Boadwine Farms near Baltic held its industrial-ag-boosting open house earlier this month. Now the Deuel County Dakota Rural Action chapter and Organic Valley cooperative counterprogram with an Organic Dairy Tour to help its neighbors “explore the possibility of reclaiming our history of small dairies in a meaningful, profitable, and community-building way”:
Please join us for a tour and informational session at Rick Fonder’s organic dairy and pork operation. Listen and ask questions directly to organic dairy farmers and organic grain growers in South Dakota and Organic Valley Coop and see firsthand how an organic operation functions. The tour is August 10th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, with an opportunity for in-depth questions and answers by Mr. Fonder and Organic Valley Veterinarian Dr. Guy Jordaski. Attendees are invited to stay for milking at 5:00 pm. Rick Fonder’s farm is located at 14183 477th Avenue in Milbank, South Dakota. (Follow US HWY 15 North of Milbank, and turn west at 142nd. Follow one mile, and turn North. The Farm is the first turn to the West.) Snacks and coffee will be provided [Deuel County Dakota Rural Action, press release, received by DFP 2016.07.25].
The Fonder Dairy was the first South Dakota dairy to achieve certified organic status. According to the USDA’s 2014 survey of organic farming, South Dakota had 78,363 acres in production on 80 organic farms. That’s a tiny fraction of South Dakota’s 43 million acres of ag land and 31,700 farms.