Good Grazing Management Brings an Ecosystem Back to Life

"This is so much more than just stewardship of the land. It's about modeling the behaviors that we all should have, whether we're a homeowner in town, a 10-acre ranchette, or a 10,000 acre ranch." - Tanse Herrmann, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service When Gary and Amy Cammack purchased 927 acres of rangeland in 1984, it bore the scars of grazing that began 100 years ago. High stocking rates had reduced plant diversity and it was a mono-culture of needle and thread grass. There was also only one source of water and trailing to it had caused erosion in the sandy soils. Wildlife, something important to the Cammacks, were non-existent on the ranch. Visiting the ranch today, you might never know that was how they started. Today, their land sustains 600 beef cow-calf pairs. Soil health, water infiltration, grass growth and beef production have benefited from practicing rotational grazing. And in honor of all the work they did to get to this point, the Cammack family was presented the 2018 South Dakota Leopold Conservation Award. This 6:26 video takes us on a tour of the Cammack Ranch and gives us some insight into the family and their philosophy. Gary remembers how they started. "We contacted the NRCS in Sturgis, I believe it was Darrell Vig was the conservationist at the time, and he really helped us out - helped us put together a plan for a water system, for cross fencing, the start of planting trees." Over the three decades th

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3 thoughts on “Good Grazing Management Brings an Ecosystem Back to Life

  1. Sturgis could become a tourist destination for rangeland management as well as motorcycle rallies.

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