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Grazette Newsletter - February 2013

Web link graphic: Census of Agriculture











Have you filled out and returned your 2012 Census of Agriculture yet? If not, please remember to do so by February 4th – Census data is used by many different agencies that directly impact farmers, and is your only opportunity every 5 years to show how your farm is changing. Also, IT ASKS ABOUT MANAGED GRAZING! Did we get your attention? In both Section 2 (land) and Section 33 (practices) there are questions about rotational or management-intensive grazing. Answering those questions appropriately is important for those of you who graze your livestock (and those who provide assistance to you) and would like to see more support for grazing! If you have not filled it out, or can’t find your paper copy, it can also be filled out on-line at the USDA Census of Agriculture web site.

Please continue to send in notices of pasture walks and workshops by three days prior to the end of each month. The Grazette is distributed monthly.

Upcoming Pasture Workshops and Related Events

2013 Northeast Pasture Consortium Annual Meeting

When: February 7th and 8th
Where: Radisson Hotel, Manchester, New Hampshire

This two-day meeting that precedes the New Hampshire Grazing Conference (see below) will be filled with workshops, discussions, and speakers on topics ranging from the economics of confinement vs. grazing operations, bedded packs, current research, and much more. Pasture research coordination and facilitation is a big part of the program this year. This is a new addition that we want to become an annual event. At this conference, since it initiates the process, it involves four sessions, including a research and on-farm demonstration update, a farming research needs determination, and then a subsequent discussion. E-mail Jim Cropper for more information. Hotel reservations should be made by January 16th to obtain the conference rate of $99 per night by calling 603-206-4109 or visiting the Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown Web site.

2013 Northeast Pasture Consortium Annual Meeting

This two-day meeting that precedes the New Hampshire Grazing Conference (see below) will be filled with workshops, discussions, and speakers on topics ranging from the economics of confinement vs. grazing operations, bedded packs, current research, and much more. Pasture research coordination and facilitation is a big part of the program this year. This is a new addition that we want to become an annual event. At this conference, since it initiates the process, it involves four sessions, including a research and on-farm demonstration update, a farming research needs determination, and then a subsequent discussion. E-mail Jim Cropper for more information. Hotel reservations should be made by January 16th to obtain the conference rate of $99 per night by calling 603-206-4109 or visiting the Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown Web site.

2013 Granite State Grazing Conference

Web link graphic: Granite State GraziersWhen:  February 9th
Where: Radisson Hotel, Manchester, New HampshireWeb link graphic: New Hampshire Farm and Forest Exposition

The 2013 New Hampshire Farm & Forest Exposition is celebrating its 30th Anniversary on February 8th and 9th at the Radisson Downtown Hotel, and the Grazing Conference will be held in conjunction with the Expo. The conference will tackle the tough issues surrounding making a pasture-based farming enterprise economically viable, looking at ways to reduce costs and increase incomes. Keynote speaker Steve Taylor, New Hampshire’s retired Commissioner of Agriculture, will discuss the history and future of farm economics in the Granite State, and we’ll launch into a series of breakout sessions that will look for ways to help graziers improve their bottom line. Topics for the day include pasture economics, winter feeding strategies, drought grazing strategies, alternative pasture plants and tillage methods, soil health, and more. More information will be available soon at the Granite State Graziers Web site or e-mail Bill Fosher or call 603-399-9975.

North Country Pasture Meeting

When: February 7th and 8th
Where: Grace Episcopal Church, Cataract Street, Copenhagen (Lewis County)

Soil compaction from animal traffic and other topics of interest for all grazers of dairy, beef, sheep, and goats. Pasture compaction, water flow and plant composition can make huge impacts on forage productivity. Come learn about new techniques to address soil compaction such as planting tillage radishes and keyline subsoil plowing, featuring Jenn Colby, a grazing specialist and Pasture Program Coordinator from the University of Vermont Center for Sustainability. There will also be a discussion on how the drought of 2012 will affect your pasture in 2013, and results from the Jefferson County on-farm pasture nitrogen research trial. Cost for the program is $15, and includes handouts, dessert and refreshments – please reserve your place by Wednesday, ebruary 20th by e-mailing Ron Kuck or calling him at 315-788-8450. Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Northern New York Livestock Team and the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA).

North Country Pasture Meeting II

Web link image: Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation DistrictWhen: Saturday, February 23rd – 10:00 am to 3:00 pmWeb link image: University of Vermont Center for Sustainability
Web link image: Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Jeffersson countyWhere: Chateaugay Knights of Columbus, Route 374, Chateaugay (Franklin County)

Featuring guest speaker Jenn Colby, a grazing specialist and Pasture Program Coordinator with the University of Vermont Center for Sustainability. Colby, who raises sheep, pigs and poultry, will speak about grazing practices in Vermont and her current projects that involve pasturing techniques. The program agenda includes information “from Northern New York farm fields” with either Agronomy Educator Mike Hunter of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County or Joe Lawrence of McClelland’s Agronomics discussing how the drought conditions of 2012 will affect pasture productivity in 2013 and the results of the Northern New York on-farm pasture nitrogen research trials. Trish Decosse of the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) will be presenting programs of interest to grazers, and CCE of Clinton County Agricultural Educator Peter Hagar will provide information on pasture and forage insurance. Joe Orefice of North Branch Farm, Saranac, and Paul Smiths College, will present an introduction to silvaculture - the grazing of livestock in wooded areas and opportunities in the Adirondacks; and breakout sessions with grass-based dairy farmer Bob Zufall of Lisbon; Hugh Sutherland, who operates a 700-sheep farm in Huntingdon, Quebec; and beef backgrounder Joe Eisele of Canton, New York.

The cost is $30/person, $5 for additional people from same farm, fee includes lunch sponsored by Feed Commodities, Inc, Malone, New York

Register with you local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

Hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Northern NY Livestock Team and the Adirondack North Country Association.

Southwestern New York Pasture Expo

When: Tuesday, February 26th – 10:30 am to 3:00 pm
Where: The Falcon’s Nest, Falconer (Chautauqua County)

The Expo will feature presentations on Rotational Grazing including Cliff Hawbaker, owner and operator of two certified organic dairies milking 300 head using intensive grazing management from South Central Pennsylvania will present “Green Of Grass” and “Business Planning for Grazers”. Karen Hoffman, Animal Science Specialist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service will present “Maximizing Dry Matter Intake on Pasture” and “Strategies to Feed Low or No Grain on Pasture.” Participants will also have the opportunity to visit with local agribusiness representatives and view their displays. Cost is $15 per person. To register or for more information, e-mail Lisa Kempisty or call her at 716-664-9502 extension 203.

Step It Up in 2013 Winter Grazing Conference

When: Wednesday, February 27th – 10:30 am to 3:00 pmWeb link image: New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative
Where: BW’s Restaurant, 11070 Perry Road, Pavilion (Genesee County)Web link image: Finger Lakes Resources Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council

Topics covered will benefit both dairy and livestock graziers. Our keynote speaker is Cliff Hawbaker, dairy grazier from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. His topic is “Green of Grass, a Journey of Our Farms and Grazing Experience Focusing on Grass”. Other topics include “Managing the Soil to Manage the Pasture”, and “Planning for Drought: Alternative Water Sources”.

The afternoon will be divided into two breakout sessions: “Economics of Grazed vs. Stored Feed, Economic Analysis for Decision Making”, “Business Planning for Graziers, Focusing on Where You Are and Where You Want to Go”, “Pasture Plant Selection”, and “Need Updates? Modernizing Grazing Dairies”. The brochure is available on the North West New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Team web site. To register, e-mail Cathy Wallace or call her at (585)-343-3040 extension 138. Brought to you by North West New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Team, Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Sponsored by New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (NYGLCI) and Finger Lakes Resources Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council.


Advance Notice

Second Annual Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference

When: Friday, March 1st
Where: Holiday Inn, Auburn (Cayuga County)

Featuring experienced organic keynote speaker Jerry Brunetti, founder of Agri-Dynamics, who will share his perspective on how organic dairy and field crop farmers can address the current challenges in agriculture so that we find success and optimism for moving forward. The day’s program will highlight workshop topics including:

  • Soil Sampling and Test Reading with CROPP soil Agronomist Mark Kopecky;Web link image: Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
  • Herd Health with founder of Agri-Dynamics Jerry Brunetti;
  • Growing Small Grains with Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens, owners of Lakeview Organic Grain;
  • Sprouting Fodder with dairyman John Stoltzfus;
  • Farm Transfer with FarmNet director Ed Staehr, and more.

The conference will include a half-day intensive session on transitioning to organic dairy management; new farmers and farmers interested in transitioning are encouraged to attend. Northeast Organic Farmers of New York (NOFA-NY) Certified LLC staff will be available again this year throughout the day to answer questions on organic certification. Be sure to take time to visit our expanded trade show and speak with company representatives. Partake in a delicious organic lunch made with products donated by local farmers and business members and prepared by Holiday Inn Executive Chef Todd Field. There will be programming for both new and veteran farmers alike, so bring your family, friends, and neighbors. Enjoy a day of learning, networking, and information exchange. For more program details visit the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Web site or e-mail Bethany Wallis at (585)-271-1979 extension 513. Sponsored in part by New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (NYGLCI).

2013 Southern Tier Grazing Conference

Web link image: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango CountyWhen: Saturday, March 16th – 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Oxford Memorial Library, Oxford (Chenango County)

This conference is designed to give dairy and livestock producers some of the latest information in preparing for the 2013 grazing season. A veritable “Who’s Who” from New York’s grazing and agriculture industries have been lined up to provide conference attendees the latest information to help make their dairy and livestock operations more profitable. Topics will include electrical considerations for fencing systems, grazing and crop insurance, maximizing dry matter intake from pasture, supplementing with grain, and more.

Lunch will be available, cost is $10 per person (conference is free). For more information or to register, e-mail Rich Taber, Grazing/Ag Economic Development Specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension Chenango County, or call him at (607)-334-5841 extension 21.


Pasture Grant Opportunities

Project gives grants for farm improvements that benefit livestockWeb link image: Food Animal Concerns Trust

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is accepting grant applications for its Fund-a-Farmer Project, which provides small grants to farmers who want to improve the welfare of their farm animals. Grants of up to $1,500 will be awarded for projects that

  1. help farms transition to pasture-based systems,
  2. improve the marketing of their humane products, or
  3. more generally enrich the conditions in which farm animals are raised.

Working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows and/or beef cattle are eligible to apply for any of the three types of grants. Projects involving goats and sheep are only eligible for marketing grants. View guidelines or apply online by May 1, 2013 for awards made in August 2013.
 


Pasture NewsWeb link image:  Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center

New England Small Ruminant E-List and Survey

If you raise sheep or goats, please take a couple of minutes to fill out this survey about small ruminant health and management concerns. Your responses will inform recommendations for future funding and research and the development of workshops, factsheets, and other resources for New England sheep and goat farmers. This survey is a project of the New England Small Ruminant Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Working Group, funded by the Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center. To receive a summary of the final survey results, and to join a community of New England sheep and goat farmers, veterinarians, educators, and other farm service providers sharing expertise and best practices for small ruminant production — we also welcome you to join the New England Small Ruminant e-list. Send any questions to sanderson@comteam.org.


Want to submit an event? Interested in subscribing? Simply send an e-mail to Karen Hoffman with your event information, or with the subject line of "subscribe" to be added to the distribution list! If submitting an event listing, please submit it three days before the end of the month prior to the date scheduled, as this newsletter will only be generated at the beginning of the month.

Not interested? If we've sent this to you, and you're not interested in receiving it again, also send an e-mail to the above address with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Brought to you by the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative.

The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative is a grass-roots coalition of producers, agricultural industry, and conservation groups with an interest in the sound conservation of private grazing lands. The goal of this newsletter is to increase awareness of grazing events around New York and in neighboring states, as well as to provide information that is useful on the farm. For more information on GLCI, check out the national GLCI Web site. Information on the NYS-GLCI can be obtained from GLCI Coordinator Karen Hoffman at the e-mail address above.

For information on facilities or services, or to request sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids at meetings, please contact the individual listed for the event at least 10 days prior to the meeting date.

Promoting Clean, Green, and Profitable Agriculture"