Effectively Using Permanent and Temporary Electric Fence Technology: Adviser training to support producers implementing adaptive grazing management

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2019: $79,954.00
Projected End Date: 09/30/2022
Grant Recipient: North Carolina State University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Matt Poore
North Carolina State University


  • Animals: bovine, equine, goats, poultry, sheep


  • Animal Production: grazing management, rangeland/pasture management
  • Education and Training: extension
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    Electric fencing technology is critical to the adoption of adaptive grazing management for livestock species, and for incorporation of livestock into integrated cropping and horticultural systems. Adaptive grazing management uses a variety of grazing techniques in a dynamic management approach, which when effectively employed decreases erosion, encourages deeper plant rooting to improve drought resilience, improves plant species diversity, and improves water quality. However, lack of understanding of how to maintain a high level of power on electric fences, troubleshoot fencing problems, and effectively using temporary electric fences has limited adoption, and in some cases, caused farmers to abandon adaptive grazing management. North Carolina State University will team extension specialists from 1862 and 1890 institutions, mentor farmers, grazing specialists from conservation agencies, and fence industry representatives from six states within the southern region to teach farm advisors how to teach farmers to effectively adopt and manage electric fence technology through a one-day hands-on course. We will develop a training curriculum and kit for each state and make this available to the newly trained advisors to conduct subsequent farmer trainings. Participants from the advisor training and farmer trainings will learn the main components needed to successfully install and maintain electric fences, how to utilize this technology to improve grazing management and how to troubleshoot issues associated with electric fences. Pre and post-test evaluations at trainings will allow us to determine effectiveness of trainings. Follow-up surveys will be sent to participants to determine how many farmers received this training from a trained advisor.


    Project objectives from proposal:

    • Develop a clear understanding of how electric fences work and how to approach electric fence troubleshooting.
    • Become familiar with the wide variety of permanent and temporary fencing technology available and its importance in adaptive grazing management.
    • Learn how to conduct an effective training session on managing and troubleshooting electric fences for farmers by using the provided training materials and training kit.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.