Participants selected for BeefSD program

BROOKINGS, S.D. (Press Release) – SDSU Extension has selected participants to partake in Class 5 of the beefSD program. Since its inception in 2011, the beefSD program has provided intensive educational content that takes participants to the next level in beef enterprise management. Participation in the program is an excellent opportunity for beginning beef producers to increase knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the industry and develop the skills needed to be successful beef business managers.

BeefSD is open to individuals with less than 10 years of management experience in beef production. If not currently involved in beef production, participants must possess a strong desire to be involved in the future.

“The goal is to help the participants grow their business and enhance their knowledge of the many sectors of the beef industry,” said Ken Olson, SDSU Extension Beef Specialist.

Those selected to participate in Class 5 include Caden and Jori Smiley of Redowl; Adele and Jim Harty of Philip; Lindsey and Trampus Thompson of Sturgis; Jenna Ripp of Chamberlain; Ethan Adamson of Pukwana; Jake and Kristin Harms of Leola; Peyton and Courtney Bahe of Vale; Cody Hanssen of Emery; Laurel Lee and Bryn Mawr of Pennsylvania; Kim Lee of Sioux Falls; Paddy O’Sullivan of Brookings; Vance and Kristin Martin of Midland; Lindsey Loken of Minnesota; Conner Archer of Agar; Courtney and Johnathon Tyrrell of Chamberlain; Braden Towlerton of Iroquois; and Levi Swanson of Crooks.

The program involves four main components over the course of two years: in-person workshops and interactive webinars, networking and mentoring, ranch-to-rail evaluation and out-of-state learning experiences. Additionally, estate transition, marketing, conservation and agricultural advocacy are emphasized throughout the program.

Participants will also engage in case studies and share their own business knowledge and industry experience.

“Ninety percent of alumni indicated their current financial situation has improved because of beefSD,” said Olson. “Nearly 70% have increased production acres and 88% have made changes or improvements to their natural resource management.”

Alumni also credit the program for half of all business decisions they make. When asked if they would recommend the program to others, 100% of alumni said yes, underlining the value participants place on the program.

The SDSU Extension beefSD team received a USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) award, putting it among 48 projects funded to deliver the support new farmers and ranchers need. Partners of beefSD include Farm Credit Services of America, the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, the South Dakota Department of Tourism and the World Wildlife Fund.

For more information about the beefSD program or how to get involved, contact Ken Olson, SDSU Extension Beef Specialist at or (605) 394-2236 or Krista Ehlert, SDSU Extension Range Specialist, at or (605) 394-2236.