importance of soil, water and energy conservation on South Dakota farms and ranches. The series of events are free and open to the public.

Community conversations occurring on Sept. 7 in Vermillion and Sept. 15 in Brookings will focus on sustainable living, distributed generation, energy efficiency, and ideas for community renewable energy projects. Everyone interested in attending is encouraged to bring their own questions and ideas for discussion.
“At the Center, we’ve learned over the years that it is vitally important to hear from rural and small town residents about the challenges they see for their communities,” said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs. “And perhaps more importantly, to hear from rural and small town folks about their ideas, their solutions, to the challenges our communities face. Whether we’re talking about renewable energy, energy efficiency, soil and water conservation, or building resiliency to climate change, we most often find answers to our questions on rural roads and small town mainstreets, not in Washington or Wall Street.”
On Sept. 14, Johnson Farms, 45169 243rd St, Madison, SD, will host a farm tour focusing on farm and ranch conservation options, soil health and practical, conservation oriented farming techniques. Tour participants will view fields of small grains, forages, corn and soybeans and have the opportunity to discuss how the Johnson farm manages soil fertility, weeds and pests through practical use of, seed varieties, crop rotations, and organic farming techniques and equipment.
After the farm tour a free lunch will be provided at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
In the afternoon, also at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, representatives from the Center for Rural Affairs, OFARM, Dakota Rural Action, and other local farm conservation experts and regional organizational partners will discuss several topics, including:

  • Building Resilience on the Farm - Conservation Practices
  • Organic Grain Imports - Sources, Credibility and Impacts on Domestic Prices

“Building resiliency on the farm is vital, and can be achieved in large part by adopting effective conservation practices,” said Paige Dietrich, Rural Policy Organizer with the Center for Rural Affairs. “Maintaining healthy soil is the key to productive and environmentally healthy farm and ranch land. Landowners who attend this meeting will learn to assess and improve the health of their soils through cover crops, no-till and strip-till, organic production, and other conservation practices.”
Event Location Details:
Community Conversation about South Dakota’s Energy Future
Wednesday, Sept. 7
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Neuharth Building (Freedom Forum room)
Vermillion, SD,
(light appetizers and refreshments provided)
Farm Tour and Conservation Workshop
Wednesday, Sept. 14
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Johnson Farms
45169 243rd St
Madison, SD 57042-7101
(free lunch and workshop to follow at St. Peter’s Lutheran church - lunch provided by Center for Rural Affairs and OFARM)
To St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 24311 452 Acve. From Madison, S.D. – St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is 8 miles south of the corner of Hwy. 34 and US Hwy 81. (Super 8 and Pizza Ranch are at that corner) on 454th Ave. At the stop sign (241st St.) go west 2 miles, turn left (south) on 452nd Ave., and go 2 miles south on gravel road. Charlie’s farm is approximately 1/4 miles west of the church.
Community Conversation about South Dakota’s Energy Future
Thursday, Sept. 15
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Brookings Public Library
Brookings, SD,
(light appetizers and refreshments provided)
To ensure enough refreshments and food is provided, interested participants should RSVP to Paige Dietrich at the Center for Rural Affairs – (402) 687-2103 ext. 1014 or For more information about this program, visit  

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