We organize speakers to come in and teach the community about different aspects of agriculture. If you have any ideas on topics or speakers you would like to see please give us a call!
- Cafe Soil Talks
- Soil Health and Drought
- Bale Grazing
- Cover Crops
- Field & Range Tours
Seminars and Workshops
Our seminars and workshops are meant to educate farmers, ranchers, and others while helping one another improve their operations or to discuss common goals. We try to think of an individuals’ situation when bringing in the speakers and choosing topics to cover. Some of the topics we cover are climate, geography, resources, skills, family dynamics, and any other factors that may influence you or your operations’ decisions.
- Grazing School – Profitable Pastures – Steve Kenyon
- Grazing Management
- Pasture Rejuvenation
- Weed Control
- Water Systems
- Winter Feeding and Cell Design
Author of the NRCS 5 principles of soil health. He is the Lead Educator at Menoken Farm which is located just east of Bismarck.
He has worked with cropping systems, grazing systems, cover crops, and gardens. Jay also has an extensive background working with groups and entities such as soil and water conservation districts; national and international no-till organizations; watersheds; farm organizations; urban groups; and more. Jay spends his time at the Menoken Farm minimizing soil disturbance, adding soil armor, maximizing plant diversity, maintaining living roots in the soil, and integrating livestock.
Jon is a retired soil scientist and soil health instructor with the NRCS. He is a contributing writer to AgDaily. He is also the author of “A Soil Owner’s Manual: How to Restore and Maintain Soil Health“.
Soil Health Tour
Burke, Divide, and Williams County Soil Conservation Districts put together a soil health tour to showcase practices in ND and SD. Stops included the Brown Ranch and Menoken Farm in the Bismarck, ND area and Dakota Lakes Research Farm in Pierre, SD. The common message of the tour stops was the importance of increasing carbon in the soil to improve soil health.
A 2018 range tour consisted of visiting Bruce & Kathy Brogger’s ranch and Justin & Sara Loomer’s Echo Valley Ranch. Guest speaker Steve Kenyon – Greener Pastures Ranching of Busby, Alberta discussed grazing systems, cell design/fencing, and fresh water systems. There was also a demonstration of our pipeline plow.
2018 Wayne’s World Range Tour
We co-hosted a grazing tour with the Richland County SCD. The tour took place at the Berry Ranch and looked at utilizing planned rotational grazing, yearling operation, and portable and solar watering systems. A brome grass restoration project was also being conducted on a couple of the pastures.
Ken Miller, the 2018 Leopold Conservation Award Winner, spoke about his operation and the many benefits of planned rotational grazing and cover crops that improves soil health. Rick Caquelin, NRCS Area Range Specialist, provided valuable insight on range nutritional balance as well as a good sense of humor.
2021 Soil Health & Intercropping Tour
The Soil Conservation Districts, NDSU Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Ag Improvement Associations in Williams and Divide counties held a soil health tour to provide an opportunity to learn more about what some producers in the area have been doing to improve their soil health.
2022 Soil Health & Crop Tour
Intercropping and Cover Crops
On August 2nd, the Soil Conservation Districts, NDSU Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ag Improvement Associations in Williams and Divide counties hosted a soil health tour.
The tour began at Justin & Sara Jacobs’ farm. The Jacobs’ started farming on a small scale in 2016 and have been slowly expanding their acreage. One of the primary goals for their farming operation is to make the land they are using better than when they started. They are using practices that improve soil health such as intercropping, no-till, and cover crops as they work towards achieving their goal.
Justin spoke about practices that the Jacobs have implemented or plan to implement on their farm. The stop featured a flax-pea intercrop they have seeded on one of their fields in 2022 as one of the small pieces to the larger puzzle on their path to regenerative agriculture.
The next stop on the tour was a cover crop project with livestock integration as part of Phil & Harlan Johnson’s farming operation. The Johnson’s have been actively pursuing practices to build their soil health for several years and this project is the next step in incorporating the soil health principles through the use of cover crops for livestock grazing.
James Roger, NDSU Extension Forage Crops Production Specialist out of the North Central Research Extension Center, was on hand to talk about using cover crops as a forage crop as part of the stop.
From there the tour worked its way into Crosby for the last stop at the Divide County Soil Conservation District building. Justin Jacobs, who is also a research specialist with the NDSU Williston Research Extension Center, had a demonstration of 48 different intercrop mixes along with the 7 base crops planted as monocultures seeded on the SCD property and talked about some of the interactions he saw in the study.
Ladies Ag Night
ConVersation ~n~ ConServation
An evening once a year that includes good food, fun, education, and common ground amongst area ladies. The speakers and topics for the evening vary from year to year. Some years we have additional speakers come in and discuss a variety of topics to add a local touch to the night. We have had speakers talk about mental health and how it affects the community to discussing farm life and living in rural Midwest. We have wonderful door prizes that are donated. We appreciate the generosity of area businesses and residents. It is an event that you must be 21 years old to attend and won’t want to miss!
2016 – Jessie Veeder
Jessie joined us for our very 1st Ladies Ag Night that was held as a Spring event in March. She is a singer, writer, and 5th generation rancher. She has a unique perspective on love for place, community, and how to tap into your passion to live a fulfilling life.
2017 – SCD/NRCS
Malinda Ferguson of the NRCS filled us in on what the Williams County Soil Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service is about and how they can help Williams County residents.
2019 – Katie Pinke & Kyla Splichal
Katie is an Agweek contributor and you can read her columns here: https://www.agweek.com/opinion/
Katie Pinke is a 5th generation farmer and her rural life is a catalyst to engage, enlighten, and empower. She shares reflex tweets, gritty blog posts, weekly columns, and mesmerizing North Dakota sunset snapshots from the prairie. She seizes every opportunity to talk about family, rural life, motherhood, career, and community, both online and offline.
Kyla was the NDSU Horticulture Research Specialist here in Williams County at the NDSU Research Extension. She specializes in small fruit, flower, and vegetable research. She assisted in cropping system projects. During the evening, at the 2019 Ladies Ag Night, she guided the guests on a tour of the Williston NDSU Research Gardens and provided insight into the valuable research being conducted on-site.
2021 – Adrienne DeSutter & Cindy Lindvig-Getzlaff
Adrienne is part of her husband’s 4th generation family farm in Central Illinois. They farm corn and soybeans, with a small herd of cattle and a small herd of children. With a Master’s degree in Counseling (and a self-proclaimed Master’s in Farm Family Chaos), Adrienne recognized a need for mental health advocacy in agriculture, and began partnering with ag businesses and organizations to promote healthy minds and prevent farmer suicide. In addition to public speaking, she helps create and connect valuable ag mental health resources, writes a wellness column, and has been featured in articles, podcasts, and initiatives across the globe. She encourages a community approach to keeping farm families healthy, and works to break down mental health barriers and empower farmers through her social media presence @SowHopeGrowHope.
Cindy Lindvig-Getzlaff is a local gardener who has farm fresh produce during the gardening season and fresh eggs all year around. She also has salsa, juices, jellies, salts, and spices too!
On Ladies Ag Night she shared with us some of her secrets on gardening and canning.
2022 – Katelyn Duban
Katelyn, born and raised in Southern Alberta, Canada married into agriculture in 2016. At the time, it was not her intention to be an active member of the farm but quickly found a passion for the farm life. Katelyn continues to develop her skills as a grain farmer on and off of the field. She found a love for livestock early on in her farming journey and has raised a variety of meat goats as well as bottle calves. As an avid podcast listener, Katelyn found herself searching for a podcast that shared the important roles women in agriculture provide for the industry. When she could not find a podcast that met her criteria she began working on her own. In the spring of 2019, she launched The Rural Woman Podcast. Since then, Katelyn has shared the stories of incredible women involved in all parts of agriculture from farming, ranching, homesteading, agribusiness, and beyond. With close to half a million downloads from 140+ countries around the world. Katelyn continues to share the importance of Women in Agriculture while sharing her own story through social media under the handle @WildRoseFarmer
Farm to Table
The 2nd Annual Farm to Table Dinner was a success! This was our first year involved with the event and we hope to be a part of it for years to come! We partnered with the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee. We chose to bring in speakers to strengthen our educational outreach. The event is designed to increase awareness and education about the importance of the local agriculture industry and its products to the broader Williston community. We highlighted crops grown in the Mon-Dak region as well as the livestock industry by incorporating them into the meal. This was done to educate the public about how farming and ranching is right on their doorstep. We want everyone to know the process of “Farm to Table”. Education on how the crops are grown in fields, harvested, and then processed to make food and drinks on our tables is very important to us. There are some who think they’re food comes from a grocery store. They may not truly understand the whole process of how it gets to the store, who is involved, or how much is sacrificed so they have those foods available to them.
The idea was to bring rural and urban residents together to understand and educate one another. The relationship between the two is the foundation for a successful community.