Livestock producers with an interest in strengthening or transitioning grazing
practices can sharpen their skills by attending Grassroots Grazing workshops offered by
Iowa State University Extension and regional Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Grassroots Grazing short course consists of five different modules taught over the
grazing season.
“Grassroots Grazing is designed for graziers interested in a more controlled or
management-intensive grazing system,” said Denise Schwab, ISU Extension livestock
specialist. “Producers who want to optimize forage and livestock production, increase
forage utilization and conserve natural resources will find the modules very informative.”
The course will cover concepts relevant to all producers of grass-based livestock, whether
it is beef, dairy, sheep or other animals, according to Schwab. Grassroots Grazing will be
held in the Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Fayette county areas, but is designed for any
producers in northeast Iowa. Each workshop will have a classroom component with
experienced instructors and a hands-on field component.
The workshops will begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. and will conclude by 9:00 p.m. The
sessions are scheduled for June 14, June 28, August 29, September 13 and November
15. The June 14 session will feature Brian Lang, ISU Extension Agronomist, on the basics
of soil and fertility, Pat Schaefers, Clayton County NRCS, on converting CRP to grazing
land, Michelle German, NRCS soil conservationist, on pasture evaluation, and the
importance of managing forage by Schwab. The pasture component will be at the Jack
Smith pasture near Littleport, featuring converting a CRP field into rotationally grazing
paddocks, paddock design, and water development.
The July session will feature weed and brush control with Scott Flynn from Dow
AgroSciences at the Gene Tinker pasture, as well as planning for cover crop grazing. The
August session will feature Dan Morrical, ISU Sheep Specialist, on animal grazing
behavior, forage requirements and supplementing on pasture, Gordon Shelangoski from
Premier Fencing on fencing systems, and the Scott Cherne newly developed rotational
pasture. September will feature water system development with Greg Brenneman, ISU
Extension engineer, grazing agreements with Joe Sellers, ISU Extension beef specialist,
and soil health with Tina Cibula, NRCS resource conservationist, on the Cam Schulte
pasture near Garber. The final program will be held at the Mark Glawe farm near Garber
and will feature cover crop grazing and companionship of cattle to row crops.
“The Grassroots Grazing program is designed to help livestock producers evaluate their
own pasture management and implement steps to increase their grazing efficiency,” said
Schwab. “This training features experienced graziers sharing their knowledge along with
ISU and NRCS specialists; it’s the best combination of academics with real-world
experience.”
Sponsor of the short course include the Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag, Dow
AgroSciences, and Arrowquip. The course fee is $50 for all five sessions in the series.
Individual sessions will be $20. Registration fees include a resource notebook and a light
dinner, and help offset speaker travel.
For more information on specific locations or details contact Denise Schwab at (319) 721-
9624 or dschwab@iastate.edu. To register, contact the Benton County Extension Office, at
319-472-4739
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