South Dakota: Extension/USDA small acreages grant available for Western landowners |

South Dakota: Extension/USDA small acreages grant available for Western landowners

BROOKINGS, SD – Landowners in western South Dakota are needed for a new Extension/USDA grant program that focuses on small-acreage management.

Three acreages in western South Dakota will be selected to take part in the three-year program. The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program is sponsoring the effort, and natural resource professionals and collaborative partners from the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service will lead the effort.

Annual grants of $800 are available for participants upon completion of each year. If chosen, owners of the host acreages will meet these requirements:

• Meet with a natural resource team to discuss acreage goals, issues, ideas and progress.

• Host one half-day workshop each year.

• Create long-term management plans for their acreages

• Conduct natural resource monitoring annually. Extension staff will teach these techniques.

• Report to workshop attendees about your successes and challenges.

• Report to the wider community by hosting educational workshops or sharing social media recordings about lessons learned and other experiences.

Landowners interested in applying for the USDA Host Acreage program should call Extension Research Associate Mindy Hubert for an application at 605-394-2236, Ext. 31, or e-mail her at Applications need to be completed and returned by March 4. They can be mailed to the SDSU West River Ag Center, Attn: Mindy Hubert, 1905 N. Plaza Blvd., Rapid City, SD 57702-9302.

The acreages of participants in the program will serve as examples of land management techniques and practices on similar acreages in western South Dakota. Hubert said the goals of the program’s team are to educate small-acreage owners about land management techniques.

“We want to provide support for small acreage improvements throughout the state, and this program allows acreage owners to see, first hand, techniques that work well, or don’t work, in this climate,” Hubert said. “The grant award can be a helpful incentive for landowners who will share their experiences with the greater community and thus show others what steps work well and the possible challenges small-acreage owners may face.”

The South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service hosts a Small Acreages Web page at: In addition, the Extension Small Acreages team hosts a Facebook page entitled “South Dakota Small Acreages.” Search for it and add it as a friend the next time you are on Facebook.

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