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Pennsylvania grazers gather in Enon Valley

Vicky Caldwell Published on 03 October 2010
Jana Malot of USDA-NRCS

The lush, green pastures of Ken and Anita Clark’s Enon Valley, Pennsylvania, farm served as the location for the Dairy Grazing School September 17-18.

The event was sponsored by USDA-NRCS of Somerset, Pennsylvania, and the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. Producers from three different states learned from experts and fellow grazers a variety of management practices for rotational grazing operations.

Guest speakers Dave Forgey of Logansport, Indiana; Cliff Hawbaker of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and Karen Sullivan of USDA-NRCS in New York presented on the economic, nutritional and lifestyle benefits of incorporating a grass-based system into a dairy operation.

On Friday evening, the Clarks hosted a pasture walk that showcased their 120-acre seasonal, grazing operation. The couple milks once a day in an outdoor, 14-unit swing parlor.

Calves are left to nurse on cows until weaned at five months of age. The Clarks also use a no-grain ration for the entire herd.

Cliff Hawbaker

Topics included transitioning to a grass-based system, once-a-day milking and nutritional effects and feed rations for utilizing grain or no grain to a dairy herd.

Attendees also participated in hands-on building of fencing and watering demonstrations.

The day concluded with a panel discussion comprised of the guest speakers and three local producers and grazers Ron Caldwell, Ken Clark and John Vanderstappen.  FG

PHOTOS
TOP: Jana Malot of USDA-NRCS demonstrates various fencing supplies and details the pros and cons of each.

BOTTOM: Cliff Hawbaker of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, shares some of his management practices, such as once-a-day milking and calf feeding. Photos provided by Vicky Caldwell.

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