The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership will launch the second half of its Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange on August 8-11 in Sioux Falls with six South Dakota farm families hosting two Louisiana fishermen.
This summer, the TRCP embarked on a unique exchange between South Dakota farmers and ranchers and Louisiana Gulf fishermen to seek solutions to conserve America’s great native prairies and coastal waters.
In the first half of the TRCP Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange, South Dakota farm families traveled to Cocodrie, La., one of the farthest points south in the Louisiana Delta, for a three-day educational outing July 11-14. There they learned about the trials and triumphs of managing businesses reliant on healthy Louisiana Delta and Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.
Now it’s the Louisiana fishermen’s turn. In partnership with the South Dakota Farmers Union, two captains of Gulf Coast recreational fishing outfitters will participate in an intensive South Dakota agriculture session, witnessing the innovations and realities of grain, livestock and dairy operations, including a night at the rodeo.
“In Louisiana, we flew over the Gulf to get a bird’s eye view of the Mississippi River entering the Gulf of Mexico, and we fished those waters both from shore and from boats in the delta,” said Tim Kizer, private lands field coordinator for the TRCP and trip organizer. “We heard from the professors at Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium about the impact of runoff and sediment on the ecosystem, but most importantly we made new friends.
“The conservation exchange is about working together to solve problems, and the best way to do that is to walk a while in each others’ shoes. After three days in the Louisiana Delta, we look forward to our trip to the prairies of South Dakota, experiencing life in the breadbasket of the nation, and learning about the economics of agriculture firsthand.”
The TRCP South Dakota exchange will begin Friday morning, Aug. 9, with a half-day session at South Dakota State University. There they will learn about best practices for row-crop production, federal and state conservation programs, drain tiling, nutrient management, federal crop insurance incentives, municipal water issues and economic impacts.
During the four-day South Dakota exchange, the group will tour an ethanol facility, grain and livestock operation and cooperative dairy and will see a precision ag demonstration. In addition, they will tour the Missouri River with conservationist John Cooper, former secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
Participants in the TRCP Conservation Exchange include:
- Capt. Howard Cuevas
Xspecktations Coastal Charters, Dulac/Cocodrie, La.
- Capt. Ryan Lambert
Cajun Fishing Adventures, Luling/Buras, La., www.cajunfishingadventures.com
From South Dakota
- Walt Bones
Former South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture and family farmer
- Joey Hanson
Agronomist, CCA, with small row crop farm near Elk Point, S.D.
- Shantel Krebs
Chair of South Dakota State Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
- Patrick and Dawn Scheier
Scheier Farms, Salem, S.D.
- Mike Traxinger
Legislative director of the South Dakota Farmers Union and family farmer
- Ryan and Kerri Wagner
Wagner’s Inc., Roslyn, S.D.