EXTENSION OFFERS GRAZING SCHOOLS FOR HORSE OWNERS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will conduct two grazing management schools designed for horse owners on May 15 in Belle Mina and May 16 in Hayden.
"This class is a spin-off of our well-known Alabama Grazing Schools," says Extension Agent Kent Stanford, who serves a four-county area northeast of Birmingham. "The course includes both classroom-type instruction and hands-on exercises."
Stanford's colleague, Gerry Thompson, says grass is one of the most under-utilized resources for horse owners.
"The recent rise in the cost and availability of hay has many horse owners searching for cheaper alternatives," says Thompson, an Extension regional agent in north Alabama. "Pastures can provide much of the nutrition for most horses. It can also reduce problems associated with stalling and feeding a grain/hay diet. But many horse owners are hesitant to depend on forages because they lack a basic understanding of forage management."
Both say the course's goal is to help horse owners improve their forage management skills and allow them to efficiently utilize this nutrition source. Topics include grazing methods, forage physiology, environmental impacts and poisonous plant identification, among others.
The course, co-sponsored by the Alabama Forage and Grassland Coalition and the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, costs $50 per person.
Preregistration is required, and fees must be paid in advance. Participants will receive a number of educational resources, including the book "Southern Forages."
The workshop begins at 8 a.m. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Contact Stanford at (256) 299-0683 or Thompson at (256) 508-2020 for more information and registration forms.