Vegetation sampling is a crucial part of research involving rangeland cattle grazing. It is a way to quantify how much and of what type forage cattle are consuming throughout the grazing season. It can help range and animal scientists understand grazing patterns and preferences of cattle while also looking at the environmental impact of grazing distribution. For my data collection, vegetation sampling occurred at the beginning (early June) and end (early September) of the summer grazing season. As you can see in the pictures (left and center), I was ill-prepared for the pre-grazing vegetation sampling in terms of protecting myself against spiky plant dispersal units. By the end of the grazing season, I tried some other tactics (right) to protect myself (spoiler alert: they did not work).
We used a side-by-side buggy like the one pictured below to get to steeper, difficult terrain in the pasture.
[Photos and caption by Maggie Creamer]