During the past 22 years "Managed Grazing" has gone from being a fringe practice promoted by a committed group of visionaries to a management system that is widely accepted and implemented as a way to reduce costs, build soil and water resources, keep animals healthy, and produce high quality food.
This year's 22nd annual GrassWorks Grazing Conference will be held Jan. 16-18, at The Patriot Center in Wausau. The event will highlight successful on-farm management practices that will inspire attendees to make small changes now in order to remain competitive in the future of grazing and agriculture.
"The Grazing conference provides Inspiration for all who attend. New people can learn from experienced, innovative and profitable graziers," states Paul Daigle, recipient of the 2013 GrassWorks Grazing Advocator award. "Experienced graziers have the opportunity to come and learn from the best from all around the world. All of this is done in an atmosphere of learning and sharing with people excited about grazing based agriculture."
Local graziers who have "been there, done that" will participate in a variety of breakout sessions that include marketing pasture dairy products, farmland preservation and AEAs, farm transfer strategies, dealing with stray voltage on the farm, pasture management for upland bird habitat, and so much more.
GrassWorks will welcome nationally known speakers Gabe Brown and Professor Emeritus Fred Provenza.
Professor Fred Provenza will start out Friday with a keynote that illustrates how behavior — the diets and lifestyles creatures learn — links soil and plants with herbivores and human beings. Provenza will follow up this keynote with a session about understanding how animals behave on pasture and how to manage their differences
Gabe Brown will give presentations Friday and Saturday on the tools and techniques he has used on his ranch for the past 20 years to restore soil health and organic matter, such as cover crops, no-tilling and livestock integration.
The event features 30-plus workshops, tradeshow, silent and live auctions, locally raised foods, and numerous networking and community building opportunities for a full conference fee of $150 for GrassWorks members.
Not a GrassWorks member or need to renew? Simply fill out the membership form on their website, www.grassworks.org, or add the $50 membership fee onto the conference registration.
GrassWorks is currently seeking food donors and volunteers. Scholarships are available on a limited basis for farmers in economic need.
For more info go to www.grassworks.org (to access full conference schedule and online registration) or contact Conference Planner, Lanice Szomi: 715-965-8324 or firstname.lastname@example.org.