SD Grassland Coalition

South Dakota Grassland Coalition Blog


Grazing plan resources and reasons.

Why focus on prairie grassland improvements. By improvements I mean increasing the health of the soil, which in turn, increases the health and vigor of your plants. While hopefully, reintegrating warm season, native grass improved plant diversity or increasing plant density. The increased plant diversity helps our insect and bird populations. With more healthy plants more carbon is absorbed and taken down into the health soil and root systems, happening in the dynamic and alive soil. Alive with microbes, and fungi, all sorts of invisible and scientific words for that invisible world that does so much. The improved grassland helps with the relationship between the land and water. Increasing the utilization of rain, less run off and negative impacts of flooding.

Develop a grazing plan. A resource from Dan Rasmussen our SDGC Educator includes this example of a grazing plan, (GrazeChart33Ranch’20 – May 22 2020 – 11-22 AM) and forms are available at the International Holistic Management website, Free downloads from Holistic Management International are also available, click here. Start by looking at what you have for acres and pastures. In addition to a paper record, I like to use Pasture Map, it is on my phone, and I usually have that with me so I can make notes and take pictures. Once I had my inventory of pastures. I kept an eye on how things looked this Spring. I was also aware of not wanting to graze the exact same time of the year. For the brome and crested wheat I had, I wanted to utilize that early and give the pastures with more native/warm season plants a bit longer to grow in. I had a pasture with a lot of wet soaked ground, so I didn’t start with that. I made these decisions with Area Rangeland Management Specialist Lealand Schoon with NRCS offering ideas and suggestions.

I’m just a few years into this. A SDGC Mentor, Pat Guptill, current board member, came out in 2016 and helped reinforce my ideas and commitments. I’m just sharing and relating my experience. This is what I have picked up as a “noob”. We have our online video game community to thank for that word. Noob or newb means, newbie, someone new to an experience or community. I’ll close here with a cute video, Grandma saying her lines, can be like managing your grazing, you just keep trying.

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The health and safety of our family, friends, neighbors and network of social and business partners remains a priority. We know you are receiving a lot of messages and emails about COVID-19 prevention, impact, responses and recommendations.  We just want to briefly let you know, we are planning for a safe future, our programs at this point are scheduled, and will be modified based on recommendations of our partners.

We will be increasing our social media and educational presence during this time.  We are gathering emails for upcoming announcements.  You can be sure you are on our email list, by joining here (link pending).


South Dakota Grassland Coalition to Hold Holistic Resource Management Schools for South Dakota Farm and Ranch


The South Dakota Grassland Coalition will kick off 2020 with two Holistic Resource Management schools for local producers. The first school will be held in Mitchell, SD on January 27-30th with another to follow in Wall, SD on February 10-13th. The schools will be organized in partnership with Crossroads Ranch Consulting and will cover topics ranging from financial management to understanding the connection between ecological processes and ranch profitability.

The upcoming schools are designed to help ranchers expand their knowledge base to cultivate resilient businesses and landscapes. The Crossroads Ranch Consulting schools are interactive so attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other ranchers as well as share their own experiences. This workshop-style classroom setting creates an engaging learning environment and allows attendees to have input on the topics covered. The speakers Roland Kroos and Patrick Toomey will cover principles of Holistic Management that help ranchers improve their businesses from an economic and ecological standpoint.

Roland Kroos trained extensively with Allan Savory, the founder of Holistic Management, beginning in 1985 and started Crossroads Ranch Consulting in 1992. Roland is a certified educator with the Savory Institute and has a degree in Range and Wildlife Management from the University of Nebraska. Roland made sharing the principles of Holistic Resource Management into his life’s work after seeing the impact a holistic approach to ranching can have on families and the landscapes they steward.

Patrick Toomey, a recent addition to Crossroads Ranch Consulting, has a BS in rangeland ecology from the University of Wyoming and has extensive experience as a rangeland manager. After working in the oil and gas industry as a reclamation ecologist, Patrick became a range technician for the InterTribal Buffalo Council (ITBC) where he helped manage over 50 buffalo herds across the country. Patrick trained ITBC herd managers in holistic management principles like managing natural resources to prepare for drought and making soil health a part of every decision made on the landscape. “I am excited and appreciative for the opportunity to help ranchers across the Northern Plains and to educate people on another way to do things and provide and different perspective to their operation,” Patrick Toomey wrote in his bio on the Crossroads Ranch Consulting website.

These educational events are open for all experience levels and will cover a wide range of ideas. Sign up for one of the two schools to learn more about holistic decision making to improve your business, rangeland, and livestock management. “Holistic Resource Management training is a common-sense approach to managing farm and ranch businesses. HRM is the silver bullet our Ag community is looking for,“ said Dan Rasmussen, SDGC Education Coordinator, and Range Consultant.

The Mitchell school will be held at Blarney’s Sports Bar and Grill. The Wall school will take place in the Wall community center. Visit for more information on Holistic Resource Management and the work Roland Kroos and Patrick Toomey have done for farm and ranch producers.

Registration is $200 for members and $230 for non-members. Registration for non-members includes a year membership with the South Dakota Grassland Coalition. Lunch will be provided each day.

To register for the January 27th-30th school in Mitchell, SD, contact Judge Jessop at

To register for the February 10th-13th school in Wall, SD, contact Dan Rasmussen at


Holistic Management Roadshow Rolling through South Dakota

Learn how holistic management can help you plan for profit

All next week, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition will be traveling across the state spreading the word about holistic management and the benefit it can bring to those in agriculture.

“There are so many things we are unable to control like the weather or the markets but by using holistic management practices, we can help plan for those times of uncertainty,” explains Joshua Dukart, the featured guest speaker at the upcoming roadshows. Dukart is a third generation North Dakota rancher and has been certified in holistic management for over 10 years. A national speaker, Dukart says he is excited to bring some of the lessons he’s learned to South Dakota.

“I am humbled and honored to have been asked to come and speak during this five-day roadshow,” says Dukart. “I hope those who come are able to takeaway something from my failures and the experiences I’ve had while operating a ranch.”

Holistic management is about understanding the ecosystem as interconnected cycles to allow us to more effectively work with nature to improve the health of our land, animals, people, environment and finances. During his presentation at each location Dukart will highlight the three main components of holistic management.

The first pillar is resource management. This includes taking care of everything that is at your disposal including your land, soil, water, crops, animals and the tools you utilize in your day-to-day operations. The second focuses on financials and how you should plan to be profitable. Finally, Dukart says the third component involves your quality of life and the social side of ranching.

“I don’t want to speak for others, but I’ve found that when it comes down to it, it’s the relationships you form and the lifestyle that comes with ranching that is really important.” explains Dukart.

Through this presentation Dukart hopes he can help people lay out a vision for what they want out of their business.

 “We really want to be able to use these three pillars of holistic management to help people make decisions not just in the spur of the moment but to help them to make the rational choice during irrational times,” says Dukart. “For example, a few years ago we were going through a drought. Instead of just hoping for rain and making emotional decisions in the moment, we enacted our drought plan. We had already devised a grazing strategy and were ready to put it in place.”

Dukart says that while you hope to never have to use these types of plans, developing them is still just as important.

“It’s this time of planning and preparation that really helps you think through things,” explains Dukart. “By gathering information, you are arming yourself for the future.”

Whether you’ve been a rancher your whole life or are just starting out, Dukart encourages everyone to come and see what holistic management is all about.

“There is something here for everyone,” says Dukart. “Wherever you are in your career, I think you will be able to find value. I encourage you to bring your spouse, your kids, your business partners, anyone wanting to improve their soil, their profitability or their quality of life.”

To learn more about Joshua Dukart and the basics of holistic management, visit his website at

The Holistic Resource Management Roadshow

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with the event following from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided. The event is free for all current South Dakota Grassland Coalition members. The cost for non-members if $30, which includes a one-year membership to the South Dakota Grassland Coalition.

Monday, December 16th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(CST) Watertown– Codington County Extension Complex

RSVP Contact: Jan Rounds or Pete Bauman

(605) 882-5140 or


Tuesday, December 17th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(CST) Chamberlain AmericInn-Call/Text Judge

Jessop (605) 280-0127



Wednesday, December 18th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

(MST) Belle Fourche, Branding Iron

Steakhouse Call/text Dan Rasmussen 605-685-3315



Thursday, December 19th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm (MST)

Hot Springs-Mueller Civic Center Call/text Dan

Rasmussen 605-685-3315 or


Friday, December 20th 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (MST)

Faith– Legion Hall Call/Text Bart Carmichael

605-545-0335 or


Our Amazing Grasslands | Rittberger

The Our Amazing Grasslands video for August 2019 is live! Visit to learn more about this month’s producers in our Grasslands Planner.

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SD Grassland Coalition
221 N. Main
Box 401
Presho, SD 57568

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