Communication of Range Demonstration Project Results

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $15,045.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $7,750.00
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Ken Mills
Utah Association of Conservation Districts


  • Agronomic: general hay and forage crops, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Additional Plants: native plants


  • Animal Production: range improvement, grazing - rotational, watering systems, winter forage, feed/forage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, wildlife
  • Pest Management: physical control, precision herbicide use
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    JUSTIFICATION Results of 33 range improvement demonstration projects worth nearly $300,000 may go unreported without the requested funding. This project will enable range professionals and educators as well as ranchers to benefit from recommendations and experience on various seeding methods, weed control, grazing strategies, riparian improvements, plant materials trials, etc. Most of these projects were performed on grazing land by the landowners themselves during unprecedented drought conditions allowing for some unusual ‘real world’ insight that should be of high interest to those involved in sustaining viable livestock production, wildlife habitat, and range management in the Intermountain West. OBJECTIVES Put summaries of recent demonstration projects testing new methods, techniques, and innovate approaches to sustainable grazing and range management into the hands of range professionals. Many of the projects were carried out under drought conditions, which are a natural dynamic in Utah’s landscapes by ranchers. Range professionals will benefit from their insight as well as that of the professionals that assisted with the projects. Further adoption of sustainable practices will be promoted by professionals and adopted by range managers and livestock producers. METHODS The Utah Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, d.b.a. Utah Grazinglands Network UGN), requests $15,045 in WSARE funding to produce and widely distribute in Utah and the Intermountain region a report and compact disc describing the results of these demonstration projects from both the rancher & professional point of view with applicable before and after photos, tables, charts, statistics, and contact information Summaries will also be placed on the Internet. EVALUATION Recipients of the informational materials will be surveyed about usefulness of the information and the likelihood of implementation of similar projects by ranchers or range managers in their jurisdiction. An important indication of the success of the project will be the desire of recipients to continue receiving similar information and contribute to further networking in reviewing, researching, and promoting innovative ways of sustaining working grazing lands. The media format chosen will allow future updates.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The objective of this project is to put results of recent activity testing innovative approaches to sustainable grazing and range management into the hands of range professionals to ultimately benefit their clients. Results of trials and experiments by researchers are readily available but results of what happens when producers try similar things in the ‘real world’ are lacking.
    Besides the tangible printed report and CD produced by this project, which will ensure that results of these demonstration projects do not sit on a shelf somewhere, we expect that many intangible, immeasurable outcomes will accrue including:
    Contacts between professionals and producers with those conducting the individual demo projects
    Increased implementation of sustainable grazing land and habitat improvement projects
    Increased knowledge and interest in sustainable livestock production, particularly in what helps grazing lands survive droughts
    Expanded reach of the Utah Grazinglands Network and affiliates.
    Sponsors will be more likely to continue to fund demo projects with a report showing the evidence of the good that their contributions accomplished.
    Encouragement of future widespread distribution of demonstration or on-farm or producer-driven type project experience.
    Further sharing and quicker reporting of similar projects in the future.
    Stimulate the development of a closer-knit network of researchers and practicioners
    involved in testing practices and methods leading to more sustainable grazing lands.


    Approximately a month after distributing the publication and CD, the UGN Field Director will mail a follow-up survey to find out how useful recipients felt the information to be. Their opinion on how to best disseminate similar information in the future, i.e. newsletter, periodic additions to the binder, e-mail, website, etc. will be requested. We could also attempt to gauge interest in a regional effort to pool knowledge and experience with ‘cutting edge’ technology and innovative methods. Some professionals and producers are able to respond to drought, market, and other pressures with ways of coping that would be helpful to others but by the time others find out what might have worked for them it is too late. It would be useful to use this project as a springboard to develop a faster way to spread knowledge about workable options for grazing land sustainability

    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.