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WRAPS Offers Re-Leaf Program

Financial Re-LEAF for Forests & Pasture

Many people know the benefit that sustainably managed forests and pastures provide for water quality; however, an upcoming workshop will also highlight the financial benefits that sustainable land management can provide to you, the landowner. Landowners and producers interested in sustainable and profitable forest and pasture management are encouraged to attend the upcoming “Financial Re-LEAF for Forests and Pasture” tour and workshop. Here, education will be provided on field practices that not only impact water quality, but also provide a financial boost to the landowner’s bottom line.

The free event is sponsored by the Kansas Forest Service and the Tuttle Creek Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) group, with assistance from K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Rural Center. The event is aimed toward educating landowners and producers within the Tuttle Creek Lake (Lower Big Blue and Lower Little Blue River) watershed.

“Financial Re-LEAF” will be held Thursday, August 9th in Washington and Marshall Counties. The tour starts in Barnes at 9 am, where participants will meet along the north end of Highway 9, on the westernmost edge of Barnes (near the welding shop).

From Barnes, participants will head to a hands’-on pasture session at the property of Mark and Evelyn Diederich. The Diederichs’ are a farming/livestock family based in Greenleaf.  They grow all of the typical grain crops and are also a cow/calf producer. The family has implemented a number of sustainable grazing practices on their property that have benefited local water quality, as well as their bottom line. These practices, such as rotational grazing, spring development, and tire tanks will be shared by the Diederichs’ at this very interesting tour stop. Attendees are encouraged to bring a portable chair for comfort. 

The Diederich pasture session will also feature speaker Dwayne Rice, NRCS Range Management Specialist. Dwayne will be addressing a variety of grazing and pasture concerns that landowners face during drought years. Tom Meek, Clay County Conservation District manager, will also be on-site to answer any cost share and programmatic questions.  

Following the Diederich pasture, the morning tour will head to western Marshall County for a look at a low-cost stream bank stabilization technique. The Kruse family, producers from Herkimer, will discuss their recent cedar tree revetment project, aimed at combating excessive bank erosion that was threatening their agricultural field. Cedar tree revetments involve anchoring dead, cut cedar trees to an eroding stream bank in order to halt bank loss. Dr. Charles Barden, K-State Research & Extension Forester and tree revetment expert, will be on-site to discuss the history and installation of the Kruse project.

The field tour will wrap up at 11:30 am, and head inside to the Kloppenburg Center in Hanover (512 E. North St.). Lunch and refreshments will be provided at 12 pm. During lunch, Thad Rhodes, Kansas Forest Service District Forester, will kick things off by discussing streamside forest management techniques for high value timber and wildlife/hunting opportunities. Thad will also educate participants on the variety of forestry cost share opportunities available to Tuttle Creek watershed landowners.

Charles Barden will share lessons from the many tree revetment projects he has installed throughout Kansas, and inform participants on the steps to insure a successful project is installed on their property.

Following Thad and Charles, Dwayne Rice and Tom Meek will address additional sustainable grazing practices that enhance water quality, plus the cost share opportunities available to assist making these projects a reality to producers.

Barbara Donovan will conclude the afternoon session with a discussion on the Tuttle Creek WRAPS, and how WRAPS is working to impact both water and land quality, boosting the bottom line for area producers. Time will be available following the afternoon presenters for questions and one-on-one conversations with speakers.

Please join us and bring other producers to this free event.  Please RSVP by August 3 to William Beck, Kansas Forest Service, by calling (785) 532-3693 from 8 am to 5 pm, or by email at [email protected].  After hours, please contact Barbara Donovan at (651) 247-8292. An RSVP from interested participants will help us provide an appropriate amount lunch, snacks and beverages.

Landowners and producers interested in enhancing both water quality and their bottom line through sustainable forest and pasture management will definitely benefit from the August 9 “Financial Re-LEAF” event! Remember to RSVP immediately and by Friday, Aug 3

 

About Jeff Ottens