November 6, 2002 | By: Laura Skillman

The third Kentucky Grazing Conference is Nov. 26 in Bowling Green.

“It’s been a very successful, very well-attended conference,” said Garry Lacefield, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service forage specialist. “It is complementary to all our other grazing programs – the grazing school, alfalfa conference and other conferences.”

The conference, located at the Western Kentucky University Expo Center, will include a series of issues related to livestock grazing and is for those who are heavily involved in grazing as well as those who are thinking about getting started in various grazing programs.

The program is sponsored by the Kentucky Forage and Grasslands Council, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, WKU, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Registration and exhibits open at 8 a.m. CT with WKU President Gary Ransdell kicking off the conference at 8:45a.m.  Exhibits are educational or business and supply oriented.

A discussion on why a producer would be interested in rotational grazing will start the program.

“We want to put the question directly to them and get them thinking about it,” Lacefield said. “We want to address some of the research backed information and some

of the farmer experiences of the benefits of rotational grazing.”

Jimmy Henning, also a UK Extension forage specialist, will discuss how to get the most from pasture plants through grazing management as well as variety management.

Ken Johnson and David Stipes, representatives of the Natural Resource Conservation Service, will outline getting started in rotational grazing and financial assistance available to farmers interested in improving their grazing systems.

“We think it is very important that our grazing producers be aware of some of the financial assistance available to them,” Lacefield said.

Ed Ballard, a county educator with the University of Illinois, will discuss the economics of integrating grazing into cropping systems.

The afternoon will be devoted to options for extending the grazing season. Topics to be discussed are warm season perennial grasses, ryegrass and small grains and legumes.

“We know that the cheapest source of nutrients that our ruminants can have comes from grazing,” Lacefield said. “We know that as we look at profitability of beef cattle in Kentucky, the single biggest factor is how much hay we feed and the cost of it. So the longer we can keep animals grazing, the cheaper it is going to be for us to winter the animals.”

Afternoon presenters include Lacefield; Byron Sleugh, a WKU agronomist; Keenan Turner, Pulaski County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources; and Mark Kennedy, grazing specialist for the NRCS in Missouri.

During lunch four awards will be presented for service: two for people in the public sector, one for someone in industry and one for a producer. A silent auction also

will be held to help offset expenses. Additionally, there is a $15 registration fee, or $5 for students. The price includes proceedings from the presenters, other educational materials, refreshments and lunch.

The meeting will conclude at 3 p.m.

The WKU Ag Expo Center is located south of the William Natcher Parkway on U.S. 31W.  Exit south on 31W and go to the first light, then make a left turn. The Expo Center will be the first drive to the left.


Garry Lacefield, (270) 365-7541 ext. 202