Beginning Grazing School 2021

Beginning Grazing School

September 21, 2021 - October 14, 2021
Online Sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays

7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

In-Person Session on Friday October 22, 2021
Kellogg Biological Station(KBS) or Lake City Research Center
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST

September 21: Introduction to School and overview of grazing terms

In this session, attendees will be introduced to the speakers and resources for this school. They will also receive an introduction to the different grazing methods and terminology that will be used throughout the 8 different sessions. people, resources, presentation methods

Kable Thurlow & Kim Cassida

September 23: Graziers are grass farmers!

Participants will learn how pasture plants grow in response to environment and management, and how to balance grass yield, nutritional value, and persistence in a perennial pasture base.

Kim Cassida

September 28: Soil Health and Fertility

Soil health and fertility are key ingredients in a productive grazing system.  Participants will learn about soil health basics and how they can develop and maintain better soil health.  Soil fertility in pastures will also be covered including an introduction to pasture fertility needs, fertilizer types and uses, and soil testing and report interpretation.

Phil Kaatz and Jim Isleib

September 30: Nutrition, Health, and Welfare of Grazing Animals:

Participants will learn the factors that determine nutrient requirements and pasture intake and learn how to meet requirements with grazing management and strategic supplementation.  Health issues unique to grazing will be reviewed along with mitigation strategies.  

Dr. Richard Ehrhardt, MSU Small Ruminant Specialist,

Kevin Gould, MSUE Beef Educator

October 5: Pasture Establishment and Renovations

Participants will learn how to evaluate whether a pasture needs renovation or replacement. Specific methods towards accomplishing each goal will be outlined, including species and variety selection, site preparation, and planting.

Kim Cassida

October 7: Fencing and Water Systems for Grazing Management:

Fence & water systems are key components to grazing management success. Kevin, Richard, and Kable will touch on product options, application, and feasibility of many of the water and fence systems available to grazers.

Kevin Gould, Richard Ehrhardt, and Kable Thurlow 

October 12: Introduction to Pasture Allocation, stock density, and costs associated with fencing and water

Careful grazing management is central to improving forage utilization on a whole farm basis.

Frank Wardynski

October 14: Designing a Grazing Plan for your farm:

The objective of this talk is to expose participants to the basics needed for developing a grazing plan on their farm. Participants will gain insight into what to expect when they get back to their farms, and who they can contact for follow-up help.  

Kable Thurlow, MSUE Beef & Grazing Educator


October 22: In-Person Session @ Lake City and KBS

  1. Pasture Allocation Activity

  2. Fence/Water systems demonstrations

  3. Forage Identification

  4. Pasture Scoring

  5. Wrap-up (Journal/Farm Plan) discussion

In-person Details:
Kellogg Biological Station (KBS)
10461 N. 40th St. Hickory Corners, MI 49060


Lake City Research Station
5401 W. Jennings Rd. Lake City, MI 49651


  • Kim Cassida, Forage Specialist
  • Richard Erhardt, Small Ruminant Specialist
  • Kevin Gould, Beef and Grazing Educator
  • Jim Isleib, Field Crops Educator
  • Phil Kaatz, Field Crops Educator
  • Kable Thurlow, Beef and Grazing Educator
  • Frank Wardynski, Ruminant Educator

$95 per person for online and in-person sessions
$65 per person for online only sessions/ no hands-on learning experience
No refunds after Sept. 19, 2021.

COVID-19 UPDATE: We are planning for an in-person program September-October. All participants, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask while indoors. Please do not attend any programs, meetings, or events if you feel ill.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information, contact Kable Thurlow, at 989-426-7741 or