This winter, please join us for a series of Webinars on Drought Resiliency in Ranching. It is no secret that 2021 was a devastating drought across the state of Montana. It is also inevitable that we will see other drought seasons of this magnitude in the coming years. Presentations this winter will focus on measures you can take to prepare your ranch for the next drought, how to create a drought contingency plan for your operation, and the climate tools we have to plan for the upcoming growing season.

Field with irrigation system running

Using Regional Climate Data to Create a Ranch Drought Plan

Wednesday, January 19 at 3:00 pm CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING

Retta Bruegger is a regional specialist in range management with Colorado State University.  She will be presenting on how to create a drought contingency plan for your ranching operation and how to use regional climate information to inform your decisions for the upcoming growing season. Having a solid drought plan individualized for your operation will help you make decisions ahead of a dry season, instead of just reacting to water shortages.

Climate Tools for Producers in Montana

Wednesday, February 2 at 3:00 pm — CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING

The Montana Climate Office, in collaboration with the MT Drought & Climate research project, is working to develop more useful climate information tools and resources for Montana’s farmers and ranchers. During this session, Dr. Kyle Bocinsky (Climate Science Lead), Dr. Kelsey Jensco (State Climatologist) and Ada Smith (PhD student) will present and welcome feedback on some of the tools MCO/MTDC are developing. Please feel free to have a look at some of the resources before the session: and

Creative Solutions for Drought Resilience — A Ranchers’ Panel

Wednesday, February 16 at 3:00 pm – CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING

During this presentation of our drought resilience webinar series, we will be hearing from three different producers across the state of Montana on some of the proactive measures they are taking to increase resiliency against future drought conditions. These ranchers have come up with creative solutions to combat dry conditions, and we are looking forward to learning about the ways they have navigated a drier and hotter climate.

Cooper Hibbard from Sieben Live Stock will be sharing the data he has collected over the past several years regarding grazing management and increased forage production over some of the driest years on the ranch’s records. Cooper will also share some of the ways he has increased farming production on his operation.

Lane Larsen from the Diamond Cross Ranch will be sharing some of the work their ranch has done on natural water storage and how they have revived some of the springs that had previously dried up on the ranch through timber harvesting.

Erik Kalsta of the Kalsta Ranch in the Big Hole watershed is doing a number of interesting things to manipulate the speed that water moves through his irrigated ground. He will be sharing the projects he’s done and some of the results they’ve seen over past dry years.

Drought Planning for your Ranch

Wednesday, February 23 at 3:00 pm – CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RECORDING

Dr Doug Tolleson is an Associate Professor with Texas A&M AgriLife Research at the Sonora Research Station. He conducts research on prescribed fire, rangeland soil and vegetation monitoring methods, and the application of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy to study grazingland animal nutrition and physiology. Dr. Tolleson will be presenting on his research and the work that he does helping southwest ranchers plan for drought.

Thank you to our webinar series sponsors for their generous support: 

For more information about this webinar series, contact Drought Technician Kate Mannix at