[quote="Sierraman"]Let me begin by admitting, I'm not a rancher. I'm currently a student with a desire to help ranchers.
I am asking: What is your view on the human role on the world and the land? As ranchers why do you care about the land and why do you think you can use it?
My view (you may differ, I want to know your views, but here comes mine) is that God gave us the world. We have certain priveleges and responsibilities. We use the land, and we care for it. As ranchers you use the land to grow food. Yet you care for it and keep it healthy. You're motivated by your future and probably by your family's to keep your land useful.
What applications are there? First of all, not everyone should be a rancher, that is not the best way to support our agriculture system. Concrete slabs are okay, but we do seem to be a bit wild with our use of concrete in America, and in building shiny subdivisions on the best lands.[/quote]
I live on the land that my great grandfather, my grandfather and my father built into a ranch. If I were to sell out, it would be like selling my ancestors graves.
I try to work with the land and not against it. There are no short term gains that are worth despoiling the land! Many practices that have been around for a while are now being looked at more closely, as they are turning out to not being the best, in the long run.
For example, fly control. It has been found that if cattle are moved every 5 days or so, that you will have a lower rate of flies per animal.
Truning a few cows into a pasture for a long time is harder on the good grasses than turning a large number on the same pasture for a short time. Competition amongst the cattle make them eat grasses they would not choose so all grasses and forbs are eaten at about the same rate.
I have heard of a man in Montana who will leave cows in a pasture until they have knocked down and eaten the sagebrush. He then doesn't graze the pasture again for several years. In this way, he is getting more grass and less sagebrush. I'm not sure if he has upped his stocking rate, but am sure that he doesn't run less. The feller that told me about it claimed that it seems to be working. Tho' I don't know what kind of gains he is getting.
I try to treat my land as a hay field, with cattle as the harvester. When the graze is cut off, I get the cattle off and don't come back untill it grows back. Much the same as haying fields and meadows, other than the fact that my harvesting system also fertalizes!
I would say that the human role is much the same as the creed of the doctor, "first, do no harm."
It is up to us to sustain and wisely use, that which has been set before us, so as to pass it on to the next generation, in as good of shape or better, as we recieved it.
Animals, trees, grass all need to be harvested or nature will harvest for us and most people don't appreciate the way that nature will do the harvesting!
As for your comment on not everyone being ranchers, thats why our life is difficult at times, if ranching was easy, everyone would be a rancher!