Grazing conference opens doors for farmers

Conference attracts more than 270 people
February 12, 2009

Kansas City, Mo. - More than 270 dairy producers and industry professionals explored new and innovative ways of dairying at Opportunities Explored: 2009 Grazing Conference, hosted by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA).

The conference, which took place in Memphis, Tennessee, February 11-12, featured well-known industry speakers, plus producers who currently use grazing on their operations. Participants learned about a variety of topics, including:

  • Transitioning to a grazing operation
  • Environmental issues
  • Financing
  • Mastering the “Grazing Wedge”
  • Profitability

“With the dairy industry in a low price cycle right now, producers are looking for ways to lower their costs of production,” said Randy Mooney, first vice chairman of DFA’s Corporate Board and one of the producers who participated in a panel at the conference. “For some, grazing might be a more cost-efficient way of dairying.”

DFA, a milk marketing cooperative focused on bringing value to members, is providing this forum for farmers to collaborate with each other and industry experts.

Other producers who spoke at the conference included Eric Hoffman from Trenton, Missouri, and Charles Fletcher from Purdy, Missouri.

Speakers included Joe Horner, beef and dairy economist from the University of Missouri; Dr. Steve Washburn, professor and extension specialist from North Carolina State University; Robert Bock, director of underwriting with FCS Financial; Adrian van Bysterveldt, farm systems specialist with Dairy NZ; Dr. Michael Cook, Robert D. Partridge Chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri; Jock Fulton, senior dairy operations manager at Grasslands Consultants, LLC; Kevin Ogles, grazing specialist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Bryan vonHahmann, president of Agri-Max Financial Services.

Copies of presentations given at the conference are available for download at www.dfamilk.com/grazing.