Video series explores alternative calving dates

South Dakota State University Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. — The South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension have released a 25-video series featuring ranchers from across the state who discovered the benefits of matching calving to their ranch resources. The videos offer personal testimony from nearly 30 individuals about the challenges and benefits of shifting calving dates to fit with natural cycles. The men and women interviewed discuss opportunities for improved livestock health and profitability, as well as a more enjoyable and reduced-stress family life.

The “Alternative Calving Dates” video series will be released over a five-week period. Each weekly release will contain four to six videos associated with the five main topics. Viewing the videos is free, and they can be accessed by visiting the South Dakota Grassland Coalitions webpage at https://sdgrass.org/calving-considerations or the coalition’s YouTube Channel at https://bit.ly/3bwO17U.

The first five videos were released Feb. 18, and additional series episodes will be released weekly on Thursdays for the next month. All videos will remain accessible once posted, with all 25 episodes available by March 18.

The primary topics include:

  • When and where to calve.
  • Managing the herd.
  • Assessing ranch resources.
  • Finance, profit and marketing.
  • People, relationships and quality of life.

Jim Faulstich is a Highmore-area rancher and South Dakota Grassland Coalition board member. It was at Faulstich’s urging that the board initially pursued this project, but it did not take long for all to realize there was a need to encourage livestock producers to take a hard look at their financial and natural resources related to calving seasons.

“For anyone considering changing their calving season, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition series of calving videos really offers a wealth of information and answers most questions about the transition,” Faulstich said in a news release. “Plus, the real value is that it offers a large list of experienced producers that the listeners can call on for additional questions, guidance and mentoring.”

In total, the video series offers more than five hours of in-depth testimony, with individual videos ranging from three to 25 minutes, depending on the topic.

In addition to the videos, the coalition will also be hosting “Tuesday Night Live” Zoom meetings online at https://bit.ly/3soQ1WK, featuring those who appear in the calving series. These open public sessions will allow livestock producers to ask questions to the participants. The first “Tuesday Night Live” calving discussion was Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. CST.

For more information, contact Judge Jessop at judge.jessop@sdconservation.net, 605-280-0127, or Pete Bauman at peter.bauman@sdstate.edu, 605-882-5140.