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2020 Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference

Thursday, March 5, 2020
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
(Registration from 9 - 9:45 a.m.)

3055 W M-21, St. Johns, MI 48879
(1.5 miles west of downtown St. Johns on M-21)
This program is designed to help producers learn about new and innovative ideas, approaches, and solutions to challenges in the Great Lakes Regions' forage based agriculture systems.

Keynote speaker:

Mike Rankin, Editor
Hay & Forage Grower Magazine

Morning keynote address 10 a.m.

“Old dirt roads and new forage friends”

While traveling the U.S. and visiting with farmers and ranchers, I’ve found that are a multitude of ways to produce, utilize, and market forage crops for livestock systems. In this presentation, we’ll take a road trip across the country and meet some of the more interesting and unique individuals I’ve come in contact with over the past five years. Each has carved out a successful forage utilization path.

Afternoon keynote address 1 p.m.

“The state of the alfalfa address”

Alfalfa has been the forage backbone of U.S. dairy farms for many years. But what is its future? I’ll look at some trends, attributes, and warts that currently exist with the “Queen of Forages” and how these might impact the crop’s future.

Conference Agenda: 

9 - 9:45 a.m.  Registration & Trade Show Open

10 a.m.  Keynote Speaker: Mike Rankin, Editor, Hay & Forage Grower Magazine, "Old dirt roads and new forage friends" 

11 a.m. Forage Research update - Dr. Kim Cassida, MSU

11:30 a.m.  Lake City Research Update: How Forage Diversity Affects Grass-fed Beef - Logan Thompson, PhD Student

Noon - Lunch

12:40 p.m.  Michigan Forage Council Annual Meeting

1 p.m.  Keynote Speaker: Mike Rankin, Editor, Hay & Forage Grower Magazine, "The state of the alfalfa address"

1:45 p.m.  Recent weather trends and outlooks - Dr. Jeff Andresen, MSU Weather

2:15 p.m.  Trade show Break

2:35 p.m.  Dealing with Rough Field Conditions - Panel discussion 

3:15 p.m.  Forage Spokesperson Contest

4 p.m.  Adjourn

The Forage Spokesman Contest will showcase top Michigan forage producers as they vie for the opportunity to represent Michigan at the 2021 AFGC Conference.

The Michigan Forage Council (MFC) will also be having their annual meeting during the event.

Registration: Early registration ends Sunday, March 1, 2020.  Registration includes lunch. 

(Add $10.00 after early registration period ends)

Early Registration Costs:
MFC Members: $45
Non-MFC Members: $60
Students: $20.
(In 2020, the Michigan Forage Council will include, with paid registration for non-members, a 1-year membership into the Michigan Forage Council)

Registrations after March 1, 2020 and onsite will incur an additional $10 per person fee and lunch may not be available.


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 more information contact Lapeer MSU Extension, Tina House, at 1800 Imlay City Road, Suite 1 in Lapeer, MI 48446, 810-667-0341 or