CHADRON – Chadron State College students, faculty and alumni totaled more than half the nearly 200 attendees at the Upper Niobrara White Natural Resource District’s (UNWNRD) annual Range Day on campus Tuesday, Jan. 16. Others in attendance, according to CSC Associate Professor of Applied Science Dr. Ron Bolze, included ranchers, government agency employees and University of Nebraska Extension staff.
Bolze, who serves on the steering committee for the event, said the Rangeland Management Program was pleased to be a co-sponsor.
“Many thanks to significant funding provided by the Bill and Virginia Coffee Family Foundation. The lineup of speakers covered many topics central to long term range health and continued economic viability for the ranching community that depends upon this resource for their livelihood,” Bolze said.
Nevin Price, UNWNRD Resource Technician said the contributions of faculty, staff and students were valuable in planning and conducting the event.
“It is great to work with CSC,” Price said.
During the lunch break, Kristin Miller Dickinson, a 1997 graduate from Lodgepole, Neb., received the CSC Range Management Alumni Achievement Award.
Other presentations included student and guest lectures.
CSC student William Krause of Spring Branch, Texas, shared his analysis of the Terrell Farms southwest of Chadron at a poster exhibit during breaks. Krause will compete with his poster presentation at the Society for Range Management’s national conference in Reno, Nev., Jan. 28-Feb. 2.
Two subject matter experts, James Rogers and Sage Askin, were among the presenters who offered management advice for ranchers and livestock producers.
Rogers, who manages the million-acre Winecup Gamble Ranch in Nevada, explained how he manages natural resources and employees. He also spoke about his use of portable watering stations to reduce installation costs changing conditions and move cattle by controlling water supplies.
“If you want to change small things, change how you do them. If you want to change big things, change how you see them,” Rogers said.
He shared slides of areas on the ranch where management practices have increased the variety of plant species, an important aspect in soil health and erosion prevention. He also explained how he uses fire, irrigation, beaver dams, clay dams, natural springs and goats to manage the landscape.
Askin, of Lusk, Wyo., described the advantages and disadvantages of using combinations of livestock that browse shrubs and graze grass, including sheep, goats and cattle.
“If you’re not running multiple species, you’re leaving money on the table,” Askin said.
Former CSC faculty member, Dr. Rick Funston, the UNL Beef Cattle Extension Specialist at the West Central Research Center in North Platte, Nebraska, shared research results from the UNL Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory ranch. He explained the effects of late calving and supplemental feed combined with winter grazing.