MT. GILEAD, Ohio – Livestock farmers from across the Corn Belt are invited and encouraged to attend the 11th annual Heart of America Grazing Conference in Mt. Vernon, Ill., Jan. 25-26, 2012.
“This is a very practical, goal-oriented conference talking about current issues in grazing,” said Jeff McCutcheon, Ohio State University Extension educator and member of the Extension Beef Team. “We pull in both university experts as well as farmers currently practicing these methods, so it’s a very balanced program.”
McCutcheon said agricultural interests from five states cooperate to plan and host the annual event. Organizers include both Ohio State University Extension and the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, in addition to Extension involvement from the University of Kentucky, the University of Illinois and the University of Missouri.
“There are a lot of technological advancements in grazing, as well as a better understanding of the plants’ and animals’ response to our management of the grazing system,” McCutcheon said. “Presenters will hit everything from the use of clover to the use of byproducts; we’ll also talk about using cover crops and mob grazing, which are two of the newer techniques out there.”
He said farmers will benefit from the university and Extension research and recommendations, from the interaction with other farmers, and from the opportunity to visit another part of the Corn Belt.
The Heart of America Grazing Conference rotates annually among the five host states - Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky - featuring speakers from all five states concerning a wide variety of grazing topics. In addition to cover crops and mob grazing, topics covered this year include the benefits of grazing and adding clover to pastures, role of novel fescues, grazing for parasite prevention, use of co-products in grazing programs, dairy grazing and pasture management.
“It’s generally set up as a one-day event where you come in the evening before, with some interesting presentations over dinner, and then get up early the next day and learn from quite a few people, but still have time to get on the road and get home at a decent hour,” McCutcheon said.
Along with Extension, event organizers include the Ohio Forage and Grassland Council, Indiana Forage Council, Illinois Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Association, Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, Kentucky Grassland Conservation Initiative, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, Missouri Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Certified crop adviser credits will be offered. For more information or to register, download the online brochure.