At 10:15 AM, the Pasture-Based Farming Research and Demonstration Needs Discussion Concurrent Sessions began. The participants were divided into 5 discussion groups. Most participants had indicated a discussion group preference when they registered. Late registrants and others who had not indicated a preference were asked to join a discussion group of most interest to them. The five groups convened were:
1. Riparian Pasture Grazing Management to protect water quality & the landuse
2. Orchardgrass Die-Off Investigation Action Plan adjustments
3. New Forage Varieties to enhance and extend pasture productivity
4. Transitioning dairy cows to a no grain or high forage diet
5. Pasture-fed Ruminant Fatty Acid Profiles - What is their Value? Where do we go from here to validate their value to human health?
Then at 11:15 AM, the private sector members convened to update research and outreach priorities established at the 2015 Northeast Pasture Consortium (NEPC) Conference. They were also given the NEPC Farmer Survey Report developed by the NEPC Executive Committee. This report was prepared by Susan Parry, State Grassland Specialist, USDA-NRCS, Harrisburg, PA. While the private sector group was in session, the public sector members continued to discuss issues still under debate in the discussion groups. They also finalized their recommendations for the Research/Demonstration Directions and USDA Agency Reports Session that would begin at 1:15 PM.