Extension teaches landowners to be good stewards

family walking in field
Russell Kockx enrolled in the Land Steward Program to learn to manage his 31 acres in Central Point. (Photo: Tiffany Woods)

Over 140 people in southern Oregon have completed the training

Oregon's Rogue Valley is an attractive spot for newcomers looking to enjoy rural life. It's also home to a large retired population, some of whom are passing their land to the next generation. These heirs and new residents, however, don't necessarily have experience owning land.

With this in mind, the OSU Extension Service created the Land Steward Program. Offered in Jackson and Josephine counties, the six- to 10-week training teaches landowners how to create a healthy environment on their property. Participants tour other properties and see how landowners control weeds, care for their trees, enhance wildlife habitat, and safeguard their premises from wildfires. Graduates are required to spend 20 hours sharing their new knowledge with the public.

More than 140 people on about 5,000 acres of land have completed the program since it started in 2009. A survey of four years' worth of participants found that 85 percent had implemented at least five projects that they planned in class.

To learn more, watch this video of how the program has helped one family in Central Point or read this story about them.

Source: Rhianna Simes, coordinator of the Land Steward Program

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