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This field day will feature a pasture walk where cows graze a cover crop of rye and hairy vetch at the Dan Specht farm in northeast Iowa. The farm is managed as a grassland ecosystem with fall calving Red Devon cows, and grass finishing of the calves. The majority of the farm’s 675 acres is kept in perennial forages, permanent pasture or woodland; with annual crops grown on fewer than 10 acres.
Wisconsin extension agent Vance Haugen will explain grass-finished beef requirements, markets and genetics for grass fed beef, and use of annuals in a grazing system. Eric Klein from Hidden Stream Farm will talk about his markets and possible future needs for supplies in the new wave of food co-ops in the Twin Cities.
An Audubon Society representative will speak about that organization’s upcoming “Bird Friendly” label for grass fed beef, and interested attendees will be able to take an evening grassland birding walk.
The field day is the last of eight spring cover crop field days throughout Iowa that have been hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Learning Farms. The Iowa Beef Center is a cooperator for this field day., along with ISU Extension, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, KB Seed Solutions and Blue River Hybrids.
There’s no cost to attend and no preregistration is necessary. PFI is providing a light lunch after the pasture walk.
Directions to the farm: On county road B45 (Pleasant Ridge Road), from Marquette, go two miles west. From Monona, go east on West Iowa Street (this turns into B45) from the four-way stop for 10 miles. The farm is on the south side of the road, at the end of a quarter-mile lane. For more driving directions, call Dan at 563-516-1007.
News release [ISU Extension website]
PFI news release - PDF [Practical Farmers of Iowa website]