Todd Clark 2013 Kentucky Prescribed Grazing Hero Award
The Kentucky Conservation Partnership recognizes the Todd Clark Farm as the 2013 Prescribed Grazing Hero for Kentucky. This award honors distinguished efforts to improve soil quality through the adoption of prescribed grazing technology. Thank you for your determination to improve the environmental outcomes on your farm and your outstanding commitment to stewardship of our natural resources.
The Todd Clark Farm is an 85 acre farm located on Georgetown Road in Fayette County just north of Lexington Kentucky. Clark manages an additional 500 acres that are either rented or shared. The total management area lies in the heart of the Bluegrass and is surrounded primarily by equine operations.
The operation currently includes 175 one year old finisher beef animals, 10,000 broilers, 500 turkeys, 42 ewes and offspring, and 700 layers. There are 235 acres that are currently used in a prescribed grazing rotation. Clark began Prescribed Grazing in 2001 after attending a Master Grazing School hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Some of the obstacles that Clark has encountered while implementing his Prescribed Grazing System include the installation of field division fences in relation to available water sources, providing adequate shade sources for the livestock as well as providing adequate amounts and types of forage. Clark has installed multiple watering facilities, constructed movable shade structures and made forage improvements through renovations with legumes, timed mowing and frequent rotation to overcome these obstacles.
The benefits that Mr. Clark has achieved are increased production, improved soil and plant health, reductions in commercial inputs and increased sustainability. Clark’s forage production has doubled in the last 11 years due to longer rest periods for forages, improved manure and nutrient distribution and increased water holding capacity of the soil.
Clark stated that “Prescribed Grazing is also the most logical method to combat the effects of climate change. The local food movement, climate change, land prices, growing population (food need) and water and air pollution all cause prescribed grazing to be very necessary going forward.” He continued, “Current data and experience shows that economically and environmentally, prescribed grazing is a no-brainer. Without prescribed grazing my stocking rates would be lower and forage quality would suffer.” With the reoccurring droughts Clark has been able to extend pasture grazing longer than neighbors that do not practice prescribed grazing.
Todd Clark has been awarded the following awards:
2004 KY Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Farm Family Award
2005 American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award National runner-up
2008 KY Forage and Grassland Council Producer Award
2009 Phillip Morris achievement award winner
2011 KFGC Alfalfa producer Award
Todd Clark is a graduate of the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program and also the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Leadership program