The goals of the meeting were to develop a generic drought planning process for livestock and forage producers, and to gather feedback on the ranch planning website being developed by the NDMC. Presentations set the stage for discussion, and included presentations by NDMC staff on the traditional drought planning methods, current and future drought history and drought forecasting tools, and results of an interview study on drought planning with ranchers; and presentations by participants on strategic and scenario planning models, drought management calculator tools currently in development, a proposed economic modeling tool to assist with drought planning, other existing range monitoring tools (i.e. the “grazing stick”), and considerations for drought recovery.
Focused small group discussions and the sticky wall were used to develop a set of recommended steps for developing ranch drought mitigation and contingency plans. World Café sessions were used to identify specific recommendations to include in drought inventory, monitoring, mitigation, and contingency plans.
Large group discussions were used to achieve consensus on how we recommend the use of critical dates, what types of decision support tools would be most useful to livestock and forage producers, and what types of information need to be developed to help producers recover from drought.