17th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference

The 17th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference was held on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at the Zion Church in Clarion. This event was presented by Headwaters RC&D Council & Charitable Trust, USDA-NRCS, Clearfield County Conservation District, Jefferson County Conservation District, Penn State Extension, Foundations for PA Watersheds, and PA Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. This year's conference was well attended with over 200 in attendance.

"Economics of Grazing" was the main topic for this event. Gearld Fry, Bovine Grass Geneticist, was a key note speaker. He told graziers that "Concentrate of butterfat" is the key to raising calves. Another presenter, Jeff McCutcheon, Ohio State Extension Educator, spoke on extending the grazing season both in the spring and in the fall and to expanding grazing with traditional grasses as well as with nontraditional forages. Other presenters included Jim Henry, Keystone Beef Marketing Network and Russ Wilson, Forest County.

Participant comments included "Presenters were very knowledgeable and offered pertinent information for graziers"; "Good variety of topics and speakers throughout the day" and "Speakers answered every question and provided a lot of beneficial information".


7:45– 8:15 Registration

8:15– 8:30 Welcome and Introduction
Dustin Heeter - Penn State Extension

8:30– 9:15 Grazing & Soil Mineral Fertility— It’s Not Just For Row Crops
Jerry Brunetti-Agri-Dynamics, Inc.

9:15 - 10:00 Extending Both Ends of the Grazing Season
Jeff McCutcheon –Ohio State Unv.

10:00 - 10:30 Break
Visit our Sponsors and Trade Show Vendors

10:30 - 11:30 Getting Top Returns from Your Grass
Gearld Fry–Producer, Writer, Consultant

11:30 - 12:30 Lunch

12:30 - 1:20 Farmers Panel: Q&A

1:20 - 2:00 Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Session A–Ways to Improve Your Grazing Management—Jeff McCutcheon

Session B-Cover Crops/Grazing Standing Corn—Russ Wilson –Multi-Species Livestock Producer

Session C-Increasing Your Bottom Line through Beef Cattle Grazing
Jim Henry-Keystone Beef Marketing Network

2:00 - 2:20 Break
Network and visit our Trade Show Vendors

2:20 - 3:20 Breeding for Efficient Grazing Cow
Gearld Fry

3:20 - 4:15 Plant Biodiversity—Health from the Hedgerow
Jerry Brunetti

4:15 Evaluations & Closing Remarks


Meet Gearld Fry
Gearld Fry is from Rosebud, Arkansas and has been around cattle all his life. From a conventional dairy farmer to managing his 500 cow/calf operation to operating his own reproductive center, as co-founder of the Bakewell Reproductive Center who imported the famed Rotokawa Devon genetics from New Zealand. He is an author, conference keynote speaker and still in demand as an on-farm consultant teaching producers how to develop high performing grass based cow herds. Over time, he has discovered the management of the developing young stock selected as herd animals holds the secrets for a profitable grazing operation. He emphasizes that livestock producers are not just producing animals they are producing food and are responsible for the nutrition in that food and the health of those consuming it.

Meet Jerry Brunetti
Jerry Brunetti studied Animal Science at North Carolina State University and then moved to western Virginia to run a cow/calf operation. He served as Regional Dairy Director of the National Farmers Organization in the Northeast for five years. In 1979, Jerry founded Agri-Dynamics with a vision of providing ecologically sound agronomic and nutritional consulting services, as well as creating a line of holistic animal remedies for farm livestock, equine and pets. In 1991, he co-founded Earthworks Natural Organic Products. In 1999, Jerry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given as little as six months to live without aggressive chemotherapy. He instead chose a holistic path of nutrition, detoxification, and immune modulation and applied his vast experience with farming and animal nutrition to his own health. In 2008, Jerry received the Leadership Award from PASA and the Eco-Agriculture Award from Acres USA.

Jeff McCutcheon is an Associate Professor and Extension Educator in Morrow County, OH. He will be discussing techniques that will help improve grazing management regardless of year to year variations.

Russ Wilson is from Forest County, PA and he will be discussing grazing standing corn with cover crops to extend the grazing season.

Jim Henry is President of the Keystone Beef Marketing Network and he will be discussing profitability of grazing to meet market needs.