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Pastoralism in the Pastures: Grazing conference is Jan. 14-16
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The definition of pastoralism is agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock.  It is animal husbandry:  the care, tending and use of animals such as goats, cattle, sheep and more to take care of the land by moving the herds to fresh grass. 

If you have animals, you need to attend the 24th Annual GrassWorks Grazing Conference.

From Jan. 14-16, hundreds of people from around the Midwest will gather at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells to learn how managed grazing can regenerate land and pastures and care for animals all year long.

The GrassWorks Grazing Conference is a key event for producers of all kinds of livestock who have a desire to learn how to improve their land, increase forage production, and graze as many months as possible during the year.  Topics include silvopasture, grass-based dairy management, and how life below the ground is as important to soil fertility as the animals above the ground.  Sessions will include dairy, beef, sheep, chicken, pigs, rabbits and goats.  If you have any of these aforementioned animals or other animals that graze, such as llamas and horses, you should attend.

This year’s conference will feature over 25 sessions and a trade show with over 40 exhibitors.

In keeping with grass-based leadership in local and sustainable farming, the meals offered at the conference consist almost entirely of seasonal, local, grass-fed selections from the best in graziers and farmers from around the region.

Four well-respected speakers will be featured at the conference.

• Francis Thicke, from Radiance Dairy in Iowa, will speak about “The Successful Dairy Farm of the Future” Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.

• Ana Skemp with Deep Roots Community Farm will talk about “Keeping Our Roots Deep in Our Community” the morning of Jan. 15.

• Jerry Apps, UW Professor Emeritus and Wisconsin Historian, will share “Stories from the Land” the evening of Jan. 15.

• Steven Kenyon, Greener Pastures Ranching Ltd. and writer for The Stockman Grassfarmer, will join us Jan. 16.

GrassWorks is working with the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program to roll out a great lineup of speakers to offer resources to help dairy graziers.  The dairy track spans the full length of the conference this year.

Two of the major sponsors for this conference include Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and Simple Soil Solutions.

Conference registration includes workshops, general sessions, and admission to the exhibit hall as well as evening entertainment, dinners, lunches and snacks. Online registration is available.  For more information on registering, volunteering, exhibiting and other opportunities or to register online, visit

To request a conference flyer with complete information, contact Heather Flashinski at 715-289-4896 or or visit the website  where you will find grazing conference information under the events tab.