Livestock producers looking to enhance their grazing management skills should plan to attend one of four September workshops held by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Guest speaker Laura Paine, holistic management certified educator from Wisconsin, will discuss balancing family life and raising livestock concepts for the next generation of graziers and those who are serious about sharpening their management skills.

“We are excited to have Laura Paine with us,” said Joe Sellers, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach in south central Iowa. “She will offer our producers methods to positively impact pasture productivity with planned grazing and whole farm planning using sustainable land management practices.”

Paine currently is program director for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, a formalized, nationally accredited training program for beginning dairy farmers in Wisconsin. She has been involved in managed grazing in a variety of roles for more than 20 years, teaching and conducting research in livestock production and market development for grass-fed products for the University of Wisconsin Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Paine and her husband use holistic management principles with their own grass-fed beef operation near Columbus, Wis.

“Serious graziers of beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep or other animals will be able to sharpen their grazing management skills at this workshop,” said Sellers. This series was planned specifically for participants of previous ISU Extension and Outreach sponsored grazing programs such as Greenhorn Grazing, Certified Graziers, Iowa Grazing Series with Jim Gerrish and Grassroots Grazing, to build on their grazing skills.

Workshop dates, times, locations, topics

Two workshops are Wednesday, Sept. 9.

  • 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Madison County Fairgrounds–Jackson Building, 73 East Jefferson St., Winterset
  • 5:30–9 p.m., ISU McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm, 45249 170th Ave., Chariton

Two workshops are Thursday, Sept. 10.

  • 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Jefferson County ISU Extension and Outreach Office, 2606 West Burlington Ave., Fairfield
  • 5:30–9 p.m., local farm TBD, Monticello

The workshops will feature the following topics and speakers:

  • Update on Iowa grazing and beef industry, with Joe Sellers or Denise Schwab, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialists
  • Striking a balance: Establishing and monitoring business and family goals, with Laura Paine, holistic management certified educator and director of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program, Wisconsin
  • 2015 grazing season: Opportunities, challenges and what should we change? – local Iowa Certified Grazier producer panelists discussion
  • Custom grazing partnership models, with Joe Sellers or Denise Schwab
  • Advocating for agriculture: Why we should all mentor the next generation, with Laura Paine
  • Pasture walk at a local farm (after lunch during day sessions and before dinner during evenings)

Reservations due Sept. 4

There is no charge to attend; however, lunch or dinner is provided depending on workshop time. To make reservations by Sept. 4, contact either the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Lucas County, 641-774-2016, or Joe Sellers,, 641-203-1270 or Denise Schwab at the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Benton County,, 319-472-4739.

Serious Graziers Workshops are sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach – Lucas County, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Forage and Grassland Council and the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture—National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.