Slovek ranch tour a success - Philip area family honored

Bill Slovek was presented the Excellence in Grazing Management Award by Tate Lantz from the South Dakota Section of the Society of Range Management during the Slovek’s ranch tour on July 24.

Approximately 100 people from across South Dakota arrived at the Bill and Pennie Slovek Ranch Tuesday, July 24, as part of the joint ranch tour by the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and the Society for Range Management.

Nominated by the Haakon County Conservation District, Bill, Pennie, Earl and Helen Slovek were bestowed the 2006 South Dakota Section Excellence in Range Management Award for their ranch's grazing practices.

Bill is the third generation to work the ranch located northwest of Philip. Over time he and his family have been able to add additional acres to the ranch and build their land total to around 14,000 acres.

The Sloveks use a rotational grazing system and rotate their cattle at least every two weeks if not sooner. The family likes their cattle to stay ahead of the flies and on fresh pasture as much as they can. Bill reported that, out of 57 pastures available for rotation, he was able to get through 55 of them last year.

Along with the Slovek's tour, Gabe Brown of Brown Gelbvieh at Bismarck, ND, discussed soil improvement. He promotes improving soil health to increase profitability. He gave numerous examples of how he has implemented different grasses and legumes on his farm to increase filtration and litter to provide optimal pasture conditions that can sustain high cattle stocking rates.

The Haakon Country Conservation District, First National Bank in Philip and Professional Alliance of Platte, SD, provided refreshments and Dorothy Hanson of Philip catered the lunch.