A Conference produced by The South Dakota No Till Association


Place:  The Pierre Ramkota Convention Center
Date:  February 14-15, 2005



Dr. Jill Clapperton is a Rhizosphere Ecologist and head of the Rhizosphere Ecology Research Group at The Ag Canada Research Center in Lethbridge, AB, Canada. The Rhizosphere Ecology Research Group studies the activities of soil organisms. Their goal is to learn more about how soils function biologically and how to use this understanding to manage the long-term productivity of our soil.  They believe that environmental quality, food quality and health are all linked to the biological functioning of soil.

Dr. David Lobb is a soil scientist from The University of Manitoba. His research focuses on tillage erosion including tillage systems and their impacts on biophysical processes that affect agriculture and the environment.

Karl Kupers is a no-till farmer from Harrington, Washington who farms in the “rain shadow” of the Cascade Mountains, an area that receives just 12” of rain per year. Two years ago he was one of the founders of Columbia Plateau Producers the marketers of Shepherd's Grain products.  Shepherd's Grain products have been certified by the Food Alliance (www.foodalliance.org), a Portland-based non-profit that sets standards for environmentally friendly and socially responsible food production.

Dr. Gordon Smith works with The Environmental Defense Fund in Seattle Washington. His expertise lies in quantifying greenhouse effects of changing forest and soil conditions. Dr. Smith will speak on how The Environmental Defense Fund is working with agricultural producers, producer groups, and greenhouse gas emitters to offset emissions by changing farming practices.

Gabe Brown and Jay Fuhrer. Gabe Brown operates a purebred, Gelbvieh ranch near Bismarck, ND. One of Gabe’s primary goals has been to increase the productivity of his land by improving soil health, rather than increasing acres. Gabe with the help of Jay Fuhrer of the NRCS in Bismarck, have developed a tame pasture grazing system, which includes the interseeding of several different legumes into tame grass. Gabe and Jay will talk about the benefits this has brought to the farm including less stress and enhanced sustainability of the ranch.

Dr. Shannon Osborne is a scientist at the USDA-ARS Lab in Brookings, SD. Her research relates to crop rotation, tillage, residue management and soil fertility. She is currently studying ways to incorporate cover crops into South Dakota cropping systems.

Dr. Dwayne Beck manages the Dakota Lakes Research Center near Pierre, SD. Dr. Beck is a longtime proponent of no-till farming. He focuses his research on field application of different cropping rotation and systems suitable for the Midwest US. He does not (farm opened in 1990) practice tillage in any of his studies or anywhere on the research farm.

The Conference will also include a panel of established successful no-till farmers who will share some of their ideas and thoughts on what has helped them on their farms.

The purpose of the South Dakota No-Till Association is to promote, advance and improve agriculture through the utilization of no-till farming methods.  To encourage, aid and conduct research of no-till farming practices and disseminate educational information to producers using or wanting to use no-till cropping systems.

The South Dakota No-Till Association is a nonprofit organization which is funded primarily through memberships and independent sponsors.  


For further information about this organization please contact: Ruth Beck, 1208 East Church St., Pierre, SD 57501, (605) 224-8891.


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