Riparian area grazing workshop set May 10 in Ennis

 

Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, s-byrns@tamu.edu

Contact: Blake Alldredge, 979-845-0916, balldredge@tamu.edu

 

ENNIS – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will partner with several other agencies and entities to conduct a grazing workshop to focus on riparian areas from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Cowboy Church of Ennis.

Workshop site demonstrates gradual improvement of a formerly degraded riparian area. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blake Alldredge)

Workshop site demonstrates gradual improvement of a formerly degraded riparian area. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Blake Alldredge)

The church is located at 429 S.E. Interstate 45 Frontage Road south of Ennis. It is on the east side of I-45 between the towns of Alma and Rice.

“With most of the land in the Trinity River basin under cattle production, this workshop is designed especially for cattle producers who have creeks or rivers on their property,” said Blake Alldredge, AgriLife Extension associate with the Texas A&M University wildlife and fisheries department at College Station.

“It’s important for landowners to understand how these systems work and how to properly manage them,” he said. “Good land stewardship in these areas can provide long-term sustainability and increased land productivity for landowners, and have positive effects on the quality and quantity of water for both rural and urban populations.”

Alldredge said AgriLife Extension will be joined in the effort by The Texas Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, the Texas Section Society for Range Management, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Alldredge said riparian areas are transitional margins between uplands and streams where vegetation is strongly influenced by the presence of water.

“Basically, riparian areas are the band of more productive plant communities along creeks and rivers,” he said. “They have important features that make them very valuable for landowners as well as downstream water users, yet their management is poorly understood. Our aim with this workshop is to raise awareness of riparian management among landowners and other water users for their mutual benefit.”

 Workshop presenters will explain the natural functions and flow patterns of streams and how vegetation in and along streams provides benefits, including erosion reduction and flood mitigation. Proper grazing management principles of riparian areas will also be discussed. In the afternoon, participants will visit two different sites to see firsthand how conservation practices work and discuss various management strategies to benefit both cattle production and the riparian area.

Three Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units will be offered – one general, one integrated pest management and one drift.

Individual registration is $10 and includes a barbecue lunch. The workshop is limited to the first 100 registrants, so an RSVP is required.

For more information and to RSVP contact Alldredge balldredge@tamu.edu or 979-845-0916.

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