First collegiate Pheasants Forever chapter in South Dakota enrolls at SDSU

Farm Forum

Brookings, S.D. – Students at South Dakota State University (SDSU), one of the nation’s most prestigious wildlife management and research institutions, have formed a new Pheasants Forever chapter. Officially known as the SDSU Pheasants Forever chapter, the affiliate of the national wildlife habitat conservation organization becomes the first collegiate-based “PF” chapter in South Dakota.

The SDSU Pheasants Forever chapter is led by Mandy Orth, the group’s president and a graduate research assistant at SDSU focused on evaluating methods to improve grasslands as pheasant brood habitat. “I am excited about the opportunity to increase student involvement in conservation activities,” stated Orth. “With a focus on education, our chapter aims to help students from kindergarten through college develop a lasting commitment to the conservation of our natural resources.”

With so much upland habitat loss in recent years in South Dakota—1.8 million acres of grasslands were converted to agricultural production between 2006 and 2011 according to a 2012 SDSU study—Mike Stephenson, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative in the state, says SDSU is the ideal place for young leaders to become more engaged in serious conservation issues. “With a strong university focus on improving the management of natural resources, including more than 400 undergraduates and graduates enrolled in this field of study, we look forward to seeing this student-lead chapter grow in size and activity.”

The creation of the SDSU Pheasants Forever chapter comes on the heels of Pheasants Forever opening its first-ever regional headquarters in South Dakota. Located at the South Dakota Innovation Center in the Research Park at SDSU in Brookings, Pheasants Forever’s new regional office is headed by Dave Nomsen, the national nonprofit’s longtime vice president of government affairs who obtained his M.S. in Wildlife Management from SDSU. Pheasants Forever’s regional headquarters officially opened at the end of July.

SDSU Pheasants Forever chapter

The chapter has elected Taylor Linder of Brookings as vice president and banquet chair, and Megan Norman as habitat chair.

The SDSU Pheasants Forever chapter will hold its first fundraising banquet on Thursday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. at Old Sanctuary in Brookings, S.D. For tickets and/or more information, contact Mandy Orth at (605) 645-6261