Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spring Forage Conference and Heart of America Grazing Conference Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 in Springfield

The annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference and the annual Heart of America Grazing Conference have partnered to present an informative and educational two-day event in 2013.

This year marks the 29th annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference and the 12th Heart of America Grazing Conference which is held annually throughout a five-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri.

The conference will be held Monday, Feb. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Mo.

“Each year this conference attracts an increasing number of people interested in learning more about management strategies for forages and livestock and 2013 should draw even more attention with the two annual conferences teaming up,” said Dr. Gordon Carriker, an agriculture business specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

This year there will be three different main speakers, along with a local humorous speaker.

Monday afternoon starts with Richard McConnell from Hand N Hand Livestock Solutions, providing four hours of training on “Low Stress Livestock Handling.”

Monday evening, Dr. Garry Lacefield, State Forage Specialist from the University of Kentucky, will present a talk titled “Forages: Change-Challenges-Opportunities.”

Local beef producer and humorist Dr. Jerry Crownover will round out the evening with his topic- “Life is Simple.”

During Tuesday’s luncheon, Kathy Voth from Livestock for Landscapes LLC will give a presentation entitled “Training Your Cows to Eat Weeds.”

On Tuesday, the conference will feature several 45-minute breakout sessions. Topics will include fescue toxicity management, grazing system layout, alfalfa management, forages and wildlife, novel endophyte fescues, selecting livestock to fit your environment, evaluating potential of different livestock enterprises, taxes and farm records, native warm season grasses, direct sales of grass-fed beef, inter-seeding annuals into pasture, and pasture renovation with livestock.

More than 30 companies and organizations will have exhibits and booths, with representatives available to discuss their products and services. Ample time is provided throughout the conference to visit with the vendors.

For the Monday sessions, registration begins at noon and the first session begins at 1 p.m. Monday’s events conclude at 9 p.m. On Tuesday, registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the conference adjourns at 3:30 p.m.

Multiple options are available for attendance of this event. Participants have the option to attend Monday’s “Low Stress Stock Handling” session only ($25), all of Monday only ($50), all of Tuesday only ($35), and the whole 2-day conference ($75). These rates are for advanced registration (pre-registration by Feb. 19).

Registration fees will increase by $10 for late registration. A prime rib dinner will be served Monday evening and is included in the $50 or $75 attendance options. A sliced beef luncheon will be served Tuesday, and included in the $35 or $75 attendance options.

To pre-register or for more information, contact the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District at (417) 831-5246, extension 3 or visit the website at for more conference information, maps, lodging information, biographies on the main speakers and a registration form.


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