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Conservation Connections

Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic

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South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts (SDACD)

The South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts represents 68 local conservation districts across the state. SDACD is committed to helping landowners and land users—including non-operator landowners—conserve natural resources. That includes promoting improved soil health and a healthy environment. Conservation Districts and SDACD partner with many conservation and farm organizations and are often the first point of contact for guidance to conservation assistance from other sources.

Call: (800) 729-4099

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Non-operator Landowners (NOLO)

Non-operator landowners, often referred to as NOLOs, are individuals who own land but do not farm it themselves. These landowners come from diverse backgrounds, spanning different ages and genders. While they may have varying experiences and knowledge of farming, they all share one commonality: land ownership. To facilitate information sharing and foster collaboration, a website called has been specifically designed for non-operator landowners in South Dakota. This online platform serves as a valuable resource hub, providing essential tools and information for NOLOs to make informed decisions about their land.


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USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS)

NRCS puts 80+ years of experience to work in assisting South Dakota’s private landowners and landusers in conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources. NRCS is a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that offers technical and financial assistance suited to a customer's specific needs. With conservation specialists serving every county, NRCS works closely with local conservation districts and other partners. NRCS provides free one-on-one personalized advice on the best solutions to meet the unique conservation and business goals of those who grow our Nation’s food and fiber. Participation in NRCS programs is voluntary; soil health improvement is a high priority.

Call: (605) 352-1200


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South Dakota Soil Health Coalition (SDSHC)

The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is a producer led, non-profit, membership organization that was created in the spring of 2015. The Coalition is governed by a nine-member board of farmers and ranchers from across the state and includes several staff members. Staff and board members strive to carry out the Coalition’s mission to “Promote Improved Soil Health” through education and outreach. Major projects and membership benefits include: field walks and workshops, annual Soil Health School, mentoring network, bi-monthly newsletter, informational videos, and the distribution of soil health education kits to school groups.

Call: (605) 280-4190



South Dakota Grassland Coalition (SDGC)

The South Dakota Grasslands Coalition is committed to helping ranchers and farmers improve stewardship of grasslands through sustainable and profitable management. SDGC conducts informational and educational activities that show the economic benefits of proven grassland and livestock management practices. The coalition focuses on presenting workshops, field tours, and other educational activities tailored to the needs of producers. 

Call: (605) 280-0127


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South Dakota State University Extension

SDSU Extension is South Dakota's trusted source for research-based knowledge. As a cornerstone of SDSU's land-grant university mission, SDSU Extension empowers citizens to be more competitive in a growing global economy through education and technical training or assistance. Our purpose is to foster a learning community environment that empowers citizens to advocate for sustainable change that will strengthen agriculture, natural resources, youth, families, and the communities of South Dakota.

Call: (605) 688-4792



Dakota Grasslands - Where Good Things Grow (WGTG)

"Dakota Grasslands: Where Good Things Grow” is a public service campaign developed by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts. This initiative emphasizes the value of healthy grasslands in South Dakota, highlighting farmers and ranchers who employ practices like no-till and managed grazing to protect and enhance soil health. Through television ads and other educational materials, the campaign deepens understanding of the crucial link between healthy grasslands and clean water while celebrating those dedicated to preserving the health and productivity of South Dakota’s grassland ecosystem for future generations.

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Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are two non-profit organizations dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Both organizations focus on conserving pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public access, education, and conservation advocacy.


Working Lands for Wildlife

Working Lands for Wildlife is a program by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service that helps farmers, ranchers, and foresters to conserve wildlife through sustainable agricultural practices. The program uses a variety of tools and techniques to achieve its goals, including habitat restoration, prescribed grazing, and conservation easements. These tools help to improve agricultural productivity and wildlife habitat on working lands, while also benefiting rural communities. The program is landowner-led, science-informed, and agency-supported. It has been successful in conserving over 12 million acres of land across 48 states and has helped 8,400 ranchers to conserve wildlife.

Helpful Resources & Documents

Structuring Grazing Leases - including Ranch Resource Goals to Improve Landowner-Lessee Relationships:


Best Management Practices Guide for Restoration of Native Grasslands and Sensitive Sites Resulting from Energy or Industrial Development:

2024 Prescribed Burn Learning Opportunities:

view flyer here

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