8.20.2014

Livestock Water and Fencing Development

Mark Green, NRCS specialist from Missouri will return to Kansas to offer his very popular workshop on electric fencing and livestock watering options September 9, 2014 in Topeka, KS. The workshop will be held at the Topeka Ramada, 420 SE 6th Avenue with registration beginning at 8:30 AM. The program lasts until 4:00 PM.

Green's workshop, which includes additional information for producers who have sheep and goats, is part of Amazing Grazing II: For Ruminants Great and Small, an evolution of the Amazing Grazing: Enhancing Risk Management Education for Kansas Graziers and Livestock Producers Project, which started July 1, 2014 and concludes June 30, 2015.

Water availability is the number one limiting factor for grazing possibilities. The addition of electric fencing will increase grazing options that can in-turn benefit range health, the soil, as well as improve production and profitability. 

Green will explain electric fence products, the pros and cons of various materials used in electric fence construction, and installation techniques. Producers always enjoy Green’s cowboy humor and expertise from years of experience. He states:

I believe that folks in my line of work should gather information that works and pass it on to the ranchers I work with. What makes me different is that I am not selling anything; I am sharing the ideas I have seen visiting many ranches. Even little things can make a big difference. I will relay what works; as well as things to avoid in water and fencing.

He will also cover livestock watering topics, water distribution for improved grazing distribution, permanent and portable tanks, above and below ground pipeline, and water sources—wells, streams, springs, and ponds. Fencing and watering needs for sheep and goats will also be included in the workshop.

Save $5.00 with Earlybird Registration. Ends August 31!

Cost for the workshop is $30.00, which includes lunch and publications on electric fencing and water development. Please register by September 6.

Register online HERE.

Please contact Mary Howell at kfu.mary@gmail.com, or call 785-562-8726 with questions.

A block of rooms is being held at the Topeka Ramada, call 785-234-5400. Please check the website often for other upcoming events, and to sign up for our news as it happens: AmazingGrazingKansas.com

Along with Kansas Farmers Union and the Kansas Graziers Association, Amazing Grazing II partners include: Kansas NRCS, Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Kansas State Research and Extension, Farm Credit, and the Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, with funding from North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

7.29.2014

Pasture-Based Sheep and Goat Production, Management and Marketing Workshop Slated for August 15-16 in Manhattan


Dr. Jim Gerrish, well known rancher, researcher, grazing educator and co-founder of the Missouri Grazing School, returns to Kansas to kick off Amazing Grazing II for Ruminants Great and Small.  A workshop entitled “Pasture-Based Sheep and Goat Production and Marketing” will be August 15-16, 2014, in Manhattan at Four Points by Sheraton. Both days will run 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Jim will be able to help producers make better choices for their pasture situation.  This workshop is tailored for small ruminant producers specifically!  Jim Gerrish stated that “Sheep and goats offer opportunities for landowners as alternatives to raising cattle.

Greater production efficiencies, niche market values and ease of handling make sheep and goats particularly attractive for smaller acreages.  Managing the smaller ruminants does require a different skill set than do cattle and require more attention to details of management.  This workshop will cover topics including grazing practices for parasite management, fence and stock water development for ease of grazing, extending the grazing season and many others.”

Dr Brian Faris, KSU Animal Science Department Head of Sheep and Goats and the newly built small ruminant facility, will join the Manhattan Small Ruminant Workshop. Brian was raised in Texas and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sheep and goat industry to this workshop.  The workshop will include a tour of the new facility; where a hands-on workshop for producers to learn small animal health management techniques will be held later in the fall.  

Program Director, Mary Howell reported that, “Amazing Grazing II was written specifically to address many of the issues that small animal producers keep asking for. Two days spent with Jim and Brian will be well worth the time and money invested.  Ranch managers will learn valuable grazing information and management skills that will improve production and profitability of their livestock enterprise. In addition to being educators, both Jim and Brian also are actual producers who raise sheep and goats.

Cost for the workshop is $60.00 and includes lunch and handouts.  


For question on the workshop, please contact Mary Howell at kfu.mary@gmail.com, or call 785-562-8726

A block of rooms is being held until August 10th, at Four Points by Sheraton, Manhattan call 785-539-5311 and ask for Amazing Grazing Sheep and Goat Meeting. 

Amazing Grazing II Partners with Kansas Farmers Union are: Kansas NRCS, Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Kansas State Research and Extension, Farm Credit, Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, and Kansas Graziers with funding from North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

7.22.2014

Ranch Management for Successful Winter and Year-Round Grazing of Beef Cattle to be held August 13-14 in Topeka


SAVE $10 WITH EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION!  Ends July 31st!

McPHERSON, KS - Dr. Jim Gerrish, well-known rancher, researcher, grazing educator, and 
co-founder of the Missouri Grazing School returns to Kansas this August to kick off Amazing Grazing II for Ruminants Both Great and Small. The two-day workshop entitled "Ranch Management for Successful Winter and Year Round Grazing of Beef Cattle" will be held from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM August 13-14, 2014 at Topeka Ramada, 420 SE 6th St. Topeka, KS.

Better management of ranch resources leads to increased performance of the grass and forages, and Dr. Gerrish will help producers make better choices for their pasture situation. Many ranchers are currently being forced to de-stock due to drought conditions and lack of forage. Ranch managers will learn valuable grazing information and management skills that will improve production and profitability.

When asked why a producer should attend this meeting, Gerrish replied, "Winter feed costs are generally the biggest determinant of profitability in the cow-calf business, but they don't have to be.  This workshop will get you well down the road to planning for and implementing year-round grazing on your farm or ranch." 

Gerrish continued, "Throw off the hay addiction shackles of iron and oil and feel the freedom of grazing in the grass. We will explore alternatives for extending the grazing season in different environments, effectively grazing winter range and pasture, as well as livestock selection and management to make sure the cows work for you, rather than you working for your cows."

Topics to be covered include: extending the grazing season, managing and planning for successful winter grazing including nutritional requirements, using winter annuals, effectively utilizing winter pastures for animal performance, managing animal costs, and how calving date effects profitability.

Program Director Mary Howell reports, "Amazing Grazing II was written specifically to address many of the issues livestock producers keep asking for. Two days spent with Jim will be well-worth the time and money invested." Howell goes on to say, "Ranch managers will learn valuable grazing information and management skills that will improve production and profitability of their livestock enterprise."

Cost for the workshop is $90.00, which includes lunch and handouts.
Register online HERE.
Download the Mail-In Registration Form.
Please contact Mary Howell at kfu.mary@gmail.com, or call 785-562-8726. A block of rooms is being held at the Topeka Ramada, call 785-234-5400. Please check the website often for other upcoming events, and to sign up for our news as it happens.

Along with Kansas Farmers Union and the Kansas Graziers Association, Amazing Grazing II partners include: Kansas NRCS, Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Kansas State Research and Extension, Farm Credit, and the Kansas Grazing Land Coalition, with funding from North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

7.01.2014

Amazing Grazing Funded for Second Year of Programming


Kansas Farmers Union (KFU) is pleased to announce it has received a second grant from the North Central Risk Management Education Center to fund Amazing Grazing II for Ruminants Great and Small.

“The North Central Risk Management Education Center is dedicated to funding projects that help producers learn and adopt effective risk management practices and strategies. This project promises to help livestock producers manage current challenges from drought to land costs, implement effective strategies including managed grazing, and position their
operations for success,” said Brad Lubben, Director of the NCRMEC.

Amazing Grazing II provides educational and networking opportunities to assess and manage production, market, legal, financial, and human risk. Target participants include producers of small and large ruminant livestock, ranchers considering managed grazing, those exploring to possibly diversify production, and producers seeking value added or direct marketing their meat, fiber and dairy products.

The program enables producers to improve their understanding of grazing management, water development, fencing, lowstress handling, and biological control of invasive species. Other topics include areas of personal/business liability, emergency management planning for natural disasters and value-added/direct marketing opportunities.

Amazing Grazing II Programming includes two conferences, two 2-day intensive events, seven full-day workshops, and several hands-on learning opportunities across the state. The project will tap both Kansas experts and nationally-known educators to assist producers in enhancing grazing management.

The grant is a collaboration with the Kansas Graziers Association (KGA), a grassroots producer organization formed in 2000 to support Kansas ranchers with educational activities including workshops, tours and networking opportunities. “The beauty of this group is the way in which members share their experiences and wisdom with each other–the good, the bad, and the different,” explained Mary Howell, KGA Board Secretary and KFU Member Specialist.

“We’re extremely excited to organize and offer this high quality programming, with the cream of the crop speakers” stated Howell, who will serve as Project Director. “The upcoming speakers and very worthwhile activities are open to anyone involved in the livestock and ranching industry. Stay tuned for dates and details.”

The Extension Risk Management Education Program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides training to help producers learn new strategies to manage complex and growing agricultural risks. The program’s goal is simple – help farmers and ranchers manage risk. NCRMEC awards grants through a competitive application and review process. For 2014, NCRMEC will fund 17 full projects and 7 exploratory projects totaling approximately $724,000 from the submitted proposals.

“Kansas Graziers is just the neatest group of people. Nowhere else do I see a group like this that just wants to learn and to share their experiences. There isn’t politics or religion involved. There aren’t social classes; I often see some of the state’s largest ranchers shooting the breeze with hobby ranchers. It’s just a pleasure to be a part of, and everyone is welcome to join in. I’m really happy that Kansas Farmers Union can offer the livestock producers of Kansas availability to these great resources through administration of this grant, especially as drought management affects our management decisions more all the time,” said Donn Teske, KFU president.

Amazing Grazing project collaborators include Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, National Resources Conservation Service, Kansas State Research and Extension, and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Farm Credit Services and Kansas Graziers Association.

See the Amazing Grazing II Event Calendar for a preview of events.

3.04.2014

Olsburg Ranch Tour to Highlight Low Stress Livestock Handling

Two Olsburg ranches will highlight working facilities, on May 3, that utilize low stress methods to quietly and effectively process cattle, sheep and goats. The tour highlighting low stress handling will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m. at the Edwards Ranch, 15225 Dry Creek Road, Olsburg. The working facility designed by Bill, that he can operate alone, will be demonstrated starting at 10:00.

 A catered, noon picnic lunch will be served at the Joseph Hubbard Barn, 5025 Highway 16, Olsburg.  Joseph raises sheep and goats and has designed and will demonstrate the facility using Bud Williams philosophies for low stress, small animal handling.

 Alan Hubbard is one of the first ranchers in Northeast Kansas to adopt Rotational Grazing (MiG, Management-intensive Grazing). Alan will present his lessons learned with cattle handling and grazing management.  The tour will then resume to the low stress facilities designed to work in sync with livestock psychology and behavior to minimize stress and improve safety to both the animals and the rancher. The tour should conclude by 4:00 p.m. 
Registration is $15.00 and includes lunch. Please register online here.  For questions or folks with no email to register: Call Mary Howell at 785-562-8726.

This tour is the last “Amazing Grazing” event sponsored with funding from North Central Risk Management Education Center, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  Partners include the Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas SARE, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Kansas Graziers, Kansas NRCS, and Kansas Grazing Land Coalition.