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Economics and environment theme for range schools

Kansas

Can ranchers enjoy a profitable livestock operation and maintain the health of the land they manage? Do good stewardship and environmentally-sound practices necessarily drag down your bottom line? Is it worth the effort to manage for livestock and other critters that need a home? These and other questions will be on the agenda for two rancher-driven range schools this summer.

The Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition Inc., is hosting the schools--one for eastern Kansas at White Memorial Camp in Morris County and one for central and western Kansas at Camp Aldrich in Barton County.

"Principles of Rangeland Management, Grass and Animal Ecology in Kansas--reaching harmony... profit and environment. The Tallgrass school is set for Aug. 11 to 13, and the mid-/short-grass school for Aug. 18 to 20," said Tim Christian, KGLC coordinator.

The schools target landowners, operators, hired hands, outdoor enthusiasts, agency and organization staffs, and others interested in learning rangeland ecology, and how to successfully mix wildlife and livestock management profitably, said Christian. The hands-on approach used by area ranchers and university and agency staffs helps reinforce the information and techniques attendees will be exposed to over the 3-day session. Balancing the need to be profitable and most ranchers desires to improve their land and care for the environment has been a source of consternation within the ranching community for years. Hopefully, the take-away for people is that they can begin to implement simple things that will impact both areas--profit and environment, he continued.

Co-sponsoring entities for the schools at this time include the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kansas State University Extension, Playa Lakes Joint Venture, and the Kansas Section of the Society for Range Management.

The registration includes two nights lodging, meals, and materials for $250, and if a second or third person from the same outfit attends their fee is reduced to $200. Deadline for registration the Tallgrass school is Aug. 3 and the mid-/short-grass school is Aug. 10. Space is limited to 35 participants in each school.

Scholarships are available to most ranchers interested in attending reducing the fee to $100 per person (and $50 for multiple attendees), said Christian. Agency staffs may qualify for a $100 scholarship. All an interested person needs to do is go to the KGLC website www.kglc.org and fill out a very simple scholarship form and get it to us by July 17. We have much more detailed information about the schools and highlights from last year's western school on the website.

KGLC was organized in 1991 and as a non-profit its vision is regenerating Kansas Grazing Lands. The partnership meets its mission to regenerate Kansas grazing land resources through cooperative management, economics, ecology, production, education, and technical assistance programs through a variety of voluntary methods to reach landowners, ranchers, and other making decisions on grazing lands. To discover more about KGLC visit the web at www.kglc.org.

For more information on the 2009 range management schools, contact Tim Christian, KGLC coordinator, at 620-241-3636, e-mail tchristian@kglc.org, or Ken Sherraden, KGLC co-coordinator, at 785-922-7061, e-mail him at ksherraden@kglc.org.



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