Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station
Active Projects 2013

Note: A NEW project—initiated within last year—might not have an annual report, publications, or outcomes/impact.
Project: COL00614 Department: Animal Sciences  
PIs: Peel, RK ; Niswender, GD ; Dalsted, NL ; Frasier, WM ; Hoag, DL ; Roath, LR
Title: Integrated Resource Management - Beef Cattle and Sheep
Begin Date: 07/01/2009 Term Date: 06/30/2014 Most recent project status: Revised
Objectives: To conduct research regarding animal management systems that will enhance the profitability and, therefore, sustainability of Colorado farmers and ranchers. To utilize the results of all appropriate research for development of integrated livestock management systems and provide this information to students and appropriate clientele groups. To investigate the effectiveness of different educational systems in getting producers and/or managers to adapt integrated approaches to resource management.
Approach: To address the first goal, we will request that our student fellows from the USDA National Needs Fellows program identify projects, with the input from livestock producers and Extension personnel, to examine cutting-edge techniques in improving management systems for enhancing profitability and sustainability of independent livestock producers. Our student fellows will work under the guidance of field and campus faculty to develop interdisciplinary research proposals that address current or emerging issues related to animal agriculture. Some examples of appropriate topics would include environmental management, urban interface, wildlife encroachment, animal health, and marketing. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but rather a few selected topics where further research is needed to make better decisions regarding the financial impacts of these issues. Results from these research projects will integrate with the outreach effort of goal two and, in all cases, will be published in suitable journals. To address goal two, we will integrate the most recent research information regarding integrated management systems from all appropriate sources and utilize it in our educational and outreach programs. Three areas where such information has been particularly useful for outreach programs is "Risk Management," "Drought Management" and "Intergeneration Transfer of Assets." The facts about conflicting uses of water, optimal beef genetics, and grazing strategies to increase profits. All outreach events will be issue-driven and a priority will be given to address emerging issues that impact production agriculture in Colorado. Finally, for the third goal, we plan to develop evaluation instruments that will allow data to be obtained regarding the efficacy of online versus in-person courses and to ascertain the impacts of the integrated resource management education programs on the profitability and sustainability of individuals and their rural communities. To accomplish this goal, we will initially focus on course translation to an online format, ensuring that all 11 of our courses are available in this format. Once the course development is complete, sections may be used for outreach efforts that match needs in rural Colorado, and we will assess whether the distance learning model is appropriate for the course content. We are also cooperating with 28 other universities with AgIdea in order to make the courses available to a larger audience.
Keywords: integrated resource management profitability sustainability animal agriculture land management financial management ecosystem management wildlife management