2012 GrassWorks Grazing Conference

Nov 11, 2011
by WLJ

It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since Wisconsin’s first statewide grazing conference was held in Wisconsin Dells. During that time, “managed grazing” has gone from being a fringe practice promoted by a committed group of visionaries to a management system that is widely accepted and implemented as a way to reduce costs, build soil and water resources, keep animals healthy, and produce highquality food. This year’s 20th annual GrassWorks Grazing Conference will be held Jan. 12-14, 2012, at The Patriot Center in Wausau, WI.

The event will look back on the progress grazing has made and anticipate how grazing will shape the future of agriculture.

“For the 2012 conference, we’ve sought out people who are pushing the envelope with creative ideas—as well as for those with a solid grazing background,” says Kay Craig, GrassWorks board member.

“Because successful grazing requires innovation and adaptability, these are often the same people.”

Local graziers will participate in a retrospective panel on the grazing movement and in several breakout sessions that include diverse topics such as nurse cows, low-cost parlors, breeding for grazing, meadow fescue, pastured hogs, and multi-species marketing. Organic Valley will sponsor an entire breakout series on Friday on organic management issues for all classes of livestock.

GrassWorks will welcome nationally known speakers Abe Collins of the New Soil Quantum, Dr. Donald Huber of Purdue University, and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm. Collins will speak at two sessions on Thursday, including an advance workshop on building soils. Huber will share his groundbreaking research on glyphosate in back-to-back sessions on both Friday and Saturday. During Saturday brunch, Salatin will share some insights from his new book, “Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Healthier Hens, Happier People and A Better World.”

For more information, visit www.grassworks.org or contact Conference Planner Lanice Szomi: 715/965-8324. — WLJ