2023 Franklin County Graziers Winter Conference
The Franklin County Graziers Winter Grazing Conference was held January 19, 2023 at the Chambersburg Mennonite Church in Chambersburg, PA.
By Suzette Truax
The Franklin County Graziers Winter Grazing Conference was held January 19, 2023 at the Chambersburg Mennonite Church in Chambersburg, PA. Approximately 95 farmers, agency personnel, and educators from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York were in attendance. Troy Bishopp who is nicknamed “The Grass Whisperer” from New York was the keynote speaker. Mr. Bishopp grazes 100 acres with an emphasis on soil biology, animal health, and family values. Bishopp discussed the importance of planning ahead during the grazing season and being flexible year-round. He also discussed why it is important to linger in the pasture and observe what the animals are eating and how you would be surprised at what and why an animal may eat what it eats.
A farmer panel ended the day with speakers Ben Peckman (dairyman from Chambersburg, PA), Alan Jaymes (beef farmer from Mercersburg, PA), Josh Ramsburg (beef farmer Gettysburg, PA), and Matt Kehr (beef farmer Littlestown, PA). The panel of farmers talked about their trial and errors with grazing annual forages and how annuals can help with the summer slump, extending the grazing season and what forages worked and what did not. The panel producers also discussed infrastructure and what should be permeant versus what could be temporary, best management practices, for grazing annual forages.