4-H and FFA students in northeastern Wyoming are gaining hands-on learning experience thanks to a ranching and rangeland management monitoring workshop created by Crook County Extension.
“We’re collaborating with local producers, land managers, and ag teachers to take students out to rangeland sites and conduct different rangeland monitoring techniques,” says Alex Orozco, agriculture and natural resources extension educator.
“Our 4-H and FFA community currently does not have a range team, so the project will be extremely beneficial in teaching these practices.”
– Alex Orozco, agriculture and natural resources extension educator
As part of the field day, students learn about plant identification, livestock nutrition and the importance of rangeland monitoring practices. They also collect biomass, soil and forage quality samples which are sent to a lab for testing and later discussed in a classroom setting.
Another element of the workshop is teaching students how to body condition score cattle. Emphasis is placed on discussing livestock nutritional requirements such as analyzing hay quality and how it impacts performance and supplementation.
Additionally, the project aims to raise awareness of different management practices that can promote sustainability.
“The purpose of extension is to collaborate with producers and other stakeholders, identify management issues and provide programs that benefit our community,” says Orozco. “The workshop will actively involve students with partners in our community and provide them with valuable skills, knowledge and techniques that they can take home with them.”