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Organic dairy pasture walk May 23

May 9, 2013 | 0 comments

The NW Wisconsin Graziers Network cordially invites you to an organic dairy cow pasture walk at the Mervin, Diana and Philip Johnson Farm south of Poskin in Barron County on Thursday, May 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. In addition to organic milk and rotational grazing, the Johnsons employ a unique barley sprout system to supply energy to their herd instead of using conventional grain.

The Johnsons graze 75 cows of mixed breeds including Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Normande and Fleckvieh on 130 acres. They ship their milk to Organic Valley and have been organic farming for 10 years.

Since the beginning of 2013, the Johnsons have been growing barley sprouts in a converted garage in trays, producing 1500 pounds of sprouts per day for the dairy herd. About two pounds of sprouts will provide the same amount energy as one pound of grain.

The Johnsons use a movable-pen system to graze calves that is very effective in preventing pasture-borne parasites. They add a kefir fermentation product to milk to treat sick calves and cows, and this has also been very effective.

The farm is located at 952 10 1/2 Avenue, Barron. From Barron, go west about five miles on Highway 8 past Poskin, go left or south for 3½ miles on County F, then go left or east one-half mile. Watch for the signs.

For more information, contact UW-Extension Ag Agent Tim Jergenson at Barron 715-537-6250, or Lynn Johnson 715-268-8778 or Randy Gilbertson 715-520-2112 at NW Graziers.

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