BFRDP Projects

beefSD: Enhancing knowledge and success of beginning beef producers through mentorship and training
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $744,113
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Ken Olson
Organization: South Dakota State University


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

We are addressing the primary goal of BFRDP to “enhance food security, community development and sustainability by providing beginning farmers and ranchers … with knowledge, skills and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations, and enhance their sustainability”. This project addresses this goal by providing a training and mentoring program that assists beginning beef cattle producers in South Dakota to become economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable. It is a collaborative partnership of SDSU Extension, 4 South Dakota producer organizations, 3 rural banks, and 19 beefSD alumni that serve as peer mentors. It is comprised of instructional workshops (topics will include livestock production, natural resource stewardship, marketing, finance, business, risk, legal, and leadership), case studies of alternative beef production systems and management practices, evaluation of post-weaning performance of participants’ calves, mentoring from peers, established beef cattle producers and agriculture professionals, web-based interaction using social networking and webinars, and travel-study trips to study marketing alternatives and other segments of the beef cattle industry. The participants are a core group of 73 beginning producers from 32 operations. Project personnel are working with established beef producers and agriculture professionals to allow beginning producers to create Management Advisory Teams. Our goal is to present beginning beef producers a curriculum that will provide them the tools to make wise management decisions that contribute to ongoing agricultural production, land stewardship, and rural community viability.

Number of Participants: 73


Promotional Materials

There are no promotional materials available for this project.

Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success