USDA Finalizes Procedures for Sorghum Referendum

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing procedures for the upcoming referendum regarding the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff Program and is announcing the dates it will conduct the referendum.

The Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order requires that a referendum be conducted no later than seven years after the start of assessments, which began on July 1, 2008. For the program to continue, a majority of those voting must favor the continuation of the order.

USDA will conduct the referendum beginning on March 23, 2015, through April 21, 2015, at county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for producers and the Agricultural Marketing Service office for importers. Ballots may be obtained in person, by mail or facsimile at county FSA offices, or via the Internet.

Any eligible person engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2014, is eligible to participate. Individuals are required to provide documentation such as a sales receipt or remittance form that shows they engaged in the production or importation of sorghum.

The Sorghum Checkoff Program, and its 13-member board, is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996. The Sorghum Checkoff is intended to be a national, coordinated, self-help marketing program designed to strengthen the position of sorghum in the marketplace, maintain and expand existing domestic and foreign markets and uses for sorghum, and develop new markets and uses for sorghum.

The final procedures were published in the Nov. 18, 2010, Federal Register. The notice announcing the dates of the referendum were published in the Feb. 19, 2015, Federal Register.

For more information, contact Craig Shackelford, Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 22 Jamesport Lane, White, GA 30184; Telephone: (470) 315-4246; Procedures and additional information about the referendum can be found at:

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

By Laura Coti Garrett, MS, RDN

April is National Cancer Control Month and there is no better time than now to focus on living a healthy lifestyle to help prevent cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, in order to lower your risk of cancer, you should stay at a healthy weight, be physically active, eat a healthy diet and refrain from smoking. Do these recommendations sound familiar to you? If so, it’s because you’ve likely heard them before in connection with diabetes and heart disease. Following these guidelines will not only lower your risk of getting cancer, they will also help to prevent diabetes and heart disease too. Great news!

To give your diet cancer and disease-fighting power, focus on eating more plant foods. Colorful plant foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains are bursting with antioxidants that help to protect our cells from damage. Because cell damage is associated with an increased cancer risk, antioxidants may help to protect against cancer. In fact, studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk for some types of cancers.

Make it your goal to eat at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and veggies each day. Some simple ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet are by 1) making sure each meal you eat includes either a fruit or vegetable, 2) going “meatless” for one meal each day and eating a vegetarian meal instead and 3) keeping washed fruit on the counter and prepared veggies in the fridge so you can easily grab and go!

Interestingly, taking antioxidant supplements does not appear to be as beneficial for reducing cancer risk as eating fruits and vegetables. It seems that the health benefits of plant foods may be more complex than just being about antioxidant content, as plant foods contain many other nutrient compounds as well. The bottom-line is that to reduce cancer risk, its best (and most delicious) to get your antioxidants from food.

Get started today on powering up your diet with this simple-to-prepare Tomato Sauce recipe below!

Quick Tomato Sauce

2 -28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Fresh Garlic cloves crushed or diced

Oregano and pepper (optional)

Heat olive oil in a 4 qt. pot, add garlic and cook until slightly brown. You can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic but add it to the sauce instead of the oil.  Next, pour in crushed tomatoes and cook for ½ hour, stirring occasionally. Add oregano and pepper to taste.

Laura Coti Garrett is a registered dietitian-nutritionist and diabetes educator. You can find her Dietitian Picks meal plans and shopping lists at Winner Super Foods

Sound Bites for social media or overhead announcements

Eat colorful fruits and vegetables to give your diet cancer and disease-fighting power.

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are powerful sources of cancer and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Improve your diet with plant foods. Aim to get at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables and at least 3 servings of whole grains each day.

Mom was right, you should eat your vegetables! Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies have nutrients that may protect against cancer.

Include a fruit or vegetable with each meal to give your body a boost of antioxidants.

Trajedy in White River

julie charging whirlwind wth dog storyBy Dan Merritt, Advocate reporter

“It was a horrible, horrible thing. It was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen,” said acting Rosebud tribal chairman William Kindle last week about the death of Julia Charging Whirlwind, 49.

She died in a hospital after an early morning attack, Sat., March 14, by dogs near her home in the Rosebud community of Lower Swift Bear west of White River, S.D. in Mellette County.

“We’ve been with the family. We had a prayer vigil with the family last night (Wed., March 18),” Kindle said. “We assured them that something’s going to be done about these dogs that are running loose.

“We’re trying to assure the rest of the (Rosebud) population here that we want to get control of this so it doesn’t happen again. It was an awful tragedy and we don’t want it to take place again.”

He said tribal police with the help of Game, Fish, and Parks personnel were in the process of addressing the problem.

“They got a schedule to go through all the communities. Right here in Todd County, there are probably 15. Then we have one community there in the Winner area and also out at Ideal, north of Winner.

“There’s another community where the old town of Dixon used to be along Highway 44. And another one is down in the Herrick area. Hopefully we can get through all of them,” he said.

The officials were on the look-out especially for dogs that appeared to be roaming free, owned by no one. Unwanted, mangy ones. Whatever.

Most are captured, Kindle indicated, though some destroyed.

“What we don’t want to do is go out there and do a massive dog kill. That’s not our intent.

We certainly don’t want to come through a community and pick up any pets, family pets. We’ve got to identify those. We’re not after those,” he said.

Dogs being confined to their owners’ homes stand the best chance of not being taken. “We want to get off the streets, those that are loose and running wild,” Kindle explained.

Dogs captured at the various communities are being confined, Kindle continued.

“The Bureau of Indian Affairs has a large metal building out here just east of Rosebud, two or three miles out. And they are letting us use that building until we can get a permanent structure up somewhere.

We’re trying to locate some funding to get a permanent structure and get two or three people to man the operation,” he said.

It will be a place to keep the (impounded dogs) for 48 hours or whatever. Give people time to claim their pets. Try to get some collars and tags at that time for them. Unclaimed dogs after a certain time period will be euthanized, he said.

“We don’t want to. We don’t like the fact that we’re going to have to do some of that.”

Two dogs were killed at the site of the attack on Charging Whirlwind, March 14. Emergency personnel were called and one who responded was Mellette County sheriff Mike Blom. He shot the dogs.

According to media reports, other dogs in the area deemed vicious or dangerous were also destroyed that day.

According to Kindle, the dog attack certainly initiated the death of Charging Whirlwind, but possibly the trauma of the event rather than dog bites themselves were the specific cause.

He said autopsy results weren’t available as of mid-week, last week, but speculation among tribe members was that cardiac arrest from the attack may have been reason for the woman’s death.

Charging Whirlwind had five children and three grandchildren.

According to Rosebud tribal law enforcement administrator Marlin Enno, one of the two dogs killed by Sheriff Blom was a pit bull or a mixed breed pit bull.

The pups are valuable and raising them seems to have become popular on the Rosebud reservation, Kindle commented. “We’re seeing more and more of that breed. And you notice a lot of cross-bred dogs with pit bull blood in them. Apparently the breed is pretty popular right now,” he said

While tribal police and GF&P personnel continue to make their rounds of towns in search of dogs that need to be removed or destroyed, Enno cautioned people who may be on foot anyplace on the Rosebud reservation.

If you don’t know a dog, don’t be going up to it.

If you see a pack of dogs, don’t intimidate them or tease them. A pack can be as few as four or five dogs, he assessed.

If confronted by a snarling dog or dogs, Enno advised that people stand still.

“If you stand there and hold your ground, more than likely the dog isn’t going to bother you. It will back away because it sees you’re bigger than them,” he said.

“The biggest thing is don’t run. Because all you do is entice it (a dog or a pack), if you run. Then it turns into a hunt for them.”

Growing In Agriculture

Thanking our Farmers, Ranchers and Consumers 

A column by Secretary Lucas Lentsch 


This week marks National Ag Week with National Ag Day celebrated  which was on March 18.  We celebrate the farm and ranch families who supply our world with safe and affordable food. We also appreciate the consumers who place their confidence in our American feed, fuel, fiber and food system.

Consumers put their trust in America’s farmers and ranchers every day. Every time you visit the grocery store to pick up that gallon of milk or pound of beef, you place your trust in our nation’s food system. You trust that farmers and ranchers make good choices for animal care and plant health which in turn yields wholesome, nutritious and safe food for your family. As a result, we have the safest, most reliable food system in the world. Producers are also able to provide consumers with an abundance of choices among products and practices used to grow those products.

Here in South Dakota, we are proud of our 31,700 farm and ranch families and the wide variety of products they grow every year. From sunflowers to bison and corn to cattle, South Dakota continues to rank in the top 10 states for production. South Dakota farmers and ranchers continue to supply the food found on consumers’ plates around the world.

Our state’s agricultural industry realizes we would not be able to continue doing what we love without consumers’ support. During this National Ag Week, let’s celebrate the hardworking and productive farm and ranch families across our state. Let’s also thank our consumers for being a partner in this effort.  We are in this food system together.

March Madness, South Dakota Style

by Katie Hunhoff

March is a great month for South Dakotans. Not only do we feel the first signs of spring but it is also the month of high school state basketball championships — an exciting end to a sport that has entertained us through a long winter. This year the girls’ championships are March 12-14 in Brookings, Watertown and Huron and the high school boys’ championship games are March 19-21 in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Aberdeen.

Fortunately for today’s fans, games will be broadcast live on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Find the schedule on the SDPB website, That wasn’t always the case, of course, and some fascinating games in our state’s history can only be remembered by word of mouth.

In this month of March, we are also celebrating South Dakota Magazine‘s 30th anniversary, and so our March/April issue is a collection of some memorable stories. Gann Valley’s attempt at the state B championship in 1955 was included as one of our readers’ favorites. The article was written by John Miles, son of Gann Valley’s superintendent and basketball coach Q.C. Miles. Coach Miles saw the Buffaloes through to the state B tournament despite being underdogs and facing several setbacks throughout the season.

John starts the story by introducing Ray Deloria and Alfred St. John, two Native American students who enrolled at Gann Valley and boarded with the Miles family after the school at Fort Thompson closed. Both were great basketball players, so the Buffaloes had an unexpected boost in talent.

“Ray Deloria was a wizard in our young minds,” wrote Miles. “His hands were so quick he could entertain us with only a basketball — spinning it on his finger, rolling it along his arms, making it disappear. But what really captivated us was his dribbling — behind the back, through his legs, around in circles, toying with us, challenging us to get the ball. We never could.”

John’s family had moved to Gann Valley, a tiny town near the Crow Creek Reservation, four years earlier when Q.C became superintendent. Q.C was a decorated pilot in World War II who returned home disturbed by memories of war. He was drinking heavily. After marrying John’s mom, Lila, teaching and coaching kept him busy and his thoughts far from the war.

Gann Valley hadn’t won a basketball game since 1942, but the second year that Q.C. coached they won seven games, and a conference championship the third year. Q.C.’s problems with alcohol nearly got him fired that third year, but, Miles wrote, “talk died down amidst the excitement over the upcoming season.”

Part of the excitement pertained to the talented new Native American players. But they also brought challenges. “Fellow coaches told Dad he would never be able to get the Indians and whites to play together,” wrote Miles. “The Indians played with a different style and tended to stay apart, conversing in their native Dakota language.”

The Buffaloes won the season opener, with Ray Deloria doing most of the scoring. One white player handed in his uniform. “If this is the way it’s going to be, I’m going to quit,” he told Q.C. Another parent was upset that his son did not get to play in the first game. He sent a note to Q.C. that said, “He is better than any of those Indians and if you don’t start playing him more I’m going to the school board.”

Despite that rocky start, the Buffalos finished the season 29-4. Word had spread that Gann Valley was a team to watch, and Ray Deloria was a sideshow all by himself. The team went on to the state tournament in Huron, which Miles said must have felt like Madison Square Garden to the boys from Gann Valley. They drew a crowd of over 6,000 fans. But then, Miles wrote, “they fell flat,” and lost the first game. Most observers blamed it on nerves from the overwhelming crowd.

The next day, Gann Valley faced Selby, the tournament favorite that had also been upset in the opening round. Often the stands are far from full for consolation games, but 4,000 people showed up. “They were not disappointed,” John Miles wrote. Both teams played well but the Buffaloes won, which put them against Brandon for the consolation championship.

This time, 5,300 people arrived to see Gann Valley. “In the annals of South Dakota basketball the 1955 State B consolation championship game is of little significance, but try telling that to those that were there,” wrote John. His father agrees. “People to this day still come up and tell me it was the greatest basketball game they ever saw,” says Q.C., who now lives in Watertown. Ray Deloria was the star of the show, putting on one of the most amazing dribbling exhibitions ever seen in a tournament. He ran circles around Brandon. Gann Valley led for most of the game, but that lead dwindled in the third quarter. Q.C. asked Ray to stall the game to try to maintain their lead.

“People said they had never seen anything like it,” writes John. “Except for my family. We had seen it in our house and in our yard. Nobody was going to catch this guy. They could not foul him if they could not catch him. Desperate lunges came up with nothing. Ray dribbled constantly, sometimes so close to the ground it looked like he was rolling the ball. Sometimes he found the open man under the basket, and that was the difference in the game.

“At the buzzer, the players lifted Dad on their shoulders and paraded with him around the Huron Arena. Dozens of people congratulated him. ‘I just gave Ray the ball,’ he said.”

We wish SDPB had been filming the games in 1955. But who knows what might happen in 2015? And this year the cameras will be rolling. Enjoy March, madness and all, in South Dakota.

Checkoff Teams Up with Retailers to Sell Beef

When shopping at the meat counter, one thing consumers might notice is the sticker price of beef is higher than in years past. A number of factors influence the price of beef, including a smaller U.S. cattle herd, an ongoing drought, and an increased demand for U.S. beef around the world.

However, despite the higher price tag for beef, consumer demand for beef remains strong, thanks in part to the Beef Checkoff Program. A recent study of the checkoff showed a return on investment of $11.20 for beef producers.

The checkoff assessment is used for promotion, research, education and new product development, and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) is placing a new emphasis on helping retailers around the state sell beef to consumers.

“The SDBIC is here to support retailers,” said Briana Burgers, SDBIC nutrition assistant and director of online communications. “We want to focus more on retail and in-store visits.”

Burgers has made several stops to visit with meat managers at area South Dakota grocery stores including Coborn’s, Hy-Vee, Sunshine and Family Thrift.

“In visiting with the meat managers, it was very apparent there are a few barriers in selling beef, including the price of beef, lack of consumer knowledge on beef preparation, and staff education,” said Burgers. “We took this feedback and developed a strategy to tackle these issues for the retailers.”

Burgers created an e-newsletter to stay in communication with the retailers. Each month, she focuses on a specific challenge grocers might face in moving product. For example, the e-blast suggested packaging “sweetheart steaks” for February, with two steaks displayed in a red, heart-shaped container.

“I was pleased to hear Coborn’s in Mitchell used this packaging idea to sell pre-cooked prime rib, just in time for Valentine’s Day,” said Burgers.

In March, the e-newsletter focused on National Nutrition Month, and grocers were sent information on the nutritional benefits of beef. She was also able to alert meat managers when 96% extra lean ground beef was certified as a heart-healthy option by the American Heart Association.

“We are trying to introduce a few different strategies for retailers to implement at the meat case including cross-promotion and point-of-sale-influencing,” said Burgers. “With cross-promotion, retailers share a breakfast recipe with beef and eggs and a burger recipe with coleslaw mix. The recipes are then placed by the eggs and coleslaw to prompt an unanticipated beef purchase when the customer is outside of the meat case.”

In point-of-sale-influencing, Burgers is offering promotional stickers for grocers to place on fresh beef.

“The stickers are fun and eye-catching and say things like ‘Dietitians dig me,’ ‘I’m lean,’ ‘Protein to power through your day,’ and ‘Surprise, I’m part of a heart-healthy diet,'” said Burgers. “All of our retail locations are receiving these stickers to use through March.”

In April, the e-newsletter will focus on employee education and addressing how meat managers can boost the beef knowledge of staff members.

“We will offer educational pieces that meat managers can share with staff including beef cuts, preparation, internal cooking temperatures, the list of lean cuts, etc.,” said Burgers.  “Consumers make decisions about what they want to buy to feed their families in the grocery stores, so it only makes sense for the SDBIC to work with retailers to promote and sell beef. Without providing retailers with materials, staff education and supplies, we can’t expect them to help sustain beef as a competitive protein.”

Country Pride Cooperative Gives Back By Investing $100,000 In SDSU Ag

Country Pride Cooperative is proud to announce that the Board of Directors committed to a $100,000 donation to the Headhouse and Greenhouse Facility along with the Cow-Calf Facility projects at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD. The company will donate a total of $20,000/year for five years to the ag projects at SDSU. “This was a great opportunity for Country Pride Coop to recognize SDSU’s contributions and the value that the university brings to the ag industry. With this donation, Country Pride is investing in the future of agricultural,” explains Country Pride CEO Mike Trosen.  “Both facilities will be key in continuing research work in the ag industry and will also provide a great area to educate and train students for future careers in agriculture.  Helping provide a monetary contribution to the ag projects is part of our company’s cultural values and Country Pride feels honored to be part of the projects being constructed at SDSU Representatives from SDSU recently attended a Country Pride Cooperative board meeting to express their appreciation for the donation. Mike Barber, SDSU College of Ag Bio Development Director stated, “We wanted a chance to say thank you for this generous gift. Both projects are instrumental in helping us move to the next level in research and your donation is greatly appreciated. ”  Dr. David Wright, Dept. Head/Professor for Plant Science and Dr. Joseph Cassady, Dept. Head/Professor for Animal Science also attended and discussed the progress of the projects. The Cow-Calf project includes a main building with offices, laboratory space and conference center, a multipurpose building for maternity or livestock evaluation pens, a monoslope research building, and replicated pastures for grazing management. They expect it to be ready for students in the spring of 2016.

The Headhouse and Greenhouse Facility project construction will start in 2015. It will replace the old buildings that were built in the 1940’s which were closed recently due to safety concerns stated Dr. Wright. The new Headhouse and Greenhouse facilities will create 12,000 sq. feet of new space to teach, conduct research and enable extension opportunities for producers in South Dakota. Research in these facilities will positively impact agriculture through the production of new crop varieties and through discoveries that will improve pest control, disease resistance and stress tolerance in crops. Research on range plants and invasive species will also help livestock producers across the state better utilize their pastures and grasslands. o ignored

According to both SDSU department heads the enrollment in the College Ag Bio has seen strong increases and is expected to continue. The new facilities will assist with meeting the needs of those students.

Beef Protocol

By Robin Salverson

SDSU Extension cow/calf field specialist



The Beef Reproduction Task Force composed of representatives of the AI and pharmaceutical companies, veterinarians and reproduction specialists have developed based on research data and field use a list of recommended synchronization protocols for use in cows in 2015. The protocols can be found in the AI catalogs and on the Beef Reproduction Task Force website.

Recommended Protocols & Useful Tools

Take note that not all protocols are for both cows and heifers. There is a difference in physiological response between heifers and cows. It is important that you use a cow protocol. Likewise, follow the protocol, give the proper hormone injection or insert at the right time and don’t expect to jump-start all cows that are not cycling. To help increase the success of the synchronization protocol cows need to be at a body condition score of 5 or better during breeding season and be at least 50 days post calving. If there are young, thin and or late calving cows in the herd, it is likely they are not cycling. The addition of a progestin such as CIDR® in the protocol can help jump-start some of these non-cycling cows. However, caution needs to be taken, CIDR® or other progestins are not the “cure all” for thin, young and late calving cows. Consideration needs to be taken whether it is cost effective to synchronize these cows. An evaluation of the nutrition program is recommended if a high percentage of cows are not cycling.

Handling Tips

It is tempting to give a cow an injection in the rump, because there is the belief that cull cows solely end as hamburger beef. However, a majority of the “middle meats” such as ribeye rolls, short-loins, strip-loins, along with round are marketed as such. Therefore, Beef Quality Assurance guidelines should be followed when giving all injectable hormones. Secondly, giving the injection in the rump does not increase the efficacy or speed of the hormone because it was administered “closer to the ovary”. All drugs must enter the blood system and travel to the heart and lungs before reaching the target organ (i.e. ovaries).

When handling all hormones including CIDR® wear latex or non-latex gloves regardless if you are a man or a woman. Example, prostaglandin is a smooth muscle contractor, our intestines are the largest smooth muscle in the human body. If prostaglandin is absorbed through the skin it can “tie up” the digestive system. Additionally, the hormones function in the human body like it does in a heifer therefore, extreme care should be taken when handling all synchronization hormones.

Protocol Categories

The recommended cow estrous synchronization protocols have been put into one of three categories:

Heat Detection Protocol

Heat Detection and Timed AI Protocol

Fixed Time AI Protocol

1. Heat Detection Protocols: Cows in these protocols should be inseminated 6 to 12 hours after the first observation of standing heat. During peak heat activity which is approximately 48 to 72 hours after prostaglandin; heat detection should occur at a minimum of 3 times per day for at least 1 hour per check for a total of 3 hours with 5 to 6 hours of heat detection being better. Refer to the SDSU Extension publication HYPERLINK “”Detection of Standing Estrus In Cattle for more information on detecting heat. The heat detection protocols for cows include:

Select Synch

Select Synch + CIDR®

PG 6-day CIDR®

2. Heat Detect and Time AI (TAI) Protocols: These protocols include a combination of both heat detection and timed insemination. Cows observed in heat should be inseminated 6 to 12 hours after standing heat. After approximately 3 days of heat detection, all cows not showing heat after PG injection will be given an injection of GnRH and inseminated (i.e. timed insemination). The amount of time spent on heat detection is reduced and early responders have a better chance of conceiving compared to a single fixed-time AI. The Heat Detect and Timed AI protocols include:

Select Synch & TAI

Select Synch + CIDR® & TAI

PG 6 –day CIDR® & TAI

3. Fixed-Timed AI (TAI) Protocols: In a fixed-time, all cows are inseminated at a pre-determined time no heat detection occurs. It is important, when considering these fixed-time AI protocols, only synchronize the number of cows that can be inseminated in a 3 to 4 hour period. Fixed-Time AI protocols include:

7-day CO-Synch + CIDR®

5-day CO-Synch + CIDR®

PG 5 –day CO-Synch + CIDR® (For Bos Indicus cows only)

Using the Estrus Synchronization Planner can help you develop you compare synchronization protocols and develop a synchronization and breeding calendar for both cows and heifers. The planner can found on the  Applied Reproductive Strategies in Beef Cattle website as a free download.

Wildfire Awareness Month “Tame the Flame” Poster Coloring Contest

To kick off the South Dakota Wildfire Awareness Month, South Dakota Wildland Fire is calling all kids, ages 3-12, to showcase their artistic abilities in this year’s Wildfire Awareness Month Poster Coloring Contest.

This year’s entries will reflect the theme: “Tame the Flame.” Kids living in South Dakota are eligible to participate. All entries must be postmarked by April 24, 2015. Only one entry per child is allowed and submitted posters must be completed by the child with no outside assistance. Each entry must include a completed entry form. Paint, markers, crayons or colored pencils are mediums that may be used. 

The contest will have two age brackets with a prize awarded to each group.

•        Group 1 (Ages 3-7) Contestants submit the official “Campfire Dead Out” poster.

•        Group 2 (Ages 8-12) Contestants submit the official “Firefighter and Friends” poster.

A Smokey Bear plush toy will be awarded to the contest winners in each category on or before May 31. Posters will not be returned.

The coloring posters and entry form may be downloaded and printed from the South Dakota Wildfire Awareness Month website at this link:!coloring-contest/c1tkc.

All submissions must be mailed to: 

South Dakota Wildland Fire Division

Attn: Cindy Hansen

3305 W. South St.

Rapid City, SD 57702

For more information, contact Cindy Hansen at (605) 393-8011 or email

2015 Wildland Fire Academy Extends Deadline for Registration

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The 2015 Wildland Fire Academy, which will be hosted in Ft. Pierre, S.D., on March 25-29, 2015, has extended its registration deadline. Registration will be open March 16-20 for interested parties.

Firing Operations (S-219) and Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior (S-290) classes are full and will not be accepting additional students. The remaining classes are still available.

This event will be an important tool to provide a quality training experience for volunteer fire departments (VFD) and state and federal firefighters.

Participants must register online by visiting , scroll over “Wildland Fire” and “Training and Qualification,” then click “Academies.” Then click “Ft. Pierre Wildland Fire Academy Registration.”

Students attending National Wildfire Coordinating Group courses must have their Incident Command System (ICS) classes up to date in order to receive certification. Minimum ICS course include ICS-100 and ICS-700. Additional courses may be required dependent upon training level.

For more information, please contact Robert Lehmann, assistant chief of training/fuels, South Dakota Wildland Fire at (605) 393-8011 or

South Dakota Wildland Fire can be found on Facebook by searching SD Wildland Fire and on Twitter @SDWildlandFire.

Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow.