Three men walking in a field along a fence.
Sustainable Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture © Mark Godfrey/The Nature Conservancy

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The Nature Conservancy in Missouri Releases a Virtual Field and Farm Tour Video Series

Promoting sustainable grazing practices in the Grand River Grasslands

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Missouri has released a series of virtual Field and Farm Tour videos to promote sustainable grazing practices that are being implemented at their Little Creek Farm demonstration farm and on the grassbank at TNC’s Dunn Ranch Prairie, both of which are located in the Grand River Grasslands in Harrison County, Missouri. The videos can be found at nature.org/MoAg.

“Two field and farm tours were scheduled to take place this year, one in the spring and one in the fall, but we made the decision to cancel them due to COVID-19,” said Kent Wamsley, TNC’s grasslands and sustainable agriculture strategy manager in Missouri. “While we were not able to have the tours in person, we wanted to still share the information and strategies that we are testing with local ranchers.”

The Field and Farm Tour series is supported by a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through their Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Additional support for Little Creek Farm from the CIG includes the incorporation of exclusion fencing, alternate water sources, rotational grazing and restoration of native warm season grass and legume forages.

Viewers can hear from TNC partners including U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Department of Conservation, MFA Inc., Corbin Steel, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and local ranching partners Cox Cattle Co., Frank Ranch and Rolling Prairie Ranch.

“We hope ranchers and landowners find these videos informative and increase their awareness of conservation planning and implementation practices that are available to them through a host of partners and services,” said Wamsley. “Only by working alongside our neighbors in this landscape will we be able to help answer economic questions and improve management techniques that provide a win for the rancher and the environment.”

Additional videos will be made available as projects progress and will be available at nature.org/MoAg.

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About Dunn Ranch Prairie:

Dunn Ranch Prairie, located in Hatfield, MO is a 3,258-acre tallgrass prairie and is a research hub for scientists from a variety of fields, offering rare opportunities to study topics such as pollinator health, soil quality, and bison movements. These findings, along with the knowledge gained from in-depth analyses of restoration activities, are freely shared so they can be applied to grassland restorations around the globe.

Dunn Ranch Prairie boasts breathtaking views of expansive grasslands, a thriving American bison herd, hundreds of vibrant wildflower species, and more than 100 species of migratory and nesting birds. It is home to one of the last populations of the state-endangered greater prairie-chicken and the federally endangered Topeka shiner, which was reintroduced to Dunn Ranch Prairie headwater streams in the fall of 2013. Both require a healthy and diverse prairie ecosystem to survive, reproduce, and thrive.

For more information, visit www.nature.org/DunnRanchPrairie

About Little Creek Farm:

The Nature Conservancy purchased Little Creek Farm in 2017 and have since established the farm as their first sustainable grazing demonstration site in Missouri. The 220-acre farm is located adjacent to TNC’s Dunn Ranch Prairie in Hatfield, MO.

Working with partners and a local rancher, TNC is testing sustainable grazing practices at Little Creek Farm that increase the health of the soil, water and habitat while also providing health benefits to the cattle and economic benefits to the rancher.

For more information, visit www.nature.org/MoAg

About The Nature Conservancy in Missouri:

Together with our members and conservation partners, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 150,000 acres of critical Missouri lands since 1956. To learn more visit  www.nature.org/Missouri.

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This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number NR196424XXXXG015. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.