Forage and Pasture Educational Program for Professionals in the Northwest

2012 Annual Report for EW11-019

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $71,058.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Grant Recipient: University of Idaho
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Glenn Shewmaker
University of Idaho

Forage and Pasture Educational Program for Professionals in the Northwest


This project expands the successful WSARE Professional Development Project EW05-12, and is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of professionals in sustainable livestock and forage production systems. A needs assessment survey identified needs for training in the proposed areas. One workshop has been completed and three more workshops are planned for the western area. The seminar/workshop uses extension, ARS, NRCS, forage seed industry, and integrates producer instructors. The detailed class syllabus and program developed with EW05-12 will be revised based on evaluations and experience with the workshops.

Objectives/Performance Targets

  1. Improve extension and USDA personnel understanding and implementation of the principles of management intensive grazing featuring multi-day workshops conducted on demonstration ranches; hands-on workshops on cooperator’s operations; the development of extension bulletins; peer reviewed publications with a western perspective.
    Develop a Western SARE mentoring or support system for PNW educators and graziers trying to implement sustainable grazing practices on irrigated pasture through the use of a list server, newsletter, and/or other appropriate communication technology.
    Collect data from producers practicing rotational grazing to demonstrate defoliation response and determine tiller dynamics in response to grazing. Record defoliation response by time-lapse photography for workshop demonstration and develop recommendations for a range of canopy heights of several different pasture forage species.
    Distribute the Pasture and Grazing Management in the Northwest (PNW614) book to pasture advisors and demonstrate how to use it to consult with grass farmers and livestock producers, and to encourage the sustainable practices of grazing and pasture management. Emphasis will be placed on the benefits of plant diversity, ecosystem processes to the economics of a sustainable system and environmental and wildlife benefits from active goal-setting, monitoring, and management.
    Demonstrate the proper use of pasture monitoring tools (the pasture stick and rising plate meter) and prediction equations we developed in Western SARE EW05-12 for extension, NRCS, and producers to evaluate production on Northwest pastures.


The first seminar was held in Salmon, Idaho from 21-23 August 2012. There were 28 students from: universities and extension (14), NRCS (12), and industry (2). Instructors for the seminar/workshop used 12 extension employees from University of Idaho, Washington State University, Oregon State University, Montana State University, Colorado State University, and University of Wyoming; and 1 industry instructor.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

There were 14.5 CEU credits available for the Certified Crop Adviser Program and 16 credits for the Certified Range Management Professional program. A detailed class syllabus and program will be revised based on evaluations and experience with the last workshop. Our next seminar is scheduled for 20-22 August 2013 in Fort Collins, CO.

Participants were given pre- and post-workshop tests with Turning Point’s add-in to PowerPoint™ in the anonymous mode. The following percentage of respondents improved their knowledge when asked:
1. 59% “Certified seed. . . ?” Answer: “has a 0.25% maximum weed seed”
2. 61% “Forage plants are very photosynthesis efficient (>50%)?” Answer: false
3. 66% “The accumulation of successive ______ differentiated from a single apical meristem defines the tiller.” Answer: Phytomers

The average improvement in score (post score – pre score) for 13 questions was 33%.

Responses were 82% as “strongly agree”, 18% as “agree”, and no unfavorable responses for the question “Did the workshop meet your expectations?” Responses were 76% as “strongly agree”, 24% as “agree”, and no unfavorable responses for the question “Did you gain understanding of critical concepts and principles?”


Mylen Bohle
Area Extension Agronomist
Oregon State University
Crook County Extension Service
498 S.E. Lynn Blvd
Prineville, OR 97754
Office Phone: 5414476228
Steven Fransen
Extension Forage Specialist
Washington State University
24106 N. Bunn Rd
Prosser, WA 99350-8694
Office Phone: 5097869266