Master Grazer Producer Highlight – Turpin Farms

UK Grazing News is published six times a year and covers all aspects of forage management, especially topics related to grazing. Often leading forage based livestock producers are highlighted. The current issue highlights “The Turpin Farm” in Madison County, owned and operated by Billy-Glenn Turpin and his son Scott. It is a 155 acre farm stocked with a herd of spring and fall calving Angus/Simmental cattle and has been in the family for over 100 years. Billy-Glenn retired as an ag teacher in 2001 and he and Scott have worked hard over the last 15 years to make “forages first” on their farm.  Improved practices include stockpiling fescue in several paddocks for late fall and winter grazing. Until recently, Billy-Glenn and Scott’s main source of forage was cool-season grasses, but they now also plant and graze drought tolerant summer annuals. The use of a rotational grazing system has allowed them to increase livestock numbers by 25% while providing better quality forage. The farm uses seven permanent waterers which are heated to limit winter freeze ups. All of the waterers, except one, are supplied by a cistern pump from rain water collected off existing buildings. The water lines are all connected to the cistern pumphouse, but at the turn of a valve they can water their cattle with city water during periods of drought.

The Turpins are forage farmers first and strive to produce enough pasture growth so none of their cattle receive any stored forage until after the first of January. They emphasize forage quality, reducing the need for stored feed, and continually strive to improve pasture utilization. Go to the UK forage website and click on Master Grazer to subscribe to “Grazing News” or click here.