Due to the overwhelming interest from producers in this past fall's Kentucky Grazing School, specialists in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will offer two schools this year in an effort to reach more farmers.
The first one is scheduled for April 14-15 at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton. The second will be Aug. 9-10 at the Woodford County Extension Office and UK Animal Research Center in Versailles. For both sessions, day one begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. local time. Day two starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.
The school is open to anyone, but is geared toward new farmers and existing farmers who want to improve their grazing operation.
The schools offer classroom and hands-on training for producers. Participants will visit field sites, participate in field exercises and tour demonstration plots. Attendees will design a grazing system based on their own property by the end of the school.
"Grazing is the cheapest way to feed your animals," said Adam Probst, UK Master Grazer Program coordinator. "This program will show participants different grazing systems that allow producers to grow forages earlier and longer."
Presenters are UK dairy, beef and forage specialists as well as UK Extension Ruminant Veterinarian Michelle Bilderback. Other presenters include a grazing specialist with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service and the Kentucky territory manager of the fencing company Gallagher USA. While the programs have similar agendas, the topics discussed at each will be specific to the region.
The registration fee is $45, and pre-registration is necessary because space is limited to the first 45 applicants at each site. To pre-register, contact Probst at 859-257-0597 or firstname.lastname@example.org or a local county Extension agent. All participants need to bring an aerial map of their property to design their grazing system. These are available at local Farm Service Agency offices.
Grazing school sponsors include the Master Grazer Educational Program, Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, UK College of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council.