Kansas Farmers Union is pleased to announce it has received a second grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to fund Amazing Grazing II for Ruminants Both Great and Small.

“The North Central Risk Management Education Center is dedicated to funding projects that help producers learn and adopt effective risk management practices and strategies. This project promises to help livestock producers manage current challenges from drought to land costs, implement effective strategies including managed grazing, and position their operations for success,” said Brad Lubben, Director of the NCRMEC.

Amazing Grazing II provides educational and networking opportunities to assess and manage production, market, legal, financial, and human risk. Target participants include producers of small and large ruminant livestock, ranchers considering managed grazing, those exploring to possibly diversify production, and producers seeking value added or direct marketing their meat, fiber and dairy products.

The program enables producers to improve their understanding of grazing management, water development, fencing, low-stress handling, and biological control of invasive species. Other topics include areas of personal/business liability, emergency management planning for natural disasters and value-added/direct marketing opportunities.

Amazing Grazing II Programming includes two conferences, two 2-day intensive events, seven full-day workshops, and several hands-on learning opportunities across the state. The project will tap both Kansas experts and nationally-known educators to assist producers in enhancing grazing management.

The grant is a collaboration with the Kansas Graziers Association (KGA), a grassroots producer organization formed in 2000 to support Kansas ranchers with educational activities including workshops, tours and networking opportunities. “The beauty of this group is the way in which members share their experiences and wisdom with each other–the good, the bad, and the different,” explained Mary Howell, KGA Board Secretary and KFU Member Specialist.

“We’re extremely excited to organize and offer this high quality programming, with the cream of the crop speakers” stated Howell, who will serve as Project Director. “The upcoming speakers and very worthwhile activities are open to anyone involved in the livestock and ranching industry. Stay tuned for dates and details.”

The Extension Risk Management Education Program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides training to help producers learn new strategies to manage complex and growing agricultural risks. The program’s goal is simple – help farmers and ranchers manage risk. NCRMEC awards grants through a competitive application and review process. For 2014, NCRMEC will fund 17 full projects and 7 exploratory projects totaling approximately $724,000 from the 33 submitted full proposals.

“Kansas Graziers is just the neatest group of people. Nowhere else do I see a group like this that just wants to learn and to share their experiences. There isn’t politics or religion involved. There aren’t social classes; I often see some of the state’s largest ranchers shooting the breeze with hobby ranchers. It’s just a pleasure to be a part of, and everyone is welcome to join in. I’m really happy that Kansas Farmers Union can offer the livestock producers of Kansas availability to these great resources through administration of this grant, especially as drought management affects our management decisions more all the time,” said Donn Teske, KFU president.

Amazing Grazing project collaborators include Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, National Resources Conservation Service, Kansas State Research and Extension, and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Farm Credit Services and Kansas Graziers Association.

Visit the Amazing Grazing blog, www.AmazingGrazingKansas.com, for project information, event details, or to sign-up for the e-newsletter.