South Dakota Farmers Union, in conjunction with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is offering the second annual Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange for Farmers Union members.
Doug Sombke, president of South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU), said, "This is an amazing opportunity for South Dakota's farmers and ranchers to learn about water quality issues, develop relationships with Louisiana fisherman and create memories that last a lifetime."
The Barnyard to Boatyard Conservation Exchange is an all-expense paid experience that focuses on the importance of the Missouri and Mississippi River watersheds and Delta region. South Dakota farmers and ranchers selected for the exchange will participate in two weekend trips this summer.
During the first weekend trip, South Dakota farmers and ranchers will travel to Louisiana for a three-day educational seminar where they will be provided an overview of the fishing, shrimping, oyster, energy and shipping industries. The trip will focus on the delta with tours of the region, fishing in the gulf, and discussions on the economic and development impacts that the region faces from saline water and hypoxia build-up.
The second trip will take place in North Dakota and South Dakota. During this trip, fishermen and shrimpers from the Mississippi Delta region will travel to the Midwest and learn about the conservation practices that farmers in the upper Missouri and Mississippi watersheds utilize, as well as issues they face.
"Anytime we can share practices that farmers implement here in the Upper Midwest to protect our resources for generations to come, it helps spread the message of stewardship," Sombke said.
SDFU is currently accepting applications from its members for this year's exchange. Farm and ranch couples are strongly encouraged to apply together. Applications can be found online at www.sdfu.org and must be received by 5 pm MDT on Friday, June 27 to be given full consideration.