Events to serve audiences from beginning to experienced livestock producers

Renowned Grazing Management Specialist Jim Gerrish will cover a wide range of beef production issues during three September Amazing Grazing events across Kansas.

Jim Gerrish’s experience includes over 20 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri, as well as 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on their family farm in northern Missouri. The University of Missouri-Forage Systems Research Center rose to national prominence as a result of his research leadership. He was also co-founder of the very popular three-day grazing management workshop program at FSRC, attended by over 3000 producers and educators from 39 states and four Canadian provinces, and the author of “Kick the Hay Habit” and “Management-intensive Grazing: the Grassroots of Grass Farming.” Gerrish is the co-owner, with wife Dawn, of Amazing GrazingLands Services LLC of May, Idaho.

Workshop 1: Economics of the Livestock Industry
September 21-22, Ramada Inn, Topeka

Farming and ranching can only be sustainable if it is profitable. Too many operations have been focused on production, not profit, for far too long. Less than 5% of the variation in profitability among cow-calf operations can be explained by weaning weight. About 60% of the variation in profit is explained by differences in feed costs. Are you in it for production or profit? There is a big difference. – Jim Gerrish

Topics include: Economics of cow size, the high cost of making hay, cost-benefit analysis, pasture and range renovation, stock water and fence developments and does fertilizer pay? Bill Helming, Ag Economist -“Reading the Crystal Ball of the Beef Industry Future”.

Workshop 2: Getting Started in Grazing
September 23, Ambassador Hotel, Salina

If you’re ready to change your operation from letting cows manage your business to you being in charge, this Beginner’s Grazing School is just for you. All the basic concepts of Management-intensive Grazing will be covered here. Understanding how to model your livestock farm or ranch on natural principles will insure you are working with nature and not against nature. Almost all of the high costs of ranching today are due to fighting nature, not embracing nature. Sunshine, water, and minerals are all it takes to create meat, milk, and fiber. – Jim Gerrish

Topics include: Understanding stock rate, carrying capacity and stock density, grazing management based on four ecosystem processes 1) capturing more solar energy on every acre 2) creating a more effective water cycle 3) building more dynamic mineral cycles 4) why biodiversity matters and planning for year-around grazing.

Workshop 3: Three-Day Grazing School
September 24-26, Dale Stickler’s Farm & Fine Arts Community Center, Courtland

Whether you’re a beginning, intermediate, or advanced grazier, this 3-day workshop will help you move forward to the next level. Key concepts of stocking rate, stock density, residual, intake, and balancing use and recovery will all be covered in detail along with more advanced topics of year-around grazing and feed allocation. The combination of classroom and field sessions provides both the conceptual and practical application of Management-intensive Grazing. – Jim Gerrish

Topics include: What is MiG and what can it do for you? What really matters in grazing management…stocking rate, stock density, residual, intake, balancing recovery and use? Creating high quality pastures. Grazing management in the field, managing cow costs, Grazing cell layout and design, stock water and fence developments, estimating pasture availability and allocating feed, how to plan for year-around grazing, effectively grazing winter pasture. How do I know it will pay? What are other people doing around the country?

For more information on upcoming workshops sponsored by Amazing Grazing, call Mary Howell at 785-562-8726 or visit Amazing Grazing’s Web site at

Amazing Grazing is a collaboration of the Kansas Farmers Union and the Kansas Graziers Association. Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award Number 2012-49200-20032. Project partners include the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, K-State Research and Extension, Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, and NRCS-Kansas.

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If you would like more information about Amazing Grazing program, or wish to schedule an interview with presenters, please call Mary Howell at 785-562-8726 or email Mary at

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Photo: “Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing service to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across the US and Canada. Jim’s experience includes over 20 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri, as well as 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on their family farm in northern Missouri.” available here.
Graphic: Amazing Grazing III: Soil Heal for Ranch $uccess logo available here.

Kansas Farmers Union is the state’s oldest active general farm organization working to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. We believe family ownership of farm land is the basis for the world’s most viable system of food and fiber production, and that maintaining this family farm system will preserve our natural and human resources.

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