2021 Virginia Forage and Grassland Council Virtual Winter Forage Conference

Dates: January 18 through January 22, 2021

The Virginia Forage and Grassland Council (VFGC) is pleased to announce our 2021 Winter Forage Conference: Building Resilience in Grass-Based Farms. This year’s conference will be virtual, and will feature a combination of live online presentations, videos, and live Question and Answer sessions.

The virtual conference will spotlight two speakers and focus on strategies they utilize to build resilience into their grass-based livestock operations. 

Greg Brann owns and operates Big Spring Farm, which is 675 acres with 220 acres being grazed by cattle and sheep. Greg direct markets his 100% grass fed & finished livestock. Greg believes in diversity of livestock as well as diversity in pastures. Greg has overcome many challenges over the years including unpredictable weather, weeds, poor conception rates & low gains, and overgrazing. To do this he has experimented with various levels of management-intensive grazing, multi-species grazing, warm-season forages, livestock genetics, and novel feeding strategies. Behind it all has been a focus on integrating soil, animal, and plant health for the improvement of the whole system.

Dr. Greg Halich is a forage specialist and ag economist with the University of Kentucky. Greg has worked with farmers across the Southeast to improve their operations through grazing management, grazing economics, and feeding strategies to enhance productivity and profitability. In this year’s conference, Greg will be sharing research and experiences related to bale grazing, an emerging tool for managing pasture and hay feeding. Greg will also be discussing adaptive management of stocking rates and the effect of stocking rate on farm profitability. He will seek to show us how stocking rate and density are powerful tools for improving soil health and animal performance.

Our speakers will offer presentations nightly from January 18 through January 21.  On the morning of January 22, we will conduct the VFGC business meeting and host a live Question and Answer session with our speakers.  The list of topics by day follows below.

Conference Schedule

Monday Jan 18. 6-7:30 pm Building Resilience with Grazing Management & Winter Feeding. Dr. Greg Halich

Tuesday Jan 19. 6-7:30 pm Building Resilience in Soils, Plants, & Animals. Mr. Greg Brann

Wednesday Jan 20. 6-7:30 pm Profitable Stocking Rates & the Downward Spiral of Overstocking. Dr. Greg Halich

Thursday Jan 21. 6-7:30 pm Adaptive Grazing Management: Multispecies Grazing. Mr. Greg Brann

Friday Jan 22. 9-9:30 am VFGC Business meeting

9:30-11 am Conference recap/Speaker Q & A

The conference will be limited to 500 households. Registration will be advertised to a national audience beginning January 1, 2021 so register now to reserve your spot!

Register ONLINE at: https://vaforages.org/2021-virtual-winter-forage-conference/ $20 registration per household

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Scott Baker at (540)586-7675 (TDD: (800) 828‑1120) during the business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event.

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