Sarah Flacks ’s workshops and lectures are interactive, dynamic and designed to meet the needs of a diverse audience. Most of these workshops can be done on-farm or in a classroom as a whole or half day workshop.  They can also be offered as a one to two hour power point presentation.  Check the calendar and look at both the past and upcoming events for a full list of recent workshops and webinars.

Here is a listing of some of the workshops offered recently:


IMG_8394  The Creative Application of Grazing Science

As part of the background research for her most recent book, The Art and Science of Grazing Management,  Sarah Flack toured a series of grass-based farms in the Eastern US and Europe.  In this workshop, Sarah will show how the core principals of good grazing management–including careful planning, observation and monitoring–are being applied in very unique ways on different farms in different climates and regions using creative application of grazing system design, infrastructure, stocking densities, and plant species selection.

DSCF1520 The Graziers Tool Box – improving pasture productivity and quality

This workshop will discuss how to use the basic “tools” of grass farming to feed our livestock and improve the pastures. Topics will include different stocking rates, stock densities and trampling. We will also talk about how allowing plants more or less time to regrow, the use of shorter or taller pre grazing heights and the amount of residual pasture left behind effects the animals, soils and plants. By better understanding, and using these “graziers tools” we can change the pasture plant species composition, pasture productivity & quality, soil health, and livestock performance.


IMG_4738  Observations on the Grass-Fed Dairy Production Model

What can we learn about the challenges, solutions and innovations on the growing number of 100% grassfed dairy farms?  This workshop will cover strategies to maximize forage dry matter intake, monitor livestock and pasture performance, and use both old and new technologies to better understand and manage all forage dairy farms.

guys holstein on pasture looking at camera Key Principals of Well Managed Grazing Systems

What are your livestock and pastures telling you about your grazing management system? This workshop will cover the basic principals of good grazing management systems, first from the perspective of the plants, and then from the perspective of the livestock. Once we put those two important pieces together, we will discuss how to monitor pastures and animals so that we can maximize dry matter intake from pasture and use grazing to improve pasture quality and productivity.

may 31 mix 084_2 Maximizing pasture intake

Increasing pasture intake is essential for higher rates of gain in finishing animals, better body condition & more milk from lactating animals. In this workshop we will discuss methods to manage & monitor pastures & animals to maximize dry matter intake pasture while using grazing to improve pasture quality & productivity.

 Basic Pasture Management

Covers the fundamentals of what you need to know to set up a new grazing system, or improve an existing one.  Using practical examples of grazing systems, we’ll discuss pasture plant species and how to manage to keep desirable plants growing vigorously as well as what can be done with livestock and fence to transform the types of plants in your pasture to productive high quality livestock feed without expensive plowing and planting.  Topics include plant species, grazing methods, fence, water systems, pasture design and layout, and how to calculate paddock sizes and the number of acres you’ll need.


IMG_0406Preventing Grazing Pitfalls:  Learning from our livestock and pastures

Grass based organic farmers know the importance of pasture as the primary feed source for their cattle. But part of managing pastures well is honing our observation skills to assess what the plants and animals are telling us about their health. In this workshop, we will review the key grazing principles that help your cattle maximize dry matter intake from pastures and avoid potential problems. We will also learn how to observe the livestock, their manure, and pasture plants to determine the health of your pasture management.

may 31 mix 084_2Grazing School

In this 9 to 5 workshop we will spend the morning on the basic principals of good grazing management systems. Topics will include grazing and non grazing adapted plant species, soils and management systems that improve pasture quality and productivity. Using examples of real farm grazing systems we will cover system design, fence, water systems, lanes, paddock sizing and acreage requirements. In the afternoon we will go into more depth in our discussion of how to use different stocking densities, pre and post grazing heights, length of rest periods, different plant species to improve pasture and maximize dry matter intake from pasture. We will use photos of pastures and cows to talk about how to observe and monitor pastures and cattle so that we can better understand if our grazing systems are working the way we want them to.


Multi Species Grazing

Should you graze your sheep with your cows, or should you use a leader follower system?  And what is the difference between an egg-mobile and a chicken tractor?  Does multi species grazing really help with parasite management? We’ll answer these questions and more at this workshop on multi species grazing systems.  Topics will include fencing and pasture water systems for cows, horses, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry and many of the different designs of chicken tractors, egg-mobiles and pig-erators.  We’ll discuss how each type of animal grazes, and the best ways to manage their pastures to keep your animals healthy and the pastures productive.

DSCF1520Getting your dairy farm ready for succession planning

Learn how the business planning process is an important first step in getting the next generation of farmers into organic dairy farming.  Sarah will talk about land-base assessment, grazing planning, forage inventory and feed cost planning to help with decision making on the ideal herd size for the farm.  Then we will discuss how that leads us into creating a business plan for the farm.  Along the way we will talk about how to use planning “tools” including land-base assessment, forage inventory/use planning, grazing planning, enterprise analysis, cash flows, balance sheets and whole farm business planning to help farm families with decision making and some of the important first steps in succession planning.

Sheep and Goat Pasture Management

This workshop will cover all the information you need to design a grazing system for your sheep or goat flock.  We’ll cover pasture quality, plant species, using mob stocking to convert brush into pasture, paddock size calculations, fences, watering systems, internal parasites, predator control and more.

Mob Stocking — Clearing Brush and Rennovating Pastures with Sheep and Goats

How can you convert brush and weeds to high quality pastures without mowing, bulldozing, plowing or reseeding?  This workshop covers the basic principals of grazing management and mob stocking as a method of plant species conversion.

Fine Tuning Your Grazing System

This session uses real on-farm examples to help us learn how to “listen” to what our farms, pastures and animals are telling us.  Observing plants, soil, animals and the interactions between them can guide us to improve the conversion of sunlight into high quality plants and healthy livestock through good grazing management.   Topics will include pasture condition scoring and monitoring, grazing management techniques, pasture ecology, and the use of fence, water system, lanes and different stocking densities and re-growth periods.

What You Need to Know Before
You Transition Your Dairy Farm to Organic

This workshop will be a discussion of what to consider before making the transition to certified organic dairy production and what resources are available to help farmers making the transition. We will answer questions and give an overview of topics including: finding a market, organic health care, high quality forages from fertile soils, records required to meet organic standards, maintaining milk quality, understanding the organic standards, finding sources of certified feed as well as approved soil amendments and health care products, developing a good relationship with a supportive local veterinarian and other resource people, as well as developing a clear understanding of the cost of transitioning and long term organic production.


photo 3Grazing Infrastructure:

This workshop is usually done as “part two” after one of my workshops on the basic principals of good plant and animal management which all well managed grazing systems share.  In this workshop, we will look at how farmers have used fence, lanes, water systems, shade and irrigation in their grazing system design.  This grazing infrastructure, when well planned and creativly applied, can make it easier to use livestock to improve pasture quality, maximize pasture dry matter intake, spread manure evenly, protect and improve pasture soils and water quality, improve plant species and productivity, and improve livestock wellbeing and performance.


The Role of Grazing in Organic Farming

This presentation will cover the national organic program standards, how to include pasture in your organic transition, and common pitfalls to avoid when converting from zero grazing to a grass based system or from continuous to intensive grazing.  We’ll also cover several methods to measure and keep records of dry matter intake from pasture and stored forages.  Pastures provide a low cost feed, which is particularly helpful for organic dairy farmers.  Good grazing management can improve livestock health, resulting in reduced cull rates, longer lived animals, reduced vet bills, and additional income from sales of heifers or sound older cows.