August 17, 2011
Contact: Betsy Hodge, Livestock Educator, CCE St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192

Multi-Species Grazing Open House for NNY Farmers August 27

Canton, NY – The Northern New York Regional Livestock Team of Cornell Cooperative Extension is offering regional farmers who graze, or want to graze, different animals on the same fields the opportunity to observe a demonstration and share ways to improve multi-species grazing methods at an August 27th 5pm Open House event at the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm in Canton, NY.

Sheep with lambs and cattle with calves have been grazing together at the farm all summer. Portable net fencing is being used to take advantage of all the forage on the Learning Farm. The Open House discussions will include a comparison of animal growth rates by species and by year.

Organizer Betsy Hodge, Livestock Educator with CCE St. Lawrence County, says, “Grazing cows and sheep together allows farmers to harvest more dry matter per acre because the sheep and cows compliment each other’s grazing styles. From the sheep perspective, the cows provide an internal parasite clean-up crew. The cows suffer no ill effects from eating sheep parasites that live on field grasses.”

The event includes a tour of the multi-grazing species grazing project areas to see fencing, pasture and plots of summer annual crops for grazing.

“This actual farm setting event provides hands-on learning experience. For example, those attending the August 27 Open House will be able to see how easy it is to use the portable fencing that allows us to fence around areas that we used to mow or that grew wild and weedy,” Hodge says.

A picnic supper is part of the free event. Bring a dish to share. Please register to attend with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of St. Lawrence County at 315-379-9192. For farmer-to-farmer carpooling opportunities from Watertown; contact Corey Hayes at CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450, cmh298@cornell.edu.