Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Animal Science


Animal Science


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Marc Horney

Advisor Department

Animal Science

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Service-grazing is a novel term for grazing done on land not owned or rented by a livestock producer or manager, for the purpose of land management, and for which the owner or land manager receiving grazing services pays compensation to the service provider. This research project seeks to gather detailed information about producers in the Western United States, providing grazing services under this project’s definition of “service-grazing”, with a focus on those operating in California, in order to discover the business models or practices necessary to be successful within a service-based grazing operation. To this end, an online survey consisting of 59 questions was designed and administered to 25 service-grazers operating with the Western United States. Demographic data collected suggested that service-grazers tend to be younger than most sheep producers. They are also highly educated and generally not generational farmers. The majority of service grazers graze mostly goats and are highly dependent on off-farm income. Due to the limited number of responses received to the survey, it is recommended that future work be split into two parts: 1) compiling an accurate and up-to-date list of producers providing grazing services, with detailed demographic information and specific characteristics of each operation; 2) a further survey to question those producers as to the feasibility of transitioning, in whole or in part, from a production-based livestock operation to one providing grazing services.