This year's West Central Wisconsin Grazing Conference, held at the Metropolis Resort in Eau Claire on March 14, will include speakers Brad Heins, assistant professor of organic dairy management at the University of Minnesota, and Doug Gunnink, a consultant on grass-fed and organic production.
Heins will discuss research regarding the economic benefits of grain supplementation in a dairy production system. He will also look at research comparing growth, meat quality and profitability in grass-fed dairy steers, grain-supplemented dairy steers and conventional dairy steers.
Gunnink, a forage expert who raises grass-fed organic beef in Minnesota, will speak on the topic of whether grass is a complete ration for dairy. Gunnink believes farmers need to monitor soil and plants for health and spent several years researching the best way to raise choice grass-fed beef.
There will also be a farmer panel with a Q&A section. Panelists include Kay Craig, Grassway Organics (specializing in multi-species dairy), Lynn P. Johnson, Peterson Farmstead Farm (silvo-pasture), Bob Keil, RavenCroft Farm (beef, sheep, chickens) and Dan Pearson, Pure Sun Farm (no-grain dairy).
The conference will be held at the Metropolis Resort, 5150 Fairview Dr., Eau Claire. Registration by March 8 is $55 per person or $80 for two members from the same farm. After March 8, registration is $65 per person or $90 for two from the same farm. Register online at RiverCountryRCD.org.