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The strength of agriculture in West Virginia, and especially in our part of the state, is our ability to grow grass and market it through ruminants (cattle and sheep). With that in mind, the West Fork Conservation District has planned an outstanding educational program for this summer.
The District invites experienced stockmen, or young aspiring stockmen wanting to learn how to begin a farming enterprise with minimal financial input, or producers searching for methods to improve soil health and increase forage output, to mark their calendars for Friday July 21 and Saturday July 22, 2017. 
The field day featuring “Grazing Management Strategies” co-sponsored with the Natural Resource Conservation Service and WVU Extension Service will welcome renowned keynote speakers Greg Judy, owner and operator of Judy Farms in Missouri, and Dr. Matt Poore, NC State Extension Specialist and operator of a cow calf/grass finished beef operation. The speakers will be sharing with WV grassland producers how to incorporate management strategies to improve the productivity and profitability of their operations.
Greg Judy, rancher and public speaker, gives numerous talk and seminars all over the US, New Zealand and Canada teaching about the benefits of holistic high density planned grazing (MOB Grazing), multi-species grazing, custom grazing, agroforestry and wildlife management. 
If you were in attendance at the 2017 Appalachian Grazing Conference, you will note that several speakers referenced Greg Judy and his seminars. Greg and Jan Judy have authored two books, “No Risk Farming” and “Comeback Farms.” 
Greg is the featured speaker on Friday evening, where he will address “securing and developing economical grazing leases and minimizing production inputs.”  Saturday he will conduct a pasture walk on the Maxwell farm, discussing management strategies that can be utilized.
Dr. Matt Poore, Professor and Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University, will be sharing ”how to make adaptive grazing work for you while maintaining soil health.”  
Dr. Poore has been a speaker at many of the WVU Dinner Lectures, and on Saturday will have a hands on opportunity to share with the group how to build soil health. He will also be participating in the Saturday afternoon pasture walk. 
A NRCS Representative, on Saturday, will be describing the new EQIP program that will be featuring extended grazing and hay feeding strategies to build soil health.
The field day is a two day event: Friday, July 21, at 6 p.m., at the Doddridge County Park on Snow Bird Road will feature dinner and guest speaker Greg Judy and Matt Poore.
July 22 Saturday 9:00 am will be hosted by John and Sue Ann Spiker at the Maxwell Farm in Doddridge County. The Saturday event will feature morning seminars, lunch and optional pasture walk. 
Cost to attend both events is $40, or $25 for single day registrations. RSVP and payment to attend will need to be made by July 14. Registration for students is only $10 per day and students should inquire about payment waivers for the field day. 
This is an exciting educational opportunity to gain a wealth of information in grassland production and management. Contact Robin Ward at 304-627-2160 ext. 4, for more information or a program brochure. For more info:

https://www.westondemocrat.com/article/west-fork-conservation-district-program

Posted: 2017-06-25


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