BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University Extension will host a two-day High Tunnel Short Course on Oct. 16-17 at the Outdoor Campus – West in Rapid City.
The High Tunnel Short Course will provide in-depth information about high-tunnel farming in South Dakota. Educational and on-site experiences will be led by the SDSU Extension horticulture team and feature North Dakota State University researchers, South Dakota farmers, and industry experts.
Registration is required and costs $25 per day per person. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided on both days. Transportation to the tours is also provided.
The first day will last from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. MT and include eight presentations about high tunnel construction, production and economic considerations. Speakers include Kristine Lang, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist; Rhoda Burrows, professor and SDSU Extension Horticulture Specialist; Bob Weyrich, South Dakota Small Business Development Center; Shannon Mutschelknaus, Wayward Springs Acres near Brookings; Dirk and Kjersten Oudman, Blue Sky Vegetable Co. near Sioux Falls; Peggy Martin, Cedar Creek Gardens near Midland; and Esther McGinnis, NDSU.
On the second day, participants will tour high tunnel systems at Feather II on the Pine Ridge Reservation and Budding Moon Farm by Spearfish. The bus will leave at 8 a.m. MT from the Outdoor Campus – West and return about 5:30 p.m.
People are welcome to attend one or both days. Kristine Lang said Oct. 16 will be best for those who want to learn production specifics, while Oct. 17 will be ideal for those who want to see high tunnel production and enjoy tours.
“The two days are designed to be complementary, so we hope many people will sign up for the whole educational package,” Lang said.
Feather II is a 160-acre community gardening hub outside Porcupine managed by the nonprofit Re-Member. It features two high tunnels, a 2.5-acre garden and indigenous plants along Porcupine Creek. In the Northern Hills, Budding Moon Farm uses a mobile high tunnel that is easy to move and resilient to all types of weather. Late-season crops and cover cropping will be highlighted.
“The ability to visit Pine Ridge Reservation and a Northern Hills farm will allow for two unique high tunnel production systems to be featured,” Lang said.
To register, visit the SDSU Extension Events page and search “high tunnel”. If cost is a barrier, contact Lang.
The event is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number 2022-38640-37486 through the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program under project number ENC22-216. USDA is an equal-opportunity employer and service provider. Visit www.NorthCentralSARE.org.