All things related to pasture production and grazing will be up for discussion Jan. 21-22 in Ferdinand in southern Indiana. Keith Johnson, Purdue University Extension forage specialist, says it’s Indiana’s turn to host the Heart of America Grazing Conference. This event moves from state to state in the eastern portion of the Midwest each year.
If you’re a forage producer, someone who practices rotational grazing, a producer already raising grass-fed beef or someone who wants to do so, Johnson says this is a must-attend event. It’s a two-day conference with options to attend one or both days.
Jason Tower, superintendent of the Southern Indiana Purdue Agriculture Center in Dubois County, is a contact person for the event. The Indiana Forage Council is the official organizing group.
Topics will range from tips on starting a grass-fed beef operation to how to change the composition of forages in your pastures through grazing management. Hear from people who have spent significant amounts of time studying these subjects.
Other topics will include grazing technologies and gadgets for modern producers using grass-based systems, a closer look at how red clover can be used as a forage, and forage-related animal disorders.
Attendees will also hear discussions on matching forage resources to the stages of production or life cycle in animal systems, especially for beef cattle. A presentation about understanding why forage plants need rest during the grazing cycle, and how knowing how various forages develop can help improve forage management is planned, as well.
Some early registration deadlines have already expired. There are costs to attend the conference. It will be held at the Ferdinand Community Center in Ferdinand. Learn more at indianaforage.org, or contact Tower at 812-678-4427 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johnson notes that a large part of the educational value of the conference relies in visiting with other producers and ag business professionals who will attend. Plenty of time for interaction during breaks will be allotted for these experiences.