Pasture Walks are a great way to spend an evening

The Summer of 2023 proved to be a great year for pasture walks, if you don’t know what a pasture walk is, keep reading.

multiple people walking around in a grassy pasture
MSU Extension educator Kable Thurlow talks to the attendees at the Red Leg Farm Pasture Walk.

What’s a pasture walk? It’s an event, hosted at a farm that is pasturing some type of livestock. In the case of the pasture walks that I have worked with, we have been on sheep, beef and dairy farms.

Discussion topics are chosen through a series of conversations with the coordinator and the host farm, typically showcasing one or more innovative or game-changing ideas that farmers have developed. For example, some focus on watering systems and others on fencing. Other topics include bale grazing, strategies for handling the spring flush, supplements, pest control, soil health, shade, sacrifice lots, plus, marketing and sales. 

In a typical grazing season, Michigan State University Extension educators, along with partner agencies like Michigan Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP), and local Conservation Districts host two to four pasture walks. In 2022, there was an increase to seven.

In terms of excitement about pasture walks, the 2023 pasture walk season proved to be even better, with a total of 11 being conducted in Michigan. Thanks to the support of the Michigan Forage Council, we were able to offer food and drinks at almost every one of these events. Average attendance at each of these events was around 30, allowing for great discussion, learning and network building. Geographically, the 2023 pasture walks were conducted across the state from southern Michigan to the western Upper Peninsula, and many places in between.

There is excitement brewing about trying one or two winter pasture walks. MSU Extension uses the Great Lakes Grazing Newsletter to inform people about our pasture related events. Stay informed of these events, by signing up to receive this newsletter.

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For more information, contact Michigan State University Extension Beef & Grazing Educator, Kable Thurlow at

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