Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch Awarded for Excellence in Cooperative Conservation
State Conservationist Tony Sunseri and Ranch Manager Joe Ross.
NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) Huron, S.D. Nov. 8, 2023 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) NRCS serving South Dakota awarded the 2023 Excellence in Cooperative Conservation Award to the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch for their conservation outreach and education on Tribal land.
The Excellence in Cooperative Conservation Award highlights an individual or group’s capability to communicate, grow, and innovate to conserve South Dakota’s natural resources.
“The Excellence in Cooperative Conservation Award puts a spotlight on the contributions our partners make to help promote conservation solutions and get conservation on the ground,” said State Conservationist Tony Sunseri, “This is especially important as we try to broaden our reach to new and underserved audiences.”
The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch has been a close partner with NRCS for many years. Since 2019, the Tribal Ranch worked with NRCS and South Dakota State University Extension to host a range day for producers and students in the local area. The event consists of an adult and youth component. At the beginning of the workshop, the adult group meets with a Tribal elder to talk about the different medicinal plants on the landscape and how they were used historically. After that, the group does a pasture walk and identifies the different plants on the landscape while discussing their agricultural uses. At the end of the pasture walk, the group shares a meal while discussing the tour and sharing their experiences. The youth group then arrives and goes on their pasture tour, concluding the day with fry bread and a sampling of jams and jellies made by a tribal member from native plants.
“South Dakota is home to nine tribes, and working with them is key to the NRCS mission,” said Tribal Liaison Mary Scott. “The Rosebud Range Workshop is one of many ways these partners contribute to conservation outreach in their local community and help people help the land.”
The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch received the award on November 1, 2023, the start of Native American Heritage Month, on the ranch in Todd County.
“The start of Native American Heritage Month is a perfect time to honor the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Ranch for their outreach,” said Tony Sunseri. “We recognize the contributions that they have made to conservation efforts in South Dakota and are honored to present the 2023 Excellence in Cooperative Conservation Award to them.”