South Dakota: ‘beefSD’ program designed for beginning beef producers |

South Dakota: ‘beefSD’ program designed for beginning beef producers

BROOKINGS, SD – The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service has started a new training program, “beefSD” designed specifically for beginning beef producers.

The target audience is a core group of 30 beginning ranchers with 10-15 established beef producers to serve as mentors. Beef producers that have less than 10 years of experience and a strong desire to begin or further develop beef cattle enterprises are encouraged to apply to the program.

The goals are to provide participants opportunities to evaluate alternative beef cattle production systems, the entire U.S. beef cattle industry, and initiate individual cattle enterprise plans. The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service and the South Dakota Farm Bureau are partners in the effort.

Participants will complete an intensive, three-year curriculum and portions of the program will be made publicly available to all beginning ranchers. The program will train aspiring South Dakota beef producers in the areas of livestock production, natural resource stewardship, marketing, financial management, business, and risk and legal management.

The programming will consist of six major components:

1. Conventional classroom instruction.

2. Case studies and evaluation of established, evaluate alternative beef cattle production systems.

3. Mentoring by established ranchers and other agriculture professionals including the formation of individual management teams.

4. Post-weaning calf performance evaluation including feedlot, carcass and meat characteristics.

5. Interactive, Web-based learning, including Webinars, podcasts, a managed forum and computer applications.

6. Study trips to see various sectors and other aspects of the U.S. beef cattle industry.

To receive an application form, call Extension Beef Specialists Ken Olson or Julie Walker at the SDSU West River Ag Center at 605-394-2236. Or visit the South Dakota Farm Bureau’s Web site for information at Applications will be accepted through Dec. 15, 2010. Participants selected to be in the program will be notified before Christmas and the program will start in early January.

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