Free Course Helps Farmers Explore Grass-fed Dairy

BURLINGTON – Rising organic grain prices and production costs have many dairy farmers considering a transition to a grass-fed dairy.

To help farmers make an informed decision about switching their cows to grass- and legume-based diets, the University of Vermont Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program is sponsoring a free four-week online course this winter. It will focus on the unique aspects of this production system and practical considerations to explore before starting a transition.

Classes each day will start at 10:30 a.m. and include two separate sessions. Dates and topics are: Jan. 20, Introduction to Grass-Fed Dairy and Land Base Assessment; Jan. 27, Soil Fertility and Dairy Nutrition and Agronomy; Feb. 3, Herd Management and Monitoring and Cost of Production; and Feb. 7, Review of Key Points and a Grass-Fed Dairy Farmer Panel.

Course materials, including the newly-published “Grass-Fed Dairy Production Manual,” recordings of the presentations, speaker bios and supplemental resources will be available through an online resource hub. Farmers without internet access will have a call-in option for the weekly classes and can request to receive course materials, including a printed copy of the manual, by mail.

Registration is required at go.uvm.edu/registergrassfeddairycourse. To request a disability-related accommodation, please contact Susan Brouillette at susan.brouillette@uvm.edu or (802) 524-6501, ext. 432, by Jan. 6. As an optional bonus, participants will have the opportunity to meet in-person at the Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference, March 9 at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center.