What do these Texas & North Dakota ranches have in common? Grazing practices!
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Environmental Stewardship winners Gary Price and Jerry Doan raise cattle in very different environments but still use the same successful grazing practices.
Grass management is vital to farm and ranch success. Former National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Environment Stewardship Award Program (ESAP) winners Gary Price and Jerry Doan know a few changes that could make a big impact.
Gary Price owns 77 Ranch in Texas. He was named the ESAP National Winner back in 2012. Price and his wife, Sue, have employed a variety of conservation practices over the course of four generations to transform their pastures into diverse prairies that can sustain cattle and wildlife. One of those practices is rotational grazing.
Price said they try and mimic what the bison did many years ago by rotating their cattle every one to seven days across their 45 pastures.
The process of rotational grazing is also a cornerstone of another ag operation — many thousands of miles away — Black Leg Ranch in North Dakota, owned by 2016 ESAP National Winner Jerry Doan. Even though Doan’s ranch is older and in a different environment, they still use similar management principles to the Price’s.
Doan focuses on rotational grazing as well as soil health to prevent erosion and reduce costs while improving quality. His family ranch started the process by splitting one pasture in half and observing the changes. Now, they rotate cattle over 100 pastures. He recommends this tactic, saying to start slow and take baby steps.
Six years after winning NCBA’s Environmental Stewardship Award, Price was also awarded the Leopold Conservation Award for Texas. Doan was also honored as North Dakota’s first-ever Leopold Award winner.