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Shining Horizons logo (header)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Low-stress Herding Improves Herd Instinct, Facilitates Strategic Grazing Management

An article in the Stockmanship Journal
By Matt Barnes, 
Field Director, Keystone Conservation

Matt Barnes presenting the article at the First Annual Bud Williams Memorial Stockmanship Symposium, during the 2015 Society for Range Management conference (photo by Jesse Bussard). The slide on the screen shows a herd of co-mingled yearling heifers moving together as a single herd, taken 24 hours after the riders stopped herding. 
Range riders can improve grazing management for rangeland health, livestock production, and coexistence with wildlife, potentially including large carnivores, by applying strategic grazing management. In this project, practical conservationists partnered with progressive ranchers in western Montana to develop herding methods for strategic grazing management. We compared and combined two approaches to herding cattle at relatively high stocking density within a rangeland pasture in a larger grazing rotation.

A PDF of the Stockmanship Journal article is available on the Keystone Conservation website.