Livestock producers with an interest in beginning or transitioning grazing practices can sharpen their skills by attending a five-part series of Greenhorn Grazing workshops in northeast Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Denise Schwab said producers of all skill levels are welcome.

“Greenhorn Grazing is designed for graziers interested in a more controlled or management-intensive grazing system,” Schwab said. “Producers who want to optimize forage and livestock production, increase market access and conserve natural resources will find the modules very informative.”

The series content will cover concepts relevant to producers of all grass-based livestock, whether it is beef, dairy, sheep or other animals, she said.

“The Greenhorn Grazing program is designed to help livestock producers evaluate their own pasture management and implement steps to increase their grazing efficiency,” Schwab said. “This training features experienced graziers sharing their knowledge and learning from each other.  It’s the best combination of academics with real-world experience.”

Greenhorn Grazing will be held in the Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque county area, but is open to all producers in northeast Iowa. Each workshop will have a classroom component led by experienced instructors and a hands-on field component.

All workshops will run from 9:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon. The session dates, topics and speakers are as follows:

  • June 10. Brian Lang, ISU Extension agronomist: soil conditions, fertility and plant productivity. Pat Schaefers, Clayton County NRCS, pasture condition scoring and CSP opportunities.
    Schwab: forage planning and species identification.
    The pasture component will be at the John Schupbach farm near Elgin featuring new seeding establishment, rotational paddocks, above ground waterline system, wildlife protection systems, and custom grazing.
  • July 21. Larry Tranel, ISU Extension dairy specialist: dairy grazing.
    A fencing demonstration will be part of the pasture portion at the Eric Gaul pasture.
  • Aug. 24. Dan Morrical, ISU sheep specialist: animal grazing behavior, forage requirements and supplementing on pasture.
    ISU Extension ag engineer Greg Brenneman: watering systems.
    The Cameron Schulte pasture segment features buried water lines to tanks and a spring water development.
  • Sept. 9. ISU Extension field agronomist Meghan Anderson: weed management.
    Fall and winter forage management practices such as fall interseeding with Jim Welter; hay field grazing, and planning for winter feeding.
    Dan, Tom and Mark Welter will host this session.
  • Nov. 10. Cover crop grazing and companionship of cattle to row crops to be held at the Jack Smith farm near Epworth.

Support from the Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque County Extension districts, Theisen’s Home-Farm-Auto, Arrow Cattlequip, Innovative Ag Services and Welter Seed & Honey Co. help offset the cost of the short course. The $75 per person fee is for all five sessions in the series. It includes a resource notebook and lunches, and assists in covering speaker travel.

For more information on specific locations or details contact Schwab by phone at 319-721-9624 or email at dschwab@iastate.edu. To register, contact the Delaware County Extension Office at 563-927-4201.