Sustainability Workshops

It isn’t easy to make a living from the land. Which is why Western Sustainability Exchange focuses on the power of markets and education to improve the economic and financial viability of sustainable land managers. Each Fall, WSE organizes a series of workshops specifically centered on improving the triple bottom line for agriculture operations:  people, planet, and profit.

Low-Stress Livestock Handling: Principles, Techniques, and Practical Applications

In October of 2013 WSE and the Stockmanship Journal led this workshop series on a fundamental component of production agriculture that has significant impacts on the bottom line. 

Whit Hibbard, fourth-generation Montana rancher, former national park mounted ranger, and editor of Stockmanship Journal, led three workshops on low-stress livestock handling. Low-stress livestock handling requires no additional inputs, yet studies show that it can significantly increase production and performance. Whit makes the case for low-stress livestock handling and covered the fundamentals, including principles, techniques, and practical applications.

Good stockmanship improves:

  • Performance – weight gains, conception rates, immune function, and carcass quality
  • Efficiency – accomplish the same workload with less labor
  • Safety
  • Welfare
  • Quality of life

“It’s important to understand the reason for handling livestock better, which is more production with the same feed and water. Proper livestock handling will increase productivity”  – Bud Williams

“Good stockmanship will improve the bottom line.”  - Temple Grandin

Learn more at



Drought Planning 

Drought & Resilience:  Boom or Bust?

In December 2012 WSE and Land EKG led this exclusive workshop series for steering ranch operations through drought.

Charley Orchard and Land EKG lead interactive discussions on drought and tactics that ranchers and land managers can apply to their grazing lands.

These workshops will covered:


  • Low Precip Blues? Come learn some practical tactics, tools, and options for dealing with drought
Grazing Management
  • Grazing Cages – Utilitarian management devices
  • Grazing Indexes – What’s your report card?
  • Stocking Rates – Figure them. Snap easy, snap fast
  • Track what counts
  • Rain Gauges – a lifetime monitoring tool
  • Live Maps – Get yours and make it useful
  • Useful applications

Drought is hard. It’s even harder if you don’t have a strategy.

2010 and 2011 Workshops

Dave shows attendees how to start a livestock business from scratch

Ranching For Profit

Dave Pratt, who has taught the Ranching For Profit School for nearly 20 years, has lead 7 WSE-organized workshops over the past 2 years.

Pratt covered such topics as the three ways to increase profit, a method of benchmarking to identify profit drivers and “Dead Wood,” how to increase the availability of working capital, and how to increase profit by structuring one’s operation to be in sync with natural cycles.

For specific workshop content, click here.

Thanks to Centennial Valley Association and Madison Valley Ranchlands Group for helping us organize and host these workshops. Thanks to Stockman Bank and Bank of the Rockies for generously sponsoring!

To view archived and live webinars on Ranching For Profit principles, visit

For specific information on and trainings in the ecological indicators that ultimately underpin the profitability of any land-based business, visit