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Economics of Grazing Heifers Workshop to be held on December 10 in Green Bay

By cptp | 11:50 AM, 11/20/2014

An Advanced Grazing Economics workshop is being held at the Brown County UW Extension office, 1150 Bellevue Street, in Green Bay, WI on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The workshop will feature two discussion topics: High Density Rotational Grazing With Dairy Heifers, led by organic dairy farmer Wayne Craig; and Developing Dairy Heifers Using Pasture-based Feeding Strategies, led by UW Extension Grazing Specialist Rhonda Gildersleeve.

“There is growing consumer demand for raising grass-fed meat and dairy products as well as a need to do it in a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way that creates a sustainable, profitable farming operation,” said Kirsten Jurcek, Grazing Education Specialist, Glacierland RC&D. “So, if you are currently a grazier, are considering adding grazing to a livestock operation, or would just like to learn more about grazing, you will definitely come away with valuable information from this workshop.”

Early-bird registration is $15 through December 8 and can be done online by clicking the Courses and Events tab at http://conservation-training.uwex.edu. Or, email Joan at Laehn_jm@co.brown.wi.us to pre-register. At the door, registration will be $20.

For his discussion on High Density Rotational Grazing With Dairy Heifers, Craig will give a hands-on presentation of the many benefits to raising dairy heifers on grass, from economics to animal health. He will highlight the latest tools and techniques and practical management tips that first-time graziers can use to be successful. He and his wife Kay manage an 80 cow organic dairy near New Holstein in Calumet County. They have 300 acres in managed pasture and have grazed their cows, bred heifers and raised calves for more than 20 years.

Gildersleeve will cover the relevant research on the benefits and economics of incorporating well-managed pastures in dairy heifer development systems in her talk on Developing Dairy Heifers Using Pasture-based Feeding Strategies. She has worked with agricultural producers in California and Wisconsin on profitable and environmentally sound grazing-based production systems for beef, sheep, and dairy cattle. A native of Grant County, Wisconsin, Gildersleeve's education focused on pasture and rangeland management. She also manages a pasture-based dairy farm near Boscobel, WI.

This event is being sponsored by the Glacierland RC&D with funds from the NRCS Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the WI DATCP Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Program (GLCI); Brown County UW Extension and the Conservation Professional Training Program.

For more information, contact Kirsten Jurcek at (920) 342-9504 or email kjurcek1@centurytel.net.