March 7-9, 2023 from 8 – 9 EST pm daily

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2023 program information:

Tuesday, March 7th – Speaker TBA

Wednesday, March 8th – A panel Discussion with Ontario’s Advanced Grazing Mentors; Anita O’Brien, Dean Cober, and Birgit Martin, facilitated by Christine O’Reilly

Thursday, March 9th – Jim Gerrish – Independent Grazing Expert

Speaker Bios

Panel:

Anita O’Brien

Along with my partner Al, I operate a pasture-based commercial sheep farm near Lansdowne, Ontario since 1993. The home farm is nestled on the edge of the Precambrian Shield, with a mix of heavy clay farmland and hardwood-covered granite ridges, providing a range of pasture types including shallow /rocky for early grazing and river bottoms for drought-proof grazing. We also practice silvopasture on 2 small pasture blocks. We utilize both permanent and temporary fencing with a combination of electric and solar-charged fence energizers to effectively manage pastures, sheep, Livestock Guardian Dogs, and predators. Our typical grazing season runs May 1st through December 10, with a few starting mid-April and a few others finishing up closer to Christmas. When the flock was much larger, we used the sheep to reclaim nearby “unused / abandoned” farmland turning them into productive pastures. Our sheep are outwintered with dry round hay bales unrolled on selected pastures and hayland. Looking forward to sharing grazing knowledge I’ve gained on this farming journey and from my agriculture extension days.

Dean Cober

I farm with my wife Carolyn and three children Levi(6), Grace(4), and Abigail(1), between Owen Sound and Meaford on hwy 26 in beautiful Grey County. We run a purebred Red Angus (and perhaps a few hereford) herd with a focus on producing seedstock females and a few bulls every year. Maximizing grass utilization and discovering how to graze with cropping systems are a journey we are on, every day is a potential learning experience. Along with grazing, we produce horse quality small squares, custom hay and dabble in cropping. I also work for the CAT dealer and travel to remote mine sites to finance the farming, with the goal of farming full time one day. 

You can find us on twitter – @ cobercow, where we love to share what we are up to!

Birgit Martin

Hello, I am Birgit Martin.  I farm with my husband, Jim, and 2 sons, Nick and Alex, on western Manitoulin Island.  We have a large cow-calf through-to-finish operation where we produce both grain-finished and grass-finished beef for our brand, Pure Island Beef.  We also custom graze 300-400 steers each summer.

Grazing is integral to our entire operation whether it is for the cow herd, replacement heifers, grass finishers, our own stockers or the custom grazed steers.  We have several different types of pastures, from extensive, shallow soiled ‘ranch’ land to highly managed improved pastures.  So the management varies too.

Before farming full time with my family, I was a CCA in a crop inputs business for 20 years.  My degree at the University of Guelph was with a major in Agronomy and a focus on forage management.  I spent a co-op work semester on a dairy farm in New Zealand as well.  And before all this, I grew up on a dairy farm that focused on intensive pasture management for the dairy herd.

Facilitated by: Christine O’Reilly

Christine O’Reilly is the Forage and Grazing Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Her areas of focus include the benefits of forages and grazing within cropping systems, forage production and grazing systems for northern Ontario, and improving the productivity and profitability of forages. Christine joined the ministry in 2017 and is based out of the Lindsay office.

Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands educator, consultant, and writer serving farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands in the US and internationally through American GrazingLands Services LLC . He currently lives in the Pahsimeroi Valley in central Idaho and works with numerous ranchers using both irrigated pastures and native rangeland as well as working with livestock farmers in high natural rainfall environments. His past experience includes over 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided the foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing. For 22 of the years he spent in Missouri, he stayed in touch with the real world on a 260-acre commercial cow-calf, sheep, and contract grazing operation. In this setting, he took a worn-out marginal crop farm and converted it to a highly productive grass farm. 

After the move to Idaho in 2004, Jim keeps his day-to-day grazing tools sharp through management of a ranch unit consisting of 450 center-pivot irrigated pastures, 90 acres of flood ground, and several hundred acres of rangeland.

Thank you for your interest in Profitable Pastures 2022!  If you missed the presentations, you can now view them on our YouTube Channel.  Please subscribe to be notified when we post new videos!

Pam Iwanchysko – Planned Grazing – Making the Cows Work for You

Ryan Boyd – Grazing Ruminants – The Original Soil Builders! Lessons learned from my Nuffield scholarship

Thank you to our 2022 Partners and Sponsors!

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2021 Presentations:

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2017 Presentations

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