- Author: Matthew Shapero
In September 2017, the University of California Cooperative Extension hired me to fill the role of Area Livestock & Range advisor. The ultimate goal of my program will be to assist producers and other land managers to successfully navigate the challenges that they face on the Central Coast. My program will provide relevant, science-based information and will develop an applicable and progressive research program to respond to the questions and needs of the local clientele. Future research and education will benefit livestock operators and rangeland managers through:
- Addressing animal health issues that will increase the welfare and productivity of livestock
- Promoting rangeland management practices that benefit both the land and the ranching operation
- Facilitating conversation between community stakeholders in order to achieve responsible management
- Improving animal genetics and performance, ranch profitability, and ecological sustainability
A little bit about me: after attending university and then farming on the East Coast, I returned to California in 2010 and settled in Nevada County, California, where I began working with livestock: first, I ran a ranching business that raised pigs, broiler chickens, and sheep and sold meat at local farmers' markets and to restaurants; most recently, I was the foreman for a 100-cow direct-to-consumer, grass-fed beef operation. These years on the ranch have provided me with firsthand knowledge of stockmanship, rangeland ecology, herd health, business management, and an awareness of the need to balance livestock and natural resource stewardship. This experience in the industry has been supplemented by my recent graduate work. In 2016, I completed a Range Management Masters of Science degree at the University of California, Berkeley. My coursework in the ecological sciences and exposure to the social and policy dimensions of natural resource management has prepared me well, I think, to assume the role of Livestock and Range advisor in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.
I am most pleased to be able to serve you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, and I hope to meet many of you soon. My main work these first months is to get to know local producers, agency personnel, and other land managers. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or comments or an invitation to visit you on your farm, ranch, or office. I can be reached by phone (805-645-1475), email (email@example.com), or in person at our office in Ventura (669 County Square Drive, Suite #100).