A new feature to the conference and meeting was the review of current and planned research and on-farm demonstration work being conducted by members of the Consortium. This was the intent of Session 2 – Northeast Region Pasture-Based Research and On-Farm Demonstration Update. This session was moderated by Dr. Howard Skinner, ARS, Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research Unit, University Park, PA. Howard led this session with his opening remarks entitled: Introduction: Coordinating Pasture Research in the Northeast. He pointed out that the Consortium was formed at the direction of US Senate Appropriations Committee in 1995. They wanted the Consortium to “promote applied pasture research, link existing resources, and foster continued state/federal and public/private partnerships for research in this area.” To this end, at this annual conference we tried a new format. First, looking at current and planned research activities at this session; then meeting in two separate groups, private sector and public sector, immediately after this session to discuss research needs either not being addressed at all or in need of further work; and then coming together Friday morning to prioritize research items that need immediate attention (canceled due to snow storm). He introduced the 5 speakers who presented current research or on-farm demonstration work. They were:
- Andre Brito, University of New Hampshire: Assisting Organic Dairy Producers to Meet the Demands of New and Emerging Milk Markets: An Update on Feeding Flaxseed to Organic Dairy Cows
- Sid Bosworth, University of Vermont: Assisting Organic Dairy Producers to Meet the Demands of New and Emerging Milk Markets: An update on using complex blends of perennial ryegrass varieties for pasture
- Jennifer Colby, University of Vermont: Developing Economic and Energy Tools to Aid Farmer Decision-Making
- Sarah Goslee, ARS, Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research Unit: Pasture-Based Products within Regional Food Systems (Howard Skinner Presenting)
- Matt Smith, University of New Hampshire: Reducing Costs for Bedding and Energy on Organic Dairy Farms, reporting for John Aber
Each talk will be posted separately and linked here.