Participants hold up a cloth equine digestive tract.
(Morrisville, NY- April 2013) Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County hosted a foraging and grazing management seminar to support the equine industry in the county. A total of 28 participants sacrificed the nice weather to spend a sunny Saturday learning more about forage and grazing management.
Participants came from varying backgrounds of equine, beef, buffalo, dairy, and even sheep. Professor Buckhout of Cazenovia College took these background differences into consideration when she lectured about the digestive tract of grazing animals. Buckhout even pulled out a cloth equine digestive tract so participants could appreciate its size. Her step by step breakdown of how to interpret a forage analysis led to a lot of discussion and questions about the necessary level of nutrition for the various grazing animals represented at the lecture.
During the lunch break, participants had the chance to tour Morrisville College’s Equine Rehabilitation Center and even see a swimming demonstration.
To finish up the day, Troy Bishopp “Grass Whisperer” from Madison County Soil and Water Conservation lectured on the importance of a management plan when it comes to grazing practices. He utilized several local pictures to show the difference proper grazing management practices made on pastures. His worksheet for starting a grazing plan stirred a lot of discussion and great questions from the participants.
As he worked through both an equine example, and an example of his own farm, participants got a better understanding of the organization necessary for such a program, and also the benefits of a proper grazing management program.
Stay tuned for more events by visiting www.madisoncountycce.org.