MSU Extension Beginner Grazing School - August 22-23

A grazing school for beef, dairy and small ruminant producers will be held at the MSU Extension Lake City Research Center August 22 - 23, 2023.

standing participants and one in a motorized wheelchiar observe a speaker in an outdoor setting
2022 Beginner grazing school participants learn about the different tools available for watering systems. Photo credit: Kable Thurlow

According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, Michigan farmland contains over 523,905 acres of pastureland. Often these acres are marginal ground which is minimally managed. The Michigan State University Extension Beginner Grazing School will provide participants with the latest livestock and forage research on grazing management. The Beginner Grazing School is designed for individuals new to farming and established farmers looking to improve their grazing skills. New farmers learn what is needed to start a grazing operation while networking with those who are more experienced. Farmers are encouraged to ask questions and share grazing experiences during the interactive event.

This in-person event will be held on Tuesday, August 22, and Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at the Michigan State University Lake City Research Center. Extension educators and specialists are excited to return to this in-person event.  

Presentations will cover approaches to:

  • Introduction to managed grazing
  • Pasture management and decision making
  • Livestock nutrition and requirements on pasture
  • Forage yield determination and pasture allocation
  • Grass and legume species identification
  • Pasture soil fertility and management
  • Grazing systems, layout and design
  • Water systems and requirements
  • Building and using fence for grazing
  • Pasture establishment and improvement

A Tuesday evening pasture walk with the MSU Center for Regenerative Agriculture staff is also included in the agenda.

“The Training was great. There was just enough field portion to demonstrate activities, as well as a class size conducive for learning different methods to be utilized in our grazing techniques moving forward.” – 2022 Beginner Grazing School participant

Beginner Grazing School Registration 

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Cost for the workshop is $250 for one person, $400 for two from the same farm, or $550 for three from the same farm. Registration closes Sunday August 18, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. The workshop fee includes all program materials including grazing sticks and worksheets, and the following meals including a dinner Tuesday August 22, along with lunch and snacks both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Successful graziers are flexible and adaptable to change. Make an investment for you and your farm, by attending the MSU Beginner Grazing School. For more information contact Michelle Sweeten at or Kable Thurlow at or Frank Wardynski, . We are here to help you reach your goals and want you to be outcome-driven. 

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