Grazing Field Day and Ice Cream Social!

Tuesday July 23rd, 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. 1966

Healdville Rd, Mt. Holly, Vt 05758

Join us at Plew Farm, a diversified livestock farm owned and operated by Kevin and Patti Plew, for a pasture walk and ice cream social. The Plew’s will share with us how they manage all of their livestock – beef, pigs and poultry – on pasture and are utilizing rotations grazing principle.

Or contact Cheryl Cesario at 802-388-4969 ext 346

Stay Cool and Read Our Newsletter – Summer 2019

In this Issue:

  • Focus on Agriculture: Summer Seeding Options & Other Management Adjustments, by Jeff Carter
  • News, Events & Info You Should Know
  • Save-the-Date 2020 No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium
  • USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture Results, by Kristin Williams
  • Focusing on Effectiveness with Grass-Fed Beef, by Cheryl Cesario
  • Vermont Farmers Are Conservation Leaders, by Nate Severy
  • Nutrient Mass Balance: Operating in the Green Zone?, by Rachel Orr 
  • Research Update: Gypsum Trails, by Kristin Williams

View our 2019 Summer Newsletter Here!

Grazing Class

Sign Up For Our Fall & Winter Grazing Class 2018-2019!

Rutland, VT March 5,12,19,26, 2019

REGISTER NOW FOR THE RUTLAND CLASS!

[Past- Middlebury, VT October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2018]

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

The fee is $40 which includes The Art and Science of Grazing book by Sarah Flack. This class is for farmers who currently own livestock and want to create, improve or expand their pasture management system.

Do you:

  • Want to change from confinement or set rotation to management intensive grazing?
  • Have a grazing plan, but want to better understand how to implement it?
  • Need grazing infrastructure (e.g. fence, water, animal trails) and would like to design a system that may qualify for NRCS financial assistance?

 Topics Covered

  • Pasture plant identification of common species, looking at favorable growth conditions, and how plants respond to grazing impact.
  • Pasture nutrition and how it can affect grazing behavior and overall intake and animal performance.
  • Grazing management concepts such as measuring dry matter availability, determining paddock sizes, stocking rate versus stocking density and overall acreage requirements.
  • Soil health in pasture systems and the benefits of soil, forage and manure testing to understand nutrient cycling and nutrient management within pasture systems.
  • Pasture system design to determine infrastructure needs and management techniques to avoid overgrazing damage, decreased carrying capacity and other negative impacts.
  • Grazing record keeping systems and the benefits of monitoring and documenting activities

In addition to 4 class dates, there will also be opportunity for one-on-one consultation.

2018 Grazing Class Flyer- PDF

For information or questions, contact Cheryl Cesario- 802-388-4969 ext. 346 or 1-800-956-1125

Directions – Google Map Link to Middlebury Office

Directions – Google Map Link to Rutland Office

REGISTER NOW FOR THE RUTLAND CLASS!

This program is supported with a grant from:

 

 

2018 Summer Newsletter is Here!

Read the entire PDF here!

In this Issue:
Blog links:

Join Us for a Workshop on Transition to Management Intensive Grazing

Grazing Field Day at Islandacres

Thursday, June 14th – 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
353 Route 2 , South Hero, Vt 05486

Join us for a grazing field day at Islandacres Farm in South Hero. Grazing consultant Sarah Flack and Cheryl Cesario of UVM Extension will lead a pasture walk with farmer Steve Robinson of Islandacres. Steve and his family are transitioning their 70-cow dairy to management-intensive grazing. They have seeded down 60 acres to perennial pasture as a way to mitigate the risk of annual cropping systems. We will look in-depth at this newly designed system and hear about the benefits and challenges of a transition to grazing. Discussion on grazing topics will be from both the plant’s and the animal’s perspective. With help from NRCS funding, this farm is investing in fence, animal trails, and a water system for efficient grazing to maximize the land base. Islandacres has been a top quality milk producer for 30 years with a focus on animal health and production. Come see how they are adopting these new management practices!

Robinson Grazing Field Day – FLYER

$20, including lunch provided by NOFA-VT Mobile Pizza Oven

Registration Required. Register Here.

Funding provided by:

  • Northeast SARE
  • Ben & Jerry’s Caring Dairy
  • South Hero Land Trust

Special thanks to The Robinson Family

Contact Cheryl Cesario with questions.

 

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Our Spring 2018 Newsletter is Out!


In this Issue:


READ OUR ENTIRE NEWSLETTER HERE


Got Questions? Contact Us! 802-388-4969

Winter 2018 Newsletter

In this Issue:
 
Focusing on Agriculture in the Champlain Valley and Beyond 
By Jeff Carter. Changes for a new year. 
 
News, Events & Info You Should Know 
Vermont Farm Show; Nutrient Management Planning; 5th Annual No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium; Organic Dairy Producers Conference; Farm Business Clinics. News and Event Info also on our blog page here. 
 
Should I Have Crop Insurance?  
By Jake Jacobs. Deciding if and what coverage makes sense for your business; upcoming deadline. 
 
UVM Extension Provides Financial Analysis for Producers Doing Water Quality Projects  
By Tony Kitsos. Opportunities still exist for farmers to receive assistance from Farm Business Planning on water quality projects. 
 
Fall Pasture Walks Highlight Extended Grazing Season 
By Cheryl Cesario. Two different farm pasture walks this fall addressed how local farmers approach management for extended fall grazing. 
 
Why Do We Care About Water Quality? 
Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition. Why we care and how we engage other farmers and the community at-large in the conversation. Join to add your voice!  
Winter is the Time to Focus on Record Keeping 
By Kristin Williams. Good record keeping is key to effective decision making, both in the financial word and for nutrient management.
 
Ongoing Field Research and a Look Forward
By Nate Severy. A look at work we’ve been doing this past fall that continues into the new year, and planning for spring planting success.
 

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Our Fall 2017 Newsletter is out! View it HERE.

In this Issue:

Focusing on Agriculture in the Champlain Valley and Beyond By Jeff Carter.  This season’s challenges and ways to move forward.

News, Events & Info You Should Know  Agricultural Conservation Highlights Tour; NMP Updates; Mock Inspections; Business and Ag Support for You; New Grazing Class; No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium. 

What Do I Do Now? RMA Update  By Jake Jacobs. Coping with weather unpredictability by planning ahead.

Demonstrating Success: Corn Hybrid Trials  By Kirsten Workman. Corn hybrid trials were a successful way to see what shorter season hybrids might be paired with cover crop adoption. 

Newsletter Feature – Grazing as a New Management Practice  By Cheryl Cesario. The process of adopting grazing management seen through one farmer’s experience. Also – new grazing class to teach you how to develop a grazing plan!

Managing Slugs Begins in the Fall  By Rico Balzano. Making decisions now to manage slugs next year.

Helping Farmers Adapt to a Changing Landscape By Nate Severy. UVM Extension and the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition are working together to provide farmers with valuable insights for adaptive management.

 

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UPCOMING OPPORTUNITY FOR FARMERS TO DEVELOP GRAZING PLANS

By Cheryl Cesario, Grazing Outreach Professional

When farmers are considering grazing as a new management practice, or want to change or improve an existing system, there are many questions from both the animal perspective and the land perspective: Is this going to work? Will my animals like it? What will this look like? How will I do it?

These are all reasonable questions, which are not easily answered in a one or two-hour farm visit. I find the most successful grazing systems develop when there is farmer involvement in the planning process, and the farmer has a good relationship with a service provider and other farmers who can answer questions and share ideas.

This fall we will start offering a new grazing management course for farmers who want to learn about the benefits and challenges of grazing – from both economic and environmental perspectives. Each farmer will develop a plan specific to their operation which takes into account their
farm goals. The class will meet once per week over the course of a month, and each farmer will receive a copy of Sarah Flack’s book The Art and
Science of Grazing as the course textbook and helpful future reference. Outside of class, one-on-one farm visits will provide additional support
as new practices and strategies are implemented on the ground.

Here is a sampling of what the class will cover:
• Pasture plant identification of common species, looking at favorable growth conditions and how plants respond to grazing impact.

• Pasture nutrition – how it can affect grazing behavior, overall intake, and animal performance.

• Grazing management concepts such as measuring dry matter availability, determining paddock sizes, stocking rate versus stock
density and overall acreage requirements.

• Soil health in pasture systems and the benefits of soil, forage and manure testing to understand nutrient cycling and nutrient management within pasture systems.

• Pasture system design to determine infrastructure needs, and management techniques to avoid overgrazing damage, decreased
carrying capacity and other negative impacts.

• Grazing record keeping systems and the benefits of monitoring and documenting activities.

Eligible farmers will be able to use the grazing plan they develop in class to apply for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funding opportunities to help cost-share a variety of grazing practices. However, new infrastructure alone will not create improvements. Achieving healthy pasture ecosystems requires an understanding of the relationship between the soil, the plants and livestock grazing behavior. A clear goal and a plan based on plant and animal needs are essential for success. We anticipate the course will run from mid-October to mid-November, with up to 12 hours of classroom and planning time. If you are interested in participating, or want to know more, please contact me:
cheryl.cesario@uvm.edu; (802) 388-4969 x346

 

 

 

 

 

 

Successful grazing plans can include laneways to reduce mud and erosion, as seen in photos before installation (above left) and after (above right). Stream crossings and water tubs eliminate animal impact on surface waters (below).