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Soil Health Tour

County Agent News
Dan Folske
June 10, 2019 

Soil Health Tour Opportunity

There are still a few seats available for this great soil health opportunity. Call your local Soil Conservation District ASAP if you are interested!

Soil Health Tour

The Soil Conservation Districts in Williams, Divide and Burke counties have been working together to offer an exciting soil health tour opportunity for farmers and ranchers in this 3-county area. The tour by chartered motor coach will be held on July 7-9, 2019 and will feature stops at Brown’s Ranch and Menoken Farm in the Bismarck area and Dakota Lakes Research Farm near Pierre, SD.

The tour will depart on Sunday, July 7 with pick-up stops at the Lignite Oil C-Store at 4:00 pm, the Divide County Courthouse in Crosby at 4:40 pm and the Cenex C-Store in Ray at 5:40 pm.

Following an overnight stay in Bismarck, tour stops on Monday, July 8 will include Brown’s Ranch in the morning and Menoken Farm that afternoon before traveling to Pierre for the tour at Dakota Lakes Research Farm on the morning of July 9. That afternoon, we’ll begin the journey back to northwest ND making drop-offs between 8:00 and 10:00 pm.

Brown’s Ranch is located just east of Bismarck, where Gabe, along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, own and operate a diversified 5,000 acre farm and ranch. Gabe is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on the regeneration of our resources. The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all natural grass finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers and swine. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch.

The Menoken Farm is a 150 acre conservation demonstration farm, which is also located east of Bismarck. The farm is owned and operated by Burleigh County Soil Conservation District with a mission of advancing soil health through innovation and education. Darrell Oswald, district technician with Burleigh County SCD and Menoken Farm manager, will lead the tour discussing the basic building blocks they have used to improve soil health and their systems approach management to enhance erosion protection, sunlight harvest, plant diversity, carbon, pollinators, beneficial insects, wildlife, salinity control, livestock forage and more.

The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is billed as the home of regenerative agricultural and is owned by farmers to better serve farmers’ needs. Managed by Dr. Dwayne Beck, the farm works with Mother Nature to ensure their land is protected, fertile and produces yields to feed the world for many generations to come. This practice results in managing and encouragingl living soils, clean water, healthy food, and ample wildlife. Dakota Lakes Research has long been managed as a no-till farm and focuses on both irrigated and dryland crop research. In recent years, livestock has also been integrated into their research and cropping systems.

Registration fees for the tour will be $60 per person which includes transportation, lodging and a majority of the meals. Lodging included in the registration fee will be based on double occupancy per room with the opportunity to specify a roommate. A very limited number of single rooms may be available for an additional cost.

 

For more information on the tour, contact Keith Brown, soil health/cropping system specialist with the Williams County Soil Conservation District at 701-648-9841 or email Williams.scd.soilhealth@gmail.com. Registration forms for the tour will be available at the Natural Resources Conservation Service/Soil Conservation District offices in Williams, Divide and Burke counties.

 

 

 

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