Michael Zimny / SDPB

Parts of northwest South Dakota look much the same today as they did hundreds of years ago, with breathtaking expanses of grass, plains, buttes and sky.

Within just four counties in South Dakota’s northwest corner, there are nearly 9,000 square miles of virgin sod.

Globally, however, about a fifth of the world’s native grasslands have been converted to crops.

That’s troubling for people like Pete Bauman.

Eliza Blue's New Book, "Accidental Rancher"

May 20, 2020

In The Moment … May 20, 2020 Show 821 Hour 1

Arts & Lifestyle: Nov 2 - 8

Nov 8, 2019

The All Nations Veteran Cemetery has been open in the Standing Rock Reservation for several months. The land offers burial sites for any veteran and offers native veterans a tribute to their cultural legacies. And it will offer ceremonies and traditions that the federal government tried to ban for generations. 

That’s Darren Jackson (Kid Dakota) Plays us some tunes. 

News: Oct 26 - Nov 1

Nov 1, 2019

An update on the Keystone XL pipeline.

A warrant of execution of Charles Rhines has been issued for the first week of November.

The CEO of R-CALF USA tells us why America is losing its ranches.

Dan Ahlers has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. 

USD's Tim Schorn tells us what al-Baghdadi's death means.

State Senator Cammack talks the upcoming SD legislative session.

All this & more on your weekly ITM news podcast.

Why Is America Losing Its Ranches?

Oct 31, 2019

In The Moment ... October 31, 2019 Show 691 Hour 2

Why is America losing its ranches? That was the title of Bill Bullard's presentation to the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association at their 128th annual Convention and Trade Show at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn in Rapid City. His talk was sponsored by Ft. Pierre Livestock.


In The Moment ... October 22, 2019 Show 684 Hour 2

The lack of Country of Origin Labeling has had a dramatic impact on cattle prices. It's affecting everything from what's in the hamburger you eat to the impact on natural resources.

As part of SDPB's month-long look at the future of farming and the ag industry, we visit with South Dakota ranchers B.J. Richter and Brett Kenzy for their take on cattle prices.


In the Moment ... October 9, 2019 Show 676 Hour 1

What does the future of farming look like? What are farmers doing to stay ahead?

Nick Jorgensen helps run a fourth-generation family-owned and operated farm and ranch. The partnership includes his dad Bryan, his uncle Greg, and cousin Cody. Together they run a hunting lodge and a diverse cow, calf and bull development operation. They also farm a 12,000-acre no-till crop operation growing different kinds of feed and certified seed.


In The Moment ... July 31, 2019 Show 627 Hour 1

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture says even during down times, agriculture continues to thrive.

The 2019 Agricultural Economic Contribution Study shows an economic contribution of $32.5 billion from the state ag industry. And while the number of farms in the state declined by 6% since 2012, livestock inventory is on the rise.

Rick Vallery joins In The Moment. He's the senior advisor for South Dakota's Department of Agriculture. 

Charles Michael Ray

Officials with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board recommend animal producers vaccinate their herds against anthrax as they turn their cattle out to pasture this summer.

Several cases of anthrax are reported every year.  Last year seven herds were affected state-wide.

Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease affecting a wide range of livestock.   It can also spread to humans.

Dr. Dustin Oedekoven is the state veterinarian and Executive Secretary for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board.

As Farmers Face Stress, New Hotline Offers Help

Jan 9, 2019
Credit Kealey Bultena file photo

Farmers and ranchers deal with high levels of stress, which often leads to anxiety and depression. That’s why Avera Behavioral Health is offering a new 24-hour Farmers’ Stress Hotline dedicated to serving the state’s farmers and ranchers who want help. 

For more than 40 years, Jim Woster visited farms and appraised livestock for the Sioux Falls Stockyards. In that time he got to know plenty of farmers and ranchers, and he understands the way the business can wear on someone’s mental health.

The Livestock Conservancy

May 8, 2018

In The Moment ... May 8, 2018 Show 332 Hour 2

Can a farm animal go extinct? What's the role of heritage breeds in modern farming and ranching? How does genetic diversity of livestock preserve the history of our nation and the future of our food supply?

Ryan Walker and Brian Larson, representatives of The Livestock Conservancy, answer those questions.


In The Moment ... August 7, 2017 Show 150 Hour 2

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... May 31, 2017 Show 104 Hour 1

A new book challenges our assumptions about people and nature. It's an anthology of eleven essays, edited by Anthony J. Amato, Associate Professor of Social Science at Southwest Minnesota State University. The book is called "Conservation on the Northern Plains: New Perspectives." Anthony Amato joins us to talk about the book, the new face of conservation, and what’s at stake in the Northern Plains regarding conservation.


In The Moment... February 23, 2017 Show 036 Hour 1

We begin our conversation about sexual violence and domestic violence in the state with Michelle Markgraf, executive director of the Compass Center. We talk about how some victims take years to break the cycle of domestic abuse, how it’s never a good idea to close the door on someone who is struggling to leave an abusive relationship, and more.

Annual Farm Show In Vermillion

Jan 5, 2017
Dakota Farm Show

Agriculture Producers from all over the region are coming to Vermillion this week to see the latest in research and technology. The 2017 farm show is going on in the Dakota Dome on the University of South Dakota campus. This is the show’s 34th year. Farmers and ranchers can inspect everything from the newest tractors to field drone services.

Drop In Cattle Prices Hurting South Dakota Ranchers

Sep 21, 2016

South Dakota ranchers and cattle feeders are feeling the pinch as sale prices are falling.

Some in the industry blame country of origin labeling and foreign beef imports, but others say a number of factors can contribute to a drop in prices.

Recent drops in the market mean some ranchers are losing as much as 400 dollars per-head.

Energy and spirits are low that the Mitchell Livestock Auction house.

Officials in sale barns like this say cattle prices are hitting lows not experienced since 2009. This drop comes after a spike in late 2014.

Hawks for U.S. House

As one of South Dakota's largest industries, agriculture sows its way into the political landscape. Paula Hawks is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives. She cites country-of-origin labeling and loss of USDA's Conservation Reserve Program acres as major issues in state agriculture. She discusses the agriculture conversation in Washington, the Farm Bill, and preparations for the November election.


TransCanada authorities say crude oil could move through the Keystone pipeline again by the end of the day Saturday. Crews discovered a leak that released nearly 17,000 gallons of oil. The pipeline is shut down, but TransCanada says it should be fixed by Satruday, so oil can flow at reduced pressure.

TransCanada officials say engineers and pipeline integrity specialists are working on the leak site. They say they have conditional approval from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restart the line after repairs are done.

Country Of Origin Labels On Meat May Disappear

Dec 10, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

Meat you buy in the local supermarket may no longer carry a label showing what country it came from following a ruling by the World Trade Organization.

The WTO ruled country of origin labeling hurts the livestock industry in Canada and Mexico.  Officials in the trade organization say if the US wants to continue country of origin labeling,  it has to pay about $1.2 billion dollars in damages to the two countries. The U.S. House repealed COOL, or Country of Origin Labeling, the Senate is likely to follow suit.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Farmers and ranchers in South Dakota must decide whether to save the money they make from crops and livestock or reinvest it. The growing season is well underway for South Dakota farmers, and ranchers are watching markets as they raise their animals. 

Record commodity prices for corn and soybeans are gone, and that has some farmers keeping their money in the bank instead of spending it on upgrades and new equipment. South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Lucas Lentsch says growers remain cautious.

Tolstoy Farm Operation Diversifies For Success

Dec 8, 2014

Eric Johannsen is a fourth-generation farmer/rancher/outfitter near Tolstoy. He, along with his father and brother, operate their 5000 acres which have been in the family since the 1920s using a highly managed and sophisticated combination of no-till farming of corn and wheat, CRP grasslands, natural sloughs, wooded shelter belts and food plots.  The land generates profits and maximizes wildlife populations.  SDPB's Joe Tlustos visited the Johannsen's operation last week.

Training Complex Expansion

Apr 1, 2014

The Department of Defense wants to increase the airspace it uses to train its B1 bombers and other aircraft.  The proposed expansion quadruples the training airspace the military currently uses, covering a huge swath over parts of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Air Force officials say expanding the training airspace for military aircraft makes practice missions more like the real world.  But farmers like Anita Lee in Meade County are urging the federal government not to approve the expansion project.  Pilot and South Dakota aviation historian Norma Kramer also expressed h

The fallout from a vicious October blizzard is rippling through the ranching industry. Feet of snow and cold temperatures in western South Dakota killed tens of thousands of cattle several months ago. Bob Mack with the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association says he suspects the actual number of livestock dead following the blizzard is considerably higher than the current official estimates.

Agriculture advocates in South Dakota are pushing for a farm bill to pass the United States Congress – but not at the expense of certain elements. US Senator Tim Johnson says stability in the form of a farm bill impacts all other industries, but ag leaders aren’t willing to sacrifice at least one part of the program.

Farming and ranching organizations say the United States should have passed a long-term farm bill years ago. An extension of the legislation is working through a conference committee, and Members of Congress say they’re getting closer to compromise.

Ag Producers Describe SD Farm Status

Aug 21, 2013

An annual farm show attracts thousands of people to Mitchell each August. Despite typical hot, muggy weather, farmers and ranchers from around the region gather to connect with manufacturers and developers. Producers also collaborate on issues from the status of their crops to federal funding, and they meet at DakotaFest.

South Dakota Cowgirl

Mar 28, 2013

Jenn Zeller is a rancher, horse trainer, jewelry designer and photographer who calls herself the South Dakota Cowgirl.  An exhibit of her photographs opens tomorrow at the Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City.  The display, open through April 26, takes viewers on a journey through life on a South Dakota ranch - the trails, the joys, the tears, the fears and the bliss of living on a cattle ranch.

Ranchers Worry Over Drought

Mar 5, 2013

Sometimes, in South Dakota it’s OK to hope for a blizzard. 

Parts of the Midwest and Eastern United States are getting pummeled by a series of snow-storms this winter.  But,  the severe drought continues in the western part of the state.

Many ranchers and farmers across South Dakota are hoping for more moisture—however they can get it.     Gary Deering ranches near Sturgis.  He’s a Regional Vice President with the South Dakota Stock Growers Association.   Like many Deering is worried about what this spring and summer could bring.