Texas Legends Plant ID & Grazing Workshop Campout

YMCA Roberts Ranch
Comfort, TX
Saturday, May 15, 2021
10 AM to 4:30 PM

Dinner and campout to follow – 5:30 PM till the sun comes up!

We’re sorry but this event is now full. If you would like to be added to the wait list please contact karak@ncat.org.

Join us for a day with Steve Nelle & Bill Carr, legendary wildlife biologist and botanists of Texas, as well as other grazing experts. This workshop at the beautiful Roberts Ranch will teach you how to identify common warm season grasses and forbs in your pastures and understand the value they offer to wildlife and livestock. Feel free to stay after the workshop for dinner to get to know your peers and campout under the stars.

We will also address:

• Upland pasture, riparian plants and pasture health
• Calculating range and forage production and estimating carrying capacity and stocking rate with the clip and weigh method
• Options for electric fence set up and how to train livestock to respect it
• Soil health and ecosystem function

Our speakers:

Steve Nelle is retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service where his career spanned 28 years as a range conservationist, district conservationist, wildlife biologist and zone biologist. Steve often engages as an advisor, teacher and leader in spreading riparian understanding. Steve has been involved with the Soil for Water initiative since its inception. He helps conduct annual monitoring at our research trials, instructs at workshops and events, and acts an advisor to our project.

Bill Carr
is a noted field botanist who has worked on plant inventories, surveys and protection efforts for Texas Parks and Wildlife (Natural Heritage Program), the Nature Conservancy of Texas, and his own firm, Acme Botanical Services. He has collected more than 37,000 plant specimens, with more than 15,000 catalogued at the herbarium at the University of Texas at Austin, to improve the understanding of plant distributions across the Southwest. He was a co-author, with Jackie Poole, Jason Singhurst, and Dana Price on the reference volume, Rare Plants of Texas (Texas A&M University Press 2007), and has made contributions to a number of journals, including Lundelia, Sida, and the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Bill has helped the Soil for Water conduct its research trials as a botanist since 2019.

Peggy Sechrist
, a student of holism and practitioner of Holistic Management for 25 years is also a Certified Educator in Holistic Management since 1992. She resides in the Hill Country of Texas near Fredericksburg with her husband, Richard. Through application of Holistic Management, Peggy and Richard were the first ranchers in Texas to create a certified organic, grass-fed beef operation in 1995, adding pastured poultry in 1998. She has advocated for and served sustainable agriculture for many years in collaboration with numerous agricultural and wildlife agencies including Texas A&M University, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Dept of Agriculture, and NRCS. She also served on the Board of Directors for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and USDA/SARE Administrative Council. Peggy continues to provide training and coaching in Holistic Management throughout Texas. Currently she is the Hill Country Advisor for the Soil for Water Initiative.

Kara Kroeger is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology in San Antonio, Texas. Kara earned a bachelor’s in general agriculture at Texas State University in 2018. With a background in in grass-fed beef production, she is knowledgeable about the use of regenerative management tools to improve pasture health and productivity. Her work includes developing and managing the NCAT Soil for Water initiative. Additionally, Kara became a Certified Herbalist at the Rocky Mountain Center of Botanical Studies in 1999, a Certified Nutritionist at the American Health Science University in 2003, and started training as a chef in 2009 with renowned chef Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due. She has owned Foundation Culinary, a nutritional consulting/private chef business since 2009.

Event Schedule

8:30-10:00 – Registration and camp setup

10:00 – Intro under pavilion

• Participants will be divided into four groups. Each group will visit two stations in the morning and two in the afternoon.

10:30 – 12: 15 – Four station rotation

• Upland Plant ID
• Electric fencing
• Riparian Plant ID
• Forage clipping

12:15 – 1:15 – Lunch

1:15-2:15 – Pavilion lecture (whole group)

• Soil health and ecosystem function

2:30 – 4:15 Four stations rotation

• Upland Plant ID
• Electric fencing
• Riparian Plant ID
• Forage clipping

4:15-4:30 – Pavilion Closing Statements

5:30-7:00 – Dinner (please register separately to attend the dinner)

Roberts Ranch will be open for camping on Saturday night to workshop participants. Feel free to stick around to enjoy the stars, bird watch and/or take a hike in the morning. There is lots to explore on this beautiful 1,100 acre ranch which is managed like a state natural area. From the creeks and streams to the gorgeous high bluffs there is fascinating geology and historical significance abound. You must come supplied with all your camping needs. Amenities are minimal but there are working restrooms and water. https://youtu.be/6Fi4RZ6wKIo

This event is $25 per person for the workshop and $15 per person for dinner. Dinner and campout are optional.