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Society for Range Management aims to grow Good Grazing membership

The Society for Range Management aims to add rancher associations and other agriculture advocacy groups to its Good Grazing Makes Cent$ program, which it started in early 2022.

Building educational content and other program aspects got much of the early attention, and “as we approach our second year, we are really going to start focusing on membership,” said Kayla Walker, director of programs for SRM and a production team member with Good Grazing.

A Good Grazing annual membership costs $75, or $50 for members of a participating association. Members get newsletters, educational videos and access to society resources including academic journals.

The program has many members already, as belonging to SRM comes with a Good Grazing membership. The society drew more than 1,500 people to its annual meeting in Boise in mid-February, plus about 300 online participants.

Livestock associations, Farm Bureau chapters, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association affiliates are a focus for membership expansion, Walker said. In addition to increasing Good Grazing member headcount, adding these groups would increase opportunities for ranchers and others to work with SRM and each other on projects and program content.

“They are already connected with ranchers in the area,” she said.

Current affiliate partners are the United States Cattlemen’s Association, the Nevada and Oregon cattlemen’s associations and the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, Walker said.

Enlisting more rancher associations offers an opportunity to reach the most people who can impact the land, she said. Those connections also would foster “thoughtful conversations on how to best address some of the issues and manage around them to benefit not just the ranchers, but the rangeland and all stakeholders in the future.”

A larger, broader membership would better position Good Grazing “as being a solid range-management resource for ranchers to look to in any of these trends,” Walker said.

Carbon credit markets, drought, stewardship, and practices such as intensive, mob and rotational grazing are among the trending topics, she said.

Others include technology-driven analysis, and cost-share programs aimed at improving infrastructure.

Careful grazing and range management “really drives the bottom dollar on the ranching operation” whether it produces cattle, sheep or something else, Walker said.

“We are seeing more ranchers who are paying closer attention to their rangelands now,” she said. One goal for Good Grazing is to work together with the western states.

The Good Grazing program was created to provide “practical, applicable and economically feasible” range management solutions that can improve the land’s productivity and a ranch’s profitability, according to the society. Ranchers and range scientists talking and working together is a key element.

“The society has a lot of range-management scientific knowledge and expertise,” Walker said. “That information was not reaching the ranchers who are out stewarding the land and could really apply that science and knowledge on the ground.”

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