Consortium stakeholder budget request for USDA-ARS, Coshocton, OH, e-mailed to Senator DeWine (OH) and Representative Ney (OH) on April 8, 2005

The private-sector members of the Northeast Pasture Research and Extension Consortium request the assistance of Representative Ney in $1.5 million for the proposed dairy grazing research initiative at the USDA-ARS North Appalachian Experimental Watershed facility, Coshocton, Ohio.

The long-term studies that are planned on production, environmental, and economic questions will address several of the following six pasture priority needs identified by Consortium stakeholders:

  • Determine the management strategies and costs of transition or conversion from row crops to productive and sustainable grazing lands and soils.
  • Quantify the economics of whole-farm systems including the effects of breed selection, livestock diversification, and grazing management on animal and pasture health and well-being.
  • Evaluate new forage species and improved varieties under grazing management and different climatic and soil conditions with emphasis on extending the grazing season.
  • Determine the environmental impacts and profitability of alternative supplemental feeding strategies for animals on high-protein pastures.
  • Evaluate the production and management aspects of pasture-based animal products for their human health benefits and assess their market potential.
  • Evaluate the use of organic food residues as supplemental feeds in organic pasture-based animal systems.

The Consortium is a private-public partnership of producers, agribusiness suppliers, and NGOs from Ohio and the Northeast Region, and representatives from land-grant universities, USDA-ARS, and USDA-NRCS who conduct grazing research and provide technology transfer.  The stakeholder members of the Consortium recommend the priorities for research and educational programs.  Emphasis is on dairy, beef, sheep, goat, and horse enterprises across the Region.

The Northeast Pasture Consortium strongly supports the Coshocton Initiative.  The Consortium website at the URL noted below is available to disseminate the results to users in the Region, as well as nationally.  We appreciate your interest in helping the dairy and livestock producers in Ohio and the Northeast Region.

If you have any questions, please contact Angus Johnson, Consortium private-sector co-chair and dairy producer, or me. 

Regards, Chuck

CHARLES R. KRUEGER Executive Director, Northeast Pasture Research and Extension Consortium State College, Pennsylvania, USA