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Brush up on farm succession plan

Northeast Notebook: Upcoming workshops focus on farm succession, beef cattle infrastructure and grass-fed dairies.

January 17, 2023

2 Min Read
Older farmer talking on cell phone, planning retirement
PASSING IT DOWN: Your farm is your biggest asset. Make sure you have the right plan in place to ensure the farm continues long into the future.Peter Garrard Beck/Getty Images

Pennsylvania Farm Link, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Business Development Center, is facilitating workshops where farmers will be able to speak with ag professionals about their farm succession plans.

Two in-person workshops will be held. The first will be Feb. 23 at the Indiana County Conservation District Office, and the second will be March 1 at the Chester County Economic Development Center.

Guest speakers will include David Marrison of Ohio State University, attorney George Elser at the Chester County meeting, attorney Robert L. Clark of Clark & Clark Law, and ag business consultants. To register, visit pafarmlink.org/workshop.

Beef cattle infrastructure

Beef cattle have different spacing requirements, and bunk management varies greatly from other animals.

“Modifying Your Infrastructure for Beef Cattle” will emphasize the appropriate floor and bunk space required to manage beef cattle and address questions related to converting existing facilities to beef producer systems.

Information on available infrastructure grants will also be presented.

The workshop will be held at three different locations:

  • 5:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at Yoder's Restaurant & Buffet, 14 S. Tower Road, New Holland, Pa.

  • 5:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 16 at Penn State Extension Franklin County, 181 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg, Pa.

  • 5:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Tokishi Training Center, 124 Nypum Drive, Wellsboro, Pa.

The program is supported by the Pennsylvania Beef Producers Working Group and JBS USA. For more information, visit extension.psu.edu.

Grass-fed dairy course

Rising organic grain prices and production costs have many dairy farmers considering a transition to a grass-fed dairy.

To help farmers make an informed decision about switching their cows to grass- and legume-based diets, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program is sponsoring a free four-week online course.

It will focus on the unique aspects of this production system and practical considerations to explore before starting a transition. Registration is required at go.uvm.edu.

Classes begin at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 20. Here’s the list of class days and topics:

Jan. 20. “Introduction to Grass-Fed Dairy and Land Base Assessment”

Jan. 27. “Soil Fertility and Dairy Nutrition and Agronomy”

Feb. 3. “Herd Management and Monitoring and Cost of Production”

Feb. 7. “Review of Key Points and a Grass-Fed Dairy Farmer Panel”

Course materials, including the newly published “Grass-Fed Dairy Production Manual,” recordings of the presentations, speaker bios and supplemental resources will be available through an online resource hub. Farmers without internet access will have a call-in option for the weekly classes and can request to receive course materials, included a printed copy of the manual, by mail.

As an optional bonus, participants will have the opportunity to meet in-person at the Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference on March 9 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.

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Farm Succession
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