Malatya Haber Range schools focus on soil health in August
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Range schools focus on soil health in August

“Creating Range Wealth Through Soil Health” is the theme for the Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition summer range schools, according to Tim Christian, state coordinator for the group.

“The Mid-/Shortgrass Range School runs from Aug. 6 to 8 at Camp Lakeside, Lake Scott, and the Tallgrass Range School is set for Aug. 20 to 22 at Camp Wood YMCA, Elmdale,” Christian said.

The theme is indicative of the need for ranchers and land managers to employ grazing, structural and management practices that benefit the native grasses, which in turn sustain or improve soil health creating a positive cycle that improves over time, he said. The benefit to ranchers is their ability to harvest the increased forage with their livestock that occurs as soil water intake increases, microbial activity is stimulated, and other well-documented cyclic functions come into balance. The cadre of instructors—ranchers, agency, university and organizational staffs—will balance a good deal of hands-on instruction with classroom presentations.

The registration fee is $300 a person. The fee covers course materials, on-site lodging and meals, and other related costs. Ranchers, landowners, and students may qualify for a $150 scholarship if they meet eligibility and request one using KGLC’s scholarship form. Agency staffs may qualify for $100 in scholarships. The form and more information on the schools is available at www.kglc.org under 2013 Range Schools found in the navigation bar. Scholarship applications must be submitted by July 23 for the Mid-/Shortgrass School and Aug. 6 for the Tallgrass School.

“We try to hold down costs for those interested in attending,” said Christian, “and we rely on our supporting partners to provide in-kind and cash underwriting to offset our costs to put the schools on.” Partners include the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Fort Hays State University; Kansas State University; Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism; The Nature Conservancy (which hosts one-day of the Mid-/Shortgrass School on their Smoky Valley Ranch); Kansas Section of the Society for Range Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners Program, and Feed-Lot Magazine. Other partners will be coming onboard in coming weeks, he said.

KGLC organized in 1991 as a non-profit educational organization and its vision is to regenerate Kansas grazing lands. This is achieved through the management, economics, ecology, production, and technical assistance programs provided by voluntary methods to reach landowners, ranchers, and others making decisions on grazing lands.

Date: 5/13/2013



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