Gabe Brown is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement which focuses on the regeneration of our resources.
Gabe, along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, own and operate Brown's Ranch, a diversified 5,000 acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The ranch consists of several thousand acres of native perennial rangeland along with perennial pastureland and cropland. Their ranch focuses on farming and ranching in nature's image.
The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all natural grass finished beef and lamb. They also raise pastured laying hens, broilers and swine. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides.
The Browns are part owners of a state inspected abattoir which allows them to direct market their products. They believe that healthy soil leads to clean air, clean water, healthy plants, animals, and people.
Over 2,000 people visit the Brown's Ranch annually to see this unique operation. They have had visitors from all fifty states and twenty-one foreign countries.
Gabe and Brown's Ranch have received many forms of recognition for their work, including a Growing Green award from the Natural Resource Defense Council, an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and a Zero-Till Producer of the Year Award, to name a few. Gabe has also been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. He spends much of his time sharing with others the importance and power of healthy, functioning ecosystems.
Shane New, from Holton, Kansas, is a stockman, entrepreneur, and partner with Understanding Ag, LLC. He is a graduate of Kansas State University. Shane was a civil contractor and sod producer for 20 years prior to completely focusing on regenerative agriculture. Despite doing various things, he has been doing soil health practices for many years. Some of these practices include no-tilling, cover crops, rotational grazing, and adaptive grazing.
Shane and his wife Kelli have three children. They own and operate New Family Farms located in Holton, Kansas. The farm consists of cover crops, cattle, and free range chickens. They currently market their meat and eggs.
Shane and New Family Farms received the Soil Health Award in 2017 by the Jackson County Conservation District. This was awarded for outstanding accomplishments in the management of soil health and related sources. Shane also completed Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Life in the Soils courses. His passion is production agriculture and believes that the future for agriculture and human health has to come from regenerative agricultural practices.
Kent, and his wife Linda, own and operate an award winning pasture-based livestock farm in central Minnesota. Kent has a passion for the land and has been involved in soil health, adaptive grazing management, and integrated crop and livestock systems for 25 years. He has worked for a number of regenerative agricultural and government organizations throughout his career consulting with hundreds of farmers. He has also severed as adjunct faculty teaching courses on soil health, forages, grazing, and livestock management.
Who Should Attend? Any grazer who wants to take their grazing to the next level. This course will examine beef, dairy, small ruminant, pastured pig, and pastured poultry grazing & foraging. Woodland grazing/foraging will also be featured. Hands-on experience will be heavily emphasized.
This is a power-packed three days that will change your perspective on what grazing should be and can be. Taught by highly experienced and expert grazers.
Participants will work in teams to solve real-world grazing problems and sharpen their skills.
What You Will Learn:
Principles of Soil Health & Adaptive Stewardship Restoring Vibrant Ecosystems Through Adaptive Grazing Cover Cropping Strategies for Grazing Making Grazing Highly Profitable & Desirable Multi-species Grazing Strategies Successful Marketing: Strategies for Enhanced Net Margins Economics and Finances of Grazing: Using Decision Calculators Effectively How To Lay Out Practical and Flexible Grazing Plans
Planning for drought Managing wet pastures (heavy precipitation) When and how to begin grazing in the spring Setting up the "grazing wedge" & developing a forage chain Stockpiling forages Determining paddock size Plant Brix: How to Measure & How To Use Grazing alternative forages - corn stalk residue, cover crops Using Financial decision calculators and developing cash flow projections Water systems - wells, surface water, pipelines, pumps, etc. Fence systems - permanent and portable/temporary. How an energized fence works. Energized fence troubleshooting. Hands-on fence construction. Opportunity to try various portable energized fence materials. Hands-on waterline repair exercise. When do I graze a paddock? How much rest? How does grass develop? Paddock construction and layout Minimum paddock number “Before & After” grazing observation and evaluation. Soil health evaluation - infiltration, earthworm counts, sniff test, soil aggregate observation, shovel test Grazing riparian areas for ecological stability Woodland Grazing/Silvopasture Effectively and efficiently incorporate shade What role do supplements/minerals play in a grazing program Considerations for grass tetany, bloat, nitrates, poisonous plants Should I soil test? What test(s) should I use? Should I fertilize? Should I plant perennial forages? What should I plant? Can I afford to plant cropland to forages? Can I convert cropland to pasture? Managing Pastures after a long history of continuous overgrazing. Economics of managed pastures vs. cropland or unmanaged pastures. What are "weeds" and how do I manage them? Leader/follower grazing "Flerd" grazing (mixed species herds) Techniques for increasing animal impact within a paddock. Marketing & Sales Skills Stacked Enterprises: Planning, coordinating, implementing
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