Multi-state grazing conference set

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WOOSTER, Ohio – Graziers and potential graziers can still make reservations for the sixth Great Lakes International Grazing Conference, Feb. 12-13, at the Shipshewana Antique Auction Barn in Shipshewana, Indi.

Just like a good pasture offers the right mix of forages to meet the needs of the animals, the conference offers a balanced mixture of topics to meet the needs of beginning and experienced graziers alike.

The conference kicks off Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. and concludes Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.

Topics for dairy producers include managing an expanding grass-based dairy; an update on the Great Lakes Grazing Network Dairy Economics Project; and planning and managing a seasonal dairy.

Topics for sheep producers include pasture lambing, predator control, and sheep budgets and records.

Topics for beef producers include grazing beef cows on fescue, managing grazing systems for maximum grazing season, animal considerations, and beef stocker grazing for profit.

The first day also features a special session related to the interaction between animals and the grazing process. Evening activities include dinner and a panel discussion, “Grazing is More Than Grass.”

The second day gets under way with an early bird buffet breakfast and round table discussions on rye grass management, marketing, forage budgeting, neighbor’s pasture, organic production, grass-cash.

For experienced graziers, Day Two topics include creative grazing, fertilizing for profit, and extending the grazing season.

Beginning graziers will learn during sessions on managing the pasture for yield, quality and persistence; lanes: how many, size and construction; and water: how much do you need, where do you need it and how do you get it there.

The conference wraps up with a general afternoon session covering soil health and fertility, phosphorous supplementation and the environment, grazing riparian areas, carbon sequestration, and making grass silage.

The cost of the conference is $65 ($70 after Feb. 7) for the first person from each farm and $55 ($65 after Feb. 7) for each additional person from the farm. This fee includes registration, breaks, trade show, proceedings and Tuesday lunch. The (optional) dinner on Monday evening is $15.

Checks should be made payable to LaGrange Soil and Water Conservation District and mailed to Donna Hunter, LaGrange SWCD, 910 South Detroit Street, LaGrange, IN 46761. After Feb. 7, call 219-463-3471.

Conference lodging is available at: Farmstead Inn (219-768-4595) Country Inn and Suites (219-768-7780) Der Ruhe Blatz Motel (219-768-7750) or Super 8 Motel (219-768-4004) and mention the Grazing Conference for a special rate of $55 per night.

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