Derner honored by Society for Range Management with W.R. Chapline Award | TheFencePost.com
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Derner honored by Society for Range Management with W.R. Chapline Award

Justin D. Derner received the W.R. Chapline Research Award at the Society for Range Management’s 75th Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, N.M., earlier this February. This is the highest honored bestowed to a research scientist by the society. The award is presented in recognition of his major research accomplishments in the areas of grazing management and grazing systems, stakeholder engagement in collaborative rangeland research, and long-term climate impacts on forage and livestock production in the Great Plains.

His peers consider his research to be exemplary in both quantity and quality, and to continually challenge traditional rangeland management paradigms with innovative experimental approaches to strengthen the scientific basis for rangeland management. Among Derner’s greatest research accomplishments is the design and implementation of the Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management project that addresses multiple management objectives in collaboration with diverse regional stakeholders. This accomplishment is founded on the recognition that scientific evidence, in the absence of relevant stakeholder engagement, is often insufficient to produce effective solutions to rangeland management challenges.

Derner is the research leader for the Rangeland Resources and Systems Research Unit in the Center for Agricultural Resources Research at Fort Collins, Colo. He directs a multi-disciplinary research program that focuses on sustainable management of social-ecological systems in semiarid rangelands through enhancing decision-making by land managers using monitoring-informed adaptive management to improve resiliency and reduce risk in a changing climate.



For the tremendous contributions to the science and management of rangeland ecosystems he has made, it is with great honor the Society of Range Management recognized Derner with the W.R. Chapline Research Award.

Senate Ag GOP hires Thomas for nutrition post

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, announced that Katherine Thomas will join as senior professional staff on the Republican side of the committee.



Thomas, who previously served as a legislative assistant on the committee during the tenure of then-Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., returns to manage the nutrition portfolio for Boozman.

Prior to joining the committee, Thomas served as a legislative assistant in the office of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., where she handled agriculture and trade for the senator. She also previously covered agriculture policy for Roberts in his personal office.

Thomas served as deputy legislative director for Rep. Tracey Mann, R-Kan., and began her career as a staff assistant for then-Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan.

A native of Wichita, Kan., Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of William & Mary.

USDA names appointees to the Colorado FSA State Committee

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced appointees who will serve on the Colorado USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state committee.

Members of the FSA state committee are appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and are responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving program delivery appeals from the agriculture community, maintaining cooperative relations with industry stakeholders, keeping producers informed about FSA programs and operating in a manner consistent with USDA equal opportunity and civil rights policies.

Each FSA state committee is comprised of three to five members including a designated chairperson. The individuals appointed to serve on this committee for Colorado are: Committee Chair Todd Hagenbuch – Steamboat Springs; Aquino Gallegos – San Luis; Gary Frank – Johnstown; Tom Parks – Yuma; Jeni Lamb Rogers – Arvada.

“The FSA state committee members play an integral role in the continuity of operations, equitable and inclusive program administration and ensure the overall integrity of services to the nation’s agricultural producers,” said Marcus Graham, FSA deputy administrator for field operations. “These individuals have proven themselves to be leaders, early adopters and key influencers in the agriculture industry in their respective states – qualities that will serve them well in these key Biden-Harris Administration leadership positions.


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