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Reading the Landscape: Grazing with Purpose for Production & Resilience

September 6, 2018 - September 7, 2018

Reading the Landscape:
Grazing with Purpose for Production & Resilience

Saguache, CO

Thursday, September 6 | 9am – 5pm & Friday, September 7 | 9am – 1pm


With drought upon us again this year, the long-term limitations of some grazing practices and management choices resulting in good productivity despite the weather becomes more evident. Built-in resilience isn’t necessarily found on the ‘best’ land, but is the result of seeing the opportunity in a landscape and working to maximize its short- and long-term potential. Join us for two great days of landscape assessment and monitoring at the San Juan Ranch! This workshop will focus on practical methods to increase your knowledge of your land base in order to choose the best management to meet your production goals.

This workshop is perfect for ranchers, land managers, students, or anyone looking to learn new grazing and land management methods. Students and young professional are highly encouraged to attend. The workshop will take place on two ranches managed by the San Juan Ranch; one along the Rio Grande River near Alamosa, and the other on flood-irrigated and sub-irrigated meadows and uplands near Saguache. Materials will be provided the day of the workshop. Attendees are welcome to camp Wednesday and Thursday night at the ranch and will be responsible for dinners and camping gear. Attendees will need to bring lunch on Thursday, but will be provided lunch on Friday.


This workshop is free to attend!

Getting there

San Juan Ranch


Workshop topics will include grazing timing, temporary electric fence for maximum flexibility, controlling invasive species with grazing, water infiltration, soil health principles and strategies, monitoring above-and-below ground biological health and discussions on how pasture planning and review can help increase production. The first day will cover grazing on leased land with a conservation easement, cottonwood recruitment and grazing in riparian areas. The second day will cover cut-and-pile haying for reduced haying and feeding costs, managing for reduced water use without reducing production per acre, and the unfair advantage of a dry parcel.

Activities will include soil pits, soil aggregate assessment, carbon banking and water infiltration exercises, calculating standing forage, pre- and post-graze monitoring methods that are simple and time-efficient, the signs of healthy biological and mineral cycling, and cattle herd culture and electric fence as tools for land management.

Workshop speakers include:

  • Julie Sullivan, San Juan Ranch
  • George Whitten, San Juan Ranch
  • Cynthia Villa, NRCS Range Management Specialist
  • Patrick O’Neill, Soil Scientist & Agronomist

Hosting Partner

National Grazing Coalition

The National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC) provides voluntary ecologically and economically sound management of all grazing lands for their adaptive uses and multiple benefits to the environment and society through science-based technical assistance, research and education.

NatGLC is partially funding this workshop.


September 6, 2018
September 7, 2018


San Juan Ranch
Saguache, Colorado + Google Map