Nebraska Grazing Conference set for Aug. 9-10 in Kearney

Grazing Conference
The 16th annual Nebraska Grazing Conference will be Aug. 9-10 at the Kearney Ramada Inn, 301 Second Ave. (University Communications)

July 6, 2016

Lincoln, Neb. — University presenters, farmers and ranch managers will discuss topics related to grazing animals and stewardship of grazing lands during the 16th annual Nebraska Grazing Conference Aug. 9-10 at the Kearney Ramada Inn, 301 Second Ave.

"The planning committee for this annual evenxt strives for a balanced program that addresses both livestock grazing and environmental aspects of grassland management," said Pam Murray with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Center for Grassland Studies, which coordinates the conference. The committee consists of farmers, ranchers, educators, researchers and consultants in the public and private sectors.

"The conference evaluation forms year after year indicate that while agricultural producers want to hear from other producers, they also like to learn about the latest research that will help them increase profits and better manage the land for long-term ecological health," Murray said.

Mary Drewnoski, assistant professor of animal science at UNL, and producer Wayne Rasmussen of Plainview, will address using annual forages and cover crops in grazing systems. Rick Rasby, animal science professor and associate dean of Nebraska Extension, will provide results of a study that examined the impact of removal of corn residue on grain yield and forage measurements. Trey Patterson, CEO and president of Padlock Ranch Company in Ranchester, Wyoming, will discuss factors to consider when making production and economic decisions for larger operations. Fairfield farmer Brian Shaw will describe management practices that led to his family receiving the Nebraska 2015 Leopold Conservation Award. Agricultural economist Derrell Peel from Oklahoma State University will talk about forage and future U.S. beef production. Another Oklahoman, Sam Fuhlendorf, will discuss pyric herbivory (interaction of fire and grazing) to promote livestock production and wildlife conservation. UNL graduate student Maggi Sliwinski will provide results of her research on the effect of grazing system type on bird habitats and bird communities in the Nebraska Sandhills.

In 2012, many Nebraska producers experienced why it is important to be prepared for inevitable drought periods. Tonya Haigh, rural sociologist in the School of Natural Resources at UNL, will discuss building rangeland resilience to drought, and South Dakota rancher and Leopold Conservation Award recipient Jim Faulstich will share his thoughts on drought planning.

The average age of today's farmer and rancher is approaching 60. Many young people want to own or manage an agricultural production operation but don't have the capital required to get started. Ron Rosati, dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Lyle Perman of Lowry, South Dakota, and Ryan Sexson of Nenzel, will address this issue.

Texas rancher and humorist Bob Kinford will discuss cattle handling, holistic herding and planned grazing, and will also entertain at the Tuesday evening banquet.

Full registration is $80 if paid by Aug. 1 and $100 afterward. Reduced registration fees apply to full-time high school and college students. One-day registrations are also available.

  For more information and to register, visit http://grassland.unl.edu/current-conference

The event is sponsored by several public and private organizations, including the 2016 conference underwriters: Farm Credit Services of America, Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition and the UNL Center for Grassland Studies.

Pam Murray
Administrative Coordinator
Center for Grassland Studies
402-472-4101
grassland@unl.edu
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