August 28, 2012

 Southwest Pennsylvania Project Grass is hosting a grazing conference in Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 11 and 12, 2012.   The first day of the event will be held at the Kovalchick Complex and will feature speakers that will share their expertise on a variety of subjects relating to grazing.  The second day of the event includes a combination of demonstrations held at the Indiana Fair Grounds and tours of local grazing operations and other agricultural interests. 

Speakers for day one of this conference are Temple Grandin (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Ben Bartlett (World-Wide Grazing), Jon Hopkins (Diversifying the Grazing Operation), Susan Duckett (Grass Finishing, Meat Palatability), Dr. Robert Van Suan (Parasite Control in Livestock), Lee Rinehart (Transitioning to Organic Farming), Peter Burns (Integrating Poultry in Grazing Operations), Dr. William Wise (Pasture Management for Horses), and Tammy Colt (Wildlife and Grazing).  

The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Temple Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University who has worked extensively with animal handling and livestock equipment design.  On top of her extensive work with livestock, Grandin has also published many books and articles.  Temple’s achievements are remarkable because she was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of two and she has become very successful while dealing with autism.

Day two of the conference offers a more interactive experience for those in attendance.  There will be three demonstrations at the Indiana Fairgrounds.  Dr. Ben Bartlett will present a demonstration on cattle handling.  Henry Kuykendall will give a presentation on using working dogs to handle livestock.  Kevin Ogles of the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service will explore how grazing methods affect soil moisture content by using a rainfall simulator.

The second day of the conference will also include field tours.  Each person in attendance will choose one of the four tours being offered.  The first tour will visit two local farms that use rotational grazing systems; Overdorff Angus Operation and Hollow Dairy Farm.  The second tour will feature ‘farm energy’ at Brookside Dairy’s manure digester and Fabin Brothers Farms’ soybean processing plant.   The third tour will explore Wingate Vineyards and Winery.   The forth tour will be at the GenOn Seward Generating Station and will focus on the reclamation of abandoned mine tailings to create an ash byproduct that has been used by farms.

Register on-line for the conference at     A $95 early registration fee covers all events and meals for both days.  After September 8 the registration fee will be $130.  The deadline to register is October 4th.  For Additional information regarding the conference or to sponsor the event, please contact Jim Resh at the Indiana County Conservation District at 724-471-4751 (ext 5) or visit  There will be 4 Grazing CEC’s for PA NRCS Certified Conservation Planners and 4 Pennsylvania Nutrient Management re-certification training credits available for attending the event.