18th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference

The 18th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference was held on Thursday, March 19, 2015 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, Dean's Dairy, and PA Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. This year's conference was well attended with over 200 in attendance.

"Finding more $Green$ In Your Grazing" was the main topic for this event. Paul & Phyllis Van Amburgh - farmers and consultants, were the event's keynote speakers. They discussed the exploration of Epigenetics, Holistic Management, Grazing and Soil health to help see where your profit might be hiding.

Other Grazing Conference presenters:
- Laura Smith - USDA-NCRS Area Resource Conservationist, discussed EQIP Program Funding, and how to qualify for financial assistance for planning and implementing conservation practices. Laura can be reached at the Clarion, PA Technical office at 814-226-8160 ext. 123

- Russ Wilson - Multi-Species Livestock Producer, presented on stockpiled forage benefits for small farms in terms of profitability, soil health, and livestock well-being.

- Bonita Whalen - Kencove Fence Supply Product Specialist, talked about the proper way to ground a fence charger, and choosing the correct sized charger for your fence.

- Dr. Jonathan Campbell - Penn State University Extension Meat Specialist, discussed the issues related to niche meat labels and examined the regulatory pitfalls of direct marketing your livestock products.


Agenda

8:00—8:30 Registration

8:30—8:45 Welcome and Introduction
Dustin Heeter, Penn State Extension

8:45—10:00 Let’s Plan for Profit: A Holistic Approach—Part I
Paul & Phyllis Van Amburgh, Farmers and Consultants

10:00—10:15 EQIP Program Funding
Laura Smith, USDA-NRCS Area Resource Conservationist

10:15—10:45 Break
Visit our Sponsors and Trade Show Vendors

10:45—11:30 Benefits of Stockpiled Forages
Russ Wilson, Multi-Species Livestock Producer

11:30—12:00 Fence Basics and Common Misconceptions
Bonita Whalen, Kencove Fence Supply Product Specialist

12:00—12:45 Lunch

12:45—2:00 Let’s Plan for Profit: A Holistic Approach—Part II
Paul & Phyllis Van Amburgh, Farmers and Consultants

2:00—2:30 Break
Visit our Sponsors Trade Show Vendors

2:20—3:15 Understanding Meat Labels and Direct Marketing of Products
Dr. Jonathan Campbell, Penn State University Extension Meat Specialist

3:15—4:00 Farmers Panel Q&A/Evaluations/Closing Remarks/Prizes

Speakers

Meet Paul & Phyllis Van Amburgh
Dharma Lea is the name of the farm where Phyllis and Paul manage their 100% Grass-fed Dairy and Beef operations with their five children, Grace, Vincent, Maggy, Oliver, and Ruby in Sharon Springs, New York. The milk from their 65-cow dairy goes to Maple Hill Creamery, PCO Certified 100% Grass-fed Dairy products. Dharma Lea is proud to be the first farm to ship to Maple Hill Creamery. Beef from their Devon herd is sold direct to customers.
Paul, in addition to farming, now acts as Milk Supply Manager and farmer liaison for Maple Hill Creamery.
Phyllis, in addition to farming, is managing Director of The Agrarian Learning Center (ALC), the Northeast Savory Institute affiliate. ALC offers learning tools, seminars, workshops, and courses to better assist farms in our Northeast region to reach their goals.
This year, Phyllis and Paul will be discussing the exploration of epigenetics, Holistic Management, Grazing and Soil health and see where the profit might be hiding!
Both Phyllis and Paul can be reached at info@dharmalea.com. Please visit their website www.dharmalea.com.
Laura Smith is an Area Resource Conservationist. She will be discussing EQIP Program Funding, and how to qualify for financial assistance for planning and implementing conservation practices.

Russ Wilson is a farmer from Forest County, PA and he will be discussing stockpiled forage benefits for small farms in terms of profitability, soil health, and livestock well-being.  Russ will also address questions such as whether to purchase hay or make hay to reduce costs.

Bonita Whalen is the product specialist for Kencove Fence Supply of Blairsville, PA. She will be talking about the proper way to ground a fence charger. 90% of fence failure is improper grounding or the wrong size fence charger.  Learn the proper way to choose a charger to ensure adequate power.

Dr. Jonathan Campbell is an Extension Meat Specialist from Penn State University. Have you ever been confused by the numerous terms and labels that are visible on meat products as you look for the perfect item to grill? Dr. Jonathan Campbell, Extension Meat Specialist from Penn State University, will discuss the issues related to these niche meat labels and examine the regulatory pitfalls of direct marketing your livestock products.