June 11, 2019 | By: Katie Pratt
Russellville, Ky.

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Livestock producers know a well-constructed fence can minimize a lot of management headaches. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment school is helping producers learn how to improve their fences.

The Kentucky Fencing Schools are one-day events organized by Chris Teutsch, UK forage extension specialist, and are in high demand, with each of this year’s three regional schools exceeding initial capacity. Through a mixture of classroom instruction and hands-on demonstrations, UK specialists and fencing industry experts teach producers from across the region the basics of a well-built fence.

“If you have ever driven around the countryside, there are a lot of fences but not a lot of well-constructed ones,” Teutsch said. “One of the goals of this school is to help people get the basics of fencing down. That way they can build a strong, durable fence that will last 25 or 30 years or if they decide to hire a contractor to build it for them, at least know what a well-constructed fence looks like.”

An added bonus of the school is that the techniques producers learn are ones that can help them qualify for cost-share dollars from the Natural Resources and Conservation Service for new fence construction.

The Fencing School is just one of the numerous UK forage- and livestock-related programs that Logan County cattle producer Butch King has attended since he began farming five years ago after retiring from the military. He said each event has been a positive learning experience for him.

“There’s always more information than you can ever use in a year, but I like coming here and talking to other people,” he said. “I always try to target four or five different things that I can go back and evaluate in my operation.

He attended the fencing school, because he’s interested in improving his current system.

“I have had the farm for five years, and I’ve just been in a state of repair with my fences,” King said. “I have been wanting to start doing some fencing, and some of it I know I can do myself. I have been looking forward to seeing some of this and putting it to use at the farm.”

Logan County is home to many livestock producers like King. Knowing there was a local desire and interest for educational programing like this in her county, Leann Martin, the county’s agriculture and natural resources agent with the UK Cooperative Extension Service, was happy to co-host the school with the Logan County Cattlemen’s Association.

“Fence construction is something that tends to be passed down through generations, but there are a lot of different things to consider, especially on the law end of it, and there are new techniques and new technologies out there to make it easier,” Martin said. “We have producers that are wanting to learn, wanting to grow and wanting to improve their overall land and products.”

Gallagher USA, ACI Equipment Distributers and Stay-Tuff Fencing are integral industry partners for the schools. Additional sponsors are the Kentucky Master Grazer Program and the Kentucky and Forage Grassland Council.

UK forage extension will host the Kentucky Fencing Schools again next year.


Chris Teutsch, 859-562-1334