0227T1-1204A.jpg Kindra Gordon
CONSERVATION AWARD: Gary and Amy Cammack, shown in this file photo, were recently recognized for their conservation achievements and leadership.

Cammacks receive national conservation leadership award

Dakota Digest: South Dakota pork and corn councils elect officers; Northern Prairies Innovation Alliance names Non-Farmer of the Year.

Gary and Amy Cammack, Union Center, S.D., recently received the National Association of Conservation Districts’ and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Olin Sims Conservation Leadership Award.

Gary and Amy have adopted many conservation practices that have improved and protected natural resources on their ranch while increasing their profits. See our story about the Cammacks from 2015, “Top 3 ranch improvements.”

The Cammacks also host ranch tours for Rapid City School District students to help people understand where their food comes from and why it is important to conserve natural resources. In 2012, the Cammacks hosted the World Wildlife Fund’s regional advisory panel, driving home the idea that cattle and wildlife can, and should, coexist. In 2014, they hosted the South Dakota Grassland Coalition’s annual bird tour where natural resource and bird enthusiasts, adults and children came to experience ranch life with a focus on the bird species found living there. They are members of many agricultural and conservation organizations including: National Cattlemen's Beef Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Retailers Association, South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, South Dakota Stockgrowers and South Dakota Grassland Coalition. They also participate in partnerships with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; South Dakota Grassland Coalition; South Dakota State University; Elk Creek Conservation District, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation; South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; and the Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership.

Keith Brown, Crosby, ND, recognized
Keith Brown, Crosby, N.D., former Divide County Extension agent, received the Non-Farmer of the Year award from the Northern Prairies Ag Innovation Alliance. During his career in the Extension Service, he helped many producers adopt conservation tillage and diversify crop rotations. He also helped develop the pulse crop industry. Adam Gurr, Brandon, Manitoba, received the group’s Farmer of the Year Award.

New SD corn council officers
Ryan Wagner, Roslyn, is the new president; Robert Walsh, Elk Point, is the new vice president; and Laron Krause, Clear Lake, is the new secretary-treasurer of the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council. Wagner, who joined the council in March 2014, was secretary-treasurer for the past year. His family’s farm has been 100% no-till since the late 1980s. They use a rotation of 40% corn, 40% soybeans and 20% spring wheat. Wagner also is a commodity broker. Walsh, who joined the board a year ago, farms in Union and Clay counties. He and his family grow corn and soybeans, and raise seed soybeans for several seed companies. They farm both dryland and irrigated ground, mostly along or near the Big Sioux River. Krause joined the board in 2015. He raises corn, soybeans and wheat and is a partner in Supreme Pork, a farrow-to-finish operation, for which he finishes hogs.

SD pork council re-elects Storm
The South Dakota Pork Producers Council elected Ryan Storm, a pork producer from Mount Vernon, S.D., to serve as president for a second term. “I feel that we have made progress over the years in educating our communities about pork production, but feel we have more that we can do,” he says. “New opportunities for families keep coming for them to become part of the pork industry, and we need to keep supporting them with this.”

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