Ag Minute Blog, Grazing in the West

Ag Minute Blog, Grazing in the West

Did you know that 85% of land in the United States is unsuitable for growing crops such as vegetables, fruits or grains? It’s either too wet, dry, rocky or sandy to be farmed. But native grasses, those that tolerate local conditions such as drought and heat, do grow on land not suited for commercial farming. And that’s where grazing comes in.

Cattle take a resource that is unusable by any other standard, and turn it into beef. In the West, much of the rangeland is owned by the Bureau of Land Management. In accordance with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 the BLM follows a multi-use doctrine and administers ranching on its rangeland.

Ranching preserves the cultures and traditions of the West while providing open space and beautiful view sheds. It’s also the life-blood of many rural communities that would cease to exist without ranching families.

Additionally, ranchers play a vital role in maintaining our state’s elk, deer and antelope herds since in the process of feeding and watering their cattle, they also provide habitat for wildlife. Steak, open spaces and abundant wildlife, it all depends on your local rancher. This is Dalene Hodnett with the New Mexico Farm Bureau Ag Minute.