Targeted grazing is an increasingly popular way to manage vegetation and is a growing source of income for U.S. sheep producers. It provides an opportunity for producers to diversify their operations, add a new income stream and help young people get started and stay in agriculture. In a survey conducted in 2021, half of the respondents were aware of targeted grazing projects that were done poorly by individuals who have been in the targeted grazing business for less than five years. There is a growing need for practical, applied information on how to manage and operate this service-based business. In 2006, the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) published "Targeted Grazing: A Natural Approach to Vegetation Management and Landscape Enhancement" which is a technical book lacking the applied information for new and beginning targeted grazers. In 2020, ASI began developing a "Targeted Grazing Guidebook" which aims to guide those wishing to run a targeted grazing business and those wishing to hire them. It is designed as a "How-To" book of practical, applied skills gathered from experienced contractors to be a resource to help new service providers get started and result in improved outcomes from projects. The content has been written and the next steps are to complete the publication process.
The objective of this project is to complete the "Targeted Grazing Guidebook" (Guidebook) publication process and support the targeted grazing industry by providing needed information and resources for service providers, educators, producers, and land managers. This grant will meet the need for improving and growing the targeted grazing industry. Successfully completed projects validate the benefits of targeted grazing as a vegetation management tool and its positive effects on the environment, which results in an improved perception of grazing and supports the long-term sustainability of targeted grazing with sheep. Specific objectives include: