The National Grazing Lands Coalition will host the 6th National Conference on Grazing Lands Dec. 13-16, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency DFW near Grapevine, Texas. Conference organizers expect more than 1,200 ranchers, professors, land managers, researchers, public officials, conservationists and students to attend this national conference and participate in the exchange of ideas and information on grazing land environmental and economic practices and issues.
“We are excited about bringing this renowned national conference to Texas. Grazing lands make up more than a quarter of the private land acres in the United States and serve many roles from homes for livestock and wildlife to sponges for rainfall, carbon reservoirs, hunting and fishing grounds, and much, much more,” said Bob Drake, National Grazing Lands Coalition chairman emeritus. “Sustainably managing all these roles across 530 million acres of grazing lands in this nation is a huge balancing act.”
The conference will feature experts in fields such as range science, range and pasture management, forage management and animal behavior. Speakers include Dr. Don Ball, professor emeritus, Auburn University; Dr. Garry Lacefield, professor of plant and soil science, Extension forage specialist, University of Kentucky; Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, forage product manager, Barenbrug, USA; and Dr. Rachel Gilker and Kathy Voth, who produce “On Pasture,” an online grazing magazine which translates research and experience into actions graziers can implement on their own operations.
The conference’s unique format will provide grazing information and expert speakers along four “tracks” – Western, Midwestern, Eastern and Dairy. Some of the topics to be highlighted include grazing management, grazing land economics and marketing, public policy, soil health and the ag/urban interface. Session speakers also include everyday ranchers and land managers. This year’s conference will also feature a “Texas Day” on December 15 that will feature sessions on prescribed burning and brush management, along with a Texas Social in the evening.
“While we welcome all grazing land experts, we also look for presenters who are the ‘cowboy expert’- the individual who has gained his or her expertise through long hours working with livestock and firsthand exposure to all sorts of elements — natural, economic and political,” Drake said.
Early bird registration of $295 is available through Oct. 15, 2015, followed by regular online registration of $365 until Dec. 4, 2015. On-site registration is also available at $365. For more registration information, or opportunities to exhibit or participate in poster presentations visit www.grazinglands.org.