South Dakota Conservation Programs

The Prairie Pothole Region in eastern South Dakota is in one of Ducks Unlimited’s highest priority landscapes. DU works with farmers, ranchers and other partners in this region to provide a variety of working-land conservation options that meet landowner objectives and support wildlife habitat conservation. Conservation staff can provide financial and technical assistance to help landowners develop grazing systems, improve soil health, restore habitats and navigate the suite of programs available through federal, state and non-government organization conservation partners.

DU can provide technical and financial assistance for:

  • Grassland and wetland restorations
  • Grazing systems on grasslands and cropland
  • Soil health and regenerative agriculture practices
  • Soil health analysis
  • Conservation easements

Bruce Toay Bruce Toay is the Manager of Conservation Programs for Ducks Unlimited in South Dakota. Bruce works with agency, corporate, and non-profit partners along with agricultural producers to promote working-lands conservation on private lands and enhance public lands. Bruce coordinates multiple grants, partnerships, and funding sources to advance DU’s conservation work in South Dakota. 
Contact Bruce;
605-380-0684
btoay@ducks.org

Randy Meidinger_crop Randy Meidinger is a regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited and has spent most of his life on the prairies of North and South Dakota enjoying the outdoor diversity of the region. Randy works with farmers and ranchers on native grassland renovations, planning grazing systems, and conducting wetland survey and restoration work. He has many years of experience managing Ducks Unlimited farmland and rangeland, including a working 10,000-acre ranch.
Contact Randy
605-380-0380
rmeidinger@ducks.org

Brian Chatham_crop Brian Chatham is an agronomist for DU in South Dakota. He works with landowners to improve their cropping practices, implement soil health principles and provides education about regenerative agriculture. Brian can help producers improve their operations while implementing sustainable planting practices and supporting conservation. 
Contact Brian 
605-633-2690
bchatham@ducks.org

CassieAuxt_crop

Cassie Auxt is a biologist for DU in South Dakota. She specializes in native grassland restoration and grazing infrastructure in cropland and grassland systems. Cassie understands the importance and value of keeping farming and ranching operations viable while harmonizing with natural resources. She works to help producers implement conservation practices that fit their operation logistically and financially. 
Contact Cassie 
605-419-2914
cauxt@ducks.org

Steven Dvorak

Steven Dvorak is a DU agronomist with knowledge and experience in cash crop agronomy, seed sales, small-plot and strip-trial research, data analysis, cover crops, micronutrients, biological inoculants, bio-stimulants and soil health. Steven has tools to help landowners determine if their soil is healthy, fertile, and if they are farming or ranching regeneratively. 
Contact Steven
(605) 534-2610 
sdvorak@ducks.org

More information about DU conservation efforts in South Dakota

Learn about the importance of conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region and how farmers and ranchers are helping.

Learn about how DU staff in South Dakota can help landowners improve operations and contribute to waterfowl conservation.