Nose Into Higher Dairy Profits Via Grazing

'Step It Up in 2013 Winter Grazing Conference' in western New York features successful Pennsylvania dairy grazier who converted from conventional.

Published on: Feb 12, 2013

Cliff Hawbaker knows how tough it can be to turn a profit with milk cows. That's why this dairyman from Chambersburg, Pa., switched from conventional bring-the-feed-to-the cows dairying to send-the-cows-to-the-paddocks dairying. And he contends he'd never go back.

That's why Hawbaker will be the keynote speaker at the "Step It Up in 2013" Winter Grazing Conference on Feb. 27 at Pavilion, N.Y. He's make two presentations: "Green is Grass, a Journey of Our Farms and Grazing Experience Focusing on Grass" and "Business Planning for Graziers, Focusing on Where You Are and Where You Want to Go".

Cliff and wife Maggie own and operate Hamilton Heights Dairy Farm and Emerald Valley Farm in south central Pennsylvania's Franklin County. The certified organic dairies handle 300 dairy cows and 50 replacement heifers on 689 owned acres plus 140 acres of rented land. For several years, their focus has been on intensive grazing management and once-a-day milking.

BEEN THERE; DONE THAT! Cliff Hawbaker turned away from conventional dairying to a far more profitable grazing system in Franklin County, Pa.
BEEN THERE; DONE THAT! Cliff Hawbaker turned away from conventional dairying to a far more profitable grazing system in Franklin County, Pa.

The conference will be held a BW's Restaurant, 11070 Perry Road, Pavilion from 9 am to 3 pm. Other topics to be addressed include:

•Managing the soil to manage the pasture
•Planning for drought: Alternative water sources
•Economics of grazed vs. stored feed
•Economic analysis for decision making
•Pasture plant selection
•Modernizing grazing dairies

Registration costs $40 for the first person and $25 for each additional person from the same farm. It covers lunch.

To register, contact Cathy Wallace at 585-343-3040 x138 or e-mail cfw6@cornell.edu.  A flyer and registration form is available at www.nwnyteam.org. Register early; space is limited.