DLGC Message from President Susan Holler

Happy New Year DLGC members:

I hope the New Year is starting off well for all of you. I would like to thank Jeff Petersen for his 6 years of service to DLGC. Jeff was instrumental in negotiating and maintaining our contract with Superior Farms. We greatly appreciate his efforts to give the co-op this opportunity. I would also like to welcome back our newly elected board member David Peterson. David has previously served on the board and will join the board to help the co-op move forward. Thank you to both Jeff and David.

At the Annual Meeting, Dr. Dwayne Beck, Director of Dakota Lakes Research Farm, spoke about Conservation Agriculture. His presentation was thought provoking as we evaluate our farming practices and how they affect the future of agriculture. After an enlightening discussion session, Dr. Beck invited DLGC to the research farm in Pierre, SD for a personalized tour.   We will coordinate our visit with activities at the research farm to maximize this opportunity for our 2017 summer meeting, date TBA.

The bylaws revision passed at the annual meeting in Aberdeen so we are now better poised for the future of the co-op. In 2019, DLGC will celebrate its 20th Anniversary. The bylaws revision was a big task taking over a year to finalize. Thank you to all who participated in the process. Also, thank you to all who voted and especially to everyone who attended the annual meeting. The weather in December can be challenging and this past annual meeting was no exception. We are looking at options to make it easier to attend the meetings and network with other members. With the updated bylaws in place we now turn our attention to the Uniform Marketing Agreement (UMA), Subscription Agreement, and Articles of Incorporation (Articles) to bring all of our official documents into line. Initially, I thought this would be an easy process but as most things do, it is turning out to be more challenging than anticipated. When each of us joined the co-op, and signed the UMA, we agreed to the 1 share 1 lamb policy. Each share we owned allowed us to deliver 1 lamb through DLGC. Over time, as the co-op underwent changes, this policy has not been enforced. As we tried to rebuild, after determining marketing our own product was not feasible, we allowed members to deliver extra lambs to keep a viable relationship with our main packer, Superior Farms. Most recently, there have been 3 members who have been delivering the vast majority of the lambs thus allowing us to maintain our contract. As new members join, we need to be clear on what the policy will be. How many shares above the 50 shares minimum will they need to own? And how many lambs will that entitle them to deliver? As with all issues there are 2 sides. If we continue with the stated policy of 1 share 1 lamb the discussion will include:

Pros: 1. Increased communication between members for buying or leasing shares; 2. Give value to shares of members who would like to sell; 3. Make share #s equitable for those for those who own shares; 4. Currently, low purchase price on shares for those buying.

Cons: 1. May limit delivery numbers just when deliveries are increasing; 2. Personnel needed to track shares to make sure members have adequate # of shares; 3. Delayed implementation – UMA, Articles, and Subscription agreement revision in 2017; 4. Time frame for compliance.

We have set up a committee to review this policy and propose how the aforementioned agreements should be worded. Please contact committee members, Jeff Young, Chad Hasbargen, and David Petersen with your input as we work together to benefit members and position DLGC for future business. Many opportunities await us when we work together cooperatively!

Thank you for your participation, Susan Holler


DLGC 2016 Annual Meeting-Aberdeen, SD: December 9th and 10th

FEATURED SPEAKER: Dr. Dwayne Beck, Manager of Dakota Lakes Research Farm


Dr. Dwayne Beck manages the research facility called Dakota Lakes Research Farm. The Dakota Lakes Research Farm is owned by a not-for-profit corporation created by family farmers and local businesses in the 1980’s.  Full-time operations at the present site began in the fall of 1989.  The entire facility has always been managed using true conservation agriculture techniques (continuous low-disturbance no-till and diverse rotations) since its inception.

The unique cooperative arrangement between South Dakota State University and the agricultural producer members of the corporation has resulted in substantial success.  The primary impact was the development of programs that have allowed producers to profitably adopt conservation agriculture techniques in a large portion of central South Dakota and throughout the grassland ecosystems of North America.  Identification of the extremely important role played by crop rotation in minimizing weed, disease, and insect problems while increasing potential profitability was the key contribution to this success.  Principles developed at the Dakota Lakes Research Center have been successfully applied to many ecosystems around the world. The intellectual and fiscal contributions of the producer/owners of the Dakota Lakes Research Farm Corporation are the key to the successes achieved at this point. What has happened so far is only the beginning, conservation agriculture research and development continues and is expanding into new areas.

Dr. Beck was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2007 and was presented with the American Agricultural Editors Association Distinguished Service Award in 2008. He has spoken at numerous national and international meetings and is renowned not just for his research work, but also for his teaching skills and his unique approach to managing ecosystems used for producing food. Dr. Beck was a featured speaker in 2014 at the 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture.

(Bio information on Dr. Beck from 6th WCCA site.)


For Dakota Lakes Research Farm publications, please visit: http://www.dakotalakes.com/Publications.htm

WOULD YOU LIKE TO PARTICIPATE? Producer Panel Discussion

Farmers learn best from other farmers who have experimented with different “best practices” in ag production techniques. Terry Ness (Treasurer), Jeff Young (Vice President), and Kelley O’Neill (Director) will share some of their experiences with crop rotation and alternative crops. We would like to hear from more of our members. If you would like to be on the panel and present some of your best (or not so successful) practices, please let Susan Holler or Mina Doerner know during dinner at Maverick’s on Friday night, at the latest. You can always email the Co-op Board and manager at dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com before Friday, too, so we can officially add your name and topic to the agenda for Saturday.

Presentations will be informal, and are intended to be an active learning opportunity, so you don’t have to have handouts, unless you would like to.

If you plan on attending Friday’s supper and Saturday’s lunch, please R.S.V.P. by       Monday, December 5 at 10 am CST to dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com or call Mina at    605-651-9530 (please leave a message if no answer).

The Co-op will be drawing names for DOOR PRIZES during this year’s meeting! All attending DLGC Members* are eligible (with the exception of current Board of Directors) to win one of eight $100 bills or one of two American Sheep Industry Volume 8 of the Sheep Production Handbooks (featuring updated material in every chapter as well as a new chapter on lamb quality. A fully searchable USB drive is included with each book).

*Only one winning draw per family/entity. Must be present to win!


Friday, December 9

  • 7:00 pm-Dinner at Maverick’s in the “Party Room”

[720 Lamont St S, Aberdeen, SD 57401]

  • 9:00 pm: Co-op Board of Directors Open Meeting at Quality Inn in the “Breakfast Room”

[2923 6th Ave., S.E., Aberdeen, SD 57401]

Saturday, December 10

LOCATION: Dakota Events Center          [720 Lamont St S, Aberdeen, SD 57401]

  • 8:30-8:55 am: Registration in the James River/Ringneck Rooms
  • 9:00-10:15 am: Speaker Dr. Dwayne Beck, Manager, Dakota Lakes Research Farm
  • 10:45 am-12:00 Noon: Producer Panel Discussion: Putting Conservation Agriculture Concepts into Practice
  • 12-1:20 pm: Lunch in the Missouri River Room
  • 1:20-1:30 pm: Registration for Co-op business meeting
  • 1:30 pm: Co-op Annual Business Meeting
    •             By-Laws Amendments Vote
    •             Election of Officers

~ 4:00 pm: Annual Meeting adjourned


Suggested Hotels:

Quality Inn [2923 6th Ave., S.E., Aberdeen, SD 57401]

Call 605-226-0097 for reservations. (Special rate expired 11/9.)

Hampton Inn [3216 7th Ave SE, Aberdeen, SD 57401]

This hotel is attached to Maverick’s and the Dakota Events Center. Call 605-262-2600 for reservations (Special rate expired 11/9.)

DLGC Summer Meeting-Schedule of Events

Where:  Brookings, South Dakota

When: July 15 & 16, 2016

If you plan on attending Friday’s supper, please R.S.V.P. by July 11th. Call Mina at 605-651-9530 or email dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com. For information on registering for the 2nd Annual GM1 for HD Golf Classic, please visit Events on The Shepherd’s Gift: GM1 for HD page.


Friday, July 15

  • 3:00-5:00 pm: Tour The Unspun Tale: Sheep in SD exhibit at the Ag Heritage Museum, SDSU campus
  • 5:30-7:00 pm: Fellowship/Lamb Supper at Wooden Legs Brewery (WLB), downtown Brookings
  • 7:00-8:00 pm: GM1 Cooperators meeting at WLB
  • 8:15-9:30 pm: Co-op Board of Directors meeting at Econo Lodge & Inn Suites, 2515 6th Street (Starolite Room)

Saturday, July 16 @ Edgebrook Golf Course

(1415 22nd Ave. South, Brookings SD 57006)

  • 11:00 am: Registration & check-in for Golf Teams
  • 12:00 noon: Introductions & Thanks
  • 12:30 pm: Shotgun start (4-person scramble)
  • 1:00-3:30 pm: Bean Bag tournament, HD Awareness button making by the original Button Boys, fiber crafts
  • Tournament ends with supper, awards ceremony
  • Silent Auction benefiting The Shepherd’s Gift: GM1 for HD

Please visit the Members Only page to view the Spring 2016 DLGC Newsletter!!






July 15 & 16, 2016: DLGC 2016 Summer Meeting and Second Annual GM1 for HD Golf Classic: Golfing for a Cure

When Adam DeZeeuw (Brookings) offered to organize the second annual GM1 for HD Golf Classic fundraiser on behalf of the Shepherd’s Gift:GM1 for HD, Susan Holler, DLGC President, jumped in with a suggestion: Why not hold the Golf Classic in conjunction with DLGC’s 2016 Summer Meeting? Many of DLGC’s member families participate in the GM1 for HD project. We have gotten to know, and love, several of the HD families who set up the Shepherd’s Gift:GM1 for HD.  So, since Edgebrook Golf Course in Brookings, South Dakota, was available on Saturday, July 16, we decided that the DLGC member meeting should be held in Brookings on Friday, July 15, so that our families would have the chance to re-connect.

We hope that you will bring family and friends to participate in the tournament! More information can be found at the Shepherd’s Gift website here:  http://www.theshepherdsgift.org/

Please stay tuned for details on the Summer Meeting as well as activities surrounding the tournament. If you have any immediate questions, please call Mina at 605.651.9530 (please leave a message if she doesn’t answer right away) OR email dakotalambgrowersATgmailDOTcom with questions. See you soon!

Golf Classic Details

WHEN:  Saturday, July 16, 2016, 11 am check-in, 12:30 pm shotgun start (4-person scramble)

WHERE: Edgebrook Golf Course, 1415 22nd Avenue South, Brookings, South Dakota, 57006

HOW DO I REGISTER? Go to http://gm1forhdgolfclassic.com/ to register today! See the link below for more details.

2016 GM1 for HD Golf Classic Details and Registration

The GM1 Project: News is Traveling!

Farmers raising genetically flawed sheep seek a cure for Huntington’s Disease

Please stay tuned for a recap of our 16th Annual Meeting in Fargo, North Dakota on December 11 and 12, 2015.

Reminder: R.S.V.P. for Annual Meeting lunch by Dec. 6

Please R.S.V.P. to Mina @ 605-651-9530 or email dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com by Sunday, December 6


Friday, Dec. 11: NDSU Sheep Unit and Holiday Inn of Fargo

  • Tour of NDSU Sheep Research Unit                Tour begins at 3:30 pm 

          with Shepherd Steven “Skip” Anderson and NDSU faculty

  • Board of Directors Meeting, Holiday Inn, 4:30-6:30 pm,
  • Dinner at The Gallery, Holiday Inn 7:00-??:00 pm

 Saturday, Dec. 12: Holiday Inn of Fargo*

  • Registration 8:30-9:00 am-coffee and treats
  • Jay Fuhrer 9:00-10:00 am

Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, It’s Not Just Dirt Anymore

  • Gregory McKee 10:30-Noon

Director of Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives NDSU

  • Lunch 12:15-1:15 pm
  • Election of Directors & DLGC Business Meeting 1:30-3:00 pm

*Meeting held in Mezzanine I and II.



Co-op 2015 Annual Meeting

Notice of Annual Meeting and the Fall 2015 Newsletter are attached below. Please R.S.V.P. by Sunday, December 6, to dakotalambgrowers@gmail.com for Friday’s dinner and Saturday’s lunch. We hope to see you there!

DLGC Notice of Annual Meeting 2015

Dakota Lamb Growers Coop Fall 2015 Newsletter