Long-time Holistic Management rancher Grady Grissom won the 2017 Colorado Leopold Conservation Award for his work on the Rancho Largo near Walsenburg, Colorado. This 14,000-acre ranch is in mixed short-grass prairie and Grady has been focused on how to improve grazing management to increase biodiversity of plants on the ranch. He has increased number of paddocks to better control grazing and recovery periods. He has increased recovery periods in a good year to over 200 days and in drought years to almost 18 months.
Prior to improving his management most draw bottoms were filled with Blue Grama, filaree (an annual forb) and sometimes Western Wheat Grass. But over time there has been an increase in species including Silver Bluestem, Vine Mesquite, Green Needle Grass, and New Mexico Feather Grass.
Grady sees planned grazing as a powerful tool to transform ranchers into ecosystem managers because ranching can provide a compatible symbiotic relationship between human economies and an ecosystem. It’s critical that humans realize that they are part of nature and partner with it for the mutual benefit of both. Ranchers are in a position to do that work on a daily basis and Grady brings that land ethic to his work as a rancher. Congratulations, Grady!
To see all the Holistic Management practitioners who have won awards for their conservation efforts, visit our Awards page.
To learn more about conservation ranching, visit our Soil and Conservation page.
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