Grazing school offers hands-on learning experiences

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The 2013 Kentucky Grazing School is being held this month, Aug. 21-22, in Woodford County.

This grazing school is an excellent educational opportunity for producers.

Last year, I attended the school and was very impres-sed by the hands-on activities we worked through. In addition, I was able to meet and talk with producers from around the state, learning about their grazing operations.

The school has two learning opportunities—classroom informational sessions and hands-on applications.  Informational sessions will be held at the Woodford County Extension Office, while hands-on activities take place at the University of Kentucky’s C. Oran Little Research Center.

The school is hosted by extension specialists from the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.  It begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. both days.  Presenters will offer valuable educational information for new and experienced grazing systems managers.

Attendees will learn grazing information specific to Kentucky and with a focus on summer and fall grazing options.  A unique feature of the program gives you the opportunity to design a grazing system based on your property. Attendees are asked to bring a printed aerial map of their farm to the school. Maps can be found through the Farm Service Agency, (502) 732-6931, or online through Google Maps.

During the first day, participants will work in groups to install a rotational grazing system including assessing pasture yield and setting up small paddocks. You will then travel to the Research Center and actually build your group’s paddock based on your calculations. Cattle will then be placed in the paddocks to graze overnight.  On the second day, the participants will observe the grazed paddocks and hear reports from each group.

In addition, UK Ag specialists in forages, beef cattle, dairy cattle and veterinary science will present a variety of topics ranging from meeting nutritional needs on pasture to implementing a grazing system.  A representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss available cost-share programs, and a representative from a fencing company will share fence-building tips.  Members of a producer panel will also share their grazing experiences with school participants.

Preregistration is necessary. Aug. 14 is the deadline to register.  Enrollment is limited to the first 45 registrants.

Applications are available online at the UK Grazing website at www2.ca.uky.edu/grazer or through the Carroll County Extension Service.  Registration is $50 and includes all materials, grazing manual, breaks and lunch for both days.  Checks should be made payable to the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council.  Checks and registration applications should be mailed to Kelly Kramer, 804 W.P. Garrigus Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., 40546-0215.

For more information, contact UK master grazer coordinator Kelly Kramer at (859) 257-7512 or by email at kelly.kramer@uky.edu, or contact your Carroll County Cooperative Extension Service at (502) 732-7030.


Christin Herbst is the Carroll County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to Christin.Herbst@uky.edu.