Virtual Training #3: Livestock and Range Drought Management

February 18, 2022


Learn about livestock and rangeland drought management from the perspective of four ranchers across the state and beyond who are innovators in drought response and preparedness.

Speakers & Bios

Robbie LeValley – Robbie LeValley is a cow-calf producer from Western Colorado.  LeValley Ranch is a multi-generational ranch and owns a direct beef marketing business with five other ranches that include a retail store and two USDA packing and processing facilities.  LeValley Ranch utilizes BLM permits and private lands for grazing and was the recipient of the Colorado Section of the Society of Range Management Grazing Excellence award in 2005.  They are active partners with BLM, NRCS, CPW, and USFWS.

Erik Tucker – My wife, Mary Beth and I have a ranch west of Ordway CO. After retiring from custom cattle feeding for over 25 yrs we wanted to go back to more ranching. From early on in my career, I have been interested in how ranching with nature and the Holistic approach could create solutions to the problems faced by ranchers today.

Joe Lanier – Joe Lanier grew up in southwest Colorado in the small town of Pleasant View. He attended high school in Cortez and graduated in 1997. In 1997-1998 he was a Colorado State FFA Officer. Joe graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2004 with an Animal Science and Ag Business degree. He moved back to Pleasant View in 2004 after graduation, and bought his own farm that they run today, as well as help his dad on his place that has been in the family since Joe’s great grandfather homesteaded it in 1917. Joe married his  wife Jennifer in 2002 and they have 6 kids.

John Welch – John Welch was born and raised in Midland Texas and moved to Colorado after graduating from Texas A&M. He ranched in southeastern Colorado for 30 years and returned to Texas in 2003 to take a position as CEO and President of Spade ranches with offices in Lubbock, Texas. The Spades have operated in west Texas since 1889 and currently run approximately 6,000 cows on five different locations in west Texas. Since retiring from Spade Ranches, he has continued to be involved with our family operation, Welch Cattle, CO, which runs a cow calf operation on their ranches in Colorado and on leased ranches in Montana and Texas.

His presentation will involve constructing a timeline for actions to take when faced with drought. It will include examples of how those steps were used during the drought of 2011-2012 and how they worked. Also he will discuss the practices of rotational grazing and how it can help in a drought and what type of cow he runs in a drought prone area

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