Day IV: Range
Range Day will be the theme for the final day of instruction at the camp. Production begins with grazing and grazing begins with grass. In most New Mexico ranges there is a constant battle with invasive species of brush and weeds. Greg Alpers with Dow Agro Sciences represents over two decades of experience in brush control in the state of New Mexico. Greg will show us the benefits of brush control, the economics, and the importance of land stewardship in our delicate ecosystem.
Everyone knows the best experience and advice is that of an individual who lives and works on the operation on a day-to-day basis. On the Valles Caldera National Preserve, Dr. Tim Haarmann is that person. Tim will take participants on an exploratory journey through the Valles grasslands, identifying species that constitute a grazing population. He will explain what ecological indicators suffice in a thriving plant community.
Knowing what you have and don't have, make for a more accurate plan for future goals. Tom Dean, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, will teach youth participants basic identification principles and how to record and preserve those species of plants viable to a grazing operation.
In today's world, successful ranch managers must have a thorough knowledge of their pasture and the ever-changing trend due to drought, grazing, fire, and other factors. In the monitoring session, participants will learn the importance of keeping accurate records for themselves and for other parties of interest in their operation. Dr. Nick Ashcroft brings many years of monitoring experience as NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, Range Specialist.
Finally bringing all topics together and putting to work on the ground where the grazer's mouth meets the grass, long time rancher, Tom Sidwell, will talk about his experiences ranching from the hills of Nebraska, the Trans Pecos of Texas and now the Llano Estacado of New Mexico. Tom has managed ranches and brought them up out of ruin into productive income churning operations through grazing management, brush control, fencing and overall good land stewardship. Tom is a native New Mexican and will offer participants real world scenarios and solutions.