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.
Economics & Finance
- Apply the 7 step Ranching For Profit Economic Model to your business to project profit or loss and identify profit drivers and “deadwood.”
- Complete an enterprise analysis for each part of your business.
- Calculate gross margins and use them to make better production decisions.
- Project and manage your cash flow.
- Use key performance indicators and benchmarking to find strengths and weaknesses in your business.
- Find strategies for increasing profit for your farm or ranch.
- Apply the 3 “R’s” of credit and other financial principles that will make you more financially secure and make your farm or ranch more efficient.
- Identify options to capitalize and concessionize fixed assets to put you money, currently tied up in unproductive fixed assets, to work.
People & Management
- Draft a plan to apply Ranching For Profit principles to the challenges facing your ranch.
- Determine a policy for working on your business on a regular basis.
- Finalize your plan to apply Ranching For Profit principles to your ranch.
- 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.