Grazing Around Streams – Three Examples of Trying to Do the Right Thing

With growing concerns over riparian management and its effect on water quality, farmers and ranchers are facing tightening regulations and restrictions on grazing next to streams and water bodies. In his first article on this topic, Troy wondered if we, as graziers, are doing all we can to protect water quality and our grazing future. With this article he provides some examples for how we can do better. Minnesotan Army Veteran, Agriculture Teacher, grazing pioneer, beef farmer and avid trout fisherman, the late Ralph Lentz left an indelible mark on me when we met at a grazing conference after his talk on "The ABCs of Streambank Grazing." He chronicled his experience working around his beloved Sugarloaf Creek and tussling with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources over how to manage portions of a stream that ran through his beef farm. In his “little” experiment, he found brook trout liked the once a month grazing area the best versus the wooded or once a year grazing areas. Ralph was the state chair of the Minnesota Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and was awarded the outstanding conservationist in 2013 by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. He had street cred among practitioners trying to foster the understanding and balance between grazing and riparian corridor habitat.  He was the outlier, the thinker, the consumm

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