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National Drought Mitigation Center

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Workshop to Help Kansas Ranchers Weather Drought

December 23, 2011

Kansas ranchers will leave a Jan. 21 workshop in Emporia with the tools they need to plan for drought, working with both financial and natural resources.

The Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, Inc., and the Kansas Graziers Association are organizing "Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch," presented by the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This is the Graziers' annual winter event. The workshop, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., will be in the Harvest House Meeting Room of the Flint Hills Christian Church, 1836 E. U.S Highway 50.

"The workshop will address both the natural resource concerns and the financial and business planning end of drought," said Tonya Haigh, Drought Center researcher. "The goal is to come through the drought with both your finances and resource base intact, as much as possible."

Registration is set for $25 for the main registrant per family/ranch and $15 for each additional person. Students are highly encouraged to participate and are being offered a reduced registration rate of $10. Lunch is included. Please visit http://www.kglc.org/ for information and a printable mail-in registration form. For more information please call Mary Howell, Kansas Graziers Association, 785-562-8726.

Speakers will include Barry Dunn, ranch management specialist and dean of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University; Jerry Volesky, professor and range and forage systems specialist at the West Central Research and Extension Center in North Platte, Neb.; Ted Alexander, a Kansas rancher who operates according to a detailed management plan; David Kraft and Dwayne Rice, Kansas-based USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service range management specialists; Amy Roeder, USDA RMA risk management specialist in Kansas City; Charles Griffin, director of the Kansas Rural Family Helpline and research assistant professor in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University; and Mary Knapp, Kansas state climatologist. Speakers are supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency.

Participants will receive a copy of a Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch handbook with worksheets. The materials will also be freely available on the web. The information is condensed from a comprehensive drought management website, online at http://drought.unl.edu/ranchplan, which was also made possible by the RMA.

Sponsors in addition to KGA, KGLC and RMA are the Kansas Rural Center, the Kansas Farmers Union, and the Kansas Center for Sustainable Ag and Alternative Crops.

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