Photo courtesy of Jewell Bork, South Central RC&D Coordinator

Conservation partnerships host Grazing Management Bus Tour at three area ranches

South Central RC&D hosted a Grazing Management Bus Tour through Mellette and Jones County, June 28, 2023. Other conservation partners were the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition and the Jones, Mellette and Todd County Conservation Districts. This bus tour traveled to three area ranches, heard from speakers from North Dakota with over 40 participants. Local sponsors, an SDSU Sustainable Ag Research Education grant and a Farm Credit Services grant were pursued to help make this happen.  This bus tour will be followed up by a November workshop with room for 20 ranches in the area.
The point of the bus tour was to show three ranches at different stages of using Twice Over Rotational Grazing, practicing principles of Biologically Effective Grazing management (TOR-BEG). This strategy builds resilience to uncontrollable events such as hail, fire, grasshoppers and drought symptoms, while improving livestock nutrition.  There is over 18 years of knowledge and learning on one ranch. Participants could see how the plant community, native plant diversity and rangeland soil health has improved and take home practical ways to look at their own land. What was seen on the bus tour will be relatable to those participating at the workshop.
Lunch was served on the air-conditioned bus coach. The participants road on flatbed trailers to the rangeland fields for hands on discussion. Each hour-half stop was led by the ranchers providing history and experience, while the speakers supported with the grazing management principles about biologically effective grazing management.
Overall the weather was great, the grass was green and the participants provided exceptional reviews of the bus tour on their evaluations. Local partnerships working together were the South Central RC&D, the Conservation Districts, the NRCS and local sponsors, have again demonstrated the value of community.

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