Achieving Rangeland Sustainability Through Total Resource Management

Project Overview

ES99-045
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1999: $157,061.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $46,545.00
Region: Southern
State: Texas
Principal Investigator:
William Fox, Ph.D.
Texas Cooperative Extension
Co-Investigators:
C. Wayne Hanselka, Ph.D.
Texas Cooperative Extension

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: oats, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep

Practices

  • Animal Production: parasite control, grazing - continuous, free-range, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture renovation, preventive practices, range improvement, grazing - rotational, housing, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, application rate management
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, study circle, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, risk management
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: economic threshold, integrated pest management, precision herbicide use, weather monitoring
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, social capital, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    Ranch and rangeland sustainability is dependent upon informed decision-making and managing all resources to achieve healthy functioning ecosystems and financial survival of the landowner. Ranching success depends upon the ability of the manager to utilize all resources to meet, analyze, and manage risk. Total Resource Management (TRM) emphasizes the organization and use of all resources to achieve goals and objectives where decisions are based on a strategic management process that encompasses ecological, economic and socially viable options and practices. The project has developed training and resource materials and conducted training programs for agency personnel in (TRM). Workshop participants indicated an increase in knowledge and appreciation for integrated programming and have begun using the concept in their educational programs. TRM is now a primary component in Rangeland Ecology and Management planning.

    Project objectives:

    Involve producers and appropriate resource managers in planning, implementing and evaluating various phases of the project.
    Develop training materials and program support resources including:

    a) A training manual, 12 fact sheets, 3 software packages, and a website as program support materials;

    b) An interactive Electronic Technology Transfer System to support the TRM program.

    Develop and conduct 4 three-session workshops to train 80 County Extension Agents (CEA’s) and NRCS Conservationists along with other Agency personnel over a two-year period.

    Enlarge the thinking and change the paradigms of participants from single reductionist components to “total” and/or ecosystem interactions in relation to ranch management decisions. Participants learn, from both financial and biological perspectives as well as from the rancher’s perspective skills including problem-solving, risk management decision-making, analytical and planning skills.

    Participants will understand and apply this planning process to set goals and define actions to be taken in specific ranch situations.

    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.