With one grazing network up and running, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Master Grazer program is looking to create similar regional networks across the state.
The Kentucky Grazing Network is for forage and ruminant producers. Participants share ideas and advice with other group members with the goal of improving everyone’s forage operation.
The first network began earlier this summer in northern Kentucky with a pasture walk at UK’s Eden Shale Farm in Owen County.
“A lot of it is hands-on instruction and show-and-tell teaching, which is a good learning tool for farmers,” said Don Sorrell, Campbell County agent for agriculture and natural resources with the UK Cooperative Extension Service.
Grazing network meetings will typically involve pasture walks or field days, most likely at an operation belonging to one of the group members.
Discussion topics will be related to the area and time of year. The event will allow producers to discuss things that work well, need fine tuning or rethinking within members’ grazing operations.
They can request UK specialists to present topics of interest to the whole group.
“The grazing network is an opportunity for farmers to have a conversation with other farmers and UK specialists about what’s going on in pastures now,” said Kim Strohmeier, Owen County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources.
Participants will receive a statewide grazing network newsletter that includes upcoming events and useful tips for livestock and forage production from UK specialists.
Networks will include producers from a minimum of three surrounding counties. Those interested in participating and in sharing and learning from others should contact their county Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources or Lyndsay Jones, UK Master Grazer program coordinator, at 859-257-7512 or email email@example.com.
The next pasture walk for of the Eden Shale Grazing Network, which is also accepting new members, is from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Aug. 4 at the Eden Shale Farm.
Another chance to learn about getting the most from your pastures is at the Kentucky Grazing School Aug. 15-16 at the Woodford County Extension office and the C. Oran Little Research Center in Versailles.