Community Agriculture Alliance: Grazing workshop is next week

Event offers low-stress livestock-handling techniques

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The Middle Park Conservation District, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Blue Valley Ranch and Gunnison National Forest Paonia District, is inviting livestock producers and agency professionals to a prescribed grazing and herding workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 28 and 29.

The workshop will be presented at Blue Valley Ranch with some classroom instruction and background, but most of the time will be on the ground with instruction and practice with Guy Glossom, manager of the award-winning Mesquite Ranch in Snyder, Texas. During the daytime, participants will learn how to move cattle easily and efficiently with very little stress on the animals.

At 7 p.m. Aug. 28, at the CSU Extension Hall, Dave Bradford, from Gunnison National Forest Paonia District, and John Kossler, representing the West Elk Livestock Association, will give a talk about their experiences using these practices in the West Elk Mountains.

Prescribed grazing that meets the needs of soil and plants, as well as animals and their owners, is the single most important practice to improve environmental management and health and ensure the long-term sustainability of our grazing land resources.

Across the West, intensive prescribed grazing management has demonstrated improvements in land health and livestock production. But set-stocked, continuously grazed lands, and lands under long-term rest from grazing, have not recovered from degradation or have deteriorated further.

Participation is limited to 25 people, and the fee is $50 a person. The workshop will be geared toward livestock producers and agency personnel that deal with grazing allotments. Call the Middle Park Conservation District at 724-3456 to reserve a space. Lunch will be provided each day. The workshop is supported by the Colorado State University Extension Office and funded by the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative.

Bonnie Koblitz is district manager for the Middle Park Conservation District.

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