- Agronomic: grass (misc. annual), grass (misc. perennial)
- Animal Production: feed/forage, pasture renovation, pasture fertility, rangeland/pasture management
- Education and Training: demonstration
- Soil Management: soil quality/health
The critical importance of soil health to mitigate climate-vulnerabilities in pasture-based livestock systems has
become more widely understood and accepted in recent years. Unfortunately, livestock farmers in NY’s Hudson
Valley lack sufficient opportunities to learn about practices and methods that increase resilience to climate-related
stressors. The goal of this project is to increase the rate of adoption of underutilized, but beneficial, practices
among regional livestock farmers by providing practical and tangible opportunities for them to learn about these
practices. Project lead, Glynwood, will partner with livestock farmers, specialists at Cornell Cooperative
Extension, NRCS and researchers at UMass Amherst to conduct two on-site demonstrations and a Soil Health
Field Day. Instruction and results will be shared through presentations at regional conferences, with additional
outreach via online methods (blog posts, external articles and a video). These activities represent a meaningful
increase in the number of available opportunities for regional farmers to improve their soil health and adaptive
management knowledge and skills.
Through the activities described in this proposal, at least 100 regional farmers will be taught how to cost effectively
monitor soil health and mitigate soil health constraints in their pastures, and to adapt their management
strategies for improved soil health and climate resilience. We expect that 85% of farmers reached through this
project will either increase their knowledge of soil health’s role in promoting resilience in pasture-based systems,
and/or adopt at least one beneficial practice demonstrated through our project, thereby increasing the
sustainability of their farms in a changing climate.
Project objectives from proposal:
Based on these needs and opportunities, our overarching goal is to increase the rate of adoption of underutilized
soil health measures and adaptive grazing practices among regional livestock farmers. To accomplish this goal,
we will use the land we manage at HVFBI as a demonstration of pasture improvement methods in partnership
with commercial livestock farmers Back Paddock and Grass + Grit Farm.
We will offer educational opportunities to regional livestock farmers, including: a Soil Health Field Day;
presentations at regional conferences; and online dissemination of our findings via video, blogs and articles.
These educational opportunities will focus on easily implementable and cost-effective ways that livestock farmers
can replicate the benefits of our demonstration on their farms.
Expected outputs include:
–Two demonstrations of pasture improvement and warm season annual forage, including recommendations for
how farmers can cost-effectively apply findings
–30 regional farmers educated about soil health principles at Soil Health Field Day
–75 farmers educated about implementing soil health principles through conference presentations
–85% of farmers we reach, and who have management authority of their farms will implement at least one
principle they learned from our project, as measured through six-month follow-up surveys.