All posts by Michael Tisone

South Dakota State University Celebrates Campus-Wide Ag Day

The South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Prexy Council hosted its 11th annual campus-wide Ag Day on Thursday, April 22 in the SDSU Student Union.

With the theme “Ag Proud: Sustaining the Future,” the event’s main program included a sustainability panel featuring four individuals with strong backgrounds in conservation and sustainability. Panelists included Lyle Perman of Lowry, South Dakota, Brian and Jamie Johnson of Frankfort, South Dakota, and Jared Knock of Willow Lake, South Dakota.

“Sustainability has become a big topic of discussion in the agriculture industry, and we wanted to provide all SDSU students, regardless of their agricultural backgrounds, with a better understanding of what it means for the future of the industry,” said Cara Teigum, Prexy Council president. “We are incredibly thankful for our panelists and the breadth of knowledge and experiences they shared with our students.”

Additionally, the 2021 CAFES Club of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Advocate were announced at the event.

Organizations and students within CAFES have the opportunity to nominate a professor they feel has gone above and beyond in their duties as an educator. Dr. Kent (KC) Jensen, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management, received the 2021 CAFES Teacher of the Year award. Other nominees included Dr. Carmen Paulson, instructor in the Department of Animal Science, Dr. Rosie Nold, professor in the Department of Animal Science, Nicholas Uilk, instructor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and Dr. Brent Turnipseed, professor in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

CAFES Prexy Council also selects an outstanding organization that provides members with meaningful experiences throughout the school year through their program of activities. Alpha Gamma Rho received the 2021 CAFES Club of the Year award, with the Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation Club receiving honorable mention. Other club finalists for the award included Sigma Alpha, Alpha Zeta and Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.

Serving as the student voice for CAFES students on the Prexy Council executive team, the Advocate position is voted on by CAFES students. The 2021-2022 CAFES Advocate is Sadie Vander Wal, a junior animal science and agricultural communications student from Brentford, South Dakota. Logan Tesch, a junior animal science and agricultural business student from Henderson, Minnesota, and Miguel Mena, a junior agronomy student from Harlan, Iowa, were also finalists for this position.

CAFES Prexy Council has organized campus-wide Ag Day since 2011. The council is made up of representatives from each of the 38 clubs within CAFES and is overseen by an executive board that organizes meetings and events for students.

“Celebrating our beloved Ag Day tradition in person this year provides a glimmer of hope and a sense of normalcy for our students,” said Lauralee Eaton, 2020-2021 CAFES Advocate. “Prexy Council is grateful to be able to provide this opportunity again this year.”

In February, Prexy Council raised $21,611 from 170 donors to help establish an endowment. The endowment will help support clubs and organizations in the college and promote agriculture on campus through programs and events such as Ag Day. The council has a goal to raise $50,000 over the next five years to put toward the endowment fund. Contributions to the endowment are still being accepted; donations can be sent to the SDSU Foundation with CAFES Prexy Council or Ag Day listed as the designation.

The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and Partners to Sponsor Landowner Prescribed Fire Workshops

The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and Partners are sponsoring two LANDOWNER PRESCRIBED FIRE WORKSHOPS. Workshops are 1-day events. Landowners can choose to attend either day May 25th or May 26th.

The workshops are from 9 am to 5 pm and will be held at the SDSU Oak Lake Field Station in Astoria, SD. Due to covid restrictions, all students must pre-register (no walk ins). All food and drink will be the responsibility of the student.

Focus of the workshops will be to instruct landowners and others on prescribed fire planning and implementation and will cover everything from preparing a written burn plan to preparing the
fire unit to implementing the fire in a safe and effective manner.

Training will include live fire and equipment demonstrations. Key concepts will be human and equipment resources, timing,
objectives, communications, and SAFETY.

This class will offer no specific certifications, rather it is an opportunity to simply learn core lessons that apply to conducting save grassland fires.

Registration fee: Free to SD Grassland Coalition member, $35 for non-members (includes an annual membership for 2021).

You can purchase your SD Grassland Coalition Membership at


Register by contacting Jan Rounds at the Watertown SD, SDSU Regional Extension Center. or call her at 605-882-5140 Please see the full flyer as the SD Grassland website:

Sioux Falls to Host Emerald Ash Borer Tree Injection Workshop

As the season for emerald ash borer (EAB) treatments nears in South Dakota, state forestry experts want applicators in the Sioux Falls area to be prepared. The City of Sioux Falls, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SDDANR) and South Dakota State University Extension are sponsoring a workshop for applicators to learn about where the borer is found in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, the developmental stages of the insect and treatment options available to protect trees.

“This is an opportunity for applicators to learn about and discuss the systems available for injecting trees with demonstrations by Arborjet, ArborSystem, Rainbow and Warne Chemical (Chem-jet),” says John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist and SDDANR Forest Health Specialist.

Ball will also discuss the EAB life cycle and identification of the insect and infested trees. Bryan Peterson, Urban Forestry Specialist for the City of Sioux Falls will be on hand to discuss tagging and reporting specifications for applicators.

The workshop will be held at Laurel Oak Park, 3401 E. 49th St., Sioux Falls, on Thursday, April 29. It will begin at 10 a.m. CST by the picnic shelter and run for about two hours. No registration is required, and it will be held “rain or shine.”

“This is a great opportunity for those already offering emerald ash borer treatments in the area to refine their skills and for companies that are thinking about beginning to offer this service to learn more about it,” Ball says.

Emerald ash borer was first detected in Sioux Falls in 2018 and now has spread though most of the city, Ball says. Since its initial discovery in Michigan in 2002, the Asian borer has killed more than 100 million ash trees in more than 30 states.

“The only means of protecting a green or white ash tree from being killed by this insect is through insecticidal treatments,” Ball says.

For more information about this event, please contact Ball at 605-695-2503 or

South Dakota State University Students Selected to Represent the South Dakota Dairy Industry as Midwest Dairy Ambassadors

Five South Dakota State University students have been selected to represent South Dakota’s dairy industry as part of the 2021 Midwest Dairy Ambassador Program. The program’s purpose is to provide passionate college students with education and leadership opportunities to share their experiences, connect with consumers and network with peers and dairy industry professionals.

SDSU students selected to serve in this role include Kelsey Erf, a sophomore studying dairy production from Stillwater, Minnesota; Kerstin Thoms, a sophomore studying agricultural leadership from Le Mars, Iowa; Tyler Gilliland, a sophomore studying dairy production from Wayne, Nebraska; Morgan Kohl, a junior studying agronomy and animal science from Waverly, South Dakota; and Johanna Nielsen, a junior studying dairy production from Tyler, Minnesota.

“Serving as a South Dakota Dairy Ambassador is an outstanding opportunity for students to further develop their communication skills, advocate for the dairy industry among consumers and learn about their concerns,” said Joe Cassady, Interim Head of the Department of Dairy and Food Science.

To be eligible for this role, ambassadors must be enrolled as a full-time student at SDSU for the duration of their appointment, display a passion for the dairy industry and communicate effectively. The group of students serves a one-year term that began in January and will conclude on December 31. At the end of the year, Midwest Dairy provides each ambassador with a $1,000 scholarship.

Students were also selected from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and North Dakota universities to serve as dairy ambassadors in their respective states.

As part of their responsibilities, ambassadors will attend several local and state events such as school presentations, Dairy Fest, the Midwest Dairy division board meeting, the Sioux Empire Fair, dairy farm open houses, the South Dakota State Fair and other dairy consumer engagement events. At these events, the students will talk with the public about the dairy industry, answer consumer questions and share their own dairy experiences. Additionally, a large part of their efforts will be focused on connecting with producers and helping to advocate the everyday work they are doing on their home operations.

Gilliland, a first-year ambassador, grew up on his family’s 50-head dairy farm and looks forward to the opportunities he will have to network with producers and promote the dairy industry to consumers.

“I love the passion the dairy industry has,” said Gilliland. “No matter how tough times may get we all keep on moving and working our hardest to produce the best product possible.”

Thoms, another first-year ambassador, anticipates the events where she will have the opportunity to educate others about dairy in person.

“I was originally interested in the program because of the opportunity to promote an industry that has been a big part of my life,” said Thoms. “I would encourage other students to step outside of their comfort zones and promote the industry as well.”

“Our students are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Cassady. “It is important to engage them in industry advocacy activities to best prepare them for future leadership roles.”

Applications for the 2022-2023 Dairy Ambassador Program are due December 1. Students interested in serving in this role can visit for more information and to apply.

About Midwest Dairy:

Midwest Dairy® represents 5,800 dairy farm families to 39 million consumers across the Midwest region and works on their behalf to build dairy demand by inspiring consumer confidence in their products and production practices. Funded by farmers spanning Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, Midwest Dairy focuses their efforts on sharing insights and developing programs and resources for their retail, health and wellness, school food service and industry partners, and aims to maximize their impact by working with and through their partners to share information and real-time experiences that showcase how dairy products resonate with today’s consumer.

About the South Dakota State University Department of Dairy and Food Science:

With expertise in dairy production, dairy manufacturing and food science, the South Dakota State University Dairy and Food Science Department covers the entire spectrum of the dairy industry from farm to product. The department is housed in the renovated Alfred Dairy Science Hall, attached to the state-of-the-art Davis Dairy Plant. About a mile north of campus, the Dairy Research and Training Facility provides the source of milk for well-known SDSU ice cream and cheese products and is home to some 150 milking Holsteins and Brown Swiss cattle. The department boasts 100 percent job placement for graduates, offers more than $150,000 in scholarships to students and confers bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Governor Noem Names Rave, Partridge to Board of Regents

Governor Kristi Noem announced that she will appoint Tim Rave of Baltic and Jeff Partridge of Rapid City to the South Dakota Board of Regents. 

“Tim Rave and Jeff Partridge are two seasoned, thoughtful public servants who care deeply about higher education in our state,” said Gov. Noem. “I know they will be excellent regents, and I thank them for their willingness to serve.” 

Partridge is the president of Partridge Financial Services in Rapid City. He served on the Rapid City Council from 2003 to 2005, including as vice president of the council. Partridge served in the South Dakota House of Representatives from 2015-17 and in the State Senate from 2017-21, spending all six years on the Joint Appropriations Committee. He is a graduate of Augustana University. 

“I am thankful and honored Governor Noem has appointed me to the Board of Regents,” said Partridge. “One of our largest state expenditures is for education, and I look forward to using my experience in helping set the state budget to ensure our education deliverable is cost effective for the State and the student.” 

Rave is the president and CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. He served in the State House of Representatives from 2003-11, including two years as speaker of the house, and in the State Senate from 2011-15, where he was majority leader from 2013-15. Rave attended South Dakota State University and is a graduate of the University of Sioux Falls. 

“I thank Governor Noem for asking me to serve as a regent,” said Rave. “I know from my own experience how important higher education can be, and during my years in the legislature I was an advocate for our state universities. I will be honored to helping guide our higher education system for the next generation.” 

Partridge will succeed Randy Schaefer of Madison and Rave will succeed Jim Morgan of Brookings, and they will join Tony Venhuizen of Sioux Falls as newly-appointed members of the Board.  All three will serve six-year terms that continue through March 31, 2027. 

The nine-member South Dakota Board of Regents is the constitutional governing board for the state’s six public universities: Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota. The Board also oversees the state’s two special schools: the South Dakota School for the Deaf and the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

Grant Writing Workshop in Gregory

A Grant Writing Workshop will be held in Gregory, S.D. at the Gregory Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, April 28th from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  SDSU and the Gregory Dallas Chamber are teaming together and offering the opportunity to learn key skills in grant writing. The cost is $55 and includes lunch. To purchase a ticket one can go to


Berry and Basil Half-Anniversary Event this Weekend

After an successful first 6 months in business, Berry and Basil in Chamberlain will host a “Half-Anniversary” event at their store beginning at the store at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 16th and going until 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April  17th.  On Friday a wine tasting event will happen from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Discounts through the entire event include 15% off all dinnerware and 20% off all gourmet foods excluding wine.