Lincoln, Neb. —Those concerned with the utilization and conservation of grazing lands are encouraged to register for the Nebraska Grazing Conference on Aug. 11 and 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Challenges brought about by COVID-19 have required changes be made to this year’s 20th Nebraska Grazing Conference, according to Daren Redfearn, chair of the NGC steering committee. The changes reflect guidelines of the University of Nebraska and the Center for Disease Control related to groups and social distancing in this uncertain environment. The health and safety of conference participants is of concern to conference organizers.
Organizers hope the online version of the conference will be a convenience to a broader audience who will be able to participate from their home or office. Opportunities for interaction among participants and to ask follow-up questions of speakers have been built into the online event. Additionally, several watch parties have been organized around the state for groups of 25 or less to gather at Extension offices or elsewhere and participate in this conference. This option may assist those who do not have stable Internet service in their area.
Keynote speakers include a Walt Schacht, Interim Director of the Center for Grassland Studies with a virtual lunch and updates followed by a opening remarks from Daren Redfearn. Of three sessions, the first session will center around Weather-Ready Ranches, featuring Martha Shulski, Director of the Nebraska State Climate Office; Justin Derner, Research Leader, USDA ARS Rangeland Rousces; Mitchell Stephenson, Range Management Specialist with Nebraska Extension, and a Nebraska and Wyoming producer panel.
The 2019 Leopold Conservation Award Recipients, Russ and Angela Sundstrom, are highlighted in this year’s conference.
Session two is on Ranch of the Future, where Travis Mullinkins, assistant professor with Nebraska Extension will discuss using new technology; Dannele Peck, Director of the Northern Plains Climate Hub will share about “GrassCast” and additional Extension speakers on utilizing grazing tools.
Invasive woody plant management will round out sessions three. Dirac Twidwell with University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Agronomy and Horticulture will cover the use of fire in Eastern Redcedar management; Chad Bladow, Prescribed Fire Coordinator with The Nature Conservancy, and precision conservation with Andrew Little, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources.
There are no registration costs to attend this year’s conference. However, all conference participants will be required to register online at grassland.unl.edu/ngc-virtual beginning Aug. 1.