Dairy graziers and dairy grazing enthusiasts from several states will be gathering in October to share and increase their knowledge about pasture-based and organic dairy production systems. The eighth Mid-Atlantic Dairy Grazing Conference and Organic Dairy Field Day is based in Wytheville in southwestern Virginia where Interstates 77 and 81 meet. The event begins at the Wytheville Meeting Center on Monday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. and concludes on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 2:15 p.m.
The program will feature speakers from several states including Dr. John Niezen of the Greenstone Grazing Group in Louisville, Georgia; Jon Bansen of Double J Jerseys in Monmouth, Oregon; Joe Horner, extension economist with the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; and Dr. Larry Tranel, dairy field specialist, Iowa State University Extension, Dubuque, Iowa. Eric Crowgey of Wytheville and Jay Richardson of Sugar Grove are two local dairy graziers that have agreed to host on-farm visits during the three-day event. There will also be involvement of other resource people from the region including other dairy producers, NRCS and extension personnel and various representatives of companies and organizations that provide services to dairy graziers.
The program will cover many aspects of dairy grazing systems applicable to both experienced and to beginning dairy graziers. Topics include financial strategies to become “millionaire model dairy farms,” low-cost milking parlors, and management of cattle and pastures in various pasture-based and organic production systems. Some topic areas will be covered by presentations on-farm and at the meeting center, while other topics will be covered by panel discussions of dairy graziers and other speakers.
—Information provided by Dr. Steve Washburn