Extension center moves to new site in Lemmon, SD, adds staffer as well

Staff reports
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. — SDSU Extension's Lemmon Regional Center has recently relocated to a larger, more-accessible facility, while also welcoming a new addition to the team. A native of Almont, N.D., Jessalyn Bachler will serve as the new range field specialist.

Prior to joining SDSU, Bachler served as the agriculture instructor for Williston State College, where she developed curriculum and taught all the courses for the college's new, two-year associate of applied science degree in agriculture. Before that, she worked as a livestock technician for NDSU Extension while obtaining her master's degree at the Central Grasslands Research Extension Center in Streeter, N.D.

She holds a bachelor's in agricultural science with a ranch management option from Dickinson State University and a master's degree in animal and range sciences from North Dakota State University.

"Growing up on a ranch and throughout college I've worked at quite a few different operations; that's where my passion lies," Bachler says. "It's about helping producers and ranchers better their own operations."

Since starting her position in March, Bachler has been focusing much of her work on proactive drought management planning as well as post-fire grazing and range management. She also plans to lead some youth and young adult educational efforts in range management, as well as work on programming for multi-species grazing.

"I definitely hope to have a presence in the local area because we have a considerable amount of rangeland up here, but across the state as well," Bachler says. "I want to get involved with all different types of focus groups in agriculture and hope to make some really great relationships with conservation partners and other stakeholders. Overall, my goal is to help producers and partner-orientated organizations to achieve their range management goals, along with developing relevant, research-based rangeland programming statewide. We are seeing a strong need for that in northwest South Dakota right now with the drought."

"I am excited about our new center in Lemmon and the opportunities that SDSU Extension continues to provide to our local community and state-wide programming and research efforts," says Robin Salverson, who has been based out of the Lemmon Regional Center since 2011 and is a cow/calf field specialist for SDSU Extension.

Bachler, Salverson and Senior Secretary Jessica Mollman can be reached at their new facility in Lemmon. Located at 401 Sixth Ave. W., the office space is attached to the north end of the Five Counties Nursing Home. Prior to Sept. 28, the Extension office was located in the FJ Reeder Armory at 408 Eighth St. W.

"There's more space, so we will be able to have bigger meetings," Salverson says. "We can have more small focus group meetings, and we can hold our traditional classroom experiences. It offers a more comfortable entrance and parking for the public. We'll have smart classroom technology again and the ability to connect with other centers and agencies."

The Lemmon facility is one of eight regional centers SDSU Extension maintains across the state. As the outreach arm of South Dakota State University and its College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, SDSU Extension's mission is to provide non-biased, research-based education and information to citizens across the state. This educational information is categorized across content areas including food, families, 4-H youth development, community vitality, agriculture and natural resources.

To connect with the Lemmon Regional Center team, the public is invited to stop in at the new facility, or they can be reached at 605-374-4177.

From left, SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist Jessalyn Bachler, Cow/Calf Field Specialist Robin Salverson and Senior Secretary Jessica Mollman are all based in the new Lemmon Regional Center, 401 Sixth Ave. W.