Northeast Iowa Pasture Walk to Focus on Fence and Water Improvement

Learn how a challenge can turn into a growth opportunity with grazing

May 16, 2024, 1:55 pm | Sherry Hoyer

DECORAH, Iowa – It can be daunting to think about improving a grazing system for your farm, let alone starting one. Yet, Decorah-area producer Rob Jewell took on the challenge and, over time, has developed a managed system that continues to provide success – and challenges. What's his secret?

"Keep trying new things, start small and take risks. Confusion is the first stage of learning so accept that it won't be easy and learn from your mistakes," said Rob Jewell. "If your plan fails, mix it up and try doing it another way. It's all those failures that will turn your hard work into a success and make it that much more rewarding.” Angus beef cattle.

Jewell's managed grazing system includes over 10,000 feet of buried water lines with quick couple attachments, water tanks on skids, subdivision fences with high tensile wire and select silvopastures. He has moved cows on about a daily basis for over three years now. Jewell and his dad farm together, and have planted some cover crops on grain fields for additional fall or early spring grazing.

He will share his experiences at a pasture walk on his property on June 25, beginning at 6 p.m. Some of the grazing practices to be highlighted are buried water lines to each paddock, pasture subdivision layout, division fencing and the equipment used to make moving cows easier. 

Jewell will be joined by presenters from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Jacob Hawes, northeast area grassland specialist with NRCS, will speak on cost-share opportunities to improve pastures and soil health. Denise Schwab, a beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will present on grazing efficiency.

To assist with meal preparation and receive notifications in the event of weather-related changes, please preregister by June 18. Preregistration can also be obtained by contacting the ISU Extension and Outreach Winneshiek County office at alliemc@iastate.edu or calling 563-382-2949.

The pasture is located at 2278 Madison Road, Decorah. Visitors can enter the driveway and watch for signs with directions for parking. At this location, attendees will ride hay racks for the tour before traveling in their personal vehicles to Jewell's home place at 2139 Pole Line Road, Decorah. At Jewell’s home place, participants will be served supper from the Winneshiek County Cattlemen’s group and additional remarks will take place.  

This event is co-sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach in Allamakee and Winneshiek counties, the Iowa Beef Center and the Winneshiek County Cattlemen. For more information, contact Schwab  at 319-472-4739 or dschwab@iastate.edu. See the event flyer for more information.

Shareable photo: Beef cow and calf.

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