Subscribe for 33¢ / day

A program to help ranchers with everything from creating written records easily to dealing with regulators to increasing profitability will be presented at a free workshop with guest speakers and a panel discussion Thursday, March 9, in Los Alamos.

The Ranching Sustainability Analysis Workshop from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John and Brandy BranQuinho Ranch, 3700 Highway 135, is being presented by the UC Cooperative Extension and sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Cattlemen’s Association.

Guest speakers will be Kevin Merrill of Mesa Vineyard Management, who will talk about the development of the grape growers’ positive point system that led to the Ranching Sustainability Analysis, and Russell Chamberlain and Mary Heyden, who will relate their personal experiences using the RSA.

Panel members and their discussion topics will include Steve Sinton on RSA confidentiality, monitoring and easements; George Work on communication and creative thinking; Chuck Pritchard on measuring practices for profitability; and Bill Tietje on RSA 101, developed by ranchers.

Other panelists and their topics will be Royce Larson on a nonregulatory tool and water quality regulations; Karl Striby of the Natural Resources Conservation Service on ranch management practices; and Jeff Rodriguez, also of the NRCS, on the service’s programs to help ranchers.

The RSA was developed by ranchers who understand the needs of ranchers and land managers, a UC Cooperative Extension spokesman said.

It presents a fast, easy way to create a written record; fosters communication among family, employees and agencies; demonstrates dedication to stewardship; and stimulates creative thinking about good ranching practices.

It also acts as a nonregulatory tool that may help ranchers with regulators and provides a new way to measure practices, leading to additional profitability, the spokesman said.

Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

Although the workshop is free, those planning to attend should register by calling 781-5940 or visiting

For more information about the workshop, contact Royce Larsen at 434-4106 or

For more information about RSA, visit

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at