Gund Ranch field day draws 54
Producers and agency personnel learn new land management strategies
Animal Biotechnology Professor Ben Bruce discusses range management at the Gund Ranch.
Monday, August 15, 2005
By Bob Conrad
AUSTIN, Nev.—For two days in early August, ranchers and land management personnel attended a field day at the University of Nevada’s Gund Range Research Ranch, a Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station field laboratory.
“Considering the ranch’s location, the interest and participation of our land management practices made the field day a tremendous success,” said Ken Conley the ranch’s range livestock coordinator and educator.
The field day was designed to showcase innovative land management practices, using the Gund Ranch as a model, as well as to highlight industry technologies and have a dialogue about livestock and ranching practices in Nevada.
Changes in land management practices at the ranch have “shown benefits to public lands and our resources, which are extremely beneficial from a production standpoint,” Conley said. “We’re changing the season of use, having tighter control over herd production and a better piece of mind.
“We’re not as tired as we used to be,” he added.
The ranch’s changes involve changing the production cycle of the beef cow to better coincide with the forage resource that is available, both public and private. Calving later in the season helps to reduce supplemental winter feed costs.
“We’re using the private forage base in summer instead of haying or using it later in fall,” Conley said. “I still may have to provide supplemental feed, but it does not have to be of higher quality and therefore I save costs.”
A big part of the field day’s success was the contribution of Ron Torell, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension livestock specialist.
“He has an enthusiasm and knowledge of the livestock industry and is able to get people to talk about it,” Conley said.
Torell said he appreciated the opportunity.
“Producers and scientists get so much more out of a program when it is presented in an informal social class room setting such as a field day format,” Torell said. “The information exchange is much more open and comfortable for all in a setting like this.”
Chute side demonstrations were conducted by Alflex and Pfizer, which included electronic identification and antibiotic administration demonstrations. Gallagher Animal Management Systems gave a demonstration on the use of electric fence products and electronic scales for weighing animals.
University Animal Biotechnology professors Barry Perryman and Ben Bruce taught rangeland monitoring, which included simple field procedures and monitoring vegetation along a live stream to measure the amount of recovery after grazing.