Grazing Management Training to Enhance the Sustainability of Pasture-Based Beef Production Systems
The objective of this program is to provide training support to Farm Agency Advisors and livestock farmers who want to learn more about economical, environmental and socially sustainable farming systems.
1). Participating professionals will be trained specifically in pasture/livestock management so that they can offer educational programs and provide information and support to farmers who want to adopt sustainable and environmentally sound pasture-based livestock production systems.
2.) Selected farmers and farm advisors will organize educational activities and regularly meet on farms to discuss sustainable livestock management practices and solve problems.
During 2000 we conducted two successful workshops in two different regions of NC. These workshops were well attended, with 34 beef producers and 29 Extension/NRCS/SWCD professionals. Feedback on the training was very positive. Producers and professionals who showed a keen interest and understanding of the concepts will be chosen to become master graziers. One master grazier has already conducted a one-day workshop using materials we have developed.
We also shared some materials and expertise with a group of agency workers and farmers in South Carolina during a 2-day workshop. Participants were encouraged to develop their own training program with shared materials. Plans are in progress to develop cooperative training of agency workers during 2001 and 2002. We will use some of the materials for a 3-day workshop in Tennessee in 2001 in cooperation with ATTRA and other organizations.
We are working on the formatting and organization of the resource materials at this time. We have developed protocols for several “field exercises” to be used by the master graziers. The resource book will have clear instructions and photos of the exercises and how they can be used in teaching various principles of grazing management. In addition, the materials include suggestions on setting up and conducting a grazing school. A time line of when things have to be completed in prepration for specific training.
We have a meeting scheduled in January 2001 to begin the specific training of master graziers so that they can conduct their own workshops. There are currently four grazing schools scheduled for 2001, and the master graziers will be participating in each one.
We have received two requests for our resources by agency workers in other states. We feel that our completed package will be helpful to many local agency workers as they conduct their own training programs.