Upcoming Events

August, 2018

Aug 4, Elizabeth, PA: Equine Environmental Stewardship Short Course

Are you a horse farm owner or manager who wants to do right by your horses and the environment? Or maybe you have plans to start a new farm and want to do things right the first time? Penn State Extension has partnered with the Allegheny County Conservation District to help farm owners with these challenges. Equine Environmental Stewardship Short Coursewill use both classroom and hands-on teaching with an activity accompanying each topic to prepare participants to manage their pastures and grazing, soil fertility, weeds, and manure in an environmentally friendly manner.

Aug 6, Cornwall, VT: Pasture Management and Youngstock

Ever think about milking your cows just once a day instead of twice a day? This practice has pros and cons depending on each farms unique situation. Shifting to once a day milking also takes careful planning to make it work well. Join farmer and veterinarian Brian Howlett, UVM Agronomist Heather Darby and grazing consultant Sarah Flack on a tour of Brian’s farm, Ottercrest Dairy. We will take a look at his pasture systems and rotational grazing management. Brian will share strategies for parasite prevention in youngstock on pasture and his experience with milking one time a day.

Aug 9, Ellington, CT: Healthy Soils = Profitable Soils

Join us for a Healthy Soils Workshop focusing on dairy farms hosted by CT RC&D. The workshop will feature keynote speaker Tom Kilcer of Advanced AG Systems, who brings 34 years experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Field Crop and Soils Educator. Topics will include: boosting the energy of haylage by 16%, reducing the weather risk for hay crop silage, Winter Forage: making money on both ends of the season, yielding results from field trials, and optimizing nitrogen.

Aug 9, East Albany, VT: Pasture Resiliency Field Day

Join us at this interactive workshop, where we’ll discuss current climate science, soil health and simple changes you can make to your grazing system to increase pasture productivity and quality including learning which grasses, legumes and other species can improve pasture quality and productivity. Grazing consultant Sarah Flack will lead us on a pasture walk where we’ll practice measuring available forage per acre, calculate the acreage required to meet dry matter intake goals and talk about how to make changes in management so forage plants start growing earlier in the spring, grow better through the mid summer and grow longer into the fall, extending your grazing season.

Mike Thresher, Nutritionist with Morrison’s Feed will also join us to offer practical perspective on how grazing management effects rations, protein, energy and milk production.

Aug 14, Stevensville, PA: Forage Quality & Cow Health

At this workshop, we’ll discuss how cows can not only survive, but thrive on grass-based diets. You’ll learn about the qualities of different forages, and how each of them contribute to cow health.

The workshop will be led by Dr. Sylvia Abel-Caines, the staff ruminant nutritionist for Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, and farmer John Meglich from Little Crick Farm, who has been practicing rotational grazing since the 1990s and managing a 100-percent grass-fed herd since 2005.

John frequently experiments with different perennial and annual forages in his pastures, working to optimize his herd’s performance. Weather permitting, the group will have an opportunity to tour John’s 2018 forage trial plots, planted in conjunction with King’s Agriseeds.

Little Crick Farm is a year-round, certified-organic dairy, managing approximately 70 cows on 200 acres of pasture.

Aug 16, Pocantico Hills, NY: Pasture Management

The morning portion of this workshop will focus on creating a solid understanding of the basic principles of good grazing management systems. Starting first from the plants perspective, the course will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there participants will do some group exercises and practice to learn how to measure the amount of feed in a pasture, calculate paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates and understand what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is. In the afternoon, participants will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low stress handling, provide the correct supplemental feeds and minerals, and when shade or shelter should be planned into grazing.

Aug 17-18, Dartmouth, MA: Farm Planning and Grazing School

We’ll review how different grazing management methods can increase, or decrease the number of acres needed for the herd. We’ll review how to size paddocks, calculate stocking density and stocking rate and how that helps determine what the ideal herd size is for your farm. Then we will look at how to tie that information into cash flow projections and business planning. We will look at how setting different pasture dry matter intake goals or adjusting the type of grazing system can change how many animals the farm can support, and what the cost of production will be.

Starting first from the plants perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there we will do some group exercises and practice to learn how to calculate paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates and understand what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is. We will then use real farm examples to practice dry matter measurements, paddock sizing, stock density and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology. Then we will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low-stress handling and when shade or shelter should be planned into the grazing.

Aug 26, Randolph, VT: Management Intensive Grazing for the Diversified Farm

Management Intensive Grazing, also known as ‘Rational Grazing’, is a form of grazing management that can improve pasture forage yields, improve feed quality, increase plant species diversity, improve livestock performance, build organic matter & soil nutrient levels, and increase the biological life in your soil. By taking weather, biology, ecology, livestock management, and technology (ie electric fencing, water systems) into consideration you can make your grazing system a success on your farm.

This class will provide instruction for setting up a successful grazing system on a diversified farm, using poultry, horses, cows, sheep, goats and/or pigs. Participants will be introduced to fencing & water system designs, and movable structures for hogs, poultry, and small ruminants, and will learn how to determine daily feed needs of various types of livestock.

This class is also appropriate if you have only one type of livestock and want to manage your pastures well.


September, 2018

Sep 12-13, Sherman, NY: Grass-Fed Workshop and Pasture Walk: Lessons we can Learn from the Pasture

Green Heron Growers, Sherman (Chautauqua County) - Joining us will be renowned pasture consultant Sarah Flack, Dr. Silvia Abel-Caines, Ruminant Nutritionist for Organic Valley/CROPP, Steve Gabriel with the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute and Jonathan Zeiset, Zeiset Ag Consulting. This event will be an in-depth look at pasture forages and how to create diversity in your pasture while supplying your animals with the proper nutrition for increased weight gains in beef and increasing milk components in your milk. Our emphasis will be on building high quality, low cost forages, increasing the diversity in the forage selection and building the microbial population in your soils. We also plan to look at ways to improving your net income by utilizing all of your pasture resources including the use of “silvo-pasture” woodland grazing.

Our workshops will consists of a series of lectures, pasture walks and observations of pasture trials with microbial and mycorrhizae inoculation and forage diversity. While feeding the mind with information to improve your farm operation, you will also be fed farm raised organic foods prepared by on-farm Green Heron Growers kitchen staff. The Heron facilities offer patrons the opportunity to camp in our spacious 300 plus acres of woodlands or open meadow camper friendly areas.


October, 2018


November, 2018

Nov 7-8, Grantville, PA: Dairy Business Improvement & Planning Conference

Sound business and management plans are essential elements of any successful dairy enterprise, especially one that intends to remain viable, profitable, and competitive well into the future.

Growth of a dairy business typically involves a significant investment. Is it feasible now or can the business be positioned to make it achievable in the future? Lower cost alternatives might include improving cow health and performance, adopting new technologies, better use of labor, or diversification.

This event will provide the opportunity, information, and tools for participants to take a realistic look at their business, consider alternatives, and take steps to develop their own unique formula for success.


December, 2018

Dec 2-5, Reno, NV: 7th National Grazing Lands Conference: Taking the Gamble out of Grazing

This conference will provide you with a forum for discussion and exchange of grazing land information and technology, an opportunity to identify grazing land research and program needs, and a chance to see new products and services. At this national grazing conference, the NGC endeavors to have livestock producers with very good grazing operations who are also good speakers giving the presentations at the conference. The NGC also tries to have good and equal representation from all parts of the country. This includes producer speakers from the Eastern U.S. that are managing the pasture operations well.


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