By moving the date and location of the annual Iowa Forage and Grassland Council (IFGC) Conference from November to January, the IFGC board of directors hopes to provide attendees with more opportunity for grazing and forage discussions. The event is set for January 21-22 at the Iowa State University Alumni Center, south of Stephens Auditorium at the Iowa State Center in Ames. Registration begins at noon with the first session at 12:30 on January 21, and adjourns at 11:30 a.m. on January 22. The Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) conference immediately follows, starting at noon.
ISU Extension beef program specialist Joe Sellers says IFGC is partnering with PFI to offer a full slate of producer and industry expert speakers on a variety of topics at the conference. "The first day features five informational sessions, a producer panel on grazing cover crops and a discussion of current feed and forage topics," he says. "The second day includes two sessions and a contract grazing producer panel, as well as the IFGC annual meeting and award recognition."
Sessions, topics, speakers for forage conference on Jan. 21:
•"Land Use Decisions with Marginal Farm Ground"—Joe Sellers, ISU; Brian Peterson, chair of the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee
•"Results of my SARE producer grazing project"—Jeff Liston, Turtle Creek Angus, Lovilia
•"Report on Brazilian Beef Production"—Erika Lundy and Dan Loy, Iowa Beef Center, ISU; Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau
• "Management to Improve Pasture Plant Diversity and Production"—Bruce Anderson, forage specialist
•"Implications of Grazing Management on Soil Health and Environmental Quality"—Jim Russell, ISU
•Break and catered dinner
•Producer panel on grazing cover crops
•Discussion of current beef and forage topics: Leopold Cow Systems Project, CRP changes, grassland easements, managing fescue
Sessions, topics speakers for forage conference on Jan. 22:
•Registration, coffee and pastries
•IFGC annual meeting and awards
•"Management to Establish and Maintain Alfalfa"—Bruce Anderson, forage specialist
•"Stockpiling forages, strategic supplementation"—Jim Elizondo, grazing consultant
•Producer panel on contract grazing
"Thanks to support from the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and education, or SARE, program, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Iowa Beef Center, and many forage partners of IFGC, the cost to attend this annual conference is low," Sellers says. "To attend both days of the IFGC conference or the PFI conference, members pay just $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Non-members pay $60 or $70 respectively."
Single day rates for members are $25 in advance or $35 at the door, with non-members paying $35 in advance or $45 at the door. The 2016 IFGC dues (year runs from Jan.1 to Dec. 31) are $35 for producers and the public, and $90 for industry, and can be paid on the registration form, says Sellers.
The Iowa Beef Center at ISU was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state's beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from ISU Extension, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more about IBC, visit iowabeefcenter.org.