Grazing management school a success

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CARROLLTON, Ohio — Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson and Tuscarawas County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service and OSU Extension teamed up to present a Grazing Management School, which was open to interested producers in the five-county area.

The school was held March 12, 19 and 28. The turnout was greater than anticipated — there were 111 participants in the program.

It has been confirmed this was the largest turnout at a Grazing Management School in Ohio.

Topics

The first two evenings were held at the Carrollton High School cafeteria, where speakers from the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service and OSU Extension presented programs on the following topics: getting started with management intensive grazing, pasture plant growth, meeting animal requirements on pasture, environmental impacts of grazing, how soils affect grazing, pasture fertility, water systems for pastured livestock, fencing options, paddock layout and design and economics of grazing.

Speakers

Speakers included Wendee Zadanski, Jefferson SWCD; Pete Conkle, Columbiana SWCD; Clint Finney, NRCS; Kevin Swope, NRCS; Harry Kenney, NRCS; Beth Kruprzak, NRCS; Clif Little, OSU Extension; Chris Zoller, OSU Extension and Mike Hogan, OSU Extension.

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The final session of the school was held at the Wilcoxon farm in northeastern Tuscarawas County. The Wilcoxons raise beef cattle and practice rotational grazing on their farm.

The morning started off with learning about mineral supplementation for livestock on pastures, followed by walking through the pasture and stopping at different stations addressing specific grazing topics.

These topics included: identifying pasture forage species, watering facility options, how to utilize a grazing stick to estimate available forage, fencing options and winter feeding options.

The morning came to a close with a short discussion on different marketing options available.

Pasture walks

Grazing education will continue all summer through monthly pasture walks, which will be held within the five-county area and will be rotated between the counties.

The pasture walks are planned to be held on the fourth Thursday of each month, starting in April.

The first of these pasture walks will be held in Carroll County April 23.

On Sept. 11, there will be an advanced grazing pasture walk held at Anthony Steffen’s dairy farm in Carroll County, held in conjunction with the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation Expo, which will be Sept. 12 at the neighboring McClester Farm.

Bob Hendershot and Jeff McCutcheon will be facilitating this pasture walk.

More information

For more information about the pasture walks contact the Carroll SWCD office at 330-627-9852.

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