MSU Small Ruminant Management Series: forages and grazing

Efficient forage use is essential on sheep and goat operations for farm profitability.

As part of Michigan State University Extension’s Small Ruminant Management Series, a two-day event, on June 26 and 27, will focus on improving forage use through grazing as well as efficient machine harvest. Tips for selecting an optimal forage system for your farm will be discussed, in addition to discussing a variety of grazing management considerations, forage planning and developing practical skills relating to making forage decisions for your farm.

A mixture of seminars and farm workshops will allow participants to combine classroom learning with hands-on activities.This event is sponsored by Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture.

Topics to be covered also include:

  • Establishing forage budgets and forecasting seasonal availability
  • Forage species selection and pasture identification
  • Managing your soil and soil sampling
  • Practice grazing management and examine grazing residuals for different types of pastures
  • Estimate pasture for forage mass and allocate herbage mass according to grazing goals
  • Pasture and hayfield establishment and renovation
  • Use of annual forages and other methods to extend the grazing season
  • Sustainable management of internal parasites in small ruminant grazing systems and health concerns
  • Total mixed ration feeding system fundamentals
  • Management of diverse types of silage crops and systems

Speakers for this event are Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, Dr. Kim Cassida, Dr. Erin Recktenwald, Mr. Mike Metzger, Mr. Joe Leszcz, Mr. Rob West and Mr. Isaac Matchett.

The event will take place at Anthony Hall, 474 S. Shaw Ln, East Lansing 48824 and Sheep Teaching & Research Center, 5525 Bennett Road, Okemos, 48864.  The cost of the program is $150 per person. Additional members of the same farm/family may attend for $100. Meals and materials will be provided. Registration is can be found online and closes on June 15.

For additional information contact Carla McLachlan at

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