Exploring Inherding as a Grazing Practice for Conservation and Rangeland Health in West

UHPSI research assistants have partnered with Texas A&M University-Kingsville and a Wyoming ranch to study the feasibility of implementing inherding in the western U.S. Inherding is the practice of strategically herding cattle in a manner that prevents rangeland overuse, promotes livestock well-being, and facilitates natural-resource conservation. Unlike more conventional grazing strategies, inherding requires handlers to remain with the herd for the entirety of the grazing period. By using rancher knowledge to plan herd movement, inherding allows herds to ingest phytochemically rich diets and manages cattle use of the rangeland to support stewardship goals such as riparian restoration while minimizing human-predator conflicts. The team is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether inherding is an economically feasible grazing strategy, and if so, under what conditions, as well as studying ranchers’ interest in using this novel method.


Texas A&M University — Kingsville and The Boot Ranch, WY


This system thinking map is one way to visualize the intricacies of adopting a new grazing management practice. By understanding how different ecological, economic, political, and social variables contribute to the decision to adopt a new practice, such as inherding, one can see the multitude of factors acting. 


Cally Guasti, Research Assistant| Cally is a Master’s of Environmental Management candidate focusing on ecosystem management and conservation, and environmental justice issues. The intersection of public health and environmental issues, such as resource allocation and equity, are her principal commitments. She has a background in case management and environmental education. In her free time, Cally loves to birdwatch and write fiction.  |  Blog

Hailee Gibaldo, Research Assistant| Hailee is a Senior at Yale College majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is working with Ucross to research global inherding techniques, a method used to graze livestock. She became interested in food systems working on two farms during the past two summers in Alaska and Massachusetts. On campus, she also works for the Yale University Herbarium digitizing records and giving tours. See what Hailee has been up to.  |  Blog