Tricounty News

Grazefest Minnesota 2008

Grass-based dairying is the focus of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota's Grazefest Minnesota 2008 Friday-Saturday, Aug. 1-2, at rural Verndale. Pre-registration is required for all Grazefest activities. Scholarships and family rates are available. For more information visit or call Anne with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA) at < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. > or (320) 226-6318. Grazefest Minnesota 2008 starts Aug. 1, at 9 a.m. at MiddMinn Dairy. Host farm families are Dan & Rosie Middendorf of MiddMinn Dairy and Kent and Linda Solberg of Seven Pines Dairy. Joel McNair, editor/publisher of Graze magazine, is the keynote speaker. Farmers and other distinguished experts will speak on starting a grass-based dairy, low cost parlor design, New Zealand style swing parlors, low-cost/low-labor dairying, selling your carbon credits, pastured egg production, forage production and economics, irrigated pastures and pasture tours. Working parlor demonstrations run from 5-7 p.m. A concurrent evening program at England Prairie south of Verndale, MN will feature grazing specialists, grazing information, exhibits, grazier networking and include a delicious locally-grown, pasture raised evening meal. Overnight camping is available for a nominal fee at the England Prairie site. Grazefest activities continue Aug. 2 with the Grazefest Minnesota Bus Tour. Breakfast will be served at England Prairie, and the dairy tour buses will depart from England Prairie at 9 a.m. The tour will take you to dairy grazing systems in close proximity, allow you to network with grazing specialists, scientists, conservationists, experienced graziers, and include a locally grown and pasture-raised lunch. If your interest is in beef grazing, the Wadena Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has an excellent beef tour that will run concurrent with the dairy tour. The beef tour bus will leave Sebeka at 8:30 a.m. Call Molly Costin with the SWCD at (218) 631-3195 to register for the beef grazing tour. SFA hosts Grazefest Minnesota to promote the health benefits of pasture-raised foods, the positive environmental impacts of grazing, and the economic benefits of from local, pasture-raised foods. Grazefest Minnesota highlights well-managed grazing systems that result in healthy animals and excellent living and working conditions for farmers and rural communities. Grazefest Minnesota 2008 Sponsors: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Minnesota, Nature's International Certification Services/Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, Land Stewardship Project, Farm Service Agency, Midwest Grasslands, Midwest Organic Services Association, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, and Minnesota Farmers Union.