Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch
Jonathan Aguilar is an extension Water Resource Engineer of K-State SW Research Extension Center in Garden City with an area of responsibility covering roughly the western half of the state. Dr. Aguilar finished his BS and MS in Agricultural Engineering with major focus on soil and water resources, and his PhD in Biological and Agricultural Engineering with emphasis on watershed modeling. Prior to his current job, Dr. Aguilar was a postdoc Agricultural Scientist at US Department of Agriculture- Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) who worked within an interdisciplinary team studying spatial and temporal analysis of crop diversity indices for the contiguous U.S., and have done some research on remote sensing to quantify crop residue in the field in relation to water conservation and carbon sequestration. At present stage of his career, he has produced four manuscripts in refereed journals, at least 20 technical presentations five of which were invited, three proceedings, seven published abstracts, and five technical reports. Other than extension activities, his background also include working with GIS, remote sensing, database management, soil and water conservation, watershed modeling, hydrology, water quality, lithology, and well drilling.
Ted Alexander is a south-central Kansas rancher who operates according to a detailed management plan. Alexander has had a written drought plan for his operation for 15-plus years. It is an integral piece of his business plan as a seasonal custom grazer.
Joel Brown is a Rangeland Ecologist, USDA-NRCS, Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Adjunct Professor, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM. His work has led to advances in the understanding of rangeland ecology, application of state and transition models to rangelands, rangeland soil carbon dynamics, shrub invasion, grazing systems, effects of climate change on rangelands, and adoption of management practices on rangelands.
Mike Deaver and his family farms in the southern Finney County, KS area. They are a limited irrigation operation in as much as every well we have is shared between at least two quarters and in a couple of cases, three quarters. So they have learned by trial and error over the years how to deal with limited water situations and still produce a crop in this part of the state. They raise wheat, corn, milo and soybeans and use no-til when feasible and minimum til practices. Conserving moisture is always priority both in relation to lack of wells and to drought conditions.
Julie Elliott is Range Specialist for the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) based in Wray, CO. Julie grew up on a small ranch in Eastern Colorado on the Palmer Divide NW of Limon. She began her tenure in 1991 with the then Soil Conservation Service in Cheyenne Wells, CO. She and her family moved to Northeast Colorado in 2002. Julie is now the Rangeland Management Specialist for the 2.17 million rangeland acres in Yuma, Washington and Kit Carson Counties.
Jim Faulstich and his family, including his daughter and son-in-law, operate a diversified farm and ranch in central South Dakota. Daybreak Ranch has been recognized as one of the premier grassland management ranches in South Dakota, and includes a cow-calf operation as well as commercial grazing for bred yearling heifers. The Faulstichs also raise corn and small grains using no-till farming tactics and a wide range of cover crops, and offer hunting and lodging to expand their income sources.
Bill Golden is Research Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. Dr. Golden’s general interests include research in natural resources and farm management issues related to irrigation and the production of agricultural commodities. Specifically focusing on evaluating water policy and usage, and the impacts these have on the environment, producers and the regional economy.
Freddie Lamm is a professor and research irrigation engineer at the KSU Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, Kansas with a 100% research appointment. Dr. Lamm grew up on a rainfed combination livestock-grain farm in Wooldridge, Missouri. He received a BS in 1978 and a MS in 1979 from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Agricultural Engineering. Lamm received his doctorate in Agricultural Engineering from Kansas State University in 1990. Dr. Lamm has conducted irrigated water management and irrigation systems research for Kansas State University at Colby, Kansas since May 1979 (33 years). His current research is with development and management of advanced irrigation systems [In-Canopy Center Pivot Sprinklers and Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI)] for irrigated crop production, particularly for field corn which is the predominate irrigated crop in the region.
John Maddux manages the family ranch operations, which includes 45,000 deeded and leased acres, 2,500 mother cows, and 4,000 yearlings. In addition to his daily ranch duties, he is a past member of the Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition; the Nebraska Investment Council, which is responsible for managing the state’s 9 Billion in pension assets; and State Bank Board of Directors. Prior to returning to the ranch, John was employed by Goldman Sachs of New York in Fixed Income Sales and Trading, and prior to that worked for Elanco selling herbicides. He has an undergraduate degree in Animals Science from the University of Nebraska and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago. John is married to his wife Julia, with two boys Taylor, 5 and Thomas, 2.
Dale Mauch is a 4th generation farmer, who farms 4000 acres north of Lamar, CO. 2000 acres are flood irrigated and 2000 acres are under sprinklers. Dale also feeds 4000 stocker yard cattle per year.
Gary McManus joined the Oklahoma Climatological Survey in May 1999 and currently serves as the Associate State Climatologist for Oklahoma. Gary’s tasks are focused on providing the citizens and decision-makers of Oklahoma with vital and timely climate and weather information, as well as assessing the past weather conditions for the state. Gary is editor in chief of Oklahoma’s Monthly Climate Summaries and has done extensive research cataloguing Oklahoma’s weather hazards. A native of Buffalo, Oklahoma, Gary earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.
Lynn Myers grew up on a family farm and ranch and he and his wife, Marlene, now own and manage her family's place, which was homesteaded in 1907 and proved up in 1909, adding up to over 100 years of ownership of this ranch. They also own and lease additional land in their cow-calf operation. Both of Lynn's children are still involved in the ranch partnership. Lynn was previously involved in the Nebraska Cattlemen, and has also been secretary/treasurer of his local fire district for 35 years.
Henry Nightengale was born, raised, and still farms north of Sublette Kansas. With water depletion being the most evident threat to farming, he began experimenting with drip irrigation in the mid 80’s. Today Henry farms 2,300 acres in Haskell County, 1,400 acres of which are irrigated by subsurface drip irrigation. Henry has established the efficiency of crop produced per gallon of water used on drip, and is continuing his conversion to 100% drip irrigation.
Dwayne Rice is a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Range Management Specialist based in Lincoln, KS, and previously held similar positions in Oklahoma and Georgia. Dwayne graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Animal Science, Ranch Operations and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science Degree in Range Management, Agronomy from Kansas State University. His research focus is “Using Remotely Sensed Data from Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Measure Aboveground Biomass on the Shortgrass Prairie of Western Kansas”.
Susan Stover is a professional geologist and environmental scientist with experience in contamination remediation, groundwater development and conservation policies. She is manager of High Plains Issues at the Kansas Water Office, which involves hydrologic and economic modeling to inform management options. Stover is Chair Elect of the Geological Society of America’s Geology and Public Policy Committee and serves on the Kansas Water Research Institute committee. Stover holds an M.S. in geology from the University of Kansas, with additional graduate work in hydrology and sedimentology. The Kansas Water Office is a small state agency that conducts water planning, policy, water marketing from federal reservoirs and coordination throughout the state. The Kansas Water Authority, which is part of the KWO, advises the Governor and Legislature on needed legislation to address needed water policy and programs.
Justin Waggoner is an Associate Professor and Extension Beef Systems Specialist at the K-State Southwest Research and Extension Center in Garden City, KS. He provides nutrition and management expertise to beef cattle producers and ranches in Kansas and is involved in a new project focused on grazing and climate in southern Great Plains.
Jay Winner is the General Manager of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, whose mission is to participate in water-related projects that will embody thoughtful conservation, responsible growth, and beneficial water usage within the Lower Arkansas Valley, including the acceptance of conservation easements, with or without water.
The National Drought Mitigation Center | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
3310 Holdrege Street | P.O. Box 830988 | Lincoln, NE 68583–0988
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