Take advice this weekend from the best stewards of the land

June 6, 2017

Categories: Agriculture, Agriculture, Food, News, Northern Plains Resource Council, Plains Speaking

By: Kate French, Northern Plains Chair

Ranchers are traditionally some of the best stewards of the land. On average, they do more for water, grasslands, and wildlife conservation than any other property owners in the West.

A professor of mine recently reiterated this fact during a lecture, and some of my classmates were vocally skeptical of such a claim. It’s understandable, I guess. For a number of decades, the dominant narrative in some environmental circles was that only certain types of human use of the land are compatible with conservation. Ranching was considered so resource-intensive that “good” environmentalists eschewed meat and leather.

This is a shame because conservation works best when pursued in concert with community, partnerships, traditional knowledge, and broadmindedness. Ranchers, farmers, and landowners tend to spread good ideas among each other. So should the rest of us.

Whether it’s building healthy, biodynamic soils, installing wildlife-friendly fencing, or fighting the GMO-seed takeover, many Montana farmers and ranchers are pushing sustainability in important and significant ways. Instead of keeping good ideas quarantined to a private reserve and banning all human interaction with the land, these communities spread conservation practices and ensure a continued ethic of land stewardship.

In fact, we’re building our community this weekend and sharing new conservation ideas at the Soil Crawl, a Northern Plains and Western Sustainability Exchange workshop on soil best practices.

While some people see soil health as black magic (I do too, some days), others are seeking understanding of the complex relationships underground that offer so much to us above ground. The Soil Crawl is bringing together ranchers from the region to look at their land in a new way. The Indreland Ranch and BBar Ranch have taken risks and tried unconventional things on their land to increase its resiliency, and they want to share the results with others.

So, show up and learn; sign up here. See you Saturday.

Soil Crawl
Saturday, June 10
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Indreland Ranch
170 Glasston Road
North of Big Timber
Cost $60

220 South 27th Street, Suite A
Billings, Montana 59101
(406) 248-1154