2016 Grazing School

Grazing School aims to provide information and hands on experiences for those interested in initiating or improving their grazing management.

Grazing is a method of feeding ruminant animals that has been practiced for centuries. In today’s economic climate, producers need to intensively manage their systems in a way that enables them to be more competitive in the marketplace. In other words, traditional grazing methods of just “turning the cows out to pasture” will probably not provide adequate results.

Management is the key to profitable grazing. Properly managed grazing systems have a good design as a basis, but also include continual adjustments to management based on environmental factors, stock type, density and pasture measurements. Integrating all of this information into a grazing system can be difficult to understand and implement. Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) sytems should lead to increased soil quality, forage production and livestock productivity (more efficient use of landbase). By increasing soil organic matter, you increase water holding capacity, and soil fertility, which should lead to an increase in forage production. By employing MIG, a producer can better utilize the available forage and increase stocking rates to more profitable levels.

Michigan State University Extension is offering a Grazing School to provide information and hands on experiences for those interested in initiating or improving their grazing management. Attendees can expect to learn a variety of tools and subsequently choose to integrate the methods that are most suitable for their particular grazing system. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to work with MSU experts to collectively graze a group of MSU livestock during the course of the Grazing School.

In order to serve the needs of the entire state, the 2016 Grazing School is being offered at three different locations in Michigan, and will be held on Sept. 22-23, 2016. It is being offered at the W.K. Kellog Biological Station, Lake City Research Center and Bay Mills Community College Waishkey Bay Farm in Brimley, MI. This grazing school is designed for farmers and landowners who graze dairy, livestock and small ruminant animals and want the latest animal and forage research on grazing management.

Registration is $125 for one participant; $220 for two participants from the same farm, and $315 for three participants from the same farm. The registration deadline is Sept. 18, 2016. After the deadline, fees are as follows: $150 for one participant, $270 for two participants from the same farm, and $390 for three participants from the same farm. The workshop fee includes notebooks, resource materials and all meals. For more information, contact MSU Extension Beef Educator Kable Thurlow at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or call (989)426-7741. To register online, go to: http://events.anr.msu.edu/GrazingSchool16/

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