Despite the ongoing historic drought, the Destiny Ranch is an oasis of green compared to surrounding operations.

Owners William and Karen Payne are able to continue grazing cattle while thousands of drought-stricken producers across the Southern Great Plains are forced to purchase expensive hay to feed cattle or sell off their livestock. The Paynes credit proper grazing management for their ability to survive the drought and properly provide for their herd.

To help other producers find the same success, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation will host a grazing workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the Destiny Ranch (located at 44880 Avoca Road, 3 miles south of St. Louis, Okla.).

This workshop, which is open to the public, is designed to assist agricultural producers improve their pastures and management skills. Participants will learn about planning for land renovation, restoration and range improvement; the effects of intensive grazing management on animal performance; and monitoring, measurements and recordkeeping. Noble Foundation consultants will also discuss native range response to fertilizer.

“This one-day workshop will help seasoned producers refresh their management skills,” said Hugh Aljoe, consultation program manager. “It will also assist new ranchers in developing proper grazing management strategies to enhance both ecologic and economic sustainability.”

During the workshop, the Paynes will discuss their experiences and demonstrate advances in both rejuvenating their once overgrazed ranch using planned grazing management and the operation of their stocker cattle enterprise. The Paynes are managing calves in truckload-size herds by making daily movements to fresh 1-acre paddocks as forage conditions allow.

"Operating with stock densities nearing 100,000 pounds of live weight per acre, the pastures continue to re-grow following grazing events,” Aljoe said. “This provides average daily gains near 2 pounds per day per head, even during the drought. That’s exceptional management.”

Cost for the workshop is $20 per participant and includes lunch. For more information or to register, please contact Tracy Cumbie at 580.224.6411 or register online at www.noble.org/AgEvents.