Achieving our Mission and Goals
Three principals underlie the Coalition’s mission and goals:
Grassland is not just Grass
The Coalition believes that good grassland management is based on recognizing that the term “grassland” is actually shorthand for grasses and other plants, the soil these plants grow in, the animals that live in and feed upon the plants and each other, and the physical and chemical processes that transform sunlight into energy that humans can use. Each of these elements is critical in sustaining the grassland ecosystem and the profitability of livestock production.
The Coalition does not promote enforced compliance of any land use practices on private land. Instead, we believe that information and education about the economic benefits of proven grassland and livestock management practices are incentives for land owners to adopt these practices for their own benefit and the benefit of their children and grandchildren.
The coalition focuses on presenting workshops, field tours and nationally and internationally-known speakers tailored to the information needs of producers. By presenting actual case studies from South Dakota and surrounding states, and the best scientific information, producers learn how their economic bottom line will improve by improving the health of their grassland.
Because the Coalition recognizes that no two landowners’ operations and challenges are the same, a variety of techniques to improve grassland health are presented.
Voluntary Participation by Landowners is Critical to Reaching the Nation’s Conservation Goals
States like South Dakota and the rest of the Northern Great Plains are priorities for wildlife conservation, water quality, carbon sequestration and other national conservation goals. Traditional approaches by conservation agencies have been based on paying landowners to do things that benefit the environment we all share. It will never be feasible to pay enough landowners to adopt ecologically friendly practices to achieve our national goals in perpetuity.
The Coalition believes that success lies in producers recognizing that it is in their own best interest to adopt the management practices that increase the sustainability and long-term profitability of their operations. Conserving grassland is key to the nations conservation goals. Sustainable and profitable livestock production pays for the conservation of grassland!