University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Welcome to the Master Grazer Educational Program

-an educational program to improve grazing practices in beef, dairy, goat and sheep herds


 

Grazing News Articles

Articles on forages, animals, and grazing systems



Additional Resources

 

Beef
Dairy
Goat
Sheep
Forages
Extension Publications

 

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Master Grazer Educational Program reports to KY Ag Development Fund Board:

2013 Annual Accomplishments
2012 Annual Accomplishments
2011 Annual Accomplishments


 

 

Contacts


Cody Smith

Master Grazer Coordinator
804 W.P. Garrigus Building
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
40546-0215
(859) 257-7512
Fax: (859) 257-3412
E-mail: cody.smith@uky.edu

Faculty Coordinators:


Dr. Ray Smith

Extension Forage Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-3358
Fax: (859) 323-1952  
Email: raysmith1@uky.edu

Dr. Donna Amaral-Phillips

Extension Dairy Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-7542
Fax: (859) 257-7537  
Email: damaral@uky.edu

Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler

Extension Beef Cattle Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (859) 257-2853
Fax: (859) 257-3412  
Email: jeff.lehmkuhler@uky.edu

Dr. Garry Lacefield

Extension Forage Specialist
University of Kentucky
Phone: (270) 365-7541 202 
Fax: (270) 365-2667  
Email: glacefie@uky.edu


 

Flagg Springs Ranch- Randy Haas

 


Randy Haas, owner and operator of Flagg Springs Ranch, runs a stocker operation on over 500 acres in Campbell County. Feeder cattle are purchased in the fall and early winter and sold once they reach 800-900 pounds. Randy has been working to improve his farm and practices over the years with assistance from local county Extension and NRCS cost share programs. Not only has the farm become more productive and capable of producing higher performing livestock, but it has also greatly increased environmental preservation on the property.

 

With help from these programs, Randy has implemented practices to reduce ground water contamination and soil erosion. In the past, cattle had direct access to ponds and creeks. Not only does allowing direct access increase surface and ground water contamination, but Randy had the problem of supplying water in the hot, dry summer months as these water sources would often dry up during these times. Since starting his improvements of the farm, the five existing ponds have been cleaned out and fenced and four new ponds have been dug. Water is now delivered to the cattle through underground pipes using gravity flow from ponds and is available in every pasture. A creek crossing was added to reduce water contamination and erosion of creek banks. Filter fabric has been installed in all high traffic areas which has greatly decreased erosion.

 

This farm, along with many others in the area, has a unique topography. Managing the steep slopes is a challenge that local producers face. Flagg Springs Ranch averages a 20-25% slope on the majority of pastures and many deep gullies run through the farm. This makes equipment use for seeding or clipping pastures difficult. It is also important to keep a thick stand on theses slopes to reduce erosion and loss of top soil.

 

There are currently 15 paddocks on the farm. 40-50 head are usually on a pasture at a time and are moved weekly depending on forage availability and season. Some paddocks are utilized strictly for hay, some for both hay and grazing, and others are dedicated just for grazing. Randy grazes a large variety of forages to ensure that cattle are supplied with high quality feed throughout the year. Cool-season grasses and legumes include red and white clover, orchardgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and tall fescue. Stockpiled tall fescue is utilized for winter grazing. Native warm-season grasses have been seeded into five paddocks for summer forage include big bluestem, little bluestem, indiangrass, switchgrass, and eastern gamagrass. Because native warm-season grasses are difficult to establish, Randy explained that part of the reason he was able to use native grasses was that he had enough land and paddocks to give these grasses a significant establishment period. Having a large range of forages available has increased forage and cattle production throughout the grazing season.

 

Flagg Springs Ranch has made drastic improvements over the years. The farm has shown steady progress into becoming what it is today. Randy stresses that he would not have been able to do this without the support and aid of the county Extension programs and the NRCS. For more information on cost share programs contact, your local NRCS and/or extension office.

 

Preparing for fall and winter