SDSU partnering with Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture

SD Ag ConnectionJuly 20, 2021Agriculture News
Financial TimesTed Turner

BROOKINGS, SD – South Dakota’s land grant university is working with Turner Enterprises, Inc. and Turner Ranches and the recent launch of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, Inc.

South Dakota State University (SDSU) and its Center of Excellence for Bison Studies is partnering with the Institute to establish a formal research agreement that could include the fiscal and physical sharing of faculty, staff, office and laboratory space, graduate students, teaching and extension, publication, academic and research advisory roles, and field stations for undergraduate and graduate studies.

Five Turner-owned ranches are in the Sandhills region of western Nebraska, encompassing approximately 445,000 acres of North American Great Plains mixed grass prairie. Turner is contributing the McGinley Ranch, located in the northern Sandhills region, and all its operations to the Institute. McGinley Ranch straddles the border between Nebraska and South Dakota and is comprised of 79,292 contiguous (KUN-tea-QU-us) acres of native rangeland.

Although the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture could potentially qualify for property tax exemption under the current law in Nebraska and South Dakota, the Institute has no intention of applying for that exemption.

“I believe that local property taxes provide essential support for services on which our ranches and communities depend. The Institute will continue to pay its share of taxes to support the local communities,” added Turner.

The Institute will also conduct research in conjunction with other land-grant colleges and universities as well as non-land grant colleges of agriculture.

Ecoagriculture is an emerging area of scientific study regarding how sustainable agriculture and ranching can be conducted across diverse landscapes while maintaining ecosystem integrity and contributing towards solutions for local and global issues.