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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Maine Grass Farmers Grazing Conference

3rd Annual Maine Grass Farmers Network Grazing Conference

November 18, 2006
Kennebec Valley Community College
Fairfield, Maine
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Sponsored by The Maine Grass Farmers Network and
The Western Mountain Alliance

The 3rd Annual Grazing Conference will be held November 18th in Fairfield, ME and will feature nationally recognized speakers, as well as local and regional experts. This year, the conference will address issues relevant to producers as well as consumers of pasture based livestock products.

Jerry Brunetti of Agri-Dynamics will be the keynote speaker and will talk about the relationship of human health and pasture raised livestock products. Jerry educates and consults with farmers who are transitioning to ecologically responsible and sustainable farming practices.

Break-out sessions throughout the day will appeal to a wide range of interests. Morning sessions will include a discussion of a Humane Animal Certification program with Holly Bridges. Beth Calder of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will provide some background on food safety and nutrient values of pastures livestock,and Vivianne Holmes will discuss Holistic Management systems.
Additionally, Betsy Greene, Extension Equine Specialist with the
University of Vermont will discuss paddock and pasture management
of horses.

In the afternoon, additional breakout sessions will include talks on wool production with pasture raised animals, managing hay quality in the field, and raising Katahdin sheep for meat production. One of the afternoon sessions will be a meat cutting demonstration designed to help producers better understand cutting for value and taste with Arnold Luce of Luce's meats. Jerry Brunetti will also lead several discussions on forage quality and soil health.

For more information and registration materials, you can contact MOFGA at 207-568-4142 or visit the Maine Grass Farmers Network website, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners website, or the Western Mountains

The Western Mountain Alliance recognizes Maine as part of a growing national movement to bring food production home and support rural economies, conserve the environment, and ensure greater food security.

In 2005, the Western Mountains Alliance with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and in partnership with the Maine Alternative Agriculture Association began a two-year initiative to promote and stimulate local farm production for local consumers.

Maine Grass Farmers Network has been created with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program, to gather and provide information and support to interested farmers. The MGFN is coordinated and sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Meadowsweet Farm, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, The Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Maine Department of Agriculture.

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