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3-Day School To Improve Grazing Management

A well-known Western Canada pasture management specialist is offering prairie livestock producers two opportunities to learn how to get more production and profit out of their pastures.

Steven Kenyon, of Greener Pastures Ranching Ltd, based at Westlock, Alta. is offering a threeday school in March as well as a one-day pasture walk in July.

The three-day Year-Round Grazing Systems school will be held March 18 to 20 at Westlock, while the one-day Greener Pasture Walk, being billed as a family event, will be held at Busby, Alta., July 2.

Kenyon, who is a beef producer himself has developed one-, two-and three-day schools on grazing and pasture management over several years.

“My one-day school is great but I never have enough time to give all the information I would like to,” says Kenyon. “It is like a quick overview of my summer grazing management. I soon expanded it to a two-day grazing school that not only presented producers with the basics of grazing, but for the first time, included a cell design workshop.

“At my school, we work in groups and learn how to design your own cross fencing. I do not give you a fish, I will teach you how to fish. We have a 10-step process to help sort through the issues around designing your own grazing cells.”

While the one-and two-day schools focus on production practices, Kenyon developed the threeday school, which also includes discussion of grazing economics and farm management issues.

“In the three-day business management school called Year- Round Grazing Systems I include a human resource component along with my economics and finance calculations,” he says. “We spend the first morning getting to know each other with a little bit of human resources. We look into personality styles and goal setting just to give an awareness that I believe this is a very important piece of your business… and usually the most under managed. Then we jump into the economics. This gets a little heavy and by the end of the day there is usually a dark cloud hanging over the room. It is a bit overwhelming for some people, but learning a gross margin analysis (GMA) was the biggest break through my business ever had. It was an eye opener for me and I love having the opportunity to help others have that same experience.”

The gross margin analysis is a tool that gives producers an understanding of where their business is making money and where it is losing money, he says. “Instead of spinning your wheels in debt, you can move forward to a successful business that not only supports your family, but makes a profit.”

After lunch on the second day the school jumps into production practices.

“We learn about the grazing basics and learn about the calculating the yield from our pastures and look into some grazing costs,” says Kenyon. “We learn how to use a grazing chart and understand how to make a grazing plan. On the third day we start with the cell design workshop similar to the two-day school. We also look into water systems that might work with your operation. I show every example that I have seen for both summer and winter water systems. We finish off with winter grazing management. This would include the do’s and don’ts of dormant season grazing, residue grazing, swath grazing and bale grazing. I also show examples of fencing and methods to make your winter grazing management “cheap and lazy”.”

Cost of the Year-Round Grazing Systems school is $750 per farm unit (two people), while the Greener Pastures Walk is $75 per person or $50 per person for a group of five or more. To pre-register or for details go to the website: www.greenerpasturesranching.com

or email [email protected] or phone (780) 307-2275.

LeeHartiseditorofCattleman’sCornerbased inCalgary.Contacthimat403-592-1964orby emailat [email protected]

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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