The District is in partnership with the Chemung County SWCD and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition (USC) and the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management Program(AEM). The purpose of the program is to ensure that technical, educational, and related assistance is provided to those who own private grazing lands.
The USC and Chemung County SWCD provide funding for the initiative and the Schuyler County SWCD oversees and implements it, primarily through the services of the USC Grazing Specialist, John Wickham, who helps landowners to improve grazing land management. The USC’s participation allows for John to provide guidance, follow up, and perform implementation with the Schuyler County SWCD’s post pounder to Schuyler, Chemung, Steuben, Tompkins, Tioga, Allegheny, Bradford County PA, and Tioga County PA.
Improved grasslands: help protect soil from erosive wind and water, conserve water, use more energy efficient ways to produce food and fiber, provide habitat for wildlife, sustain forage and grazing plants, use plants to sequester greenhouse gases and increase soil organic matter and are a possible source of biomass energy and raw materials for industrial products.
The two counties have been focusing efforts on informing producers about the benefits of Prescribed Grazing Management (PGM) and providing the technical and financial assistance to get such systems installed. PGM is the controlled harvest of vegetation with grazing or browsing animals managed with the intent to achieve planned objectives. These objectives include animal production and health as well as maintaining a healthy and productive plant community, benefiting both livestock and the environment.
Grant funds from various sources, including the New York State Agricultural Nonpoint Source Program, USDA NRCS EQIP, CREP, and GRP Programs, The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and Finger Lakes RC & D Council, have been used to help cost share improved watering systems, livestock crossings, fencing, and pasture improvement for new intensive grazing systems. Riparian and wildlife habitat buffers are included in many of the new grazing systems to further improve and enhance the natural resource benefits. From 2000 to 2011, 80 new grazing systems have been installed, over 5,000 acres of implementation and 8,000 acres planned for grazing. This multi-programmatic, multi-agency approach to grazing has proven to be one of the most successful programs in the State.
Check out the Grazing Chart that provides farmers an efficient way to manage grazing on the farm. For more information please contact the office.
Funding for rotational grazing is focused on a water quality improvement. This is not a fencing program. Prioritization is to address existing resource concerns such as removing animals from accessing surface waterbodies and creating riparian buffers.
Tri-County Graziers Group
Tri-County Graziers is an informal group supported with assistance from Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Cooperative Extension as well as the Upper Susquehanna Coalition that gathers several times a year for pasture walks and workshops focusing on topics of interest to people grazing livestock. If you are interested in participating in these gatherings contact Brett Chedzoy at Schuyler County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Upcoming Pasture Walks
None at this time