Certified Grazier Program Expands in 2013

CHARITON, Iowa — Following a successful pilot season in 2012, the Certified Grazier Program is being expanded to two southern Iowa locations this year. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef program specialist Joe Sellers said the program is ideal for those who have experience with grazing and want more detailed information on tools and techniques.

“Past participants of our Greenhorn Grazing series or other in-depth grazing programs will benefit from this next-level programming,” he said. “This series offers classroom and field-bases sessions, including personalized learning opportunities, at Fairfield and Creston this summer and fall.”

General information sessions feature a variety of management strategies and ways to apply those strategies to participants’ land. Personalized sessions offer in-depth looks at specific topics that can be incorporated into individual grazing plans, while networking with others provides opportunities for discussions with fellow producers on how they’ve approached grazing and developed plans tailored to available resources and goals.

Sellers said producers can take advantage of others’ practical experiences by seeing actual on-farm results of various techniques, and can build and strengthen mentoring relationships between themselves and experienced graziers, as well as university and industry personnel.

Cost is $100 per person for the six-part series, which includes a meal at each session and a reference guide. The registration fee is payable to the Jefferson County Extension office at Fairfield or the Lucas County Extension office at Chariton.

Dates for the six-part series are specific to each location as follows:

  • Fairfield, Jefferson County Extension office — July 9, July 30, Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 5
  • Creston, Southwestern Community College agricultural center — July 2, July 25, Aug. 27, Sept. 19, Oct. 17 and Nov. 12

Sponsors of the Certified Grazier Program are ISU Extension and Outreach, Iowa Beef Center, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Dow AgroScience, Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

For more information, contact Sellers at 641-203-1270, ISU beef program specialist Byron Leu at 641-799-2298, Certified Grazier Program coordinator Brian Peterson at 641-344-1026, or Rick Sprague of NRCS at 712-542-8765.