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38th Annual Rangeland and 17th Annual Soils Days Set for June 14 and 15 in Murdo

BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension, Jones County Conservation District and the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service are hosting the 38th Annual Rangeland and 17th Annual Soils Days on June 14 and 15 in Murdo, South Dakota.

“Rangeland and Soils Days offer a unique opportunity for youth, ages 8 to 18, and adults alike to learn more about South Dakota’s natural resources,” said Jessalyn Bachler, former SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist. “If you are interested in learning more about soil and rangeland types, along with the management of them, such as land suitability and grazing methods, rangeland and soils days can offer a great introduction.”

Rangeland and Soils Days will return to the original two-day format. On June 14, registration will start at 8:30 a.m. CT at the Mickelson Community Center, located at 304 E. Fourth St. in Murdo, South Dakota, with participants departing for the field sites at 9:00 a.m. Students will be in the field the rest of the day. June 14 will focus on learning about rangelands and soils, and students will be allowed time to practice for the contests. On June 15, the contests will be held in the field in the morning, and the event will wrap up with awards starting at 1:30 p.m.

"Rangeland and Soils Days offer a unique opportunity for youth and adults alike to learn more about South Dakota’s natural resources.”

— Jessalyn Bachler, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist

For those interested in participating in the Land and Homesite Contest (open to youth ages 14 to 18) and learning more about soils, topics, such as determining soil texture and type, interpreting soil limiting factors and determining land capability with management recommendations, will be covered. The Homesite Evaluation portion of the contest helps participants determine suitability of the site for building foundations, lawns and landscaping, septic systems and sewage lagoons.

The rangeland contest will be open to four student divisions: New Rangers (ages 8 to 10), Wranglers (ages 11 to 13), Scouts (ages 14 to 18) and Go Getters (ages 14 to 18). Each division will judge habitat suitability for beef cattle and prairie grouse, in addition to learning more about plant identification and morphology. The Go Getter division will also have a team contest. The top Go Getter Range Team and the top Land and Homesite Team in the 4-H divisions will represent South Dakota in the National Land and Range Judging Contest held in May of 2023 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Other awards will be given for the top Soils Hand and the top Rangeland Hand.

Student displays and talks will take place the evening of June 14. Displays and talks are to be applicable to any range-related topics or range management techniques or resources. Lunch and supper will be provided on June 14, and breakfast and lunch will be provided on June 15. To receive a brochure with more details of the event, please contact the Jones County Conservation District at

Registration Details

Registration is $30 per individual. To pre-register, those interested can pay via check to: Jones County Conservation District and mail it to P.O. Box 298, Murdo, S.D. 57559. Hotel blocks are available in Murdo at the Best Western, Range Country or Super 8 for the event.

For more information about the location, contact Valerie Feddersen at 605-530-2020. For Rangeland contest details, contact Emily Helms at 605-570-2180 or Krista Ehlert, Assistant Professor & SDSU Extension Range Specialist, at 605-394-2236. For Land and Homesite contest details contact Lance Howe at 605-468-3088.