Colorado Resource Monitoring Initiative-Professionals Training

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $23,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Region: Western
State: Colorado
Principal Investigator:
Erin Karney
Colorado Cattlemen's Association

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, range improvement, grazing - rotational, stocking rate
  • Education and Training: extension, networking, workshop
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement
  • Production Systems: holistic management

    Proposal abstract:

    Rangeland monitoring has been a topic of concern for many decades.  Despite the fact that many ranchers are performing monitoring on a daily basis (visual and personal observations); many do not have a methodology in place to record these observations and make them repeatable.  The importance of rangeland monitoring is ever-increasing as there is growing scrutiny on grazing practices (especially on public lands).  In 2009, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) convened a group of stakeholders to develop a process to encourage rangeland monitoring that was credible, repeatable, and easy for ranchers to implement.  Through this process, MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) with federal and state agencies were signed promoting this process (The Colorado Resource Monitoring Initiative or CRMI).  Each stakeholder vowed to promote CRMI to the landowners/managers whom they work with daily.  Since then, the excitement for the project has waned.  Many of the stakeholders (including CCA) have had personnel turnover, and the support system for the program is not as strong as it was originally.  Today, if a rancher walks into a local office and inquires about CRMI, the local field person may not be familiar with the program; this grant looks to bridge that gap.  The Western SARE Professional Development Grant will allow for the education of the new and existing professionals in federal agencies, state agencies, extension roles, NRCS, and rangeland professionals; covering the protocols of CRMI and our efforts to provide a support system to ranchers in order to ensure the success of this program. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    While the Colorado Resource Monitoring Initiative (CRMI) has been launched and all structural elements are in place to meet the needs of the stakeholders, it has been determined that in order to get strong participation there is a need to focus on educating the partners, at all levels, about this program.  In order to accomplish this, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) will lead a variety of workshops over the course of two years aimed at agriculture professionals.  These workshops will begin in the fall of 2014 and will be focused in four target areas; Northwestern Colorado, Southwestern Colorado, West-Central Colorado, and Eastern Colorado.  A follow-up webinar will be held after these four workshops in order to provide the information to individuals who were not able to attend.  The objective will be to contact every interested party in those areas and determine the most convenient time/day to hold a workshop.  It will be important to communicate with all who are planning to attend the workshop prior to the date, so they come prepared to spend the entire day learning about CRMI.  The success of these workshops will be measured on two levels: First, the participants will be tested (written test) on what they learned from the workshop and then will be certified that day.  The second criteria to measure success will be by the number of ranchers in the particular area who sign up for CRMI or attend a follow-up workshop hosted by the agriculture professionals.  Colorado Cattlemen’s Association will assist with local workshops aimed at producers in order to drive the success of the program.

    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.