- Additional Plants: native plants
- Animal Production: grazing - continuous, grazing management, range improvement, grazing - rotational, stocking rate
- Education and Training: extension, focus group, mentoring, networking, workshop
- Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
The Montana State University Extension Range Management Institute conducted workshops focused on rangeland ecology and management principles for Extension field faculty and land managers. Four initial workshops and two Level 2 workshops were hosted and attended by participants from MSU Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Montana State University Northern Agricultural Research Center. Workshops included 88 participants representing all MSU Extension regions of Montana. Evaluations of programs indicated an increase in knowledge and confidence, as well as intention to incorporate these concepts into Extension programming. With this knowledge, participants will be more effective when assisting agricultural producers in making management decisions on their operations that are beneficial to the rangelands they rely upon for their livelihoods, including the potential, limitations, capacity, and function of their rangeland ecosystems.
The objectives of this project were to:
- Host initial workshops across Montana focused on basic rangeland ecology and management principles. The goal of these workshops was to increase knowledge of Extension field faculty regarding rangeland ecology and management concepts and techniques.
- Increase knowledge of rangeland ecology and management concepts of field faculty; increase confidence of field faculty to teach and apply these concepts; and networking among field faculty.
- Host two additional workshop’s (i.e., Level 2 workshops) with more specific foci with the goal to increase confidence in attendees when assisting clientele with in-depth rangeland management decisions.
- Foster participation in the Level 2 workshops by field faculty that attended the initial workshops, as a means to develop a more comprehensive knowledge base for clientele assistance across Montana.
- Increase the incidence of field faculty teaching rangeland ecology and management concepts to producers and land managers in their county.
- Develop a peer mentoring network across Montana through exposure of experienced faculty and inexperienced faculty in neighboring counties during workshops.