Its late spring 1864 and there’s a slight chill in the air as the woman pulls her shawl a little tighter over her shoulders as she watches her little girl run about with her dog. Evening is approaching and as the sun begins to fade into purples, oranges, and reds it accents this unfamiliar land. The woman has fallen in love with the slight rise and swell of the land as far as the eye can see. She is determined that this area is where she and her husband will stake as their land. Her husband walks up and wraps his arm around her shoulder as they both look out over the land that is to become their homestead. Their cattle are already foraging in the lush grasses about them. It’s a new beginning, a second chance, and the start of what soon becomes modern day ranching.
If we take a step back through time and the importance of proper land management it is much like those rises and swells of the land mentioned. There is no denying that improper land management has occurred throughout time leading to devastating soil, grass, and native losses. However, as the saying goes “With age, there comes wisdom” it is also true for management. Throughout the years, ranchers, farmers, and conservation have continued to improve on their land management skills, and one way to see of those improvements is by what grasses are present on the land. One of those grasses that is a good indication of proper land management is the warm-season bunchgrass; Indiangrass.
Sales and Marketing Manager Rhett Kerby’s experience in land management has led to Indiangrass being his favorite native grass; and these are his reasons why.
- Indiangrass is only typically found in areas where management has been top priority. It does not tolerate overgrazing, therefore making it an indicator of pristine environmental conditions and management.
- Indiangrass is also a part of the native plant community that pollinators will seek out.
- Wildlife use Indiangrass not only for food via seed or forage, but also as nesting habitats, and brood and escape for bobwhite quail.
- Indiangrass is also a major element in the native prairies that are dominated with tall grass vegetation.
Time is our proof that hard work and determination to make the best out of what we are given has helped in our land management skills. It’s our ability to accept what we are given and make changes to accomplish our goals. As Audrey Hepburn once said “I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish more than I had ever hoped.”
[avatar user=”admin” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]by Gretchen Adams, M.S.[/avatar]