SDCGA receives USDA grant to deliver educational programs

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) will provide educational opportunities for South Dakota ag producers through a grant recently awarded to the organization by the USDA Risk Management Agency.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced awards of close to $21 million in agricultural risk management partnership agreements throughout the United States. The USDA partnership agreements provide funds for projects to develop new risk management tools for farmers and ranchers, as well as outreach and education opportunities. USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) administers these projects as well as the federal crop insurance program.

The SDCGA was awarded nearly $140,000 of those grant monies to provide risk management education, farm financial planning workshops, farm bill information and planter calibration clinics. In addition, national speakers will be brought in for the SDCGA’s Annual Meeting in January to offer industry insights.

“It’s an honor for our organization to have been chosen as recipients of significant grant monies from the USDA Risk Management Agency and we look forward to providing learning opportunities to our South Dakota producers. All of the information provided through our education seminars will enable producers to be proactive instead of reactive, allowing them to avoid or mitigate many of the risks associated with agricultural production,” said Reid Jensen, president of the SDCGA.

The grant monies will be used for the following programs:

  • “Growing Forward in 2007” – Risk Management Seminars, partnering with Farm Credit Services (Nov. 27-Dec. 1 and Feb. 19-22)
  • “Inside the Beltway: Influencing Farm Policy” (Dec. 4)
  • SDCGA Annual Meeting Seminars (Jan. 6, 2007)
  • Planter Calibration Clinics (Jan. 15-19, 2007)
  • Business Planning Workshops (TBA)

“Growing Forward in 2007” – Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2006 and Feb. 19-22, 2007

The SDCGA will kick off the grant programs by partnering with Farm Credit Services to deliver “Growing Forward in 2007,” a two step risk management series that will be offered in November and February. Speakers include Steve Johnson, ag economist, Iowa State University; Dale Hicks, Extension agronomist, University of Minnesota; and Elwynn Taylor, Extension climatologist with Iowa State University.

Both sets of “Growing Forward in 2007” will be offered five times over four consecutive days, each at a different location in South Dakota. Among the topics covered will be minimizing variable costs, increasing corn acres, maximizing grain storage, improving crop marketing, crop rotations and seed selections. The topics delivered at the November meetings will be different from the February meetings, creating two unique learning opportunities.

The schedule for the first step of “Growing Forward in 2007” is the following:

  • Nov. 27: Sioux Falls Ramkota, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 27: Watertown Events Center, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Nov. 28: Aberdeen Ramkota, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Nov. 29: Huron Crossroads, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 30: Yankton Elks, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 1: Reserved as a make-up day in the event of inclement weather

The second set of “Growing Forward in 2007” will be held Feb. 19-22, 2007:

  • Feb. 19: Sioux Falls Ramkota, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 19: Watertown Events Center, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Feb. 20: Aberdeen Ramkota, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Feb. 21: Huron Crossroads, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 22: Yankton Elks, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

“Inside the Beltway: Inflencing Farm Policy” – Dec. 4, 2006

Sioux Falls Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

  • “Farm Bill: Myths and Reality” – Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh, a professor of agriculture economics at Kansas State University, will present a farm bill program aimed at revealing myths and realities of the farm bill process as policymakers begin work on the next farm bill in 2007. He will highlight on economics and agriculture, controversy andcompromise, provide historical view of farm programs and describe the potential impact of the '07 Farm Bill.
  • Panel discussion: “We're here from Washington and Ready to help” – Panel participants will include U.S. Senate and House Ag Committee representatives and SDCGA lobbyist Scott Shearer. Each panelist brings their keen sense of Washington to offer a behind the scenes look of the next Farm Bill.
  • “Thinking Outside The Box: Farm Bill Opportunities” – David Gillen, SDCGA Board Chairman, will stretch producers' minds with possibilities for the upcoming Farm Bill. Gillen will describe a completely new concept called the Base Net Revenue proposal which is designed to improve the farm-level safety net program.
  • “SDCGA Legislative Roundtable” – Join a grassroots push to set legislative policy for the SDCGA for the upcoming year. This is producers' opportunity to shape the legislative direction of the SDCGA by providing resolutions to be considered at the Annual Meeting, Jan. 6, 2007.

SDCGA Annual Meeting Seminars – Jan. 6, 2007

The SDCGA Annual Meeting will feature nationally-known speakers who will address top industry topics. Programs include:

  • Biotechnology Panel featuring representatives from Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta
  • Jolene Brown, humorist, specializing in farm family relationships. Topic: “It’s a Jungle Out There,” and “Lions, Tigers & Family – Oh My!”
  • Marketing Strategies by Ross Korves, economic policy analyst with the ProExporter Network

Planter Calibration Clinics – Jan. 15-19, 2007

Kevin Kimberley, ag consultant, who has experience working with John Deere, Case IH and Syngenta, will teach producers how to reach ultimate yield potential through planter calibration and use. Topics include seed treatments, planter adjustments, compaction, calibrations, corn meters, field cultivator leveling, vacuum units, combining and grid mapping. The clinics will be held at 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

  • Jan. 16: Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Pierre, SD
  • Jan. 17: Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Aberdeen, SD
  • Jan. 18: Watertown Event Center in Watertown, SD
  • Jan. 19: Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Sioux Falls, SDBusiness Planning Workshops

For the third consecutive year, the SDCGA is bringing back Allen Lash of Agri-Solutions to present in-depth business planning workshops. Additional information about the upcoming meetings will be announced as details are finalized.

To inquire about any of these offerings, please contact the SDCGA office at 605-334-0100.

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