Grazier Training for Michigan Agricultural Educators from NRCS, Michigan State University Extension and Conservation Districts

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2006: $26,883.36
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Region: North Central
State: Ohio
Project Coordinator:
Betsy Dierberger
NRCS, Michigan
Lawrence Dyer
Olney Friends School


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: grazing management, grazing - rotational
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Soil Management: soil analysis

    Proposal abstract:

    Managed grazing is an ecologically based and environmentally sound way to manage livestock, that can be economically viable across a range of operation sizes. Farmer’s information needs regarding grazing and pasture management continue to grow. Grazier training will be held for NRCS, MSUE and Conservation District staff and farmer leaders at Tillers International, a non-profit educational farm in Kalamazoo County, Michigan. Training will integrate a solid conceptual foundation with practical skill development in the field for managed grazing practices. Conceptual elements include plant growth, pasture composition, pasture maintenance, animal nutrition and health, economics, Holistic Management Planned Grazing®, transition from confinement to grazing operations, and an overview of pertinent USDA programs. Participants will acquire the knowledge and skills to develop a grazing plan. Skill-building activities will include moving livestock in a managed grazing system, building different kinds of fence, setting up a variety of watering systems, and monitoring pasture growth and conditions. The training program will include follow-up sessions focusing on identified needs of program participants and guidance for participants as they deliver this material to their clients.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Short term outcomes will be assessed with pre and post questionnaires used for design and development of the training program. Skill level will be documented through hands on grazing management and written grazing plans. Intermediate and long term outcomes will be tracked by NRCS program contract documentation. Project outcomes will be a cohort of professionals with enhanced awareness, knowledge and skill to serve clients in the managed grazing of livestock.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.