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SDSU Extension to Host Diversified Grazing Field Day for Livestock Producers

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Livestock producers who want to learn more about rangeland management and wildlife conservation are invited to attend a Diversified Grazing Field Day on Sept. 6 at a ranch in western South Dakota.

South Dakota State University Extension is hosting the new field day near Union Center at the Basel family ranch. The event will last from 10 a.m. MT to approximately 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided. It is free to attend.

Also known as “multi-species grazing,” diversified grazing rotates two or more livestock species on pastures or rangeland. Jaelyn Whaley, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, said the practice promotes stronger plant and wildlife diversity, leading to long-term rangeland sustainability.

The Basel family ranch showcases that holistic approach to managing its sheep and cattle operations by tying livestock, wildlife and rangeland needs together. They use a rotational grazing system and target unwanted weed species, while also adjusting grazing patterns to benefit local wildlife – like the family of ground owls they are currently monitoring.

“It shows how livestock, our wildlife and rangeland resources all work together to benefit the greater ecosystem of our rangelands,” Whaley said. “At the end of the day, our livestock producers need to do what’s best for their livestock, but we also need to ensure we’re preserving those lands for future generations.”

In addition to a tour of the Basel family ranch, the field day will include information from Krista Ehlert, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Range Specialist, and experts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

South Dakota Public Broadcasting will also be on-site while filming a segment on the sheep industry in South Dakota.

The Basel ranch is located at 16079 Minnehaha Place, Union Center, S.D., 57787. To register, visit and search “grazing”.

For more information, contact Jaelyn Whaley, SDSU Extension Sheep Field Specialist, at 605-394-1722 or

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