March 1, 2012 | By: Katie Pratt
LEXINGTON, KY.

Grazing is the most cost effective way for producers to feed their ruminant animals. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will host the Kentucky Grazing School at two different times and locations this year to help producers better manage their grazing systems.

The first grazing school will be April 10-11 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton.

The second school is scheduled for Sept. 11-12 at the Woodford County extension office in Versailles.

For both sessions, days one and two begin at 7:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. local time.

The grazing schools are open to anyone. Past participants have included everyone from new farmers to those with years of grazing experience, and all have received new information and practical skills to implement in their operations.

Agendas for both programs cover regional-specific grazing information. Participants will visit field sites, participate in field exercises and tour demonstration plots.Hands-on activities include assessing pasture yield and designing and building a paddock and watering system. UK College of Agriculture specialists in forages, beef cattle, dairy cattle and veterinary science will present a variety of topics ranging from grazing math concepts to implementing a grazing system. A grazing land specialist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss available cost-share programs, and a representative from a fencing company will share fence-building tips. Local producers will share their experience and management practices using rotational grazing.

In one of the unique features of the program, participants design a grazing system based on their property. They should bring a printed aerial map of their farm to the school. Maps are available through the local Farm Service Agency or online through Google Maps.

Preregistration is necessary as both schools are limited to the first 45 registrants. Applications are available online at the UK Grazing website at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/grazer or through the local office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service. Registration costs $50 and includes all materials, grazing manual, breaks and lunch for both days. Make checks payable to the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council and mail with the registration application to Lyndsay Jones, 804 W. P. Garrigus Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0215.

Co-sponsors include the Master Grazer Educational Program, Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, UK College of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council.

Contact: 

Lyndsay Jones, 859-257-7512