32 minutes | Mar 16, 2023
AoR 102: Livestock Risk Protection in Practice, with Dick Coon
Dick Coon is a rancher in Eastern Washington who has used LRP insurance for nearly a decade to reduce the significant financial risks of ranching in pretty tough country. And because the Northwest cattle markets tend to be lower than the rest of the country, LRP has added attraction. In this episode, Dick describes why and how he has used LRP and Pasture, Range, and Forage insurance products in his family-run commercial cattle operation. Links to resources mentioned in this episode and a transcript are available at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-102-livestock-risk-protection-practice-dick-coon.
64 minutes | Mar 2, 2023
AoR 101: John Nalivka on Reducing Cattle Marketing Risks
Reducing financial risk in ranching requires first identifying and defining those risks. John Nalivka, owner of Sterling Marketing and a well-known expert in beef industry economics, has been consulting with cow-calf producers, feeders, and packers for 35 years. In this episode, John discusses with Tip and Clay Worden global trade trends, cattle pricing predictions, and ranch-level advice on managing market risks, which starts with knowing your own production and performance values. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE are linked to on the episode web page, https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-101-john-nalivka-cattle-marketing-strategies-and-risks.
50 minutes | Feb 15, 2023
AoR 100: 'Defend the Core' Strategy for Invasive Plants, Jeremy Maestas & Dirac Twidwell, Part 2
Management recommendations for limiting undesirable ecosystem state shifts driven by cheatgrass in the West and Eastern red cedar on central US grasslands can now be outlined with greater certainty. Jeremy Maestas, NRCS National Sagebrush Ecosystem Specialist, and Dirac Twidwell, range and fire scientist at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, present the Defend the Core framework for invasive species management, a fresh approach that prioritizes preventing degradation where intact, functional plant communities exist and reducing risk of invasives spreading from areas already compromised. After a hundred years of trying to understand invasive plant dynamics, we now recognize that preservationist passive management will not cause degraded plant communities to return to a reference state. If you pulled up this episode and haven't listened to part, you might want to listen to episode 99 first. Go to https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-100-defend-core-strategy-invasive-plants-jeremy-maestas-dirac-twidwell-part-2 for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
49 minutes | Feb 2, 2023
AoR 99: 'Defend the Core' Strategy for Invasive Plants, Jeremy Maestas & Dirac Twidwell, Part 1
Is it time to surrender the Western U.S. to cheatgrass and frequent fire or regroup and work smarter? Jeremy Maestas, NRCS National Sagebrush Ecosystem Specialist, and Dirac Twidwell, range and fire scientist at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, present the Defend the Core framework for invasive species management, a fresh approach that prioritizes preventing degradation where intact, functional plant communities exist and reducing risk of invasives spreading from areas already compromised. After a hundred years of trying to understand invasive plant dynamics, we now recognize that preservationist passive management will not cause degraded plant communities to return to a reference state. This episode, part 1, describes the problem and introduces this new approach to risk reduction. Come back for part 2. TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE SOON AT: RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE SGI blog on invasive annuals in sagebrush country: https://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com/defend-the-core-fighting-back-against-rangeland-invaders-in-sagebrush-country/ LPCI blog on Woody encroachment in grasslands: https://www.lpcinitiative.org/defend-the-core-fighting-back-against-woody-invaders-on-the-great-plains/ NRCS WLFW Frameworks for Conservation Action: https://www.wlfw.org/ WAFWA Sagebrush Conservation Design: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2022/1081/ofr20221081.pdf WGA Toolkit for Invasive Annual Grass Management: https://westgov.org/images/editor/FINAL_Cheatgrass_Toolkit_July_2020.pdf Idaho Cheatgrass Challenge: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs-initiatives/eqip-environmental-quality-incentives/idaho/the-cheatgrass-challenge-idaho Kansas Great Plains Grassland Initiative: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/kansas/ks-great-plains-grassland-initiative Guide for Reducing Woody Encroachment in Grasslands: https://www.wlfw.org/assets/greatPlainsMaterials/E-1054WoodyEncroachment.pdf NCBA Cattlemen to Cattlemen episode on defending the core: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpsJnM-IrPY
29 minutes | Jan 19, 2023
AoR 98: Advances in Soil Health at SoilCon 2023, with Molly McIlquham
Trying to stay up on the most recent developments in soil health? SoilCon, a free virtual conference, will address the latest research to help people put soil health principles into practice for regional systems. In this episode, Molly, an organizer of SoilCon, shares more details on the speaker lineup and the Washington Soil Health Initiative. SoilCon 2023 will be held on Feb. 14 and 15, with daily sessions running from 8 a.m. to noon. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE https://pheedloop.com/wasoilcon23/site/home/ https://soilhealth.wsu.edu/soilcon/ https://soilhealth.wsu.edu/
60 minutes | Jan 5, 2023
AoR 97: Livestock Risk Protection insurance, with Jack Field & Clay Worden
What if you could insure calf price against catastrophic price drops? LRP puts a price floor under feeder calves, paying for the difference between an insured calf price and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange feeder cattle index value for a selected marketing date. This episode with Jack Field and Clay Worden continues our series in ranch financial health with a deep dive into LRP mechanics. Find resources mentioned in this episode as well as the transcript at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-97-livestock-risk-protection-insurance-jack-field-clay-worden
50 minutes | Dec 22, 2022
AoR 96: Charles C Mann, The Americas Before Columbus, Part 2
"1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" has been a New York Times best-selling book since publication in 2006. Charles C Mann's writings have reformed popular ideas about Native Americans and challenged cherished notions of nature. Join Charles and Tip in part 2 of a two-episode discussion about the origins of the book and some of the revelations about the peoples in North, Central, and South Americas over the last 2000 years. Look up 1491 wherever you buy books and get yourself a copy to read. Find the transcript and links to books mentioned in this show at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-96-charles-c-mann-americas-columbus-part-2
49 minutes | Dec 8, 2022
AoR 95: Charles C Mann, The Americas Before Columbus, Part 1
"1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" has been a New York Times best-selling book since publication in 2006. Charles C Mann's writings have reformed popular ideas about Native Americans and challenged cherished notions of nature. Join Charles and Tip in part 1 of a two-episode discussion about the origins of the book and some of the revelations about the peoples in North, Central, and South Americas over the last 2000 years. Look up 1491 wherever you buy books and get yourself a copy to read. See books and articles mentioned in this episode as well as the full transcript of our conversation at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-95-charles-c-mann-americas-columbus-part-1.
44 minutes | Nov 17, 2022
AoR 94: Current Cattle Market Risks & Opportunities with Shannon Neibergs and Jack Field
The global nature of agricultural trade and market forces makes cattle price cycles less predictable, and this presents a different kind of risk than historical pricing pressures. But Dr. Shannon Neibergs, director of the Western Center for Risk Management and a livestock economist, believes there are real opportunities to respond to (in winter 2022-23). Listen in to learn about the current milieu. We conclude with Jack Field (CKP Insurance) on how Livestock Risk Protection can help you mitigate market volatility. RESOURCES Livestock Risk Protection for Feeder Cattle, USDA Risk Management Agency fact sheet, https://www.rma.usda.gov/Fact-Sheets/National-Fact-Sheets/Livestock-Risk-Protection-Feeder-Cattle Episode 66 on LRP, https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-66-livestock-price-risk-management-jack-field-shannon-neibergs TRANSCRIPT at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-94-current-cattle-market-risks-opportunities-shannon-neibergs-and-jack-field
45 minutes | Nov 4, 2022
AoR 93: After 1492, Nature Rebounds -- William Denevan on the Pristine Myth
"Nature’s regeneration was the primary source of the Pristine Myth." --Shawn Miller. The influence of the idea that the American continent was essentially untouched by man at the time of European arrival is great. The Pristine Myth, a term coined by William Denevan, a cultural geographer, strikes at prejudicial ideas about the primitive-ness of indigenous peoples. And the persistence of this idea reveals a desire to coerce modern man into a preservationist policy toward most public places. In this episode, Tip reads an article by William Denevan (91 yo, who declined to be interviewed about it but granted permission to release a verbatim reading. "After 1492: Nature Rebounds" is a 2016 article in Geographical Review, the oldest journal in the United States devoted to geography. The article makes the case that the apparent wilderness encountered in the 16th through 18th centuries reflected a landscape recently wiped clean of people, that there were a lot of people prior to 1492, and that our conception of wildlands mostly comes from an entire hemisphere that suddenly had few humans to influence it. For links to more articles by William Denevan and related resources, go to https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-93-after-1492-nature-rebounds-william-denevan-pristine-myth TRANSCRIPT: https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-93-after-1492-nature-rebounds-william-denevan-pristine-myth
54 minutes | Oct 20, 2022
AoR 92: What Hath Ocean Currents To Do With Colorado Cattle? with Derner, Augustine, and Raynor
The giant bathtubs off the western and southern coasts of North America contribute large amounts of heat and moisture to the continent, driving much of the climate (long-term) and weather (short-term) of the Western United States. And oceans have regular oscillations in temperature, which drives moisture delivery. Researchers looked at historical yearling cattle production data going back to 1939 at the Central Plains Experimental Range to see whether correlations existed between the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Nino Souther Oscillation and cattle performance. Interactions between the PDO and ENSO have an effect on both rangeland production and livestock weight gain. Listen to this panel discussion with Drs. Justin Derner, David Augustine, and EJ Raynor to learn more. LINKS Best PDO info: https://ecowatch.noaa.gov/thematic/climate-indices EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO) information from NOAA: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/ensodisc.shtml PACIFIC DECADAL OSCILLATION information from NOAA: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/pdo/ ARTICLES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Colorado State University Extension publication "Early Warning for Stocking Decisions in Eastern Colorado", at https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/agriculture/early-warning-for-stocking-decisions-in-eastern-colorado-3-115/. "Large-scale and local climatic controls on large herbivore productivity: implications for adaptive rangeland management", in Ecological Applications (2020): https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/1354/23.%20Raynor%20et%20al.%202020%20Ecological%20Applications%20-%20climatic%20controls%20on%20LHP.pdf More information about the LTAR Network, https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/30123025/Publications/2022/Goodrich%20et%20al.%202022%20Hydrological%20Processes%20-Long%20term%20agroecosystem%20research%20experimental%20watershed%20network.pdf TRANSCRIPT at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-92-what-hath-ocean-currents-do-colorado-cattle-derner-augustine-and-raynor
32 minutes | Sep 29, 2022
AoR 91: Nathan Sayre essay: "Prospects and Tools for Sustainable Ranching in the Western U.S."
What exactly are we hoping to sustain in applying the term sustainability to ranching? Without definition, sustainability could just be circular reasoning: "that which persists is sustainable". But this is not what is meant by any of the many proponents of rangeland-based livestock production. Dr. Sayre offers partial answers to this question and prompts to reader/listener to further thinking in this essay from 2005 read here by Tip. RESOURCES RELATED TO THIS EPISODE https://geography.berkeley.edu/professor-nathan-sayre TRANSCRIPT at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-91-nathan-sayre-essay-prospects-and-tools-sustainable-ranching-western-us
75 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
AoR 90: Key Performance Indicators to Measure Ranch Financial Health, with Stan Bevers
Measuring the financial health of a ranch operation is as important as measuring rangeland health. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) combine production and financial data into metrics that measure various elements of ranch financial health. Stan Bevers describes how to accurately calculate KPIs and use them to improve a cow-calf operation. OTHER RESOURCES Learn more about KPI calculations and values at https://www.ranchkpi.com/key-performance-indicators/key-performance-indicator-targets-for-cow-calf-operations/. King Ranch Institute, Go to krirm.tamuk.edu/ to see current learning opportunities. Northway Ranch Services, individualized administrative and financial help. northwayranchservices.com/ Heymer Management Accounting Services. Brenda can be reached at email@example.com or(806) 605-6101. TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE AT https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-90-key-performance-indicators-measure-ranch-financial-health-stan-bevers
71 minutes | Aug 24, 2022
AoR 89: Ranch Managerial Accounting with Stan Bevers
You need a ranch financial team. Keeping ranch financial records for tax purposes is not the same thing as managing the financial health of a ranch. Stan Bevers has been teaching and consulting on ranch finance for decades with Texas A&M Extension, the King Ranch Institute, and now RanchKPI. This is the first episode in a two-part series with Stan on managerial accounting and key performance indicators (KPIs). In this episode, co-hosted with James Rogers and Clay Worden, we discuss tax accounting v. managerial accounting, benchmarking, regional differences in KPI values and expectations, and the relationships among financial stability and environmental sustainability. As Clay says here: "If there's no margin, there's no mission." TRANSCRIPT available at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-89-ranch-managerial-accounting-stan-bevers RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Stan Bever website, https://www.ranchkpi.com/ King Ranch Institute, Go to https://krirm.tamuk.edu/ to see current learning opportunities. Northway Ranch Services, individualized administrative and financial help. https://northwayranchservices.com/ Heymer Management Accounting Services. Brenda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or(806) 605-6101.
39 minutes | Aug 11, 2022
AoR 88: Forage, Fuel, & Fire Forecasts with Matt Reeves
The summer of 2022 is nearly in the books, as they say, but range managers and graziers should pay attention to increasingly sophisticated tools to characterize both forage yield and fire risk in order to respond to annual and seasonal anomalies in forage quantity and type proactively. Listen to an update on 2022 conditions and a description of Fuelcast.net, a decision support platform that everyone should have in their range management toolbox. TRANSCRIPT coming soon at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-88-forage-fuel-fire-forecasts-matt-reeves RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE https://www.fuelcast.net/ Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics: https://nassgeo.csiss.gmu.edu/CropCASMA/
56 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
AoR 87: Intro to Ranch Finance, Part 2--Jack Southworth, James Rogers, & Clay Worden
Financial resiliency requires knowing and tracking costs of production and comparing the costs and revenues of a specific enterprise against other possible enterprises. In this second episode with Jack Southworth, James Rogers, and Clay Worden, they discuss the many ways every ranch's context is different from another's, highlighting the importance of spending some time working on the business and not just in the business. RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THE SHOW are available at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-87-intro-ranch-finance-part-2-jack-southworth-james-rogers-clay-worden TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE SOON AT https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-87-intro-ranch-finance-part-2-jack-southworth-james-rogers-clay-worden
28 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
AoR 86: Intro to Ranch Financial Resiliency--Jack Southworth, James Rogers, & Clay Worden
Many ranchers don't do it for the money, but one cannot ranch for long only losing money. In this first episode in a grant-funded series on ranch financial resiliency, Jack Southworth discusses principles and common problems in ranch money management with James Rogers and Clay Worden. Stay tuned for more. TRANSCRIPT available at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-86-intro-ranch-financial-resiliency-jack-southworth-james-rogers-clay-worden.
59 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
AoR 85: Pastoralists Displaced in Cameroon, Africa -- Mark Moritz & Paul Scholte
Americans hear news of social conflict and small-scale warfare in Africa and we ignore the news because it's far away and doesn't affect us. It's also not possible to meaningfully engage emotionally with everything bad happening around the globe. But there are real people and animals in Cameroon whose lives are disrupted, and because pastoralists are often politically marginalized it's important to tell their stories. This interview touches on the geography of West-central Africa, the lifestyle of Shuwa pastoralists, and the ecology behind the transhumance grazing movements. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE Thousands of pastoralists seek refuge in Waza National Park, Cameroon: https://pfbc-cbfp.org/news-partner/THECONVERSATION-PaulScholte-Waza.html Other papers are referenced at the episode page listed below. TRANSCRIPT COMING SOON AT https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-85-pastoralists-displaced-cameroon-africa-mark-moritz-paul-scholte.
55 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
AoR 84: Perspectives: Memoirs of Habitat and Homesteading in Eastern Montana, with Paul Bechtel
Paul Bechtel is an almost-centenarian, born 1923, whose family was lured to Eastern Montana by hopes of homesteading good land still free for the taking. Reality wasn't quite so gentle in the northern Great Plains in the rainshadow of the Rocky Mountains. He lived in Ekelaka in harsh conditions through the Great Depression and until he joined the U.S. Army in 1941, but his best memories of his entire life are from this era. It was a good place to be a free range child. In this episode, co-hosted with Mark Teske, a wildlife biologist, Paul reminisces about eating sage grouse, measuring dirt tanks, and earning creative car payments in a remote agricultural local economy. TRANSCRIPT AND PHOTO available at https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-84-perspectives-memoirs-habitat-and-homesteading-eastern-montana-paul-bechtel. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE The book Paul refers to by an author who lived in Seattle for a time is "Bad Land: An American Romance", by Jonathan Raban, ISBN 0679759069. Homestead Act originally offered 160 acres, https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/homestead-act https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/homestead-act
40 minutes | May 12, 2022
AoR 83: A Synthesis of Ranch-Level Sustainability Indicators for Land Managers, Part 2
This episode is the second in a two-part series with the authors of a recent article in the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management telling the story behind their work on ranch sustainability: Clare Kazanski & Marissa Ahlering (The Nature Conservancy), Patrick Lendrum (World Wildlife Fund), and Sheri Spiegal (Jornada Experimental Range). Sheri was recently honored with the USDA ARS Early Career Scientist of the Year Award. The organizations represented by these and other contributing authors are all involved in evaluating environmental and social success in ranching. Quoting from the article: "There is a need for greater clarity on which indicators are most effective for assessing and monitoring sustainable management and continuous improvement of ranching operations. Our objective was to synthesize existing guidance on monitoring and assessing ranch-scale sustainability in the United States and to identify core ecological, social, and economic indicators that could identify well-managed ranching, support adaptive management, and demonstrate producers’ sustainability and continuous improvement to retailers and consumers. We evaluated 21 range and pastureland assessments from nongovernmental organizations, agencies, and academics that totaled 180 indicators. From this, we selected 20 commonly used “core” indicators (12 ecological and 8 socioeconomic)" that can be used to measure ranch sustainability. Article link, REM issue 79, open access: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550742421001020 https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/provide-food-and-water-sustainably/food-and-water-stories/sustainable-grazing-lands/ Sustainable Southwest Beef Project--Tools for Ranch and Rangeland Resilience. https://southwestbeef.org/ Long-Term Agroecosystem Research program. https://www.ars.usda.gov/natural-resources-and-sustainable-agricultural-systems/water-availability-and-watershed-management/docs/long-term-agroecosystem-research-ltar-network/ TRANSCRIPT coming soon at the episode webpage: https://artofrange.com/episodes/aor-83-synthesis-ranch-level-sustainability-indicators-land-managers-part-2