Grazing Management Seminar March 1 in Mobeetie
Grazing Management Seminar set for March 1 in Mobeetie
Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Thomas Cunningham, 806-826-5243, Thomas.Cunningham@ag.tamu.edu
Dr. Tim Steffens, 806-651-2781, email@example.com
MOBEETIE – A Grazing Management Seminar, hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Wheeler County, is set for March 1 at the Mobeetie Jail Museum and Visitors Center.
To get to the center, turn south off state Highway 152 onto Farm-to-Market Road 48/Dickerson St., then turn east on O’Laughlin St.
“This meeting will be a precursor to a longer grazing management school we plan to host beginning in June,” said Thomas Cunningham, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent for Wheeler County. “Last year we had an all-day ranch management program and found there was a lot of interest for more grazing management programming.”
Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. The program will begin at 9 a.m., and lunch will be followed by a tour of the Joe VanZandt Ranch from 1-4 p.m. Lunch will be sponsored by Bayer Animal Health.
The fee is $10, and there will be three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – two general and one integrated pest management – offered.
Dr. Tim Steffens, range specialist with AgriLife Extension and West Texas A&M University in Canyon, will be the speaker. Topics he will cover include economics, plant physiology, managing for what is wanted and asking the right questions.
“We have increased the productivity of cattle immensely over my lifetime, but people are finding it more difficult to make a living from grazed livestock production,” Steffens said. “So, something may be wrong with the business model many people are using.
“Many people seem to think we can either be profitable or take care of resources — that degradation is just a part of doing business. But that is a false choice. In many cases, some people are doing neither; some are doing both.”
Steffens said ranching is one of the only businesses that has assets that can appreciate and reproduce themselves. That ought to be a recipe for profitability and a better resource, he said, but rangeland resources continue to deteriorate, and at the same time, many people are going broke.
“A rancher down on the Pecos once said his granddad had paid for the ranch hauling things from the ranch into town,” Steffens said. “His grandkids seem to think that you make money hauling things from town to the ranch.
“This will be an introduction to ideas about how to make a profit by letting the animals reproduce themselves and improve the resources they are standing on, primarily through management – without spending money on things we have to haul into the ranch.”
For more information, contact Cunningham at 806-826-5243 or Thomas.Cunningham@ag.tamu.edu.
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