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News Release

Minnehaha Sustainable Agriculture Initiative

Brian Top, Urban Agriculture Assistant
(605) 359-5108 |

Alina Krone-Hedman,
Urban Conservation Education Coordinator
(605) 595-8052 |

HURON,S.D. August 24, 2021– Conservation Implementation Strategy (CIS) Project, The Minnehaha Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (MSAI) will soon be underway in northeastern Minnehaha County, serving Sioux Falls and the surrounding community while also working to improve land quality. This 3-year project is one of 17 selected in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and federally-funded through Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The purpose of this project is to address resource concerns surrounding plant and soil health/quality though the use of conservation practices, such as:  High Tunnels, Cover Crops, Filter Strips, and other supporting practices. This initiative will be implemented by the Minnehaha Conservation District (MCD) in collaboration with farmers, ranchers, and landowners. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners within the project area are eligible to apply for financial assistance. The batching date deadline for applications is October 22, 2021.

The NRCS' conservation specialists and partners are coordinating these projects throughout the state. Through collectively focusing expertise and resources on the most significant resource concerns in the highest priority areas, CIS projects can yield highly impressive returns. Collaborative funding and support from other agencies and groups create a coordinated community effort, as well as focus on mutual issues of concern. The MSAI is a partnership between the MCD and SD NRCS to directly benefit local producers in their pursuit of providing fresh quality products to the community. Project sponsors identified degraded plant quality, soil quality limitations, erosion, and pest pressure as resource concerns and developed this CIS project to address the situation. "We see this as an excellent opportunity to contribute to community vitality in Minnehaha County through placing an emphasis on improving plant and soil quality” says Alina Krone-Hedman, Urban Conservation Education Coordinator, for the MCD in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

To apply to be a part of this project, find and contact your local NRCS Service Center at, or contact Brian Top at or at (605) 359-5108, or Alina Krone-Hedman at or at (605) 595-8052. For more information on the CIS in South Dakota, or if you have ideas for a project, visit, or contact Jeffrey Vander Wilt, Assistant State Conservationist for Programs, at or (605) 352-1226.

The USDA's Service Centers are open for business. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners can call or e-mail to make in-person appointments at USDA Service Centers across the country. Find and contact your local NRCS Service Center at