Conservation and Ranching Go Hand in Hand

Thanks to the Sand County Foundation for this piece. I've added some ideas about how you can use what you learn here. Craig and Conni French always considered themselves good land stewards, but six years ago things really began to change. They came to see their cattle ranch’s fate was tied to healthy soils and grasses. Their introduction to holistic ranch management techniques called into question long-held, traditional ways of thinking. The drastic changes that followed required a leap of faith for the fourth-generation ranchers. They traded harvesting hay for grazing methods that let their cattle harvest the forage themselves. Such changes didn’t happen overnight, and each came with its own risk and learning curve. The use of cell grazing (a form of rotational grazing that moves a large herd frequently to new pastures) allows more recovery time for perennial vegetation to flourish on a semi-arid, brittle environment of short prairie grass. This results in better forage and wildlife habitat. The Frenches make decisions not just with their cattle herd’s health in mind, but also the impact on soil, insects and wildlife. Temporary electric fence has replaced permanent fencing to reduce conflicts with wildlife. Targeted grazing of non-native grasses has improved habitat for grassland birds and sage grouse. Working With Partners Improves Suc

All the grazing management tips you need

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