Hundreds of cattle producers and other professionals will gather in Sparks, Nev., this month to ponder the economic and environmental benefits of grazing.
The fourth National Conference on Grazing Lands, with the theme, "Grazing Lands: A Winning Hand," is set for Dec. 13-16 at John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino Resort, offering dozens of breakout sessions on such wide-ranging topics as sustainable landscapes and securing profits in ranching.
The conference will bring together land managers from all 50 states for education and information about technology advancements and environmental stewardship.
"We have a pretty good mix of presenters," conference manager John Peterson said.
"Many of them will talk about how some of the practices they use helped them economically," he said.
The conference will also feature appearances by Dave White, chief of the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, Peterson said.
The conference is put on every three years by the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, a nationwide coalition of producers and organizations promoting the health and management of rangelands, and the Society for Range Management.
The conference is geared to ranchers and farmers as well as to government land managers and policy makers, seed and animal industry representatives, conservationists, members of academia and others interested in proper grazing land management, according to a conference brochure.
"Of those that come as producers -- and we have a lot of producers that come -- what they're probably looking for are techniques they could take back home and use," Peterson said. "Many times what they get out of this is suggestions of what different organizations can be championing when it comes time for legislation."
In addition, "federal agencies get the opportunity to rub shoulders with real, live producers and talk to them about the things that are really important to them," he said.
Registration is $315. For information, visit the Grazing Land Conservation Initiative Web site at www.glci.org.
â Tim Hearden
Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative: www.glci.org