Drought Resilient Ranching Workshops

In January of 2018, One Montana's Resilient Montana program launched a Drought Resilient Ranching Workshop Series.

In rural ranching communities, the temporal and geographical variability of climate conditions pose many challenges. In cooperation with MSU Extension Service and the Musselshell Watershed Coalition, One Montana hosted three rural workshops in Clyde Park, Two Dot, and Winnett to provide an opportunity for collaboration in regards to drought resilience. The goal was to facilitate conversations and share knowledge to answer several important questions:

  • In times of drought, how can farmers and ranchers implement effective management strategies?  
  • How can producers adapt to changing weather conditions? 
  • What resources are available to predict weather and soil conditions?
  • What resources do producers already utilize?
  • What recommendations do participants have for the USDA on improving drought-related programs?

Workshop content included presentations from Michael Downey of DNRC about the Flash Drought of 2017, Lee Schmelzer of Stillwater County Extension about the Montana Mesonet, and a talk from Jeff Mosley (Clyde Park and Two Dot) and Mat Walter (Winnett) of MSU Extension titled “Managing Plant Communities After Drought.” The workshops also included group discussion sessions during which participants shared their experiences with the 2017 drought, their perspectives on effective rangeland management strategies during and after drought, and their feedback on resource availability and agency response during times of drought. 

Recorded audio from the workshops was compiled into full Workshop Transcripts. Results were then summarized in a formal Drought Resilient Ranching Workshops Report.