Presentation: ‘Can prairies be farmed sustainably?’ set for Tuesday

On 650 acres in Brookings County, EcoSun Prairie Farms uses sustainable farming practices and perennial crops to balance the environment and economics.

Dr. Carter Johnson, EcoSun's chair and distinguished professor of ecology in the Department of Natural Resource Management at South Dakota State University, will present the recently-released documentary film, "Grass Roots: The Prairie Farm Story."

The film describes how restored parcels of the nearly-extinct tall grass prairie (including wetlands) may provide a sustainable living for farm families through the sale of native grass seed, hay, grass-fed beef, fee hunting and likely future income streams such as carbon credits and cellulosic biofuels.

The presentation will be in Vermillion at the W.H. Over Museum, 1110 University at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20. It is sponsored by The Living River Group of the South Dakota Sierra Club. Contact Dean Spader for questions.

The film was produced by Johnson and his sons, Tellef and Tor, who work in the film industry in Los Angeles. Johnson is a native South Dakotan whose Norwegian ancestors were some of the first settlers in the state.

This Prairie Farm project is managed by EcoSun Prairie Farms, a non-profit South Dakota Corporation dedicated to the development of sustainable farming practices using perennial crops that balance the environment and economics. The Prairie Farm is 650 acres in size, with numerous restored wetlands.

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