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Grazing Land Conservation Initiative (GLCI) cooperative agreements - Fiscal Year 2023

USDA awarded $12 million in cooperative agreements in 2023 for projects that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands. The funding is provided through the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI).

USDA's investment in grazing lands conservation

In 2023, USDA awarded $12 million in cooperative agreements for 49 projects that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands. The funding is provided through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI). NRCS selected 49 projects for GLCI cooperative agreements. These projects have identified barriers to accessing grazing assistance for producers and will include outreach and support for reaching underserved producers.

2023 GLCI Cooperative Agreements

organization point-of-contact poc-email focus project-info geographic-reach
United Farmers USA, Inc. Helen Brown UFUSA will provide ongoing education, technical assistances, and demonstrations to show farmers and ranchers how to obtain sustainability using a Silvopasture system. United Farmers USA will provide ongoing education, technical assistance, and demonstrations to show farmers and ranchers how to obtain sustainability using a Silvopasture system, which has proven to be successful through the efforts of farmers who raise beef cattle and livestock. This will remove educational and management barriers for farmers who are looking for a solution to sustain their farm while enhancing the environment. SC
University of Arizona Elise Gornish From soil to snout: A workshop series to prepare ranchers and those who train them for drought resilience on southwestern rangelands The University of Arizona will provide two distinct workshop series that will focus on rangeland resilience for drought - one for producers and one for trainers. These workshops will increase availability of technical assistance for ranchers, particularly those who have been historically underserved, and facilitate the establishment and maintenance of peer-to-peer networking as well as knowledge transfer for individuals who provide recommendations to ranchers (including NRCS, county-based personnel, crop consultants, and Cooperative Extension). Workshops will be conducted around the state and will highlight approaches that can be deployed to target soil, plants or animals for rangeland resilience. AZ
Roane County Soil Conservation District Marian Brogan Demonstrate and quantify goals and methods to expand and establish peer-to-peer networks and direct financial support for mentors working with new, beginning, or transitioning farmers and ranchers engaged in grazing activities The Roane County Soil Conservation District will expand and establish peer-to-peer networks and direct financial support for mentors working with new, beginning, or transitioning farmers and ranchers engaged in grazing activities. They will target historically underserved and beginning farmers directly and indirectly through Training the Trainer networking and education. Grazing lands activities will include grazing planning, technical training, ecological site description worksheets, networking activities such as pasture walks, presentations, and articles, as well as organization and activation of the Tennessee Grazing Lands Coalition. These activities will address natural resource concerns, utilize Climate-Smart agriculture and forestry practices and principles, further develop existing partnerships and develop new partnerships advancing technical assistance to farmers and ranchers working toward better land stewardship. TN
Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, Inc. Matthew Booher Knowledge, Technical Support, and Mentorships to Improve Grazing Management and Conservation on Virginia Farms: A Comprehensive Approach to Reach Established and Underserved Audiences The Virginia Forage and Grassland Council (VFGC) will provide comprehensive education for grazing, resource conservation, and pasture management through statewide schools, mentorships, conferences, field monitoring, and workshops, while targeting these efforts in new areas and underserved populations. The project will also provide greater access to technical services and customized technical assistance, including forage renovation and grazing plans. The expansion of VFGC’s existing network of Grazing Mentorships will provide beginner farmers with vital technical support from trained peer-mentors, in a local form that has proven very impactful. The project will help expand the network of farmers who are engaged in VFGC programs, ultimately creating a more inclusive community which will ensure future leaders dedicated to grazing management and resource conservation in Virginia. VA
Pennsylvania Grazing/Forage Lands Conservation Coalition Susan Richards Pennsylvania’s Conservation Organizations Working Together to Support Grassland Agriculture and Managed Grazing The Pennsylvania Grazing/Forage Lands Conservation Coalition (PAGLC) will hire a part-time coordinator, strengthen and sustain the PAGLC board, produce ongoing training programs that benefit both farmer and conservation staff, expand the slowly developing PAGLC grazing mentorship program, enable the demonstration of low-cost technologies on grazing farms and support collaboration among all of the organizations with a stake in promoting managed grazing. Equitable access for Spanish-speaking farmers, women farmers, veteran farmers and those with limited financial and land resources will be ensured. PA
Sustainable Northwest Dallas Hall Defrees EXPANDING REGENERATIVE RANCHING IN THE WEST Sustainable Northwest will work with ranches to develop baseline land health objectives and associated management actions and monitor for: bare ground, water infiltration, plant diversity, and soil organic carbon. Through technical assistance and peer learning supported by this funding opportunity, ranchers will have the knowledge they need to interpret monitoring results and make informed management decisions based on their operations. This project will primarily benefit small and mid-size family ranching operations (75 percent of participants), including 35 small producers. Project participants represent diverse racial and ethnic groups, including Native American, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Mexican ranchers. Over 75 percent of project producers manage operations that are at least partially owned and operated by women. AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, and WY
Arizona Association of Conservation Districts, Inc. Deborrah Smith Improving Consistency of Methods and Utility of Data for Planning and Assessment of Grazing Management Plans The Arizona Association of Conservation Districts will develop ecological site groups using existing Ecological Site Descriptions and classify them by similarities in attributes related to resource concerns and response to practices, followed by field observations. This project will help increase acreage in managed grazing that addresses natural resource concerns, increase the availability of scientifically sound data based on accepted and consistent protocols for collection, analysis, and interpretation of such data, and training of government personnel and landowners in said methods; technical publications will be created or updated with climate-smart grazing practices based on sound scientific data; we will train producers, including underserved populations, how to implement and monitor sound grazing land management practices to address natural resource concerns. AZ
Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition Angie Grapperhaus Building Illinois Grazing (BIG) The Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition will organize educational and peer networking opportunities for the producers who have not made the profitable transition to a regenerative adaptive management intensive rotational grazing system, those who have made the transition but are still learning, underserved producers who are needing a lower input enterprise, young farmers wanting to join an existing operation by adding a grazing enterprise, and agriculture professionals who need to add grazing knowledge to assist their clients. IL
Wildlife Mississippi James Cummins Demoville Prairie and Grazing Land Conservation Project Wildlife Mississippi will demonstrate that private landowners can simultaneously manage a livestock grazing operation and restore and manage a portion of their land to native prairie while maintaining positive economic returns and meeting natural resource concerns. The goals of this project are to expand knowledge of and participation in Farm Bill conservation programs by providing technical assistance, especially for historically underserved landowners; to design and implement conservation practices to promote the health of soil, water, plants, and animals; to develop printed and digital informational materials about conservation practices and their benefits; to provide a demonstration and training area for conservation practices; and to provide research opportunities for effective, conservation-minded grazing land management as well as native prairie restoration and management. MS
Langston University Ardenna Harris Demonstrating Use of Goats for Redcedar and Brush Control for Minority Landowners in Oklahoma Langston University will build upon their experience in controlling redcedar, brush, and weeds by burning, herbicide use, and control with goats. Demonstrations will be conducted on cooperating farms of underserved producers. The demonstrations will provide technical assistance for historically underserved farmers and ranchers. NRCS personnel will participate in evaluating vegetation conditions, developing a Pasture Plan for treatment selection, and participating in onsite field days and workshops for transfer of knowledge and to develop relationships and communications. The project will include activities such as providing technical assistance to spur innovation and grazing technologies, education through workshops and field days, and youth outreach. OK
The Regents of The University of California Kendra Rose Using State of the Art Climate Smart Virtual Fencing Technology for Sustainable Grazing Management and Reducing Wildfire Risk on California Forests and Rangelands The Regents of the University of California will manage a two-year project that will be the first in California to develop and extend science-based education on virtual fence (VF) technology applications for climate-informed grazing decisions to sustainably enhance productivity, profitability, and climate resiliency across the State’s diverse working lands. They will broadly share project progress on climate-smart agricultural outcomes, practices, and principles via a range of traditional and modern media, as well as extension workshop presentations and webinars to reach a diversity of stakeholders–including land managers and owners, policymakers, and underserved communities including first-generation ranchers and other limited resource ranchers. CA
Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District Lynn Rasmussen Clearwater – Snake River Grazing Improvements The Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District will develop managed grazing plans on 15,000 acres of range and forest grazing parcels within the Clearwater and Snake River Basins. Five ranchers with cow/calf operations will be directly assisted. Plans will complement existing water quality improvement and steelhead recovery efforts. Project work will be conducted in areas with historically underserved producers and communities. Technology transfer and workforce development will be completed using outreach and training efforts. ID
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Mary Montour Increased Grazing Technical Assistance Capacity and Enhanced Regional Coordination for Northeast Farmers and Technical Assistance Providers The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) will provide increased grazing-focused education and technical assistance to Vermont farmers; connect grazing farmers, including beginning farmers, with financial assistance programs to increase grazing land enrolled in VAAFM and NRCS financial and technical assistance programs; coordinate with Vermont NRCS to promote training pathways to Technical Service Provider certification to expand grazing technical assistance capacity across the region; promote and participate in regional coordination of grazing education and training opportunities through events and peer-to-peer networking for both farmers and technical assistance providers. VAAFM anticipates that increased staffing capacity and expanded peer-to-peer networks and learning opportunities focused on grazing lands management will benefit a variety of farmers. VT
West Virginia Department of Agriculture Brian Farkas Virtual Pasture Walk, a Forage and Grassland Management Training for Producers and Agency Staff The West Virginia Department of Agriculture will develop an online forage and grassland management school that will simply be known as a virtual pasture walk. The curriculum for this school will provide five classes, approximately 45 minutes to 60 minutes in length, covering the subjects of: Soil Health, Forages, Grazing Techniques, Nutrient Management, and Weed Control. The program will be provided free of charge and housed on a website hosted by the WVCA. This will allow all producers, including limited resource producers, to have simple access to educational programming at no cost. WV
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service Morgan Treadwell Can a Climate-Smart Process Alter Phytochemical Properties of Resprouting Brush to Expand Grazing Opportunities for New Landowners? The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service aims to better understand the phytochemical response of resprouting shrub species to the use of prescribed fire. This research will focus on common, invasive shrub species (Juniperus pinchotii and Prosopis glandulosa) that are capable of resprouting following prescribed fire and are frequently the target of land management efforts. In addition to basic and applied research components, a Toxic Plant app will be produced through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to assist beginning farmers and ranchers and underserved rural populations with the recognition and management of toxic plants specific to their ecoregion in Texas. TX
Quivira Coalition Leah Ricci Supporting intergenerational networks of regenerative ranchers The Quivira Coalition will address the needs of their community by building upon two existing programs, the New Agrarian apprenticeship program (NAP), and the REGENERATE Conference managed by the Quivira Coalition. Both programs disseminate climate-smart grazing and restorative agricultural practices to graziers and land managers in New Mexico, Colorado and Montana, and the greater dryland West, through interactive, peer-to-peer learning, and mentorship programs. This project will increase technical assistance for beginning ranchers by providing them with scholarships to attend grazing management workshops, field days, and conferences; will incentivize mentorship that focuses on grazing management by providing experienced graziers with direct financial assistance for their work with beginning graziers; will expand grazing management technical assistance opportunities; and strengthen Quivira’s community of practice. NM, CO, MT
McIntosh Sustainable Environment and Economic Development John Littles Expanding Climate Smart Grazing by Black Farmers in Southern Georgia McIntosh Sustainable Environment and Economic Development will work with Black livestock producers to expand climate smart grazing management for conservation to support this underserved group using programming strategies that are culturally and socially sensitive (with minority leadership and demonstrations by Black farmers and focusing on appropriate experience/educational levels) and provide technical, hands-on support for implementation of climate smart grazing land practices. These organizations intend to increase the number of Black livestock producers using climate smart grazing management practices through education and resources; to evaluate that increase; and to increase networking of their clients with grazing groups/coalitions. GA
San Mateo County RCD Adria Arko Scaling regenerative ranching: A pilot peer-to-peer training course for grazers, conservation landowners, and technical assistance providers to increase conservation on CA’s rangelands A partnership of the San Mateo Resource Conservation District, TomKat Ranch, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Point Blue Conservation Science, and California FarmLink will implement a project to increase adoption of regenerative ranching by educating ranchers and rangeland owners about regenerative grazing as a land management tool to achieve conservation and to establish a regenerative grazing network in the Bay Area. This project will plan and host a demonstration-based Regenerative Ranching 101 program for landowners and ranchers, develop a network of landowners and ranchers, and expand understanding of regenerative grazing through demonstration videos. This project also emphasizes serving historically underserved groups by reducing barriers that allow beginning and socially disadvantaged ranchers, ranch staff, and ranching students to expand their education. CA
University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Andrew May Vermont Grazing Technical Assistance and Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Network Development The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College will focus on the need for more technical service providers to address with farmers the most pressing environmental concerns that can be alleviated through proper grazing management. Existing technical assistance providers in Vermont are requesting more professionals be added to their network to provide a higher degree of grazing services to farmers. The university is well positioned to address water quality and soil health through outreach and conservation planning, local natural resources concerns such as phosphorous and nitrogen runoff into Vermont waterways through the promotion of grazing management systems, develop new partnerships between states with existing Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship programs to advance regional resource needs, and significantly involve farmers and multi-stakeholder partnerships. VT
South Dakota Grassland Coalition Judge Jessop South Dakota Grassland Task Force The South Dakota Grassland Coalition (SDGC) will develop a task force to address grassland loss and woody species invasion, and pursue advancements in grassland education and outreach, including outreach underrepresented producers and groups. SDGC will develop and hire a task force director focused on collaborating with partners and uniting existing efforts around these issues. This position will provide strategy and support for South Dakota in the Central Grasslands Roadmap. The ability to engage all underserved landowners and operators, and aid them in reaching their goals, lies in SDGC ability to deliver conservation education in a non-traditional peer-to-peer format that creates a more comfortable environment for engaging and learning, particularly among women and new landowners/operators. SD
Hawaii Rangeland Stewardship Foundation Nicole Galase The project will build capacity within the Hawai.i Grazing Lands Coalition to provide technical assistance for ranchers engaged in grazing activities through workshops, utilizing input from all partners to increase the availability of technical assistance The Hawaii Rangeland Stewardship Foundation will target Hawaii rangeland managers, including historically underserved producers, who seek technical assistance on grazing practices tied to ecosystem services. They will also target early adapters who are implementing best management practices and participating in research and peer-to-peer learning. The project will initiate baseline monitoring of soil carbon analysis and vegetative diversity across geographies and management practices as a first step toward a comprehensive analysis of rangeland ecosystem services in Hawaii. It will also build on and expand on previous work to enhance the capacity of ranchers to deliver conservation benefits by providing educational workshops and grazing technical assistance across the state. This project will deliver impactful and effective in-person support, especially for rural and socially disadvantaged participants. HI
Texas Coalition, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Inc. Jennifer Pluhar Principles Before Practices: Leveraging Partnerships to Deliver Technical Assistance The Texas Coalition, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative will facilitate delivery of technical assistance to landowners and incentivize the prioritization of applying the appropriate practices to address resource concerns. Two delivery methods will be compared and contrasted. Workshops on the landscape and web-based delivery format, based upon the same curriculum. Partner organizations and regional grazing land coalitions under the umbrella of Texas Grazing Land Coalition will provide additional field training and facilitate valuable mentorship opportunities to ensure the project endures beyond the two-year time frame of the grant. TX
Multiplier Liz Howard Improving grazing land conservation in Utah through partnership, outreach, and the exploration of climate-smart agricultural practices Multiplier has found that in Utah, as in many Western states, there is an increasing interest and need for information about Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices and an ongoing need for rancher-focused educational opportunities that incorporate information about CSA practices and other best management practices. Expected outputs and outcomes include new grazing networks that generate novel opportunities for collaboration, development of outreach materials focused on CSA practices that can be distributed west-wide, increased opportunities for and increased uptake of CSA practices by Utah ranchers, 200 young/beginning Utah ranchers learning about rangeland conservation programs and practices, Utah ranchers sharing knowledge at national rancher-focused conferences, and development of a west-wide plan among GLCI funded groups to address NRCS’s training and regional needs. UT
Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Bruce Toay Prairie Pothole Working Lands Grazing Initiative – South Dakota Ducks Unlimited (DU) will hire a biologist to expand partnerships focused on the needs of area ranchers. This position will provide technical assistance and will be responsible for assembling three rancher workshops, bringing government and non-governmental partners together to advertise opportunities to increase conservation grazing. This new position will also prioritize providing new funding programs, with NRCS to deliver Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program practices complementary to DU’s existing programs. DU will quantify environmental outcomes of conservation delivery using its science team. This project will build connections among conservation groups, speak directly to the opportunities available for farmers and ranchers, increase the level of funding for technical assistance, and increasing delivery of climate smart, wildlife-friendly conservation practices in the Prairie Pothole Region. SD
Grassworks, Inc. Laura Paine Building farmer resilience with climate-smart regenerative grazing Grassworks will create a climate-smart regenerative livestock grazing curriculum to be used for educational programs for 3000+ livestock farmers including Wisconsin’s tribal communities, integrate these new educational offerings with GrassWorks’ existing train-the-trainer and grazing planning programming to create a multi-level, comprehensive educational and technical assistance program, and strengthen relationships and capacity among GrassWorks and partner organizations to ensure the long-term sustainability of these programs. Grassworks and its partners will improve grazing management on an estimated 210,000 acres of existing pasture, increasing acreage of well-managed pasture by an estimated 68,000 acres, increasing the availability of technical assistance through TSP and agency staff training for 200 staff, and engaging Wisconsin’s 11 Tribal Nations in educational and technical assistance opportunities. WI
Texas A&M Agrilife Research Douglas Tolleson Grazingland Nutritional Monitoring: Learning from the Land, Learning from the Cows, Learning from Each Other. Texas A&M Agrilife Research will introduce historically underserved producer groups to non-invasive grazing animal nutritional monitoring methods via peer-to-peer workshops. The project will provide high impact experiential learning opportunities for producers and NRCS personnel via grazing animal performance demonstrations and upgrades of the fecal near infrared spectroscopy/Nutritional Balance Analyzer (FNIRS/Nutbal) system in real-world production settings. TX
Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District Noelle Johnson Increasing Access to Climate-Smart Technical Assistance for Grazing Lands Through the North Coast Soil Hub Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District will address the need for grazing lands technical assistance that is rooted in climate-smart agriculture principles through expansion of the North Coast Soil Hub and Carbon Farming Network, building capacity for carbon farm planning that supports managed grazing, increasing access to peer-to-peer learning networks throughout the region, and providing science-based education opportunities on grazing management in English and Spanish. Throughout the project area, a large opportunity exists to work with underserved communities. CA
The National Center for Appropriate Technology Inc. Steve Thompson Women, Livestock, and the Land—South: Connecting Underserved Farmers in the Gulf States Region The National Center for Appropriate Technology aims to empower and equip women farmers who are beginning grass-based livestock enterprises to expand their knowledge and practice skills in goal setting, soil health, regenerative grazing, animal handling, health, equipment and tools, and direct marketing. NCAT is expanding this project from a pilot project in Arkansas and Tennessee into the Gulf States Region to engage and share this opportunity with limited resources, historically underserved, and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia MS, AL, LA, FL, GA
Point Reyes Bird Observatory Rose Snyder Leveraging community partnerships to amplify conservation impacts on grazing lands across California Point Reyes Bird Observatory will leverage an expert team of technical assistance providers with over 40 years of cumulative experience in delivering NRCS conservation programs with the overall goal of increasing the pace and scale of climate-smart conservation on California’s rangelands over the next two years. They will meet this goal by providing technical assistance to stewards of grazing lands, with a focus on historically underserved producers; increasing community engagement in two-way learning sessions to determine the critical needs of the local agricultural community and share principles of climate-smart ranching, and monitoring the conservation benefits of a range of grazing practices. CA
Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Christopher McLeland Delivery of Prescribed Grazing Practices and Technical Assistance within Critical Grassland Landscapes – Northern and Southern Missouri Ducks Unlimted will work with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever grazing biologists to conduct direct outreach to landowners and livestock producers (with specific focus and attention directed towards Historically Underserved clientele), develop prescribed grazing plans (and other conservation plans as needed, for example: Prescribed Burn Plans) that meet NRCS customer goals, addresses resource concerns, and provide subsequent technical assistance required for both conservation practice installation and grazing system management. After practice installation, these individuals will work to verify grassland conservation and sustainable land use outcome results. MO
Society for Range Management Jess Peterson Good Grazing Makes Cent$ The Society for Range Management will develop and deliver science-based rangeland management information for practical application. The Good Grazing Makes Cent$ program is an opportunity to show how making sense of the science, makes “cents” on the range. It is designed to provide a forum for collaboration, community and coordination between rangeland experts and practitioners; and uses widely held modes of communication to do so. Ranchers and range managers will not only see the most innovative management techniques, but will also understand the economic benefits that can come from its implementation. The content will cover a broad arena of technical assistance topics, amplify peer to peer interactions and mentoring, foster connections and engage all facets of the grazing community, including the historically underserved. Nationwide
Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education Corp. Tod Bunting You Get What You Manage For: Managing Grazing Lands to Improve Agricultural Resilience Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education Corp. will assist the underserved population of veterans and transitioning servicemembers in becoming farmers or ranchers and instructing them on management-intensive grazing. They will also assist members of any underserved population in becoming farmers or ranchers and instructing them on management-intensive grazing. Increase the acreage across the nation in management-intensive grazing that addresses natural resource concerns. Increase availability of technical assistance for farmers and ranchers engaged in management-intensive grazing activities. Increase the profitability of farmers and ranchers to assist in retaining farmers and ranchers for generations to come. KS
Louisiana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, Inc Ellen Harrell Developing Louisiana Conservation Leaders The objectives of this project are: Build leaders in conservation through in-depth expert trainings. Expand partnerships and digital resources through outreach and videos. Work with NRCS to continue to improve our working relationship, networking, and allow agents to receive required credits in their home state. Remove financial barriers for underserved producers to attend national events. LA
Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Kelli Little Establish the Wyoming Grazing Lands Coalition The Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts will form the Wyoming Grazing Lands Coalition (WY GLC), which will be a coalition of ranchers, conservation districts and place-based groups, non-government organizations and representatives from state and federal land management agencies, established for the purpose of improved understanding of the ecological value of Wyoming’s grazing lands and the management necessary to ensure their sustainability. The work of the WY GLC will be powered by strong partnerships, diverse perspectives, and rich past experiences. It will facilitate continued learning and information sharing across stakeholder groups, such as the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA), which brings the indigenous perspective to conservation. WY
Indian Nations Conservation Alliance Erin Thomas Developing the framework for an effective and collaborative Indigenous Grazing Lands Coalition (IGLC) The Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA) will work with the Indigenous Grazing Lands Coalition (IGLC) plan to implement a plan of action that will be inclusive of all tribes and will outline Tribal lead activities. The basis for INCA’s grazing and rangeland programming is managed grazing. The project will use webinars, brainstorming sessions, and field tours to give historically underserved tribal producers a space to understand and discuss assessment tools that identify resource concerns, and discuss the usefulness of current conservation practices that are low-tech, low-risk, and/or low-cost or discuss the development of innovative conservation practices. It will also create a model for how cross-boundary and cross-cultural partnerships can facilitate innovation, peer-to-peer knowledge exchange and problem-solving collaboration. Learning opportunities will be provided for tribal producers, tribal youth, partner organizations and NRCS employees. AZ
Stevens County Dean Hellie Northeastern Washington (NE WA) State Grazing Management Outreach Program Stevens County will update locally relevant information that will include management principles spanning simple rotational grazing strategies to intense holistic approaches, building soil organic matter to increase carbon sequestration, and increasing functionality of nutrient management systems to combat emissions. Researching the impacts of grazing systems on environmental conditions is of importance and will include effects on riparian areas, irrigation types, and fragile, brittle, and recoverable sites. Other locally relevant research will involve extending the grazing season utilizing dormant forages, stockpiling, and bale grazing systems. Preparing for drought, flooding, and other extreme weather events is another focus, as well as water quality, quantity, and infrastructure requirements. WA
The Nature Conservancy Lori Brown Grazing Land Management for Riparian Health: A Collaboration and Peer to Peer Learning Initiative for Improving Riparian Health and Resilience in Western South Dakota The Nature Conservancy will improve grazing land management and address riparian health and watershed resilience in the face of climate change. This project will expand educational opportunities through a series of workshops, trainings and outreach events aimed at providing technical assistance, transferring tools and knowledge, and empowering NRCS staff to better assist landowners in managing grazing for riparian and stream health. A significant portion of the western SD landscape is home to nine federally recognized tribes, encompassing approximately six million acres of tribal land base – most of which are utilized as grazing lands. These communities are critical members of the conservation community but have been historically and systemically marginalized and underserved. SD
California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Breanna Owens California Grazing Lands Coalition facilitated by the CA Rangeland Conservation Coalition A California Grazing Lands Coalition, coordinated by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition, will collectively develop durable strategies to provide technical assistance on ecologically and economically beneficial grazing strategies in the state. The CA GLC will be a rancher-led entity, providing a space for collaboration with other organizations, agencies, and private industry to promote sound management of grazing lands as the foundation of the ranching industry and for all their adapted uses and multiple benefits to the environment and society. A strong emphasis will be placed on management strategies to improve resiliency, including climate smart grazing systems. An important new partner is the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance (INCA), which advances conservation on tribal lands and brings the indigenous perspective to collaborative conservation. The CA GLC will build on the experiences of diverse stakeholders to implement a multi-year strategy to enhance rancher relationships, technical resources, and on-the-ground projects. CA
Rolling Hills Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. Jeffery Tumlin The Rolling Hills Bale Grazing Initiative will introduce the bale grazing system in the state of Georgia with the result being protection of our natural resources. The Rolling Hills Bale Grazing Initiative will introduce the bale grazing system in the state of Georgia with the result being protection of our natural resources. The Bale Grazing Initiative will cut down on soil destabilization and runoff by allowing producers to set out winter fed hay spaced out and in sections for up to 90 days. This means not having to make trips across wet unfrozen ground causing erosion and runoff. The Hay spacing will also spread-out feeding area to decrease pasture damage from winter feeding. An additional benefit will be wider areas of fertilization across the pasture due to cattle feeding across a larger area. The Bale Grazing Initiative will improve soil conditions at test sites reducing the amount of fertilizer needed and eliminating over fertilization and runoff. GA
Sul Ross State University Billy Tarrant Trans-Pecos Grazing Lands Conservation Partnership: Enhancing Stewardship in an Arid Environment Sul Ross State University will increase technical assistance and education to private landowners and operators in the Trans-Pecos region, with focused emphasis on grazing lands. The primary partners in this effort will be Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) and Trans-Pecos Grazing Lands Coalition (TP-GLC). To entice more minority and underserved producers to engage in our conservation programs, we will ensure that advertisements and notices for workshops and field days will be included in both the English and Spanish newspapers from the region. TX
The Sand County Foundation, Inc. Briana Schnelle Re-Energizing Locally-Led Grazing Management Networks through Peer Learning, Farmer Advising, and Habitat Assessment The Sand County Foundation will meet GLCI priorities through an exclusive focus on grazing management systems, partnership with four locally-based organizations and farmer networks, direct involvement of over a dozen farmers to educate their peers, support to beginning and underserved farmers, and quantification of grassland bird benefits for potential longer-range market opportunities. WI
National Cattlemen'S Beef Association Grace Vehige Empowering Producers to Take Action with Grazing Management Through Access to Technical Assistance to Support Grazing Planning and Conservation Practice Implementation It is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s goal to help lower the barrier to entry for cattle producers to access grazing management and conservation resources. NCBA intends to foster the adoption of written grazing management plans for producers, both NCBA members and those outside the scope of the NCBA membership, which will include non-members, Limited Resource Farmers and Ranchers and other underserved communities across the United States. Through webinars, in-person workshops, and a strong presence at key industry events, we intend to demonstrate the benefits of a grazing management plan and how it can positively impact a producer’s soil health, water quality, landscape resiliency, and financial resilience. The project supplies producers with the materials necessary to write their own grazing management plan. Nationwide
World Wildlife Fund, Inc. Alexis Bonogofsky Supporting thriving grasslands and ranching livelihoods in the Northern Great Plains through the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning Network Over the next two years, The World Wildlife Fund will work with partners to execute activities that fulfill key priorities of the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning (RSVP) program: responding to rancher demand to network and learn from peers in other states; broadening RSVP educational and networking activities to underserved producers; and promoting implementation of grazing management plans and practices that improve soil and wetland health, wildlife habitat, and forage availability. This work aligns with GLCI goals by expanding existing and establishing new peer networks for ranchers engaged in grazing activities; increasing technical assistance for ranchers on grazing activities, particularly beginning farmers and ranchers, women ranchers, and socially disadvantaged ranchers; and growing minority producer participation in grazing networks. MT, SD, NE
Sandhills Task Force Shelly Kelly Improving Stewardship and Conservation in the Nebraska Sandhills Grassland/Wetland Ecosystem through Landowner-Led Collaborative Partnerships The Sandhills Task Force will build upon relationships that are in place so that we can reach more interested land stewards and help them improve their operations through improving their management plans and their stewardship levels. Outreach will occur through our new Sandhills Stewards program with workshops and small, local peer groups where the STF can tell ranchers that we are willing to help them with writing down their grazing plan, analyzing or improving an existing plan, or building a strategy for weathering intense climate periods such as drought and wet cycles. The Sandhills has a high population of ranchers that the NRCS would classify as “historically underserved” and the STF gladly meets people wherever they are. NE
Routt County Conservation District Kristen Rockford Our project focuses on providing grazing technical assistance to ranchers on forest and rangeland in conjunction with a Virtual Fence Demonstration Project. The Routt County Conservation District's project consists of four main components: 1. Grazing management with expanded grazing planning and conservation practice implementation. 2. Demonstrate the innovative technology of virtual fencing that is a representation of the future management of local conservational rangelands. 3. Monitor for improvements in Soil Health, Forest and Rangeland Health, and Wildlife Habitat. 4. Share the findings. Our project is shovel-ready and will advance the following GLCI priorities: 1. Address local natural resource concerns. 2. Use climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices and principles. 3. Identify and implement strategies to quantify, monitor, report on and verify conservation benefits associated with grazing management systems. CO
Vermont Grass Farmers Association, Inc. Meghan Sheradin Expanding Impacts of the New England Grazing Network The Vermont Grass Farmers Association will strengthen a network for Northeastern grazing-focused farmer organizations to amplify each other's works and leverage our statewide networks of farmers to create a peer to peer network of practitioners and aspiring graziers across New England. We seek to collaborate on shared programming as well as continue our statewide efforts. The partner organizations will: Host a region-wide grazing conference focused on farmer wisdom sharing about managed grazing practices and farm business acumen; develop and implement an annual luminary on-farm educational series, bringing the experts to the pastures of New England; facilitate a bus tour for a national organization that will highlight the Climate Smart Agriculture practices and conservation projects on regional farms; produce and distribute farmer wisdom sharing about managed grazing practices using podcasts and videos; and expand outreach to new, beginning, and New American livestock farmers (and prospective farmers). VT
Colorado Cattlemen's Association Erin Karney Improve overall Colorado rangeland health through empowering and supporting producers in making land management and conservation decisions The Colorado Cattlemen's Association will improve overall Colorado rangeland health through empowering and supporting producers in making land management and conservation decisions. The most useful tool for cattle producers to maintain and improve land resources is a grazing management plan (GMP). The target audience will be ranchers and cattle producers involved in grazing management decisions in Colorado, as well as additional stakeholders interested in land management. The partners in this project have received previous funding to develop, implement, and monitor a new set of core grazing management principles. This project will act as the outreach and expansion branch for that project and add to ongoing research of the conservation benefits associated with GMPs. CCA is interested in hosting grazing events on the findings from this ongoing study. CCA will strive to bring about a project base that is inclusive of race and ethnic diversity. CO
Western Landowners Alliance Breanna Owens Western Network of Grazing Lands Coalitions and Partnerships The Western Landowners Alliance will support a western network of grazing lands coalitions and partnerships to enhance and sustain technical assistance to land managers implementing the tool of grazing as an economically viable resource stewardship strategy. Assistance will be provided to a cohort of western Grazing Lands Coordinators and Educators by offering dedicated backbone support to state-level initiatives and partners. The alliance will elevate a common agenda, develop shared measurement and evaluation systems, direct resources to state coalitions and assist state and local partners in accessing available resources through a mutually reinforcing plan of action. A communication plan will be developed to synergistically advance foundational, operational, and outcome impacts of GLCI efforts across states. The story of stewardship on grazing lands will be shared broadly to build understanding and support across ranching and non-ranching communities. This project brings together multi-stakeholder partnerships, along with partners dedicated to working with underserved communities. AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Northeast Pasture Consortium, Inc. Jennifer Colby Leveraging Outreach and Impacts of Northeast Grazing The Northeast Pasture Consortium will provide more objective and defensible information on grazing systems adapted to producers' unique growing conditions that provide relevant results to help graziers, agricultural lenders, and policy leaders make better informed decisions. This strategy must support these innovators on livestock farms of all sizes from New England to the Mid-Atlantic Region and Upper Midwest. The objectives of this project are: work with 12 states across the region to support and strengthen local efforts; gather 120 interested farmer attendees to learn from each other and the latest research through loca, regional and national events; determine grass-based farmers’ needs, barriers, successes, and areas to expand and improve; share information, stories, news, research, and events across the region through email, social media, online, and in printed media; inform policy and guide research directions through collection of priorities and practical approaches to expand grazing across the region. CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, WV