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"Our Amazing Grasslands" video series - January 2023 - Ollila Family

In this eight-minute video, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition visits with David, Holly, and the Ollila Family in Newell, South Dakota. The Ollilas manage grasslands by prioritizing livestock diversity in integrated cattle and sheep grazing, mimicking the diversity of the natural prairie of antelope and buffalo before the land was divided by settlers. David Explains, "The Diversity in livestock is every bit as important as the diversity in the plant community." In late summer when moisture is scarce, David says better grassland management practices that bring diversity to plant life keeps moisture in the ground and concerns for nutritional grazing are a thing of the past.

"By putting management into the grassland and looking at how we kept diversity on the landscape, we were able to improve our livestock health as well as production. The options that diversity allows us in being able to with stand the ups and downs of markets in both livestock and sheep helps level out those peaks and valleys we run into from a financial point of view." - David Ollila

About the video series

The “Our Amazing South Dakota Grasslands” campaign was created in 2018 with the goal of better communicating the importance and value of grasslands and soil resources throughout the state. This campaign strives to better show what South Dakota farmers and ranchers are doing to protect and enhance these resources. Each video was created utilizing footage from interviews with South Dakota farmers and ranchers and showcases footage of their farming and ranching operations.


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