Temple Grandin to speak at grazing conference

SOMERSET, Pa. — Southwest Pennsylvania Project Grass is hosting a grazing conference in Indiana, Pa. Oct. 11-12.

The first day of the event will be held at the Kovalchick Complex and will feature speakers who will speak on grazing. The second day of the event includes a combination of demonstrations held at the Indiana Fair Grounds and tours of local grazing operations and other agricultural interests.

Topics

Speakers for day one of this conference are Temple Grandin (keynote speaker), Dr. Ben Bartlett (worldwide grazing), Jon Hopkins (diversifying the grazing operation), Susan Duckett (grass finishing, meat palatability), Dr. Robert Van Suan (parasite control in livestock), Lee Rinehart (transitioning to organic farming), Peter Burns (integrating poultry in grazing operations), Dr. William Wise (pasture management for horses), and Tammy Colt (wildlife and grazing).

The keynote speaker for the event is Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University who has worked extensively with animal handling and livestock equipment design.

Demonstrations

Day two of the conference offers three demonstrations at the Indiana Fairgrounds. Bartlett will present a demonstration on cattle handling. Henry Kuykendall will give a presentation on using working dogs to handle livestock. Kevin Ogles of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service will explore how grazing methods affect soil moisture content by using a rainfall simulator.

This day will also include field tours. Each person in attendance will choose one of four tours being offered. The first tour will visit two local farms that use rotational grazing systems; Overdorff Angus Operation and Hollow Dairy Farm.

The second tour will feature ‘farm energy’ at Brookside Dairy’s manure digester and Fabin Brothers Farms’ soybean processing plant. The third tour will explore Wingate Vineyards and Winery.

The fourth tour will be at the GenOn Seward Generating Station and will focus on the reclamation of abandoned mine tailings to create an ash byproduct that has been used by farms.

Registration

Register online for the conference at www.swprojectgrass.com. A $130 registration fee covers all events and meals for both days. The deadline to register is Oct. 4.

For more information regarding the conference or to sponsor the event, contact Jim Resh at the Indiana County Conservation District at 724-471-4751, ext. 5 or visit www.swprojectgrass.com.

Credits for attending the event include four grazing CEC’s for PA NRCS Certified Conservation Planners and four Pennsylvania Nutrient Management re-certification training credits.

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