Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference is everything forage

Whether you chop it, bale it, or graze it, the 2015 Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference will broaden your knowledge of forages!

This year’s 2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference is loaded with cutting edge research and information from progressive farmers, forage researchers and educators across the Mid-West and best of all it is open to everyone right at the Michigan State University (MSU) Campus on March 12, 2015.

The 2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference will take place on Thursday March 12 at the Michigan State University Kellogg Center. The educational day long event is jam-packed with information on producing hay, silage and pasture for dairy, livestock, equine and other farms in the Great Lakes region. Over fourteen speakers will provide the latest research and progressive farming practices on everything that is forage related.

This year’s keynote speaker for the conference will be Doug Peterson, a NRCS State Soil Health Conservationist from Missouri who works with farms across the State of Missouri. He also operates a 350 beef cow grazing operation with his father. During two different sessions, he will discuss concepts of improving soil quality while grazing with high density stocking rates to show how pasture based farms can be more profitable.

Grazing dairy farmers will also want to hear the talk from Bob Barrons, a seasonal grazing dairy farmer from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who has been grazing dairy cows for over 25 years in the Gladstone area of Michigan. According to Michigan State University Extension Grazing Educator Jerry Lindquist, “Bob is a very innovative grazing dairy farmer that has been grazing dairy cows for a long time. Anyone interested in grazing should catch his presentation.”

Grazing enthusiasts will also be pleased to hear Ben & Denise Bartlett’s return to the conference. They will be discussing holistic management of sheep and cattle, with grass, soil and family to make the system work better. And finally for the grass fed beef producers the MSU world leading grass fed beef research will be highlighted by MSU Animal Science Department Graduate Assistant Rachel Martin.

For the hay and haylage making farms the conference has just as much to offer. MSU Forage Specialist Kim Cassida will highlight what is new with alfalfa varieties and will be offering highlights of her latest forage research at MSU. MSU Extension Grazing and Field Crop Educator Jerry Lindquist will address the use of forage tissue analysis testing to fine tune forage crop yields. And new MSU Soil Biologist Dr. Lisa Tiemann will discuss how to build soil fertility with cover crops in forage based systems.

There will also be updates on the new Farm Bill and its application to forage crops; dairy farming in the Ukraine during times of crisis; a forage spokesperson contest with Michigan farmers explaining the techniques they use to optimize forage use on their farms; a hay market update; a tradeshow with businesses with forage supplies and equipment on display; and much more. 

To learn more about the conference and online registration for the2015 Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference on Thursday March 12 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing is available. Those without Internet access may contact the Lapeer County MSU Extension Office at 810-667-0341 or MSU Extension Grazing Educator Jerry Lindquist at or 231-832-6139.              

 Anyone needing special accommodations to attend the conference should notify the sponsors at least five days before the event. MSU Extension programs are open to all people.

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