Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 3 - Custer State Park

On Wednesday morning we were greeted with rain showers in Custer State Park, making the next part of our seminar with Paul Person, Forest Supervisor, and Ben Wudke of Black Hills Forest Association, a bit more challenging. On a mission to out run the rain, we left Custer State Park and  went to the location where the Jasper Fire of 2000 started. We viewed the regrowth of the forest area that occcured in the past 15 years and discussed the cycles that will develop over the next century to rebuild this once forested area. We then also were informed on the Mountain Pine Beetle and the damage that it has caused the forest. We learned about the life cycle of the beetle and actually got to see trees that were infected. Fortunately, the forest industry, government agencies, loggers, and the public have come together to combat this insect and the destruction that it causes.

Two representatives from the logging industry explained the challenges and victories in the battle with the pine beetle.

Ben is showing the participants a dead pine beetle that was stuck in the bark of the tree.

In the afternoon, the Team Building segment of the seminar began. Phase one was the Chili Cook-off and phase two was a group presentation of an assigned current hot topic in agriculture such as emerging technologies and feeding the growing population. We were all split into smaller groups at the very end of the last seminar and given this assignment.  This exercise required us as a group to develop a theme for our chili cookoff  and research an assigned ag-related topic and present a 15 minute informative presentation.This was a judged event and prizes were awarded.

The winning chili team gave their group presentation on emerging technologies in agriculture.

Will adds to the discussion on population growth and food consumption.

Corey Johannsen and Sandy Osterman, Reporters

Chili Cook-off teams: