Let’s Talk About South Dakota’s Climate and Energy Future

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 to Thursday, September 15, 2016

Community conversation and farm tours to spotlight crucial role of agriculture and conservation in fighting climate change - on Sept. 7 in Vermillion, Sept. 14 near Madison and Sept. 15 in Brookings.

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.
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)
Click here to register for the event on Sept. 7 in Vermillion.
Farm Tour and Conservation Workshop
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Johnson Farms, 45169 243 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 Ave. From Madison, SD – St. Peter’s Lutheran Church is eight miles south of the corner of Hwy 34 and US Hwy 81. (Super 8 and Pizza Ranch are at that corner) on 454 Ave., at the stop sign (241 St.) go west two miles, turn left (south) on 452 Ave., and go two miles south on the gravel road. Charlie’s farm is approximately 1/4 miles west of the church.

10 p.m. - Arrive at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
10:10 to noon - Farm Tour at Charlie Johnson’s Farm
noon - Lunch at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
12:20 p.m. - Soil Conservation- Mike Lehman (USDA Ag Research, Soil Microbiologist)
12:40 p.m. - Looking at the Climate- Laura Edwards (SDSU Extension, State Climatologist)
1 p.m. - Rainfall Demonstration- Ryan Forbes (NRCS, District Conservationist)
1:30 to 3 p.m. - O-Farm’s presentation on Marketing Organic crops
Click here to register for the event on Sept. 14 in Madison.
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)
Click here to register for the event on Sept. 15 in Brookings.

To ensure enough refreshments and food is provided, interested participants should RSVP by Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, at the links provided above.