Regional Grazing Groups

Ranchers working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations.
To view or download our 2010 Regional Grazing Groups Fact sheet, click here.
What are grazing groups?
Regional grazing groups (RGG) are made up primarily of ranchers (with some agency and non-government entities involved) typically covering multiple counties that determine their common interests and work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their ranching operations in balance or harmony with natural systems. This might involve learning more about the grazing resources they manage and the impacts they have on natural communities, or encouraging other ranchers in their area to consider using resource-friendly yet profitable practices or systems.

Examples include holding informal tours or field days to see what others are doing, hosting workshops, seminars, or coffee shop talks with experienced speakers who might cover topics such as grazing systems, brush control or invasive species control ideas, management practices that benefit wildlife, livestock handling, or other topics of interest.

How many Kansas grazing groups exist?
  • Comanche Pool Prairie Resource Foundation (CPF) is located in south central Kansas and northern Oklahoma in the Red Hills.
  • Tallgrass Legacy Alliance (TLA) represents much of the area comprising the Flint Hills and some of the Osage Questas.
  • Smoky Hills Graziers Association (SHGA) cover 5-6 counties in north central and west central Kansas.
  • KGLC also cooperates with the Kansas Graziers Association (KGA) which is a statewide group covering mostly the eastern two-thirds of Kansas and supported by the Kansas Rural Center.
What do grazing groups do?
First, RGG’s organize to the level the group is comfortable with either loosely or more highly structured. CPF and TLA are both 501 c.3. IRS non-profit entities that are eligible to apply for grants and receive charitable donations, while the SHGA simply gets together and determines their plans for the year, then conducts their events. KGLC can help with getting organized and finding resources including speakers.

Second, RGG’s plan an educational program for the year or consider what they can cover in two or three years, then try to schedule the events and speakers with appropriate advertising. This is another place where KGLC can help—in the organization and mar- keting, also in funding events.
For example, SHGA recently scheduled three speak- ers during the last half of January 2010 for evening meetings that included Dr. Sam Fuhlendorf, Okla- homa State University, who spoke on the importance
of disturbance and rest on rangelands; Dr. Fred Provenza, Utah State University, who spoke on livestock behavior and management. While KGLC did not fund these events, it helped advertise them.

Third, should the group want to generate financial opportunities to help ranchers fund qualifying projects, RGG’s have a proven track record. The TLA has been awarded a number of grants to work on serecia lespedeza with cost-share help to ranchers. CPF has targeted USDA programs, US Fish and Wildlife Service Programs, and the KS Department of Wildlife and Parks Landowner Incentives Program. CPF has also recently received a grant to help fund a farm bill biologist who will work with ranchers to develop conservation plans to improve grazing lands and Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat. Both groups have acquired at or over one million dollars to help improve the grazing lands in their geographic regions. KGLC can assist in grant-writing and even securing coordination help.

Can you join a current group, or can KGLC start one in your area?

Find out more about existing grazing groups or starting a new one by contacting Tim Christian, KGLC Coordinator, by email, call 620-241-3636; or Ken Sherraden, KGLC staff, email or call 785-922-7061. For information on specific RGG’s:
  • CPF contact: Ted Alexander at 620-247-6443
  • TLA contact: Bill Sproul at 620-725-3295
  • SHGA contact: Calvin Adams at 785-792-6338
  • KGA contact: Mary Howell at 785-292-4955