Chadron State College
Chadron State College
 

Top Kenyan range management officials visit CSC

Mar 10, 2020

Seven Kenyan officials who are members of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for the Joint 24th International Grassland Congress and 11th International Rangeland Congress scheduled in Nairobi this fall pose during a visit to Chadron Feb. 22, 2020. front row, from left, Dr. Cecelia Onyango, University of Nairobi, Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary for Livestock and Chairman of NOC, Primrose Nabwire, manager of software for the Joint Congress, and Dr. Eliud Kireger, Director of the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization and Chair of the NOC Secretariat. Back row, from left, Dr. Ron Bolze, Dr. David Miano Mwangi, University of Nairobi, Dr. Joseph Mureithi, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization  and General Manager of the NOC Secretariat, Ernest Mbogo, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, and Dr. Jim O'Rourke. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)
Seven Kenyan officials who are members of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for the Joint 24th International Grassland Congress and 11th International Rangeland Congress scheduled in Nairobi this fall pose during a visit to Chadron Feb. 22, 2020. front row, from left, Dr. Cecelia Onyango, University of Nairobi, Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary for Livestock and Chairman of NOC, Primrose Nabwire, manager of software for the Joint Congress, and Dr. Eliud Kireger, Director of the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization and Chair of the NOC Secretariat. Back row, from left, Dr. Ron Bolze, Dr. David Miano Mwangi, University of Nairobi, Dr. Joseph Mureithi, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization and General Manager of the NOC Secretariat, Ernest Mbogo, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, and Dr. Jim O'Rourke. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)

CHADRON – Seven Kenyan members of the National Organizing Committee for the Joint 24th International Grassland Congress and 11th International Rangeland Congress scheduled in Nairobi this fall visited Chadron State College in February, as guests of Dr. Jim O’Rourke, Chadron State College Professor Emeritus. He has been working with the Kenyan NOC for four years. ​

They were in the region with a dual mission: to promote the late October event in Nairobi at the Society of Range Management (SRM) international meeting in Denver, and to learn about range practices in the western U.S.

O’Rourke planned a tour of the Sandhills and hosted the committee comprised of officials from several different organizations including the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization, the University of Nairobi, the International Grassland Congress, and the International Rangeland Congress.

In the early 1970s, O’Rourke lived in Tanzania, one of the tour sites during the Joint Congress. He has served as the Secretariat for International Rangeland Congress since 2011, wrote the original Congress Planning Guidelines, and makes the initial visit to each country who hosts a Joint International Grassland Congress/International Rangeland Congress to familiarize them with the process. 

After leaving Denver following the SRM meetings, O’Rourke and Dr. Ron Bolze accompanied the entourage to conservation offices in Ogallala, Sidney, and tours of private livestock operations near Hyannis, Arthur, Whitman, and Gordon. The group stayed in Chadron Feb. 22, met with CSC faculty and administrators and toured the Rangeland Complex the following day. After Chadron, the National Organizing Committee met with Wyoming livestock producers and conservation officials in Cheyenne before departing for Kenya Feb. 25.

Harry Kimtai, Principal Secretary for Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation and Chairman of the National Organizing Committee, said the Joint Congress will be a significant event for sharing scientific and technical information.

He was impressed with the way conservation officials, government researchers, and livestock producers work together.

“There are many correlations and many common issues because 80 percent of the Savanah grasslands in Kenya are arid and semi-arid. When conservation of wildlife and rangelands is integrated, it benefits both. We are going to use some of the practices we’ve learned for posterity and to sustain human life,” Kimtai said.

 

—Tena L. Cook Interim Marketing Coordinator

Chadron State College Range Management faculty Dr. Ron Bolze, right, and Dr. Jim O'Rourke, fourth from right, tour the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Feb. 21, 2020, with members of the National Organizing Committee for the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya. Walt Schacht, Interim Director, for the Center for Grassland Studies is speaking to the group. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)
Chadron State College Range Management faculty Dr. Ron Bolze, right, and Dr. Jim O'Rourke, fourth from right, tour the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory Feb. 21, 2020, with members of the National Organizing Committee for the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya. Walt Schacht, Interim Director, for the Center for Grassland Studies is speaking to the group. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)
National Organizing Committee members of the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya, right, listen to Rob Ziegler with the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, seated, Feb. 21, 2020. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)
National Organizing Committee members of the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya, right, listen to Rob Ziegler with the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, seated, Feb. 21, 2020. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)
Chadron State College Range Management faculty Dr. Jim O'Rourke, left, and Dr. Ron Bolze, fourth from left, tour the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory with members of the National Organizing Committee for the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya Feb. 21, 2020. Rob Ziegler with the laboratory, seated, is speaking to the group. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)
Chadron State College Range Management faculty Dr. Jim O'Rourke, left, and Dr. Ron Bolze, fourth from left, tour the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory with members of the National Organizing Committee for the Joint International Grassland Congress and International Rangeland Congress from Kenya Feb. 21, 2020. Rob Ziegler with the laboratory, seated, is speaking to the group. (Courtesy photo, used with permission)