Training and Education Outreach to NRCS and University of California CES staff to Convey Animal Nutrition

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2001: $81,950.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Federal Funds: $22,610.00
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $17,000.00
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Thomas Wehri
CA Association Resource Conservation Districts

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Animals: bovine, goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, feed rations, manure management, range improvement, grazing - rotational, winter forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, participatory research


    The project study provided NRCS and UCCE with needed information and data analysis as to the applicability of the use of NIRS and NUTBAL in California. Many producers received assistance as a result of the projects joint effort of NRCS and UCCE specialist and were provided needed education and outreach materials that assist in their managing California's rangelands. This project supplied needed training and supporting materials for local specialist.

    Specific activities include the completion of the California Annual Rangeland Forage Quality and Evaluation of the Texas A&M Fecal NIRS System Prediction of Digestibility and Crude Protein using In Vivo Estimation by Angle Jinks (UCD Graduate Student) with recommendation that NIRS equations must be derived using samples from the same population that the equation will be later used to predict. This was accomplished by coordination all efforts with Texas A&M University GANLAB and a recommended curve modification were suggested for California’s annual grasslands. Results are reflected in the comparison of the curves on five California rangeland sites.

    The project provided training and outreach information for NRCS range specialist on the NUTBAL program and its applicability to California annual grazinglands. Education and outreach information was developed by this project on livestock forage nutritional values using NIRS and NUTBAL software programs. These results were presented to producers via outreach posters and informational booth with fact sheets showing percent crude protein and percent digestible organic matter in defined MLRA regions and using annual time frame as hand out materials on the percent of crude protein and digestible organic matter. The project completed outreach and education information at 10 events that had both technical specialist and producers present. In excess of 2,500 people had access to the project information. Draft range technical notes were developed and are to be issued by California NRCS.

    A final report, which reflects all findings and results of the project, was completed and is available in both electronical and hard copy.

    Project objectives:

    Increase understanding of animal nutrition by California ranchers.

    Evaluate and validate use of the NUTBAL program on California annual grasslands.

    Conduct training sessions for NRCS, UC Cooperative Extension, Resource Conservation District employees and Directors, other range specialist, and ranchers.

    Increase the number of ranchers using Animal Nutrition and Forage Quality (ANFQ) technology (including ‘NUTBAL’ software) to improve operations.

    Increase rancher’s net income and encourage sustainable use of rangeland resources.

    Develop case histories; written summary reports, PowerPoint slide presentation, and display board educational tools.

    Poll students and ranchers before and after training, and at the close of the two-year period, to determine the increase in knowledge, skill, and capacity deriving from this effort.

    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.