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Grazing Management (BF 231)

Improve Your Triple Bottom Line Through Better Grazing

Grazing means more than simply turning livestock out onto a green area and hoping for the best. With planning and basic grazing infrastructure, you can reduce your workload, keep your animals fat and happy, and improve your soil health through grazing. In this course, you’ll learn the key concepts of successful grazing operations.

Target Audience

This course is designed for livestock producers who have already initiated grazing practices on their farm, and who have at least a basic knowledge of the grazing behavior of their animals and of their pasture ecosystems. Producers who do not yet have livestock are welcome to participate, but may find it more challenging to absorb and keep up with the course content.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course you will:

  • Be familiar with common grazing terminology, systems and methodology
  • Comprehend the fundamental principles of every successful grazing system
  • Develop confidence in designing and implementing a grazing system for your farm, or enhancing an existing grazing operation
  • Know how to monitor, evaluate and refine the grazing system

Webinars

The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in MOODLE, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from presenters and ask questions in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

Instructors

Brett Chedzoy, forestry and agriculture educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County.  Brett and his family also own and operate Angus Glen Farms, LLC in Watkins Glen, NY – a 300- acre grazing operation that raises grass-fed beef.
Steve Gabriel,
Agroforestry Specialist with the Cornell Small Farms Program, author of Farming the Woods, and co-owner of Wellspring Forest Farm

Dates

Thurs. March 17 – April 21, 2016, with webinars each Thurs evening from 6:30-8pm Eastern time. Webinars are always recorded for later viewing. Registration for this course is closed. It will re-open in mid-August 2016. 

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Strategies for Expanding Grazing on the Farm
    Topics covered: intro to the course, expectations, how to use Moodle, why graze?, info resources to support grazing
  • Week 2: Grazing Infrastructure
    Topics covered: types and technologies; pros and cons of some common systems; do-it-yourself vs. contractor installed; technical and financial assistance.
  • Week 3: Using Other People’s Animals to Improve Your Land and Earn Money
    Topics covered: Planned grazing; custom grazing; the business side of grazing.
  • Week 4: Enhanced Grazing Systems
    Topics covered: Silvopasturing; Multi-species grazing; “Living Barns”; Extended season grazing;
    Integrated agroforestry ventures.
  • Week 5: Livestock Health on Pasture
    Topics covered: Nutrition; Behavior; Health and Humane Considerations; Common problems (and solutions)
  • Week 6: Improving Pasture Quality and Productivity
    Topics covered: Seeding, mechanical and chemical options, grazing density vs. stocking, rest and recovery; Monitoring, Research supporting the benefits of more intensively managed systems.

Cost and Registration

Fee for this course is $200. Registration is currently closed and will re-open in mid-August 2016 for a course offering in March 2017.