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33rd Annual Spring Forage Conference Set for Feb. 28

The 33rd annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield.
Each year this conference attracts a large number of producers interested in learning more about management strategies for forages and livestock. The program for the 2017 conference offers a wide array of informative topics.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Allen Williams. Dr. Williams is a sixth generation family farmer and founding partner of Grass Fed Beef LLC, Grass Fed Insights LLC, Standard Soil, and a partner in Joyce Farms, Inc. He has consulted with thousands of farmers and ranchers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America.
Dr. Williams pioneered many of the early adaptive grazing and grass fed protocols and forage finishing techniques and has spent the last 15 years refining those.
He formerly served 15 years on the faculty at Louisiana Tech University and Mississippi State University. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in Genetics and Reproductive Physiology from Louisiana State University.
Dr. Williams has authored more than 400 scientific and popular press articles, and is an invited speaker at regional, national, and international conferences and symposiums. Major areas of research and business focus include soil health, adaptive forage and grazing management, integration of cover crops and grazing, high attribute pasture-based meat production, and alternative marketing systems.
His topic for the luncheon session will be “The Facts of Adaptive Grazing and Relationship to Soil Health.”
The conference will also feature several breakout sessions throughout the day. Topics will include: electric fencing tips, changing plant communities by changing management, weed management in pastures, novel endophyte fescue varieties, nitrogen sources for pasture, livestock watering systems, building the optimum forage system and mix, holistic grazing management, calculating the cost of production, round bale silage versus hay, grass-fed beef discussion, and multi-species grazing.
There will be a large trade show in conjunction with the conference. Agricultural businesses and organizations will have exhibits and representatives available to discuss their products and services. If interested in becoming an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Nathan Witt at 417-451-1007 ext.3.
Conference registration begins at 8 a.m., with sessions running from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A banquet luncheon is included with the registration. The cost is $35 per person in advance or $45 at the door. To pre-register (by Feb. 14) or to get more information, contact the Laclede County USDA Office at (417) 532-6305, ext.101. Participants can find more information about the conference and register online at
The conference is co-sponsored by several southwest Missouri Soil and Water Conservation Districts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri State University Darr School of Agriculture, University of Missouri Extension, Missouri Department of Conservation, and the USDA Farm Service Agency.