Join us in hosting Sarah Flack for a full day workshop for beginning farmers.
The morning portion of this workshop will focus on creating a solid understanding of the basic principles of good grazing management systems. Starting first from the plants perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there we will do some group exercises and practice to learn how to calculate paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates and understand what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is. We will then look at some real on farm examples to practice dry matter measurements, paddock sizing, stock density and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology. In the afternoon we will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low stress handling and when shade or shelter should be planned into the grazing. We will also spend time in the afternoon discussing techniques to monitor and assess the health of the pasture ecosystem, and the performance and well-being of the livestock.
Sarah Flack is the author of The Art and Science of Grazing and Organic Dairy Production. She is a consultant specializing grass based livestock production and known for her public speaking, workshops, books and numerous articles and fact sheets on a range of agricultural topics. Sarah’s approach in her consulting, writing and teaching is to empower farmers to create their own individualized management systems that can work successfully for them, their farm and family goals. In this practical and comprehensive approach to farm management, the planning and design process always include consideration of livestock wellbeing, plants, soils, water quality, farm labor, farm profitability and farm family goal. Her focus is on helping to create more farms with good grass-based management systems, which allow farmers to create positive change in their landscapes, livestock, check book and farm family quality of life. She works with dairy, beef, sheep, and goat farms, and is experienced with both organic and non-organic farming systems. Sarah has a unique approach, which is based on what she learned while consulting, teaching and writing on the topic since the early 90’s. She grew up on a family farm in Vermont, which used high stock density management intensive grazing (called “mob stocking” back then) to successfully improve the productivity and ecological health of the land and livestock. She later studied Holistic Planned Grazing as well as the science behind pasture management in graduate school.