Mitchell Technical Institute Farm/Ranch management program expands West River |

Mitchell Technical Institute Farm/Ranch management program expands West River

MITCHELL – The South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Business Management has expanded their program West River.

David Koupal, a farmer/rancher and past participant in the program, has been hired as the fifth Farm Business Management instructor at the Center, based at Mitchell Technical Institute (MTI) in Mitchell, SD. As an instructor, Koupal will serve agriculture producers seeking to enhance their management skills and develop profitable business models for their individual operations. Koupal has been involved in the cattle industry for many years as a rancher of registered Angus cattle and, most recently, as animal science instructor at Mitchell Technical Institute.

This marks the third and final expansion to provide statewide availability for the Farm Business Management program in South Dakota. As enrollment numbers continue to rise, additional instructors will be brought on for substantial coverage. To ensure accuracy, maximum enrollment per instructor is 45 producers. This allows instructors ample time to work with producers at an individual level on a continuous basis.

Currently, Will Walter, a farmer and past participant in the program, serves as instructor for eastern South Dakota, focusing on Madison, Brookings and areas south of Watertown. Chris Downs serves the south central region. Dawn Melikant, based in Aberdeen, covers northeast South Dakota. Long-time instructor Roger DeRouchey works with producers located in the southeastern part of the state.

“The program is the hidden gem of agriculture management in the state. The average net cash income of participants in the program is 35 percent higher and net cash income per acre is 3 percent higher than that of those South Dakota producers not participating in the program, according to the USDA/NASS Census,” said MTI President Greg Von Wald. “The resources that our instructors provide to individual farm families in helping them achieve success are invaluable. I firmly believe this expansion is a great asset for the entire state.”

The Farm and Ranch Business Management program is sponsored in part by Farm Credit Services of America, South Dakota Pork Producers Council, South Dakota Wheat Commission, South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council and North Central Farmers Elevator. Most recently the Farm and Ranch Business Management program has been collaborating with SDSU Extension to bring financial and marketing stability to the West River area.

For information about the program, call 800-684-1969 or e-mail

– Mitchell Technical Institute