Amanda Radke / Special to Agweek
Along a dusty dead end road is a pasture of rolling hills. The horizon stretches as far as the eye can see, and a lone building sits nestled against a row of trees in the distance. Upon closer look, the house is in dire shape — windows broken out, roof sagging and the siding weathered and worn. Cattle scratch their backs on the outside while certainly a raccoon or two have found a home within its four walls. Peeking into the window, a chair still sits in the corner with its match tipped over on its side. It's an abandoned house, and they're scattered all over South Dakota.
It's county fair and state fair season and 4-H members are putting the finishing touches on their projects for these annual summer events. On July 17, 2018, South Dakota 4-H members from Davison and Hanson Counties took a break from working in the barn to help others learn more about agriculture through an event called iLead, held at the Davison County 4-H grounds in Mitchell, S.D. In its third year, the iLead event pairs 4-H members (also called "Show Buddies") alongside students with disabilities for a fun and educational livestock show.
Michelle Weber, of Lake Benton, Minn., has a passion for capturing life on the ranch through art. Her preferred medium is oil paint, and when Weber puts a brush to canvas, her creations become timeless pieces for her clients. Her vast collection of work includes scenes from the pasture and feedlot, portraits of celebrated cattle genetics and special moments in the show ring.
The cattle business has a steep learning curve. With the capital requirements and incredible risks involved, success or failure is largely determined by management steps made along the way. Fine-tuning the day-to-day and long-term management decisions made on the ranch can be achieved through ongoing education, and beefSD does exactly that.
Living in the digital age has many advantages, but for underserved areas of rural America where connectivity is slow and rural broadband services are lacking, utilizing modern technologies is more difficult and places a handicap on many agricultural entrepreneurs living in remote locations.
Kansas cattleman Bill Broadie, age 70, was just 19 years old when he was shot in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. It was a long and painful helicopter ride out of the jungle and an even longer plane ride back to the U.S. After losing his leg, Broadie returned home to a nation in turmoil. Anti-war protestors not only disagreed with the dispute overseas, but they also angrily criticized the troops who served their country.
National Ag Week was March 18-24. The week-long celebration is organized each year by the Agriculture Council of America, a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community that dedicates its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society.
SOUTH SHORE, S.D. — Laurie Johnson can hear the crunch of gravel as she runs down the country road near her ranch in South Shore, S.D. Bundled up to ward off the cold, the puff of air create a cloud in front of her face as she tackles the quiet road after a busy day of calving, lambing, raising two toddler boys and working as the lamb and wool instructor at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
Parenting isn't always easy, but it's always an adventure. My husband Tyler and I are blessed with two beautiful and healthy children — Scarlett (age 3) and Thorne (age 18 months), with a third on the way in May 2018. Just like we grew up as farm kids, our brood will be raised the same way. They'll learn to pitch manure, bale hay, calve cows, vaccinate, fix fence and whatever else we can find to keep them busy, to teach them the value of hard work and to have fun together as a family.
Fall has families clamoring to the nearest pumpkin patch for fun autumn activities. The corn mazes, rows of pumpkins, trees full of apples and hayrides don't just make good Facebook photos: Agritourism is big business for local farmers. Commercial gardener Jan Sanderson, of Aurora, S.D., started Sanderson Gardens in 1977. On 40 acres, Sanderson grows a variety of seasonal crops throughout the year, starting with rhubarb and asparagus in late spring, moving to strawberries in early summer, raspberries in August and ending the season with pumpkins.