19th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference

The 19th Annual Northwest Pennsylvania Grazing Conference was held on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the Zion Church in Clarion. This event was presented by Headwaters RC&D Council, 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.

"Options Equals Opportunities" was the main topic for this event. Kathy Voth, owner of Livestock for Landscapes was the keynote speaker.  She presented on training your livestock to eat weeds while debunking common myths about the safety and nutritional value of raising livestock on a diet of weeds.  Additionally, this method proves to be beneficial when it comes to saving time and money on grazing.

Read the article published by Lancaster Farming


8:15—8:45AM Registration

8:45—9:00 Welcome and Introduction
Dustin Heeter—Penn State Extension

9:00—10:15 Weeds Are Great Forage
Kathy Voth—Editor of On Pasture; Owner of Livestock for Landscapes, LLC

10:15—10:45 USDA Programs & Grazing; Multiple Benefits To Your Farm and To Your Environment
Jim Gillis, State Biologist, USDA-NRCS

10:45—11:15 Break
Visit our Sponsors and Trade Show Vendors

11:15—12:00PM From Pittsburgh to Emlenton
Warren Thomas—Owner of Baytree Farm

12:00—1:00 Lunch

1:00—2:15 Teach Your Cows To Eat Weeds
Kathy Voth—Editor of On Pasture; Owner of Livestock for Landscapes, LLC

2:15—2:45 Break
Visit our Sponsors Trade Show Vendors

2:45—3:30 Backgrounding on Pasture Buying and Marketing of Stocker Cattle
Steve R. Casto—Livestock Marketing Specialist/WVDA

3:30—4:00 Farmers Panel Q&A/Evaluations/Closing Remarks/Prizes


Keynote: Kathy Voth
When Kathy set out to invent a method for training cows to eat weeds, she started by taking a close look at the last century of animal behavior research. Then she took all the different pieces and translated them into an easy-to-understand process that adapts easily to any producer’s needs.
Kathy has now trained over 1000 cows to eat many of our most problematic weeds, adapting her process for small herds of 10 cows to as many as 110 pairs, for dry lot and pasture, and for novice and experienced producers. Her book, “Cows Eat Weeds” was published in 2010 and her articles appear in BEEF magazine, Stockman Grass Farmer, and Acres USA.
Kathy is known for her entertaining and inspiring presentation style that includes lots of video, unusual “snacks” and examples from producers she’s worked with.
Learn more about Kathy and her grazing approach by visiting her website: http://www.livestockforlandscapes.com/

Jim Gillis is the state biologist for USDA-NRCS. He was raised on a grass-fed beef farm in Western PA, and has worked with USDA-NRCS for 13 years. He will be discussing USDA Program Funding, and how to qualify for financial assistance for planning and implementing conservation practices.

Warren Thomas is from Venango County, PA and owner of Baytree Farm where he produces grass fed lamb as well as pumpkins and fall decorations.  He will be discussing his journey from a kid in the suburbs to a full time farmer.  Warren will highlight his lifelong ambition and dedication to sharing the world of farming with others.

Steve R. Casto is a Livestock Marketing Specialist with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. He utilizes his 1,000 acres of pasture plus leases another 1,000 acres to manage his 150 commercial cow/calf herd and the 300 stockers he brings in every year. Steve will explain why grazing is key to what he is able to accomplish.