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Range Workshops Held at Rosebud and Kyle this Summer

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Youth and adults of the Sicangu Oyate (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) and the Oglala Lakota Nation participated in range workshops this summer put on by SDSU Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners.

a group of people standing in a pasture.
Deanna Eagle Feather discusses medicinal uses of native range plants at Rosebud.

4th Annual Rosebud Range Workshop 

Youth from the Mission Boys and Girls Club and local 4-H clubs, as well as local adults, took part in the 4th Annual Rosebud Range Workshop held in late July at the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch.

a group of children standing in a pasture looking at the types of plants.
NRCS Rosebud Tribal Liaison Mary Scott discusses range management at Rosebud.

“The youth learned differences in grasses, forbs and shrubs. They also learned if the plants were native to the prairie or introduced, cool season or warm-season, and perennial or annual growth periods. Medicinal uses for each plant were also discussed,” said Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist.

T-shirts and backpacks filled with conservation information, activities and items were given to youth in attendance compliments of the RST Tribal Ranch and South Central Resource Conservation and Development Council.

six men in a pasture analyzing the types of grasses.
SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist Sean Kelly discusses range plants at Rosebud.

The adult workshop started with plant identification in the pasture. Cultural and medicinal uses were also discussed for each plant. Following plant identification, there were demonstrations on calculating stocking rates and carrying capacities from utilizing grass clippings and a grazing stick. Participants also learned how to utilize a rainfall infiltration kit. Grazing kit bags with all the tools necessary to calculate stocking rates were provided to the adult participants compliments of the RST Tribal Ranch.

“Participants came from near and far to attend this excellent educational opportunity to learn more about the land. The land has so much to teach us and physically being on the land is the best classroom,” said Kelly.

The workshop was coordinated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), SDSU Extension and the RST Tribal Ranch.

Kyle Range Workshop

SDSU Extension and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partnered with Lakota Funds to host a range workshop for the Oyate (people) of Oglala Lakota County. Located in the heart of some of the most diverse and scenic tracts of native rangeland in South Dakota, participants gathered at the Lakota Trade Center in Kyle, S.D. on June 7.

a woman standing in a room teaching three other people.
NRCS Tribal Liaison, Trudy Ecoffey, sharing soil health information to participants at Oglala Lakota County.

The day began with classroom instruction and demonstration of a tabletop rainfall simulator. The afternoon consisted of traveling to a nearby range unit for field activities. SDSU and NRCS staff provided information on rangeland inventory, grazing systems, calculating stocking rates, carrying capacities, soil health and plant identification, which also included cultural and medicinal aspects.

“Participants expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to learn more about the land and their interest in future informational activities. Next year, the team hopes to expand the learning opportunities of the range workshops to the Pine Ridge and Oglala area in addition to the Kyle area,” said Kelly.

NRCS staff included Trudy Ecoffey, Pine Ridge Tribal Liaison, and Mary Scott, Rosebud Tribal Liaison. SDSU Extension staff included Sean Kelly, SDSU Extension Range Management Field Specialist, and Jimmie Doyle, SDSU Extension Natural Resources Field Specialist.