USDA presents SDSU with grant to develop tribal bison production system

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $43,809 in funding for South Dakota State University to plan for the development of a sustainable organic tribal bison production system.

The USDA awarded the grant to South Dakota State University as a planning grant to assist in the development of high-quality future proposals. This project will propose the development of a sustainable organic tribal bison production system using an intra-tribal supply chain management mechanism. Stakeholders, including the Flandreau Santee-Sioux Tribe and the Inter-Tribal Bison Council, were the driving force behind the grant.

“More and more farmers are adopting organic agriculture practices to produce quality food and boost farm income,” said Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). “These research and Extension projects will equip producers with the tools and resources they need to operate profitable and sustainable organic farms.”

NIFA awarded this grant through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, which enhances the ability of producers and processors who already have adopted organic standards to grow and market high-quality organic agricultural products.

Research at USDA increasingly focuses on the science that supports development of sustainable practices in agriculture and forestry, including organic farming, to both reduce negative impacts on the environment and keep U.S. farmers competitive. For more OREI information, visit the Initiative’s website at this link: www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/organicagricultureresearchandextensioninitiative.cfm.

U.S. producers are turning to certified organic farming systems as a potential way to lower input costs, decrease reliance on nonrenewable resources, capture high-value markets, and boost farm income. Since the late 1990s, U.S. organic production has seen heavy growth. Now, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 percent buy organic products weekly.

For more information on this specific project, call Scott Fausti at 605-688-4141or e-mail him at this address: scott.fausti@sdstate.edu.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. More information is at the Institute’s website at this link: www.nifa.usda.gov.