2019 Appalachian Grazing Conference in WV March 7, 8 & 9

I’ll be speaking at the 2019 Appalachian Grazing Conference which will be held in Morgantown WV on March 7-9, 2019. The theme for the conference will be: “Create a Winning Combination… managing soil, water, plant and animal health.”  http://www.wvagc.com/   

The Art and Science of Grazing – learning from successful grass farmers:

In the last few decades of visiting farms, I’ve had the opportunity to visit many successful grass based livestock farms and learn more about how different farmers in different climates have successfully designed and managed their grazing systems and farm businesses.  In the process, I’ve been reminded that all these successful grass based livestock systems are based on some basic and essential guidelines.  These guidelines aren’t new, they’ve been known for at least 200 years, and during that time farmers and researchers have written about them, developed new technology to make it easier to do, and developed different types of grazing methods.  By studying grazing systems working well on a variety of farms, we can learn more about these grazing principals and how to apply them so that we are caring for the pasture plants, livestock, soils, farmers and our ecosystem.  Along the way, we can be better informed and inspired by the many creative ways that these basic grazing guidelines are in use different farms.


Preventing Pasture Pitfalls: Learning from Our Livestock and Pastures

Part of managing pastures well is honing our observation skills to assess what the plants and animals are telling us about their health. This session will review the key grazing principles that help pastures improve, allow our cattle to maximize pasture dry matter intake pastures and avoid a whole list of potential problems. We will also look ways to observe livestock, manure, soils and plants to determine how well your pasture management system is working.  Developing those observation skills will make it easier to find creative ways to adjust the grazing system to improve the well-being of livestock and increase pasture quality and productivity.


Sheep, goats, and multi species grazing.

Why do small ruminants graze so differently than cows? Should you graze your sheep with your cows, or should you use a leader follower system?    Does multi species grazing really help with parasite management?  Should you incorporate browse species into the grazing system? How do you manage fence if you are grazing a flock, herd or a mixed “flerd”. We’ll answer these questions and more at this workshop on grazing systems for small ruminants.