Grazing Management Training to Enhance the Sustainability of Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1998: $31,745.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $21,678.00
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Jim Green
North Carolina State University, Crop Science Dept.

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: millet, rye, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, feed rations, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, grazing - rotational, housing, stockpiled forages, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, riverbank protection
  • Pest Management: chemical control, cultural control
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    This project is an outgrowth of previous experiences we’ve had with training farmers, students and USDA agency workers in the area of grazing management/pastureland ecology. The Southern Region has thousands of small and part-time livestock farms which have significant impact on family income, community stability and environmental quality. The region is also home of a significant amount of confinement animal systems which produce tons of nutrients which have to be judiciously applied to land that is often sloping and conducive to runoff into streams. Animal management on pasture has historically been quite extensive, resulting in poor plant persistence, poor animal performance, high feeding costs and considerable damage to the environment because of erosion and poor nutrient redistribution.

    This training project focused on helping Farm Agency Workers and farmers develop a sustainable approach to pasture-based livestock management. We offered in-depth training programs with considerable “hands-on” field exercises to reinforce classroom discussions. We devleoped well organized Training Modules with supporting visuals which can be used as resource material for follow-up educational programs. We expect this material to be used by many Agency workers in the Southern Region and by Vocational Education teachers.

    The farmers who obtained this advanced training will serve as resoure assistants and volunteers in helping Agency advisors put emphasis on sustainable livestock/grassland issues in their respective communities.

    Project objectives:

    The objective of this program is to provide training support to Farm Agency Advisors and livestock farmers who want to learn more about economical, environmental and socially sustainable farming systems.

    Participating professionals will be trained specifically in pasture/livestock management so that they can offer educational programs and provide information and support to farmers who want to adopt sustainable and environmentally sound pasture-based livestock production systems.

    Selected farmers and farm advisors will organize educational activities and regularly meet on farms to discuss sustainable livestock management practices and solve problems.

    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.