By Sariah Israelsen
The Grazing Improvement Program started in 2006 and since then has had ongoing funding of $5 million every year. There is an extra $3 million on top of that this year. The application period starts on January 1 each year and ends in mid-August, and is open to all Utah livestock owners.
This grant will cover up to 50% of the cost of any grazing improvement projects on private land and up to 75% on public land.
“So, they still have skin in the game, they feel ownership in those projects and are way more likely to maintain them long term," said Troy Forrest, the Utah Grazing Improvement Program director for the UDAF.
Forrest said the program is competitive, but they try to rank the projects equally based on cost per animal unit, which is the amount of forage it takes to run one cow and one calf for a month.
Other factors that go into the decision making are whether or not it improves the watershed, prevents fires or controls noxious weeds.
Most of the focus is put on water management. Being able to relocate and manage water allows owners to move their livestock around more effectively to areas that were previously unavailable due to lack of water.
Time, timing and intensity are the three factors livestock owners want more control over when they improve their grazing.
Time is how long the livestock is grazing in an area. Timing is the time of year they are there, and intensity is how much forage is removed.Click here to see more...