Rancher Roundtable

Multi-agency event to cover all aspects of fire as a range management tool

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu

Contact: Dr. Morgan Russell, 325-653-4576, Morgan.Russell@ag.tamu.edu

ABILENE – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and several state and federal agencies will conduct the Rancher Roundtable: Facilitating the Use of Prescribed Fire through Grazing Management symposium May 13-15 in Abilene.

The meeting will be held in the Big Country Hall, 1982 Lytle Way, located on the Taylor County Expo Center grounds.

Dr. Morgan Russell, AgriLife Extension range specialist at San Angelo, said the event will highlight key speakers from her agency, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Oklahoma State University, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Texas Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and industry professionals.

“The goal of the program is to bring private, commercial and governmental prescribed fire experts together to share their thoughts among each other and with landowners and managers interested in the art and science of using prescribed fire as a range management tool,” Russell said.

“Topics will cover all aspects of prescribed fire as they relate to long term-range, livestock and wildlife management goals.”

Individual preregistration is $100 by April 20 and $150 thereafter. Preregister at:   https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/ and search for “rancher.”

For more information contact Russell at 325-653-4576, Morgan.Russell@ag.tamu.edu; Jeff Goodwin, NRCS rangeland specialist in Temple, at 254-742-9951, Jeff.Goodwin@tx.usda.gov; or Dr. Tim Steffens, AgriLife Extension range specialist in Canyon, at 806-651-2781, Tsteffens@wtamu.edu.

May 13 activities will begin with a noon-12:45 p.m. registration and program until 5 p.m., followed by a networking social hour featuring live music by 108 E. Broadway.

The afternoon’s topics and speakers will include:

– Ecological Processes – What Drives Texas Systems? Dr. Jim Ansley, AgriLife Research range scientist, Vernon.

– Grazing Management to Accomplish Drought, Fuel, Plant Community and Landscape Goals, and Grazing Management Tools, Rules and Guidelines, Steffens.

– Prescribed Fire and Why? Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the AgriLife Research Station at Sonora.

May 14 activities will start with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast followed by a chartered bus ranch tour with speakers Steffens, Russell and Keith Blair, commercial prescribed burn manager at Sonora, speaking. They will discuss and demonstrate grazing management planning considerations, prescribed fire and safety as well as onsite results-planning through implementation.

The assembly will reconvene in the Big Country Hall for lunch followed by presentations and speakers, including:

– Working with NRCS and Prescribed Burn Associations, and Post Burn Management, Goodwin.

– Planning a Prescribed Burn, and Prescribed Burn Strategies, John Weir, Oklahoma State University research associate.

– Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Requirements, Blair.

May 15 activities will last from 8 a.m-noon. Topics and speakers will include:

– Prescribed Burn Insurance and Liability, Russell Stevens, strategic consultation manager, The Noble Foundation.

– Fire, Grazing and Their Wildlife Implications, Dr. Dale Rollins, retired AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist of San Angelo, who continues to serve as the quail project leader for the Reversing the Quail Decline Initiative and as executive director of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch at Roby.

– Panel Discussion to be conducted by producers and agency and industry personnel.

The educational event will end with closing speaker Gary Price, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative chairman from Blooming Grove, summarizing the event and discussing plans for the future.

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