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Growing Quality Feed for Dairy Cattle Through Increased Soil Health

PHOTO CREDIT, Rocky Acres Farm Facebook Page:
June 16, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Anywhere , MA


Growing quality cattle feed from native Massachusetts soils can be challenging.  But there are several tricks that you can employ to increase the health of your soil naturally, all while keeping cattle on the land and producing quality milk for people.  Join NOFA/Mass for this informal panel discussion with Bob Richardson of Rocky Acres Farm, Warren, MA and Kate Parsons of NRCS. 

In this free webinar, Bob will discuss how he manages the pasture and hay fields of Rocky Acres Farm in Warren, MA, in order to produce the maximum quality grass for his dairy cattle while also being a conscientious steward of the land.   

Learn how:
* Rotational grazing and seasonal milking go hand in hand
* No-till planting benefits the established soil ecosystem 
* Regular soil tests can reveal how rotational grazing impacts the percentage of soil organic matter

*Pastures and perennial grasses play a role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and building long-term soil health

Then Kate will share practices that dairy farmers are using to protect and enhance soil health on their corn fields. She will cover tillage reduction strategies, cover cropping, equipment upgrades to support these practice and financial assistance that is available through NRCS. 

Learn how: 
* Farmers are implementing reduced tillage on their operations in a variety of ways. 
* Reduced tillage can save time, fuel and improve soil health. 
* Cover crops can be used to facilitate reduced tillage, improve soil health and provide forage for livestock. 
* Corn planters can be adapted for no-till. 
* No-till drills can be used to improve soil health and increase forage production. 
* Cover crops and reduced tillage play a role in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. 

About the Presenters:

Bob Richardson runs Rocky Acres Farm, which is one of the oldest farms in Warren. The Richardson Family has owned and operated Rocky Acres Farm since 1961.  Their herd of dairy cows consists of about 45 milking cows, along with another 40 or so young stock, primarily Registered Holstein, with a sprinkling of Jerseys, Brown Swiss, and Linebacks. The herd is grazed and milked seasonally March-December, and supplemented with hay, baleage, minerals and grain to balance their diets.   

Rocky Acres goal is to have cows who graze well, make lots of good quality milk, and look good doing it.  Rocky Acres Farm sells raw milk on site and is a proud member of the Agri-Mark Cabot Cooperative.  In 2015, 2016 and 2017 Rocky Acres Farm was presented with the award for Top Overall Milk Quality of over 1200 farms in the Agri-Mark Milk Cooperative and continues to receive outstanding recognition for the quality of their milk.  Learn more at 

About Kate Parsons:
Kate has worked for National Resource Conservation Service for almost 18 years and has served as the soil health specialist for the last 5 years. She provides support to the NRCS conservation planners and farmers across MA with soil health, grazing and other agronomic concerns. Outside of NRCS, Kate spends a portion of her time planting corn and cover crops using no-till and rotational grazing dairy heifers or beef cows on her familys dairy farm in Westhampton, MA.

Register Online Now 

Afternoon of the session, just join!
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        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
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        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 985 6874 7282
Password: 194882
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