MSU Hosting Two Day Workshop On Sheep/Goat Forage Management

Classroom sessions and field labs hone in forage production and optional third day includes a tour of farms.

Published on: Jun 17, 2013

Join the Forage Management School for Sheep and Goat Production for a two-day workshop at the Michigan State University Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education June 24-25. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Efficient forage use is essential to profitability on all farms, regardless of size. The workshop classroom sessions and field labs will focus on improving forage use through grazing as well as efficient machine harvest for winter feed.

Specific topics to be covered are:
•Forage budgeting: optimizing land use for both stored forage and grazing.
•Soil/land improvement: short- and -term strategies to improve soil health and productivity.

MSU Hosting Two Day Workshop On Sheep/Goat Forage Management
MSU Hosting Two Day Workshop On Sheep/Goat Forage Management
•Pasture establishment and improvement guidelines.
•Grazing management: guidelines for increasing pasture utilization and productivity.
•Complementary forages: how to use annual forages to fill in gaps of production and as part of a crop or •perennial pasture rotation.
•Grazing infrastructure: efficient pasture layouts, water systems, fencing and animal handling systems.
•Forage harvest and feeding systems: silage and dry forage systems appropriate to farm size, efficient feeding systems for sheep and goats.
•Health management of grazing animals: integrated parasite management, bloat and micronutrient issues.

An optional third day is available for tours of sheep and goat farms in southern Michigan. The tour, slated for 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 26, will feature both small and large sheep and goat farms that strive to optimize use of forage resources.  This tour will reinforce the concepts learned during the two-day workshop but can also be taken independently for those unable to attend the workshop.

All classroom sessions will be held at the MSU pavilion. Field labs will be located nearby at the MSU Sheep Teaching and Research facility. The optional charter bus tour will begin and end at the MSU pavilion.

Program instructors are Richard Ehrhardt, MSU Extension small ruminant specialist; Kim Cassida, MSU Extension forage specialist; Santiago Utsumi, MSU Extension grazing ecologist; Jerry Lindquist, MSU Extension grazing educator; Mike Metzger, MSU Extension forage and small ruminant educator; and Jennifer Silveri, MAEAP technician.

Registration costs $100 for the two-day program, with an additional $50 charge for the optional charter bus tour June 26. Please register by June 20 to ensure proper arrangements for meals, which are covered by the registration fee. On-site registration is available for an additional $25 for each event.

For more information, contact Ehrhardt at or 517-353-2906.

Visit to register online. Register via mail by sending a check payable to Michigan State University to:

Forage Management School, Anthony Hall, 474 S. Shaw Lane, Room 1287, East Lansing, MI 48824.