22nd Annual Spring Grazing Conference

The 22nd Annual Spring Grazing Conference is being held on Wednesday, and Thursday, March 13 and 14th, 2019 at the Trinity Point Church of God in Clarion, PA.

To register for this event click here

Grazing Conference Brochure 2019

Meet this year’s conference Keynote Speaker, Fred Provenza

Fred Provenza is professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University. He is a pioneer in understanding foraging behavior and how behavior links soils and plants with herbivores and humans.

For 40 years, Fred’s team did research that laid the foundation for behavior-based management of livestock and wildlife. That work has been an inspiration to researchers in diverse disciplines, including animal behavior and welfare, wildlife damage science and management, veterinary science, ruminant and human nutrition, chemical ecology, plant ecology and horticulture, landscape restoration ecology, and pasture and rangeland science and management.

These efforts led to the formation in 2001 of an international network of scientists and land managers from five continents. That consortium, known as BEHAVE, is committed to integrating behavioral principles with local knowledge to enhance environmental, economic and cultural values of rural and urban communities. They seek to inspire and enable people to understand and use knowledge of behavior to create relationships that reconcile differences of opinion about how to manage landscapes. Everyone is a student attempting to understand behavior at all levels from epigenomes to landscapes. Once people grasp behavioral principles, they can create practices that are innovative, inclusive, and self-transforming. Appreciating and embracing the importance and inevitability of transformation alters peoples’ philosophies and practices from rigid, unyielding, and unenjoyable to fluid, malleable, and invigorating.

Along with colleagues, he has authored over 250 publications in scientific journals and books. He has been an invited speaker at over 400 conferences. His first book was Foraging Behavior: Managing to Survive in a World of Change. He co-authored a book with Michel Meuret, The Art & Science of Shepherding: Tapping the Wisdom of French Herders. His next book, Nourishment: How Animals Teach Us Nutritional Wisdom, was published by Chelsea Green in November of 2018.

His 5-part Series of Topics will explore how behavior links the health of soil, plants, herbivores, and humans. Resource availability – water, nutrients, sunlight -- influences the species and behaviors of organisms that live in soil, which affects the varieties, chemical characteristics, and behaviors of plants. Plants are the glue that binds ecosystems together; without plants, there would be no life below or above ground. Soil and plants, in turn, affect the nutrition and health of herbivores. Ultimately, the health and wellbeing of people is linked with the health of soil through plants and herbivores.

He will also discuss what it means for people as landscapes ever transform ecologically, economically, and culturally. The emerging field of epigenetics, which highlights how experiences with social and biophysical environments influence gene expression, is changing static view of evolution based on natural selection of beneficial mutations, a process that occurs over millennia, to one that is dynamic and ongoing within the lifetime of the individual and across generations in populations. The issue isn’t if biophysical environments are transforming, they do so incessantly and remorselessly. The only question is if want to be creatively engaged in these processes.

From life in soil to plants and animals including people, vitality comes when creatures participate in creating their way in the moment. Appreciating and embracing the importance and inevitability of transformation alters peoples’ philosophies and practices from rigid, unyielding, and stressful to fluid, malleable, and invigorating. We no longer view creatures, including ourselves, as machines and genes as destiny. Rather, we grasp how to use behavioral interrelationships to create an array of solutions to the challenges and opportunities people face as they embrace change.

Unlike costly infrastructures such as corrals and fences, understanding and implementing behavioral principles and processes costs little because they don’t depend on fossil-fuels. It’s what’s in our brains, not what’s in our pocketbooks, that counts. Once people grasp and use behavioral principles on landscapes, they create practices that are innovative, inclusive, and self-transforming.

More than 30 companies and organizations will exhibit products and services during the event.

Registration - $85 for 2-days & evening session, $45 for 1-day only (Continental Breakfast & Lunch included) registration deadline 3/6/19. Bonus evening session with Fred Provenza on March 13 $20. To Register or for more information visit the link below  or contact Brittany Dittemore at 814-503-8653,or bdittemore@headwatersrcd.net.

This event is being presented by Headwaters RC&D Council, USDA-NRCS, USDA-Rural Development, Butler County Conservation District, Clarion County Conservation District, Clearfield County Conservation District, Jefferson County Conservation District, Venango County Conservation District, Penn State Extension, Dean's Dairy, PA Grazing Lands Coalition, and PA Project Grass.

 


Agenda - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

 

7:30-8:30 am - Registration

8:30-8:40 am - Welcome & Introductions

8:40-10:10 am - Fred Provenza - More than a Matter of Taste

10:10-10:40 am - Break

10:40-11:45 am -  Breakout Sessions

A. Ed Rayburn - Managing Soil Fertility in Pastures and Hayfields

B. Laura Kenny - Grazing Management for Equine Farms: Get the Most out of Your Pasture

C. Dave Hunsberger - Dairy Grazing - Perennial and Annual Plants

D. Junia Isiminger - Grass Fed Meat - Improving Locally - Farmers, Soil and Consumers Health

11:45-12:45 pm - Lunch

12:45-2:15 pm - Fred Provenza - Spice of Life: How Biodiversity Increases Profit and Lowers Inputs

2:15-2:45 pm - Break

2:45-3:45 am -  Breakout Sessions

A. Ed Rayburn - Managing Soil Fertility in Pastures and Hayfields

B. Russ Wilson - Regenerative Management Using Diverse Native Species and Tallgrass Grazing

C. Laura Kenny - Links Between Sugars, Starches and Equine Laminitis: What Do We Know

D. Ron Gargasz - Why Grassfed Makes Sense

3:45-4:45 pm - Local Farmer Panel - Chris Leiden, AJ O'Neil, Bob Whittaker

4:45-5:00 pm - Wrap-up, Door Prizes, Turn in Evaluations

 

Evening Session - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

6:30-8:30 pm - Fred Provenza - Is Grassfed Meat and Dairy Better for Human and Environmental Health?

 

Agenda - Thursday, March 14, 2019

7:30-8:30 am - Registration

8:30-8:40 am - Welcome & Introductions

8:40-10:10 am - Fred Provenza - Transgenerational Linkages to Landscapes

10:10-10:40 am - Break

10:40-11:45 am -  Breakout Sessions

A. Ed Rayburn - Grazing Management to Balance Animal Feed Demand and Pasture Forage Supply

B. George Lake - Winter Grazing and Soil Impacts

C. Ron Gargasz - The Medical Reason Grass Fed Beef is Healthier

D. Bob Hendershot - Soil Health in Grazing Systems

11:45-12:45 pm - Lunch

12:45-2:15 pm - Fred Provenza - Mending Broken Links: Soil, Plants, Herbivores and Humans

2:15-2:45 pm - Break

2:45-3:45 am -  Breakout Sessions

A. Ed Rayburn - Grazing Management to Balance Animal Feed Demand and Pasture Forage Supply

B. Bob Hendershot - Soil Health in Grazing Systems

C. Russ Wilson - Finding Solutions to Annoying Problems

D. TBD - Platinum Vendor Spot

3:45-4:45 pm - Speaker Panel - Fred Provenza, Bob Hendershot, Russ Wilson, George Lake, Ron Gargasz, Ed Rayburn

4:45-5:00 pm - Wrap-up, Door Prizes, Turn in Evaluations