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Alfalfa intensive training symposium

Ryan Curtis Published on 19 December 2011
Alfalfa Symposium

Dr. Garry Lacefield, Extension Agronomist from University or Kentucky, opened the 33rd annual Intensive Alfalfa Symposium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by asking the 27 attendees to introduce themselves and give their background with alfalfa.

Participants came from seed companies, universities, allied industry and seed dealerships with experience ranging from 50 years to just getting started with a seed distributor.

Dr. Dan Undersander, one of the original founders (along with Drs. Lacefield, Marvin Hall and Neal Martin) and Extension Agronomist at Wisconsin University, designed the symposium to be an intimate setting where participants get an intense course in forage genetics, plant biology and best management practices.

Along with Dr. Undersander and Dr. Lacefield, attendees heard from Dr. Hall from Penn State University, Dr. Martin the Director of US Dairy Forage Research Center and Randy Shaver, a Dairy Nutritionist at University of Wisconsin.

Their wealth of knowledge and the varied experience of the audience presents a unique challenge.

"You can see how hard our job is," Dr. Lacefield explained to the group. "With the range in experience we have to keep it relevant and understandable to all.

We have to cover a lot of information, but we want to answer all your questions. So if we don't answer your questions in the class, come find us during a break. I promise we will answer every question one way or another." 

forage symposium

Along with an opportunity to ask any question that comes up about forages, attendees receive a packet of information to take home. It includes an Alfalfa Management guide, a 2011 variety comparison guide, print outs of the slides and other reference materials.

The symposium is kept around 25 to 30 attendees to allow ample opportunity to ask questions.

Planning is underway for the 34th annual symposium. If you are interested in attending, visit the National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance website at  or call 509-585-5460.  FG