published: Friday, March 16, 2018
(March 16, 2018) – Improving grazing management, enhancing wildlife habitat, boosting soil health with cover crops – these are among the conservation and stewardship efforts Nebraska farmers and ranchers are using every day to care for our earth’s natural resources. And, through a new campaign dubbed “GrazeNebraska,” these conservation stories are going to be showcased in a series of news articles, online video clips, and outreach programs to schools. The campaign is being spearheaded by the producer-led Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC), which received grant funding for the project.
“We see a need to reach out and let the state of Nebraska know about the conservation efforts of farmers and ranchers,” says NGLC Chairman Tim Kalkowski. His family operates a ranch in Boyd County. He adds, “The ecosystems across Nebraska are very unique from grain farming and feedlots in the east to the ranchlands and farm ground across the center and western portion of the states, along with the Niobrara River system in the north and the Platte River system, the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer.”
Kalkowski explains that NGLC is introducing the GrazeNebraska campgain as a means to help the general public, school children, and other landowners gain a better awareness and understanding for the conservation efforts being put in place by farmers and ranchers to protect soil, water, and wildlife habitat of these unique ecosystems, while also producing the crops and livestock that feed the world.
The educational campaign will include three facets:
- news articles featuring individual Nebraska farmers and ranchers will be shared with statewide media and also posted on the GrazeNebraska website,
- video interviews highlighting Nebraska farmers and ranchers sharing their conservation efforts will be posted on the GrazeNebraska website, and
- informative curricula about Nebraska rangelands and conservation practices, along with links to the video interviews showcasing real Nebraska farmers and ranchers, will be shared with schools across Nebraska.
“Ultimately, GrazeNebraska is about highlighting rural life and the conservation practices being used to ensure that agriculture is sustainable for the next generation. We want people across Nebraska to know what farmers and ranchers do,” concludes Kalkowski.
The GrazeNebraska campaign will also highlight the voluntary technical assistance and educational programs offered by the non-profit Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition to enhance grazing land management. The organization hosts an annual grazing tour each June, offers mentoring by experienced ranchers to other interested landowners, agency personnel or students, provides rangeland monitoring assistance to landowners, and coordinates several other educational programs throughout the year, including a “road show” each November that brings a prominent ag industry speaker to eight Nebraska communities.