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UK to host Heart of America Grazing Conference Oct. 29-30 at Boone County Extension office

By Katie Pratt
University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council will host The Heart of America Grazing Conference to help Midwestern producers learn how they can extend the grazing season and reduce their hay use.

The conference is Oct. 29-30 at the Boone County Extension office in Burlington.

Jim Gerrish is the conference’s keynote speaker. A graduate of the University of Illinois and UK, Gerrish is an internationally renowned independent grazing lands consultant with clients across five continents. He is also an instructor at the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy.

Cattle graze on a Central Kentucky farm. (Photo by Jimmy Henning, UK extension forage specialist)

Prior to these positions, Gerrish worked for 22 years as a beef-forage systems grazing specialist at the University of Missouri’s Forage Systems Research Center. He will speak about how producers can implement extended grazing systems to reduce their hay costs and maximize their operation’s profitability.

During the two-day conference, participants can learn about livestock genetics, fencing innovations, hay and storage feed, summer stockpiling, forage research, baleage and extended grazing systems. In addition to Gerrish, presenters include UK specialists, industry representatives and Kentucky producers.

The regional conference rotates annually between Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. Kentucky last hosted the conference in 2016.

Early bird registration is $85 for the full conference or $50 for one day. Producers can receive this rate until Oct. 15. After that date, registration will be $100 for the entire conference or $75 for one day. Online registration, more information and directions are available at 2019hoa.eventbrite.com.

Additional conference partners include the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, Master Grazer Program, Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and the Kentucky Beef Network.

Katie Pratt writes for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

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