These are pictures I took at two events that have helped me to learn more about ranching and the larger social and environmental context of ranching. A little "participant observation / participant action" to kick start my time at Davis.
1) In June, I attended a fieldtrip sponsored by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition to East Bay Municipal Utilities District. The trip featured a grazing partnership initiated as an alternative to burning. Near a water supply and urban development, soil erosion, air pollution, and invasive plants are all important factors in the managing open space. My claim to fame was bringing sunscreen and sharing it with others.
2) A friend and I happened upon a rodeo at a Driscoll Ranch in La Honda two weekends ago. It seemed strange that there was a rodeo while the state fair was in action, but it was a great people watching experience. I learned a lot of rodeo terminology I'd never heard of before. Who knows? Maybe it will come in handy. I had never before seen young women perform a mix of rodeo/gymnastics/circus/cheerleading. It was insane. I've heard fo a prep school in San Francisco where rodeo is part of the curriculum. I wonder if that is where these you women go?
Unfortunately, I did not have a very good camera with me on either trip. This week, I go in to the field with legislators and the California Cattlemen's Association and next week join Ken Tate on a field trip focused on the Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Effects Assessment Program.