The International Grassland Congress (IGC) meets every four years to highlight new research findings and discoveries in forage and grassland agriculture from around the world. May 14-19, 2023, the IGC will meet in Covington, Kentucky. This is only the third time in the past 100 years the conference will be held in the U.S. To decide if attending this congress may be helpful to you, we polled Kentucky producers and extension agents that attended the IGC in 2013 in Australia.
What was your motivation behind attending IGC?
A: My motivation for attending was an opportunity to understand grassland production methods and challenges existing around the world. —John Litkenhus, producer, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
A: Excited to see a new part of the world, and more particularly the forage systems for that area. I love to learn and expand my base of knowledge, so I knew that the opportunity would exist to do just that with researchers and farmers from around the world. —Todd Clark, producer, Lexington, Kentucky
A: I wanted to see how the rest of the world farms. —Buddy Smith, producer, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
How has what you learned at IGC impacted your operation?
LITKENHUS: My operation was probably not changed directly from what I learned at the conference, but indirectly, seeing the different approaches and operations in Australia and other countries motivated me to be significantly more attentive to overgrazing, rotational grazing and forage utilization.
JOHNSON: As an extension agent, it helped me get past the textbook knowledge and be more open to new ideas. An example, I had a farm manager client who mentioned using dung beetles to utilize manure in pasture to improve nutrient availability/cycling. I had no point of reference for that practice at the time. I was surprised to hear that farmers in other countries have used this technique as well. —Traci Johnson, extension agent, La Grange, Kentucky
CLARK: We grass-finish beef, and I got a lot of system-type ideas from producers in Australia. Adapting a grazing system from a dry country to a higher rainfall region has its benefits, even in a small way.
SMITH: I tried planting radishes and other things as cover crops as grazing for late fall and part of the winter the year that I returned, like they were doing in Australia. The full article was printed in the October issue of Progressive Forage~ Joy Hendrix
Read the full interview here.
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