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2015 Winter Conference

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2015 NPSAS Awards

Friend of the Farmer

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 Northern Plains Sustainable Ag is pleased to announce the 2015 Friend of the Farmer as Karri Stroh of Tappen, N.D. Nominees for this award must be current NPSAS members who support our farmer/rancher members through dedicated work in enhancing the sustainability of our agricultural, food and distribution systems in the Northern Plains.

This Friend of the Farmer has been known to wear a variety of hats. She has been involved in many aspects of building and strengthening our lives, from being an organic inspector, an Executive Director of various organizations including NPSAS, serving on numerous boards, to a farmer, mother, foster parent, community leader and caretaker.

Karri strives to be a team player in every situation she is involved in. She delves into projects, whether big or small, and sees it finished through to the end.

Karri, along with her husband, Bryan, and children live on a diversified organic farm near Tappen, N.D. They raise spring wheat, rye, oats, millet, flax, alfalfa and cover crops.  In addition to the crops, they raise a fall and winter beef calving herd, poultry and do famers market vegetable production.  Both Bryan and Karri’s roots run deep as generational organic farmers where the passion about healthy soil, healthy seed, and healthy food were passed down. Karri left NPSAS to help her care for her family, but remains involved with the organization.

Karri has often said that one of her greatest joys is helping prepare the next generation of organic farmers. She has stated that as a farmer and steward of the land, the best crops we can plant are the seeds of opportunity for young farmers. 

Steward of the Year

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Northern Plains Sustainable Ag is pleased to announce this year’s 2015 Steward of the Year award to the Phil and Jill Jerde family, Great Plains Buffalo, Reva, S.D.

Nominees must be NPSAS members who are conscientious stewards of the land and all that inhabits it.

The Jerde family manages one of the largest 100% grass fed buffalo herds in the U.S. and run a cow/ calf operation as well. Located in the center of the Great Plains, their herds roam freely on beautiful golden prairies and feed on lush native grasses. Animal husbandry, sustainable land management and high-quality products are top priority.  

This high-energy family firmly believes in what they do. They have owned and operated their ranch for 20 plus years. Their children are an integral part of the operation and help out with every aspect of the family business.  

They’ve been using Holistic Management planned grazing on their ranch since 2001. Their livestock are handled in the lowest-stress manner possible to ensure the happiness and contentment of both the animals and the handlers. The environmentally sound practices that they choose to implement result in healthy critters, living in balance with nature, with no need for antibiotics or hormone supplements.  

Their native pastures are constantly monitored and managed to improve the quality of the soils and grasses, which then puts carbon back into the soil.  Covering bare ground is essential. This will ensure that both domestic creatures and wildlife will have a super high-quality diet. By being sensitive to the ecosystem processes, they can manage their land to make clean air and water readily available. They believe that being good stewards, healing the land, making it productive, and looking at the bigger picture is something everyone has to do if we all want to thrive on this planet.



Conference schedule


36th Annual NPSAS Winter Conference
Aberdeen, SD

January 22, 2015 - January 24, 2015

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society promotes sustainable food systems through education, research and advocacy. One way we do this is by hosting an annual 2 1/2 day Winter Conference. The majority of our 500+ attendees are farmers and ranchers, non-farm consumers, gardeners and foodies!

We have a great lineup of speakers, including:

Dr. Don Huber - an expert in an area of science that relates to the toxicity of genetically engineered (GE) foods. His specific ares of training include soil-borne diseases, microbial ecology, and host-parasite relationships.

Alan Guebert - award-winning agricultural journalist writes a syndicated column called "The Farm and Food File"

Cody Holmes owns and operates an 1,100 acre Missouri ranch in the Ozarks where mob grazing is the day's business, reside about 400 cows and last year's fattening calves for the meat program, 600 hair sheep, 1,000 meat goats, 150 pastured hogs, 25 jersey herd dairy, 100 head goat dairy, a growing creamery and bottling plant, 500 pastured laying hen program, several hoop tunnels of pastured chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese, produce gardens and year round high tunnel produce. 

Plus workshops on livestock, planting trees for food, gardening, canning, small farm dairy production, bee keeping, recycling, cover crops, local foods and more! 50+ exhibitors, youth workshops and organic/local foods. 

Workshop Descriptions

SARE NorthCentral CMYK

NCR-SARE Farmers Forum to be part of NPSAS 2015 Winter Conference

       New to the 2015 NPSAS Winter Conference is the NCR-SARE Farmers Forum. The Farmers Forum is a traveling annual event giving farmers, ranchers, researchers and others the chance to share information about sustainable agriculture practices with a national audience.
These presentations focus on research, demonstration and education projects that promote profitable practices that are good for the environment and community. The projects highlighted in these presentations and the Farmers Forum are funded by grants from North Central Region-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE), a USDA funded program that supports and promotes sustainable farming and ranching by offering competitive grants and educational opportunities.
For more information about NCR-SARE, see: www.northcentralsare.org or contact NCR-SARE by e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 612-626-3113.

Rooms fill up fast so call today! 

Conference Headquarters:
Best Western Ramkota Hotel
1400 8th Ave. NW (along Hwy. 281 North)
1-605-229-4040   $89.99 plus tax
Block name: NPSAS 2015 Conference


Hotel close to conference headquarters
Super 8 Aberdeen North, 1023 8th Ave. NW
1-605-226-2288   Call for best rate
The Aberdeen Regional Airport is currently served by Delta. For information regarding reservations, flight details, ticket counter services or baggage, please contact Delta Airlines at (800) 221-1212



Click Here to learn more about our Grand Champ Cosponsor! 




Thank You Cosponsors! 

Grand Champ                                        Workhorse                                                             Whole Hog
Pedogenesis                                            Annie's, Inc.                                                           Albert Lea Seedhouse
                                                                Grain Millers, Inc.                                                     Cashton Farm Supply
                                                                Grain Place Foods, Inc.                                          Hesco, Inc.-Dakota Organic 
                                                                Mountain High Organics, Inc.                               ICS, Inc. 
                                                                Nature's Organic Grist                                          Nature's Best, LLC
                                                                SD OCIA #1                                                            OFARM
                                                                                                                                                  Organic Valley
                                                                                                                                                  Sunrise Foods Int'l Inc. 
                                                                                                                                                  Thousand Hills Cattle Co. 
Top Dog                                                   Cool Cat
A. Link                                                       Boreal Balance
AgMotion Specialty Grains                    Domestic Hulling
Blue River Hybrids                                   Johnny's Selected Seeds
Ciranda, Inc.                                             MN Department of Ag
FARRMS                                                   Rincon-Vitova Insectaries
F.W. Cobs                                                 Rockwell Organic
Farm Breeding Club (FBC)                     SD OCIA #2
Fertrell Co.                                                Traux Company
Foundation Organic Seeds
Grass Farmer Supply
Heartland Mill
Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA)
Mid-States Supply
ND Department of Ag
NF Organics
Niman Ranch
Pulse USA
Red River Commodities
Richland IFC, Inc. 
SD Grassland Coalition
SK Food Int'l
Stengel Seed and Grain
Stone Mill, Inc.