Mission, SD to host Ranchers’ Workshop

2020 marks the 41st Anniversary for the Ranchers Workshop. This year the workshop will be held on January 14, 2020 at the Sinte Gleska Multi-Purpose Building in Mission, SD. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the speakers will start at 9:15 a.m. (CST) which is earlier than in years past. Vendor and informational booths will be available to visit from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The theme of this year’s workshop is “Weathering the Storm,” and speakers will present on resources and strategies for producers to help counter stresses and pressures faced by market, social, and climate conditions.

Speaker Ryan Taylor is making his way back for the second time to the Ranchers Workshop. Taylor is the author of the ‘Cowboy Logic’ series of books and regular newspaper column that ran for 21 years across the western U.S. and Canada. He is a fourth-generation rancher and was elected three times to the North Dakota State Senate. Taylor now serves as the Director of Public Policy for Ducks Unlimited and focuses on policy related to wetlands and grassland habitat that benefits waterfowl, but also benefits people and agriculture in North and South Dakota, and Montana. The title of Taylor’s presentation is “Conservation and Agriculture—Ways to Work Together for the Benefit of Both.”

Jacey Jessop Ellsworth and Peggy Schlechter are teaming up on a presentation called ‘Diversifying with Agritourism.’ Jacey is an Industry Outreach and Development Representative with the South Dakota Department of Tourism and grew up on the family ranch in Lyman County where they run a cow/calf operation and custom feed yearlings. Ms. Schlechter is a Community Vitality Field Specialist with SDSU Extension and ranches in Meade County. Ellsworth and Schlechter will discuss the opportunities available for earning additional income from alternative sources such as agritourism.

Boehringer-Ingelheim, Inc. will provide a talk about the latest information regarding livestock health and vaccine products over the lunch session.

Dr. Krista Ehlert is and Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management at SDSU, and is the State Extension Range Specialist. Dr. Ehlert is also a part of the SDSU Extension Rural Behavioral Health Team, which is a collective of Extension faculty and staff who have undergone training to conduct farm stress workshops, mental health first aid trainings, and events that serve to improve producers’ mental health resiliency, thereby having lasting positive effects on the resiliency of SD farms and ranches. Dr. Ehlert’s presentation is entitled, “Weathering the Storm in Agriculture—Insights and Tools.”

The day’s events will be capped off with a talk by Ryan Sexson of Nenzel, Nebraska that will tie everything together and provide guidance for producers looking to find new opportunities to thrive. “Ranch Succession—Today’s Ideas, Tomorrow’s Reward” will pull from Mr. Sexson’s experience building a ranching and custom calving operation from scratch when a lack of established family ranch to start from forced he and his wife to get creative. Mr. Sexson speaks on ranch management, non-traditional ranch transitioning and low-stress cattle handling, and is also on the boards of the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition and the National Grazing Lands Coalition.

The Ranchers Workshop is coordinated by SDSU Extension, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch, Mellette and Todd County Conservation Districts, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Mellette-Todd County Farm Service Agency, and South Central Resource Conservation and Development Council. If you have any questions call 605-259-3252 extension 3.

–Ranchers’ Workshop