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Livestock water, waste tour next week

Tips to help farmers and ranchers reduce fecal coliform bacteria in watersheds and reduce runoff will highlight a livestock waste and water tour Nov. 18 in Hays, Kan.

The event, which includes lunch, is free. Registration is from 8:30 to 9 a.m., and tours begin at 9 a.m. at the Kirk and Coleen Dickson Ranch, located northeast of Hays.

The tour is expected to attract livestock producers, ranchers, landlords and anyone interested in protecting and improving water quality.

The tour will demonstrate ways producers can help stop water pollution by preventing runoff and by providing a clean water source in pastures. In a Kansas State University (K-State) Research and Extension news release, K-State watershed specialist Stacie Minson pointed out benefits to producers, noting research in some northern states showing cattle prefer to drink from clean water, and that a clean water source can result in a 10% gain in performance.

The Hays tour will include information on the benefits of installing a watering source for livestock. Participants will have the chance to see a livestock waste system and waterer in use.

Educational displays will be available, and speakers from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS), Kansas Rural Center, Kansas Alliance of Wetlands and Streams, Kansas Environmental Leadership Program, and the Ellis County Conservation District will be present.

Interested persons should register in advance by calling (785) 632-4888.

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