September 2, 2009

After a several-year hiatus, specialists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture are reviving the Kentucky Grazing School. It will take place Thursday, Oct. 8 and Friday, Oct. 9 at the Woodford County Extension Office and UK Animal Research Center in Versailles.

The school is open to anyone but is geared toward new farmers and existing farmers who are looking to improve their grazing operation.

"The school focuses on the practical part of managing grazing systems for ruminant livestock including beef and dairy cattle, goats and sheep," said Ray Smith, UK extension forage specialist. "Participants will receive hands-on training in subjects including determining stocking rates, installing electric fences and setting up grazing and water systems."

Along with the field exercises, producers will participate in classroom sessions and tour the UK forage demonstration plots. Presenters are specialists from UK and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The presenters will cover many topics including the benefits of rotational grazing, extending the grazing season, forages for problem times, minerals for grazing cattle, parasite control and rotational grazing, establishment of forages in pasture systems, and animal disorders on pastures.

The school goes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. It begins at the Woodford County extension office each morning, and the group will travel to the UK Animal Research Center in the afternoon for hands-on training.

The registration fee is $45 and includes all materials, grazing manual, breaks and lunch for both days. Preregistration is required, and enrollment is limited to the first 45 applicants. Registration forms, additional program information and directions to the Woodford County Extension Office are available under the Kentucky Grazing School Program on the UK Forage Extension Web site at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/.

The Kentucky Grazing School is sponsored by Master Grazer Educational Program, Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, UK College of Agriculture, National Resources and Conservation Service and Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council.

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