Forage groups set yearly conferences for January
WASHINGTON — As a new year begins and winter wraps its arms around the farming industry, forages will take center stage nationally and in Virginia. Both the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council have scheduled winter conferences during January.
“Forages Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” is the AFGC meeting conference theme. It will be held Jan. 6-9, 2019 in St. Louis, Mo.
“Alternative Forages for Grazing Systems: Unlocking your Farm’s Production Potential” is the theme for the VFGC winter conferences will be held Jan. 15-18 in a series of meetings as in past years across the commonwealth.
The conferences begin at the Wytheville Conference Center in Wytheville on Jan. 15. The sequence continues across the state at the Southern Piedmont AREC on Jan. 16; the Brandy Station Fired Department in Brandy Station on Jan. 17 and the Weyers Cave Community Center at Weyers Cave on Jan. 18.
Dr. Garry Lacefield, retired University of Kentucky professor, will be the keynote speaker for the AFGC meeting at the opening breakfast Jan.7 at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch.
He will present the history of AFGC and forages and the impact both have had on the world during the past 75 years.
AFGC reports the conference will feature workshops focused on how to get started with forages, soil health, grass-based dairies and more.
In a news release the group reports that in addition to workshops, the conference offers scientific poster presentations; an outstanding exhibit hall representing seed, chemical, fencing and other industry companies and organizations; many networking opportunities; and several competitions such as the Forage Spokesperson, Emerging Scientist, Photo and Essay Contests.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the guidance of producer and AFGC board member, Carl Stafford serving as conference chair along with Mark Green serving as program chair,” AFGC president Mark Kennedy said.
“The entire 2019 planning team has put together an amazing program focused on the many facets of the forage industry providing value for everyone. Come join us in St. Louis to discover the exciting possibilities the future holds for forage and grassland agriculture.”
Stafford is a Virginia Extension agent in Culpeper County.
Details and registration are available on the web at www.afgc.org. Or, contact AFGC at 1.800.944.2342 for information or questions.
“Tall fescue was once the new kid on the forage block in Virginia.” VFGC reported in a news release. “Today it makes up the predominant forage base on pastures and hay fields across the Commonwealth, but it’s primarily productive in the spring and fall. The utilization of alternative forages that fill the gaps left by tall fescue is the focus of the 2019 Winter Forage Conferences.”
This year, Dr. Matt Poore from North Carolina State University and Dr. Patrick Keyser from the University of Tennessee will be the guest lecturers. Local livestock producers will share their experiences as well.
Poore, a profession and Extension specialist in ruminant nutrition plans to talk about annual forages and how they can be used most profitably. These include annual grasses, legumes, and forbs that can be used to provide large amounts of high quality forage year-round.
Keyser, a professor and director of the Center for Native Grasslands Management at UT will talk about native summer forages that are very productive and well-adapted to Virginia. His presentation is expected to include key steps in establishing these.
The Virginia conferences are hosted by VFGC and Virginia Cooperative Extension and draw forage experts from across the nation as well as within VFGC.
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