Jim Gerrish Grazing Workshops to focus on improved productivity, profitability
Internationally known expert on forage livestock systems, Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC, is returning to Kansas for two two-day workshops on grazing management as it applies to the livestock business from Oct. 28 to 31.
Gerrish has 20 years of systems research and outreach experience as a faculty member at the University of Missouri, as well as many years of commercial cattle and sheep production. University of Missouri’s Forage Systems Research Center rose to national prominence as a result of Gerrish’s research and leadership. His research encompasses many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provides a foundation for many of the basic principles of management intensive grazing.
When asked why livestock producers might wish to attend the workshop, Gerrish replied, “More than ever, you need to be in control of your operation. Cows are lousy business managers. Don’t leave the critical management decisions up to cows. They don’t care whether you make a dime or not. Your job is to create a ranch environment where the cow can be the best cow she can be.” Gerrish went on to say, “You need to manage the business side of the ranch and not try to do the cow’s job for her. If you don’t understand what that means, then you really need to attend this workshop.”
The workshops will be held Oct. 28 to 29 at Ramada Hotel, Salina, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Oct. 30 to 31 at Pratt Community College, Pratt, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost of the workshop is $80, which includes handouts and food. Attendees are responsible for their own lodging. Grazing workshops with experts typically cost much more.
Each two-day workshop will include information and discussion on the following topics: Grazing Basics 101 for Improved Plant Performance, Cattle Management 101, To Hay or Not to Hay, and Designing Grazing Systems including fencing and water development.
Mary Howell, conference organizer, highly recommends ranchers attend. “Producers will gain an understanding of plant growth, extending the grazing season, matching calving season and animal performance to available forage resources and the environment,” Howell said. “One afternoon will be spent on fencing and water development—the two most limiting factors in grazing possibilities. Jim shares with producers his abundant knowledge and experience he has gained from extensive travel working with ranchers everywhere.” Howell noted, “We are very fortunate to offer this opportunity for such an affordable price. Plan to attend, learn how plants, animals, and grazing all fit together; feel free bring your questions.”
Funding for the Gerrish workshops was provided by the North Central Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. His events are always well attended with producers leaving with a different way of looking at why they do things the way they do and exploring ways they can reduce work and increase profits. Partners for the grant are Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Graziers, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops. For more information and registration visit kansasgraziers.blogspot.com or contact Mary Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-562-8726.