Sunday, October 13, 2013

Jim Gerrish Grazing Workshop to focus on how Grazing Management Improves Productivity, Profitability and Personal Satisfaction

Internationally known expert on forage livestock systems, Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC, is returning to Kansas for two 2-day workshops on grazing management as it applies to the livestock business from October 28-31, 2013.

Gerrish has 20 years of systems research and outreach experience as a faculty member at the University of Missouri, as well as many years of commercial cattle and sheep production. University of Missouri’s Forage Systems Research Center rose to national prominence as a result of Gerrish’s research and leadership. His research encompasses many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provides a foundation for many of the basic principles of management intensive grazing.

Each two-day workshop will include information and discussion on the following topics: Grazing Basics 101 for Improved Plant Performance, Cattle Management 101, To Hay or Not to Hay, and Designing Grazing Systems including fencing and water development.

The workshops will be held October 28-29 at Ramada Hotel, Salina, KS from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and October 30-31 at Pratt Community College, Pratt, KS from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM. Cost of the workshop is $80.00 which includes handouts, lunch and morning/afternoon breaks for each day. This 2-day workshop is an extremely “sweet” deal.  Grazing workshops with experts typically cost much more than $80.00.  Attendees are responsible for their own lodging. See hotel list below.

Questions? Contact Mary Howell at or 785-562-8726.

Sponsors for the workshops are Kansas Farmers Union and Kansas Graziers Association. Project partners include NRCS, Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops.

Salina Hotel:
Ramada: 1616 W. Crawford St. Salina, KS 67401 (785) 823-1739

Pratt Hotels:
Budget Inn: 1631 E. 1st Street Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-6468
Comfort Suites: 1401 N. Hwy 61 Pratt, KS 67124(620) 672-9999
Days Inn: 1901 E. 1st Street Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-9465 
Economy Inn: 1401 E. 1st Street Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-5588 
Evergreen Inn: 20001 W. Hwy 54 Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-6431 
Hillcrest: 1336 E. 1st Street Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-6407 
Holiday Inn Express: 1903 Pauline Place Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 508-6350 
Regency Inn: 1401 W. Hwy 54 Pratt, KS 67124 (620) 672-9433
Super 8: 1906 E 1st ST Pratt, KS  67124 (855) 799-6862

September Amazing Grazing Project Event Snapshots

Short Grass Prairie Grazing Basics and Research Tour and Workshop

Keith Harmoney (on left), KSRE Range Research Scientist, and John Jaeger, KSRE Beef Cattle Scientist, will serve as hosts for the September 17th Short Grass Prairie Grazing workshop at the K-State Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center in Hays.
Kansas ranch managers and livestock producers are invited to the Short Grass Prairie Grazing Basics and Research Tour, September 17, 2013 at the Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center, 1232 240th Ave. Hays, KS 67601.

Keith Harmoney, KSRE Range Research Scientist, and John Jaeger, KSRE Beef Cattle Scientist, will be hosting the tour, which will show producers ways they can cope with two of their greatest challenges: drought and input costs. Although recent rains have provided some relief, most areas of western Kansas are still well below average rainfall for this growing season and run deficits from the prior two growing seasons.
Topics to be covered include:
  • Perennial Cool-Season Grasses for Grazing in Western Kansas
  • Stockpiled Native Rangeland for Winter Grazing
  • Distillers Grains Supplementation for Late Season Stocker Production on Native Rangeland
  • Precipitation Effects on Animal Production and Forage Yield from Native Rangelands
  • Early Weaning of Calves as a Drought Management Strategy
  • Results of the Early Weaned Calf Performance Studies
  • Tour stockpiled forages & cattle at KSU Ag Research Center-Hays
For producers who would like to have some early season grazing, but not annual cereal crops, we will look at some perennial cool-season grasses that can fill this niche.

Grass production and persistence are two key traits to consider when making a decision on what grass to plant. For producers who want to feed less hay in the winter time, stockpiled native grass for winter grazing can help reduce winter feed costs. How to measure the stockpiled grass to estimate how many days of grazing are available from a winter pasture will be demonstrated.

The long drought, widespread in the western and southwestern part of the state, has many producers interested in the effects of early weaning. "This field day will help producers see what they might expect from implementing early weaning in their operation and how young calves respond to early removal from the cow. Early weaning is one of the most practical ways to lighten the pressure on native pastures that need to gain some vigor," said Keith Harmoney.

To learn about grazing in the Central Kansas Short Grass Prairie area, producers are invited meet at the auditorium. Registration starts at 8:30 A.M. with the Field Day running 9:00 a.m. thru mid afternoon. Cost for the day is $20.00 which includes lunch and handouts.

For questions contact Mary Howell at or call 785-562-8726.

We encourage you to visit the Amazing Grazing Event Calendar to learn more about this and the other seven grazing events scheduled for the next few months.

Hope to see you in Hays on September 17th!

The Amazing Grazing Project is a collaborative effort provided by the following sponsors: Kansas Graziers Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas SARE, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, with funding from North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Livestock Water and Fencing Workshop Set for September 10

Mark Green, NRCS Specialist, from Missouri will return to Kansas to offer his very popular workshop on electric fencing and livestock watering options September 10, 2013 in Abilene, KS. The workshop will be held at the Abilene Civic Center, 201 NW 2nd Street. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and program lasts until 4:00 p.m. utilizing an indoor classroom and outdoor fencing demonstrations. 

Water availability is the number one limiting factor for grazing possibilities.  The addition of electric fencing will increase grazing options that can in turn benefit range health, the soil, as well as improve production and profitability.

At the September 10 workshop, Mark Green will demonstrate the latest in electric fence products, the pros and cons of various materials used in electric fence construction and installation techniques. Green will also cover livestock watering topics: water distribution for improved grazing distribution, permanent and portable tanks, above and below ground pipeline, and water sources—wells, streams, springs and ponds.

Producers always enjoy his cowboy humor and expertise from years of experience.  Mark states “I believe that folks in my line of work should gather information that works and pass it on to the ranchers I work with. What makes me different is that I am not selling anything; I am sharing the ideas I have seen visiting many ranches. Even little things can make a big difference. I will relay what works; as well as things to avoid in water and fencing.”

Mark Green has been with USDA NRCS since 1981. He currently is instructor and regional coordinator for the SW Missouri Regional Management Intensive Grazing Schools, and has worked with grazing management in SW Missouri for 32 years. He is a member of the American Forage and Grassland Council and is a board member for Missouri Forage and Grassland Council.

Cost for the workshop is $20.00, and includes lunch and two publications on fencing and water development.

Registration Closed

For questions contact Mary Howell at or call 785-562-8726.

Sponsors are the Kansas Graziers, Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas SARE, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, with funding from North Central Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.