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American Forage and Grassland Council hosts annual conference

FG Editor Lynn Olsen Published on 02 August 2010
round bales

The American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) Annual Conference was held June 21-23, 2010 in Springfield, Missouri. The conference was attended by over 300 forage producers, educators and others involved in the forage industry.

Keynote speaker Matt Boatright, former Deputy Director of Agriculture with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, spoke about the great feeling of optimism that producers should have today.

He referred to graziers as the ultimate recyclers and the need to become experts at utilizing the resources available in the form of sunlight and rain.

Poster sessions gave participants the opportunity to learn from the latest research, and classes covering topics ranging from livestock handling to pasture management were packed with great information.

Miles Kuhn

Numerous awards were given during the three-day event, including prizes for the forage bowl, national forage spokesperson contest, national hay show, photo and essay contests, to name a few.

Breaks and evening social events brought the opportunity to mix and mingle with industry members and trade show participants.  

The following list of winners at the conference was provided by Tina Bowling of the AFGC:

Forage Spokesperson
AFGC Affiliate Councils nominate individuals to compete in the Forage Spokesperson competition. Each individual is provided with 15 minutes to present on a topic of choice. A panel of judges evaluates the presentations and presents the awards. This year’s winners are:

  • First place, Matt Flynt, representing Arkansas Forage and Grassland Council
  • Second place, Doug Hanson, representing Illinois Forage and Grassland Council
  • Third place, Mitch Pearce, representing Indiana Forage Council

The competition was sponsored by Forage Genetics.

Conference attendees

Emerging Scientist
This year’s Emerging Scientist Competition featured six participants who provided 15 minute presentations on a variety of subjects. A panel of judges evaluates the presentations and determines the winners.

First place went to Laura Schwer of the University of Kentucky, followed by Jennifer Johnson of the University of Kentucky with second place, while there was a third place tie between Emi Kimura of the University of Wyoming and Christin Herbst of the University of Kentucky. The competition was sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

National Hay Show
Individuals submit samples in various categories that are evaluated in a lab based on NIRS testing. This year’s winners by category are:
Class I, Tropical or Semi-Tropical Perennial Grasses – first place, Paul Arnold, Arkansas; second place, Jimmy Jarvis, Arkansas; and third place, Jeris Jarvis, Arkansas
Class III, Temperate Perennial Grasses - first place, Clayton Geralds, Kentucky; second place, Welch Farms, Maryland
Class IV, Temperate Annual Grasses – first place, Carroll Charpentier, Louisiana
Class V, Grass Legume Mix – first place, Clay Pierce, Louisiana; second place, Clayton Geralds, Kentucky; third place, Carroll Charpentier, Louisiana
Class VI: Alfalfa Hay – first place, Clayton Geralds, Kentucky; second place, Steve Gingerich, Iowa
Class VII: Second and Later Cutting Alfalfa – first place, Clayton Geralds, Kentucky.

The National Hay Show was sponsored by Litchfield Analytical Services.

Youth in Grazing Management
AFGC’s Youth in Grazing Management essay contest is divided into age categories. Subject matter may be anything pertaining to grazing management, including but not limited to, personal experiences, observation or explanation of grazing practices, livestock management on pasture, fencing or other equipment related to grazing management, plant or animal species response to grazing management, or any other subject matter related to grazing management.

2010 winners include:
Youth – first place, Paul Shank, Belle, Missouri
University – first place, Heather Herschberger, The Ohio State University; second place, Andrea Eilenfeld, The Ohio State University; and third place, Elisabeth Bianco, The Ohio State University

R.L. and Pat Dalrymple, Elstel Farm & Seed sponsored the contest.

The Forage Bowl
AFGC’s Forage Bowl pits college teams against one another in a “Jeopardy-Like” setting. In 2010, University of Kentucky won first place, while second place was awarded to Western Kentucky University and third place was awarded to Berea College.

The Forage Bowl was sponsored by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

Photo Contest
The purpose of the contest is to recognize, through photography, the multi-faceted uses of forages. There were 19 entries in the 2010 competition. First place went to Chris Geralds, Kentucky, while second place was awarded to Glenn Shewmaker, University of Idaho. Third place went to Clayton Geralds, Kentucky. This year’s competition was sponsored by Ampac Seed.

AFGC’s 2011 Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with the Indiana Forage Council, June 12-15 at the French Lick Resort & Convention Center, French Lick, Indiana. For information, contact AFGC at 800.944.2342, via e-mail at , or on the web at

TOP: Miles Kuhn, out-going AFGC president, addresses the group during the opening session of the meetings.

BOTTOM: Conference attendees were able to participate in hay, dairy or beef tours to some of the best operations in the Missouri area. Photos by Lynn Olsen