Improving Pastures

Full-length presentation:

An important component of the project was to demonstrate to both rural landowners and producers the process of implementing a rotational grazing system using long rest periods with multiple livestock species and the effects of a system.

Outreach to producers and landowners included: Six field day events were held at the project site, each covering a different aspect of the project from setting up a rotational grazing system to managing land for pollinators. Project cooperator, PEC staff and interested local farmers took educational tours of similar farm demonstrations in Tennessee and the Virginia Shenandoah Valley. Articles about the demonstration project were placed in 4 publications, including: Piedmont View Winter 2014, Piedmont View Summer 2016, the 2016 Buy Fresh Buy Local guide with distribution of over 250,000, and the Rappahannock News Summer 2016.

Presentations about the project were given at the VABF conference 2015, Farm Business Development Center (Illinois) 2015, Virginia NRSC CIG Showcase 2016 and the 2016 National Small Farm Conference.

This video was also produced as part of the grant deliverables and helps outline the project and the benefits of rotational grazing and warm-season grasses.

In 2017, we uploaded select clips from the video on to SoundCloud!

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Mike Sands partnered with The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and Virginia Cooperative Extension to secure a Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) through the Natural Resource Conservation Service. This grant enabled Sands to develop a project that could take measurements and demonstrate the positive impacts of some of the improved practices he employed on his farm. Other key partners included the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Culpeper Soil & Water Conservation District, the USDA NRCS Culpeper Office and Virginia Working Landscapes.

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