Background and History

Dust Bowl

The Rangeland Technology and Equipment Council (RTEC) is an informal organization of land managers, engineers, academia, and private industry representatives interested in developing new rehabilitation equipment and strategies. 

The roots of RTEC go back to 1946 when the need for new site preparation and seeding equipment to stabilize watersheds and increase forage production on western USA rangelands led to the organization of the Reseeding Equipment Development Committee that was later (1958) renamed the Range Seeding Equipment Committee. 

These committees were instrumental in developing rangeland rehabilitation equipment such as the rangeland drill, the most well known implement that is still in use today.


Gully erosion

Original rangeland drill  

Early commercial rangeland drill

First rangeland drill constructed by the Forest Service in Oregon in 1951.


Range Seeding Equipment Committee designed the drill which was first constructed commercially by Laird Welding and Manufacturing Works in 1955.

In 1974 this committee was renamed the Vegetative Rehabilitation and Equipment Workshop (VREW) to reflect the diversity and broadened interest of new members.  Annual VREW meetings were held in association with the Society for Range Managementís (SRM) annual meeting (meetings continue to this day) and the proceedings of these meeting were published by the Forest Service until 1991.

In 1990, VREW was reorganized as RTEC to include new emphasis on innovative technology and strategies to improve revegetation success on disturbed rangelands.  

Kemmerer drill seeding after a wildfire   Truax Rough-rider drill

The traditional rangeland drill has undergone several modifications and advancements since its early development.


  Goals are to improve flexibility for seeding complex native mixes while conserving soil crusts and residual natives.
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