Attend summer fairs, donate to SDSU cow calf unit
August 28, 2013
Where did summer go? Seems like only yesterday we were preparing cows and calves to go to grass. Soon the kids will be back in school and summer will be officially over. In our area the drought is over. We had more rain in July and August than we did all last year. Hopefully you have also had a good summer.
Most of my clients are struggling to put up hay because it rains every few days. In the past we emphasized early weaning to improve gains and preserve pasture. Most producers observed the management benefits and adapted it into their production systems. This year instead of working calves early to save pasture, we are selling vaccines to clients because they can't do normal farm work because it is too wet.
Many of the county fairs are complete, but there is still time to take in a large fair or farm show. These are important events, which not only allow you to renew old friendships, but also allow you to be exposed to new technologies in all phases of agriculture.
We have participated in Dakota Fest for the last eighteen years. We have seen the show grow into the major event in the area. South Dakota State University has also been an integral part of the show. They bring university professors, extension personnel, students and speakers addressing timely issues. They make a strong effort to improve your knowledge of problems and solutions affecting your operation. Hopefully improvement of your management skills will generate more income for your farm or ranch.
For the past three years the promoters of Dakota Fest have co-sponsored an auction for the SDSU Cow-Calf Unit. The old unit is sixty plus years old and needs to be replaced. After repeated attempts there appears to be no legislative funds available. This means we must build the unit with grass roots contributions. We have a wide variety of products on the auction donated by interested individuals, producers, and corporations. The sale is at the Livestock Demo Tent on the southwest corner of the grounds at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22. We will be accepting donations for the auction until sale time. Better yet, if you are interested in the future of the cow-calf industry in the state of South Dakota, attend the auction and purchase items. All proceeds will be collected by the SDSU Foundation and go directly to the new unit. If you are unable to attend the auction it will be carried live on DVAuction. This will allow you to participate if you have time constraints.
Early last spring a group of interested individuals, "Friends of SDSU," met for an update on fund raising for the cow-calf unit. After several years of fund raising the unit was only half-way to its goal ($2 million of $4 million needed). It was decided that a large scale project was needed which allowed grassroots people associated with the cattle industry to donate to the new unit. In the next several weeks the 'Send a Cow to College" program was developed. The program is supported by the Stockgrowers, the Cattlemen's Association and state auction markets. All that is required is your donation of a cull cow at your auction market. After you deed the cow to the SDSU Foundation it is sold normally and the proceeds donated to the Foundation for the new unit. Last week we had a kick off sale at Mitchell Livestock market. We are on well our way to our goal of 1,000 cows. The process is very simple and your donation will be duly recorded by the Foundation.
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Late summer gives us the chance to interact with our colleagues, learn some new management techniques, re-train ourselves on new and improved products and compare your herd's genetics to others. Visit a farm show or fair and share your expertise with others. Remember the SDSU Cow- Calf Unit could also use your help. Your donation will help SDSU to better educate your children and grand children, as well as improve the agriculture industry in South Dakota and the cow-calf industry in the U.S. You are the key to all our futures.