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Making a Difference: Center for Native Grasslands Management


The Center for Native Grasslands Management is a collaborative initiative focused on bringing improved outcomes to farms, forests, and rural communities throughout Tennessee, the Southeast, and the eastern United States. By restoring and managing imperiled native grass communities, the center seeks to provide science-based improvements in forage production, forest management, soil and water conservation, and wildlife conservation. The Center for Native Grasslands Management was established in 2006 and has involved 89 faculty members, 19 graduate and 110 undergraduate students in its work.

Cropped Controlled-burn-of-native-grasses-w-TN-Wildlife-Resources-Agency-(TWRA)

Controlled burn with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

The Partners

Community Partners include numerous individual landowners and producers, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, US Forest Service, Joint Fire Science Program, USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Badische Anilin-Unda Soda-Fabrik (BASF) Chemical Company, Roundstone Native Seed, Ernst Conservation Seed, Bamert Seed, USDA Sun Grant, University of Kentucky, University of Arkansas, University of the Virgin Islands, and Auburn University. University of Tennessee partners include the UT Institute of Agriculture, UT Extension, UT AgResearch, The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resource (CASNR), and CASNR Departments of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries; Plant Sciences; Animal Sciences; and Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Impact on UT

The Center for Native Grasslands Management promotes the advancement of science in grasslands conservation including forage production, sustainable forest management, biofuels production, wildlife conservation, and economic development. This multi-disciplinary approach in turn provides training for scores of graduate students and engaged learning opportunities to undergraduates through participation in field research.

Cropped _Dr.-Keyser-(center-in-orange-shirt)-discussing-the-value-of-the-native-pastureland-to-ranchers-and-landowners.

UT’s Dr. Pat Keiser (in orange) discussing value of native pastureland with ranchers and landowners

Impact on Community

The Center provides research-based leadership for restoring/enhancing native grasslands in Tennessee and the eastern United States, which are the focal areas for the emerging herbaceous biofuels economy and 50 million-acre, forage-based beef industry. It has provided training for technical and scientific experts in current, science-based grasslands management. It also provides students with scientific training and exposes them to direct contacts with producers, managers and professionals. The center’s outreach efforts are augmented with printed and web-based materials containing the information from the latest research for managing native grasses for multiple objectives. Twenty-four demonstration projects have been installed across five states that provide classrooms with training and exposure to thousands of producers, managers, landowners, land managers, natural resources professionals and the general public on science-based approaches for native grasslands conservation and management.

Related Feature Video:  Native Grasslands>>



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Click here to read about more Partnerships that Make a Difference.