University of Kentucky Extension Develops Kentucky Grazing Networks
What is a grazing network?
A grazing network is a group of like-minded farmers in a region that desire to increase their knowledge and understanding of managing forages and livestock under pasture-based production systems.
What is involved with a grazing network?
Being part of a grazing network is voluntary. An openness to learning and sharing experiences provides an environment in which members are both students and teachers to one another. A farmer-to-farmer learning environment is offered to members. Members share with each other their own personal experiences, listen to others and learn from their experiences and identify areas that the group would benefit from having educational programs delivered to its members.
What are the benefits of a grazing network?
Members garner timely and practical information that can help them in making decisions regarding management of forages and pasture-based livestock systems. The network is the contacts made between individuals that unite each member in the spirit of self-improvement. Many of the activities are hands-on, seeing what other members do on their farms, providing ideas that can be implemented on one’s own farm. Grazing networks typically have a newsletter to share information and upcoming events. The University of Kentucky will publish and distribute a grazing network newsletter.
Who should consider participating?
Individuals who have an interest in managing their forages and pastures for improved profitability are ideal participants for a grazing network. Also, individuals who are open to sharing their experiences while also being open to new ideas are valuable members. Those looking for a social group to share with and learn from might consider joining a grazing network.
What activities does the grazing network provide?
The core of the learning experience in a grazing network is a series of pasture walks conducted during the grazing season. These often occur on various network members’ farms. These walks generally provide an opportunity to see how others manage their forages, pastures and livestock while providing additional eyes to critique, question, and complement the operator. Organized educational programs or trips may also be a part of some grazing networks.
Who do I contact about joining a grazing network?
Contact your local county Extension office
and visit with the agricultural agent.