Forage and Grazing Conferences join forces in Springfield

The 34th Annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference and 16th Annual Heart of America Grazing Conference (five-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Missouri) have collaborated to present an informative and educational conference Feb. 26 to Feb. 27 at University Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

Each year these conferences attract an increasing number of producers interested in learning more about management strategies for forages and livestock. This year should draw even more attendance with the two conferences teaming up.

Monday afternoon offers four different sessions to attend with topics focusing on soil health on grasslands. Speakers include Amy Hamilton and Elizabeth Steele from Hamilton Native Outpost, Alan Franzluebbers from North Carolina State University, NRCS Soil Health Specialist Doug Peterson and eastern Kentucky producer Alex Miller.

The afternoon sessions will be followed by a social event and trade show. The evening dinner will feature Kentucky Forage Specialist Garry Lacefield speaking on “Gratitude.”

On Tuesday, the conference will feature Dave Pratt as the keynote speaker. He is one of the most sought after speakers on sustainable agriculture and profitable ranching in the world. He has taught the Ranching for Profit School in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Africa. His topic for the luncheon session will be “Farming and Ranching is a Business.”

Several 45-minute breakout sessions are available to choose from on Tuesday. Topics will include chemical weed control in pastures, insight on increasing profits, understanding forage quality, grazing alfalfa, non-chemical weed management, mineral supplements in pastures, incorporating sheep and goats to the cattle operation, beef genetics, bermudagrass for grazing, getting top dollar for calves, adapting to the forage growth curve and conditioning cows for pregnancy.

There will be a trade show in conjunction with the conference. Agricultural businesses and organizations will have exhibits and representatives available to discuss their products and services. If interested in becoming an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Nathan Witt at 417-451-1007 ext. 3.

Participants can find more about the speakers, costs, agenda, attendance options, and registration details at Pre-register for the event by Feb. 16. Participants may also contact the Laclede County USDA Office at 417-532-6305, ext. 101 for more information.