Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), in partnership with The Livestock Institute of Southern New England (TLI), will be holding the 4th Annual Farm to Tapas event August 12, 2018. Last summer’s event was hosted at the historic home and farm of Joseph P. Keith III. Dozens of local restaurants, caterers, vintners, cheese makers, bakers and others set up stations featuring a wide variety of delicious tapas and spirits. A live auction and a foot stomping bluegrass band kept everyone on their toes as the bidding began for our charity auction.
This year’s Farm to Tapas will be hosted by Kissy Russell at her home at Barney’s Joy Creek Farm in South Dartmouth, MA., overlooking Buzzards bay and the Elizabeth Islands. SEMAP and TLI share in the proceeds from this amazing gastronomical event, funding educational workshops focusing on small farms, diversification, enhancing their current farming practices, and much more. BUY TICKETS HERE!
Back by popular demand, Sarah Flack will be on the South Coast for two seminars this summer. She'll do a half-day workshop on August 17 in Dartmouth, MA, followed by a pot-luck dinner. A full-day Grazing School seminar will happen on August 18 at Weatherlow Farms.
Friday August 17th, 1:30 to 5:00 Matching livestock numbers to land base to increase farm income The first part of this session will include a farm visit and discussion of land base assessment and different grazing management methods can increase, or decrease the number of acres needed for the herd. We’ll review how to size paddocks, calculate stocking density and stocking rate and how that helps determine what the ideal herd size is for your farm. Then we will look at how to tie that information into cash flow projections and business planning. We will look at how setting different pasture dry matter intake goals or adjusting the type of grazing system can change how many animals the farm can support, and what the cost of production will be.
Saturday, August 18th, 10am - 4pm, Grazing School The morning portion of this workshop will focus on creating a solid understanding of the basic principles of good grazing management systems. Starting first from the plants perspective, we will look at the needs of perennial pasture plants and how to meet those needs by following the grazing guidelines. From there we will do some group exercises and practice to learn how to calculate paddock sizes, stocking densities, stocking rates and understand what the ideal number of acres for a flock or herd is. We will then use real farm examples to practice dry matter measurements, paddock sizing, stock density and learn more about perennial plant anatomy and physiology. In the afternoon we will look at pasture from the livestock perspective, learning techniques to meet their nutritional needs, maximize pasture dry matter intake, provide low stress handling and when shade or shelter should be planned into the grazing. Though out the day we will look at practical ways to apply this information to improve pasture quality and productivity, while also improving livestock wellbeing and performance. This session will include indoor classroom time and outdoor time in the pastures. You will want to bring clothing to be comfortable both indoors, and outdoors in rain or sun. Bring a calculator and notebook.
In this all-day workshop we will cover what you need to know to set up a new grazing system, or troubleshoot and improve an existing one. We start the day from the perspective of pasture plants, and then shift to look at grazing from the perspective of the livestock. This will provide a solid understanding of how to meet the needs of the plants and livestock so that both can thrive.
Topics will include how to use the “Graziers Toolbox” including varied stock densities, trampling and different regrowth periods, pre & post grazing heights to use livestock to improve the pastures. We will cover “Pasture Pitfalls” as we look at common problems and how to identify the cause and come up with low cost solutions.
We will do the “Pasture Math” to calculate paddock sizes, acreage needs and stocking rates. We will look at how to maximize pasture intake for the livestock to lower feed costs and improve livestock wellbeing and productivity.
We will use photos and real farm examples of pastures and livestock as we then learn how to observe and monitor so that we can better understand if our grazing systems are working the way we want them to, and what we can do to make them better.
Sarah Flack is the author of The Art and Science of Grazing, and Organic Dairy Production and is a nationally known speaker and consultant specializing in grass based and organic livestock farming. She grew up on a Vermont family farm that used management-intensive grazing and mob stocking. She later pursued graduate studies on pasture management at the University of Vermont. She has written extensively about grass farming and is known for teaching workshops that take a practical approach to applying the science of grazing. Sarah has successfully helped many farmers create positive change in their pastures, soils, livestock, finances, and farm-family quality of life. To purchase tickets, click on this link.
Questions? Contact Gena via email at Gena@thelivestockinstitute.org or by phone: 443.527.0408