The sustainability of U.S. agriculture is threatened by the degradation and/or loss of ecosystem services through natural processes or human interventions such as reduced biological diversity, water and air pollution, and loss of soil quality.
Irrigated Pasture Farm
The Intermountain Irrigated Pasture Project was founded in 2005 through a long-term lease with Dennis W. and Karen T. Jackson and Wells and Jodie Jackson Family Trust. The project site contains 113 acres divided into 13 study areas ranging from 9-10 acres, and an overflow grazing area of 6 acres. In addition, buildings are available to be used as freezing and drying areas, as well as a harvested forage storage area. Each of the research areas is surrounded by a high-voltage electric fence. The project builds on previous work done by an interdisciplinary team of UAES researchers regarding pasture management.
The project has focused on forage development that is viable under an intensively managed grazing system and on various livestock studies in which cattle and sheep are grazed under management intensive systems. Forages studied include native and introduced grasses, a variety of legumes, and other forbs. Animal systems include cow-calf, calf backgrounding and cattle finishing. Other studies include sheep under different grazing strategies, work related to the Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation & Ecosystem Management (BEHAVE) group at USU.