Buy an Acre: Grow the Legacy

Sunday, March 24, 2024

A little over 40 years ago, a group of farmers decided to start a farmer-owned agricultural research farm in central South Dakota. Despite many challenges, these farmers rallied behind their vision and raised the necessary funds.  In January of 1990 the Dakota Lakes Research Farm (DLRF) began operation in its present location.
    One of the early goals was to obtain land with soils typical of those farmed across central South Dakota.  In the early 2000s, DLRF purchased the North Unit, which contained 360 acres of Promise and Opal soils typical of West River. However, the farm still lacked significant acres of the glacial till soils farmed by a majority of producers in central and eastern South Dakota.
    Last fall, 480 acres with large areas of Highmore soils (a very common glacial till soil) came up for sale only two miles north of the Main Farm. The land met many of the needs of DLRF, including having the required soils and being close to the Main Farm.  The Board of Directors made a successful bid at auction and DLRF took possession of the land last fall to begin soil sampling and planning.
    Dakota Lakes has a rich history of producing highly impactful research that has helped make large improvements in the productivity and sustainability of central South Dakota farms.  The purchase of this land will prepare DLRF to lead 
South Dakota agriculture into the future and expand research to impact even more producers with advanced farming practices.


To help offset the cost of the new land, DLRF has launched the “Buy an Acre” fundraising campaign.  We believe that the pivotal research done by the farm has made large contributions to the success of farms and businesses across the state.  The value of farmland has increased exponentially over the last 40 years due in part to the increased productivity and sustainability practices that have been pioneered by research done at Dakota Lakes. In fact, since the inception of DLRF, land prices have increased greatly, with some areas even seeing recent land sales above $7,000/acre, easily a 10X increase over 1980s prices.  
    The Buy an Acre program seeks donations of $3,000 from producers and ag-related businesses to offset the cost of one acre of purchased land.
    We are asking anyone who has benefitted from the research done at Dakota Lakes, whether through increased land values, higher production, or better sustainability, to consider contributing to the campaign by “Buying an Acre.”  Our goal for the campaign is to pay off as much of the land as possible to free up funds to enable DLRF to immediately begin research that will benefit South Dakota producers.  This strategic purchase has positioned the farm for the future with the ability to expand existing research to more soil types and to initiate new pioneering research.
    When you "Buy an Acre" for $3,000, your name will be placed on a donor recognition display at the farm and you become a Silver member at DLRF.
    If you feel Dakota Lakes has benefitted your farm or business, please consider donating. Any amount is appreciated!


Please fill out this form and return it with your tax-deductible contribution to Dakota Lakes Research Farm, PO Box 2, Pierre, SD 57501. 
    If you would like to pool funds, make a commodity donation, or give as a memorial please make a note on the form.  If you have any questions please contact one of the board members listed below.


Individual  $100 to $999
 Bronze $1,000 to $2,499
 Silver $2,500 to $4,999
 Gold $5,000 to $19,999
 Platinum $20,000 or More


Fundraising committee
Charlie Edinger (AL) - 607-770-5727
Corey Cronin (AL) - 605-769-0231
Justin Harer  (4) - 605-769-0205
Brett Huber (5) - 605-845-6566
George Sperry (AL) - 605-280-5720

Additional board members
Scot Eisenbraun (AL)
Benson Kleinschmidt (AL)
Brad Finley (AL)
Blake Foxley (1)
Tyler Frederick (2)
Trevis Olson (3)

(AL) - At Large Member

 DLRF Buy an Acre form

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