sealPurdue News

May 16, 2003

'Grazing 102' puts livestock myths out to pasture

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Successful livestock grazing is equal parts Picasso and Pavlov, said a Purdue University agriculture specialist.

Jason Tower, superintendent of the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC), said livestock producers must think both creatively and technically before turning their animals out to pasture. A Purdue workshop series will help them do both.

"Grazing is as much art as it is science," Tower said. "There's not a lot of right and not a lot of wrong. In some areas it depends on where your farm is located. If you say you're going to have an eight-paddock grazing system it doesn't mean you can't change if conditions dictate. It's a flexible and a very forgiving system, once you get into it. That's the point of these workshops. Grazing works very well and it doesn't have to be regimented."

The "Grazing 102" workshops take place 5:30-8:30 p.m. EST June 4, 11, 18 and 25 at SIPAC, located northwest of Patoka Lake off Cuzco Road, in Dubois County, Ind. Registration for the entire series is $50 per person and $25 for each additional person from the same farm. Enrollment is limited to 40 people.

The small group workshops allow for hands-on training and greater interaction between speakers and attendees, Tower said. Rotational grazing – the practice of setting livestock to some pastures while others are left alone for regrowth – will be discussed in detail.

"The goal is to let producers see the options that are out there in different forages and fencing," Tower said. "The message I want people to take home is that when we talk about rotational grazing people think they've got to move cows every day to make it work, but that's not necessarily true. Any time we can divide a pasture and get it to a three-, four- or seven-day rotation where we give the grass a break, we'll benefit as producers."

Workshop topics and speakers include:

• June 4 – "Why Even Consider a Management-Intensive Grazing System?" Tower; "What Are My Forage Options in the Pasture?" Dave Trotter, Purdue Extension Clark County; "Water … You Want How Much? And You Want it Where?" Stephen Hawkins, assistant director, Purdue Agricultural Centers.

• June 11 – "Calling All Forages – Stand Up and be Identified!" Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist; "Can I Provide all the Cow Needs Nutritionally in a Grazing System?" Kern Hendrix, Purdue Extension beef specialist; "When do I Turn in and How Long do I Stay There?" Ed Heckman, retired Purdue Extension educator; "To Re-establish or Renovate? When to Leave it Alone and When to Replace," Johnson.

• June 18 – "Fencing: The Shocking Secrets!" Dave Nuhring, Greiwe Seed and Grazing Systems Supply; "Lessons Learned by an Experienced Grazier," Ken Braun, beef producer, Spencer County; "Why Livestock Graze Where They do and How to Use This to Set Fences," Vic Shelton, U.S. Department of Agriculture grazing specialist.

• June 25 – "Pasture Fertility: What's Manure Got to do With it?" Jim Kaiser, beef producer, Crawford County; "Standing Forage Beyond December 1 – Is it Possible?" Ed Ballard, University of Illinois livestock specialist.

Registration deadline is May 28. Those paying the full $50 registration fee will receive a notebook of grazing reference materials.

A "Grazing 102" brochure and registration form can be downloaded online at Additional information also is available by contacting Tower at (812) 678-4427 or by e-mail at; or Jim Peter, Purdue Extension Dubois County, at (812) 482-1782 or by e-mail at

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Sources: Jason Tower, (812) 678-4427,

Jim Peter, (812) 482-1782,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Related Web sites:
Purdue Agricultural Centers
Purdue Forage Information

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page