This training series provides an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and abilities to plan, design, and install Prescribed Grazing (CPS528). Additional training may be needed.

Practice Specific


Training Type
Online Learning

United States


1.  Knowledge of ecological processes and implications for specific rangeland ecological sites, forage suitability groups, and/or forest ecological sites in the area of service

Title Description
Ecological Site Descriptions:  An Interdisciplinary and Interagency Effort - Webinar 1 This is the first session of an eight-session webinar series.  Session one provides a review of the history and use, from range site descriptions to ecological sites.  Relationship of ecological sites to soils maps and how information on ecological site descriptions can be accessed will be discussed.
Ecological Site Descriptions:  An Interdisciplinary and Interagency Effort - Webinar 2 This is the second session of an eight-session webinar series.  Session 2 provides a thorough review of the basic concepts of ecological sites, ecological resilience concepts in state-and-transition modeling, and how these concepts facilitate the understanding of disturbance and management.  The relationship of ecological sites to soils maps and how information on ecological site descriptions can be accessed will be discussed.
Forage Management Resources (Time: will vary) This website provides research and other resources related to forage selection, planting, pest management, harvest and storage.


2.  Skill in development of grazing management plans that are practical, address resource concerns, and meet manager's objectives groups, and/or forest ecological sites in the area of service

Title Description
Tech Talk: Introduction to Managed Grazing Systems During this session Dean Thomas, Fillmore SWCD, discusses the basic grazing management principles, benefits of prescribed grazing, and considerations for planning a grazing system.
Grazing Systems Planning Guide (Time: will vary)  This guide discusses the components of a grazing system by taking you through the grazing management planning process. Information on grazing resource inventory, plan development, pasture management, and system monitoring is provided.
Tech Talk - Calculating Stocking Rates Lance Smith, NRCS Rangeland Specialist, shows how to calculate stocking rates by considering forage production, herd needs, and the management of the grazing system.
Tech Talk - Scheduling Prescribed Grazing Practices Jeff Duchene, NRCS Grazing Lands Specialist, reviews the recommended order of installing facilitating practices for prescribed grazing. He reviews example grazing plans and discusses the order practices will be installed based on information gathered from the producer during the conservation planning process, as well as logistical considerations of how practices may impact the installation of other practices.
Tech Talk - Prescribed Grazing (CPS528) and CSP 528 Enhancements What livestock management is needed to meet the Prescribed Grazing Standard? What are the requirements to meet the CSP Prescribed Grazing Enhancements? Lance Smith, NRCS State Rangeland Management Specialist, reviews the 528 Practice Standard requirements and the CSP participant's technical requirements to meet the 528 Enhancement Criteria.
Prescribed Grazing Prescribed grazing is the foundational NRCS conservation practice that is applied on all lands that are grazed in conjunction with a wide array of facilitating and accelerating conservation practices that support it. The Prescribed Grazing course is an asynchronous, virtual instructor-led course that introduces employees and partners to the management of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals with the intent to achieve specific resource objectives.


3.  Ability to monitor landscapes and communicate needed adjustments

Title Description
Tech Talk Replay: Pasture Condition Scoresheet Tech Talk Replay from June 1, 2020. Lance Smith (NRCS) and Jeff Duchene (NRCS) review the purpose and applicability of pasture scoring in pasture management, conservation planning, and CART assessments.
Tech Talk Replay: Estimating Forage Production Tech Talk Replay from August 24 at 9:00 am. During this presentation Lance Smith, NRCS Rangeland Specialists, walks through the steps of making a visual estimate of forage production and then clipping and weighing a representative sample to verify the visual estimation. The goal is to repeat this process to the extent that a person can make an accurate visual estimate of forage production without taking the time to clip and weigh a sample from every site.
Tech Talk: Drought Planning for Pasture and Forage Management During this session Eric Mousel, UMN Extension, will focus on the impact of the 2021 drought on pasture and forage production in 2022. Eric will also discuss management actions producers should consider to aid in the recovery of drought affected pastures, as well as options to consider if the drought persists into the 2022 grazing season.
Improving Pastures (Time: 55:38) In this session, U of M Extension Educator Troy Salzer covers the importance of soil testing, fertilizing, liming, and seeding, along with an intro to the different styles of pasture management systems.


4.  Skill to complete grazing resource inventory with a producer on their farm or ranch, which includes a map locating existing fences, watering system, forages, sensitive features, and livestock handling facilities


5.  ESJAA/ENJAA for planning for any facilitating practices that are included within the prescribed grazing system

Title Description
Tech Talk: Well System Investigation Patrick Schultz, TTCP Engineer, walks through the steps for investigating a residential well system for the purposes of gathering data for livestock watering design. How to conduct a flow meter test as well as other tests for determining flow rate and pressure information are discussed as well as common well system components.
Tech Talk: Livestock Watering System Design Lea Holter, NRCS Assistant State Conservation Engineer, will provide an introduction to the new pipeline design worksheet. We will demonstrate how to use information collected earlier in the planning process to design a livestock watering system. It is recommended to watch the replay of "Tech Talk: Livestock Watering System Planning" first as this video builds off of that one.
Tech Talk: Livestock Watering System Planning Jeff Duchene, NRCS Grazing Lands Specialist, covers the planning considerations for livestock watering systems. Topics covered include identifying water sources and considerations for ensuring water sources have the potential to supply adequate water for the planned herd size, overview of pipe installation methods, overview of water tank materials, sizing water tanks, and considerations for placement of water tanks within the grazing system. Examples of watering system layouts are provided.
Tech Talk: Brush Management (CPS314) In Pastures Jeff Duchene, NRCS Grazing Lands Specialist, reviews the Brush Management (PS314) practice standard, implementation requirements, and statement of work. Jeff also discusses the planning and application of Brush Management in pastures.
Tech Talk Replay: Grazing Facilitating Practices - Part 1 Tech Talk Replay from July 13, 2020. Dean Thomas, Lance Smith, Aaron Peter, Amanda Deans, and Pat Schultz reviewed the use, planning, and design of commonly used practices to facilitate prescribed grazing systems. These webinars are pre-requisites for the field training scheduled for the last week of July. Practices covered in this webinar include: Fence (PS382), Heavy Use Area Protection (PS561), Trails and Walkways (PS575), and Stream Crossing (PS578).
Tech Talk Replay: Grazing Facilitating Practices - Part 2 Tech Talk Replay from July 20, 2020. Jeff Duchene, Nichole Sternquist, Craig Peterson, and Amanda Deans review the use, planning, and design of commonly used practices to facilitate prescribed grazing systems. Practices covered in this webinar include: Water Well (PS642), Pumping Plant (PS533), Pipeline (PS516), and Watering Facility (PS614).
Tech Talk Replay: Livestock Shelter Structure Tech Talk Replay from May 11, 2020. Lance Smith, Jeff Duchene, and Mike Krcmarik review the new Livestock Shelter Structure (PS576) information. During this webinar they provide an overview of the practice standard, Implementation Requirements worksheet, statement of work, planning considerations, and design of livestock shelter structures.  The practice covers permanent and portable windbreaks and shade structures.
Solar-powered Water Systems for Grazing Operations (Time: 1:14) Participants in this webinar will learn important considerations in planning for a solar-powered water delivery system for grazing operations, especially in contrast to permanent electrically-powered systems.
Also:  See specific practices for further training resources.    



Title Description
Silvopasture in Wisconsin: Goals, Challenges and Other Fodder for Thought Recorded webinar from the Agroforestry in Action webinar series. Diane Mayerfeld presents information on Silvopasture -- progress, challenges and what they have learned from trials and research in Wisconsin.
Silvopasture Resources The Sustainable Farming Association has compiled a variety of silvopasture resources including handbooks, fact sheets, case studies and webinars.  Webinars topics include,  Silvopasture in Minnesota, Digging Deeper into Silvopasture, and Economics of Silvopasture.
Introduction to Agroforestry Systems Participants will learn about the five recognized agroforestry practices: Windbreaks, Alleycropping, Silvopasture, Forest Farming and Riparian. (Time: 00:58)



Title Description
Evolution of Bale Grazing Farmer panel discussion on bale grazing.
Winter Soil Health Virtual Series The Minnesota Soil Health Coalition produced a series of webinars in January and February of 2021.  These five webinars are:  Webinar 1: Soil Health Virtual Series: Matt Tiffany + Brian Pfarr  Webinar 2: Cover Crop Mixes with Tomm Cotter and TJ Kartes  Webinar 3:  Livestock Integration with Tom Cotter and Kent Solberg;  Webinar 4:  Small Grains with Andy Linder and Jochum Wiersma;  Interseeding Covers with Ed McNamara,  TJ Kartes, Scott Haase, Matt Alford and Jerry Ackerman
Keep Cattle in Minnesota Project (Time: 1:27:49)  This video is produced by the Sustainable Farming Association and the Keep Cattle in Minnesota Program. The mission of this program is to sustain the beef and cattle industries while protecting and enhancing our vast environmental resources.
Body Condition Scoring Beef Cows This document provides guidance on how to determine a body condition score (BCS) for beef cows.  Body condition scores are excellent indicators of the nutritional status in beef cows.  There is a strong link between the body condition of a cow and her reproductive performance- an important factor in the economics of a cow-calf operation.
University of Minnesota Extension: Beef Extension This site provides access to publications and other resources related to beef production in Minnesota including cow/calf management, feedlot management, pasture and forage management, beef animal health, nutrient management, dairy beef production, and organic and natural beef production.  There is also a link on this page to “Home Study Courses” which are courses offered annually related to beef production.
Introduction to Agriculture – the Minnesota Dairy Industry (Time: 14:19) This video provides basic information on the dairy industry in Minnesota including breeds, terminology, production systems, industry trends, economics and issues.
Introduction to Animal Agriculture - The Minnesota Beef Industry (Time:16:57) This video provides basic information on the beef industry in Minnesota including terminology, production systems, economics and issues.


Updated: 10/10/2023