By Sonia A. Hall
Over the last few years at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources we have developed a range of case studies highlighting individual farmers and ranchers in the Pacific Northwest that are implementing practices or strategies that provide ecological and economic benefits now in addition to increasing resilience to climate change. We’ve discussed some of these case studies in previous AgClimate articles (see those on the use of stripper headers and precision nitrogen). Our most recent series is the Rancher-to-Rancher series, which explores innovative approaches three Pacific Northwest ranchers are using that increase their resilience in the face of a changing climate. Though each case study is specific to the conditions of the particular rancher being profiled, insights and strategies from each case study may be applicable elsewhere.
Check out the most recently published case study, that describes Brenda and Tony Richards’ family cow-calf operation in Murphy, Idaho. Their cattle graze a combination of private and public rangelands. The Richards actively work with agencies and other entities that have rule-making authority around grazing management on public lands. This engagement set a good foundation for actions during and after the 2015 Soda Fire. The Richards hope such engagement also lays the foundation for providing them and other public lands lessees with the flexibility they need to have a resilient operation, necessary to address both current and future challenges that arise as the climate, their community, and society’s needs and values change.
And stay tuned for additional articles discussing issues of rangelands and what to expect as the climate changes.
Case study video:
Published case study:
Hall, S.A., Hudson, T.D., Jensen, K.S., Neibergs, J.S., Reeves, M.C., Yorgey, G.G., Davis, E.J. 2020. Building resilience through engagement – Brenda and Tony Richards. Increasing resilience among ranchers in the Pacific Northwest Washington State Extension Publications No. PNW737. Online Access
This article is also posted on the CSANR Perspectives on Sustainability blog.