Grass-Based Farming Seasonal Dairy and Livestock Seminar in Watertown, NY
Grass-Based Seasonal Farmer to Speak in Northern NY February 24-26
Northern New York – On February 24, 25 and 26, 2011, farmer Dave Johnson of Provident Farms in Liberty, PA, will explain to Northern New York audiences how his family’s seasonal and holistic management style addresses the “real” needs of their 450-acre farm, resulting in profit and personal satisfaction, and how seasonal organic dairying fits their business guidelines.
Provident Farm’s enterprises have spanned from direct marketing of pastured beef, poultry and pork to a current focus on the seasonal grass-based dairy. Johnson is also recognized for his skill at restoring abandoned land and constructing low-cost, labor-efficient milking parlor design.
Johnson describes Provident Farm’s topography in Pennsylvania’s northern tier as “grass and clover country.” Two years ago when organic grain prices peaked, the farm added corn, oilseed and small grain production to complement their forages and now Johnson no longer purchases any feed.
“Raising the kind of animals and crops that thrive here, keeping animals outside, letting them harvest their own feed whenever possible and grazing everything they can reach are some of the ways our philosophy of cooperating with our divine design works out to our profitable, social, environmental and spiritual benefit,” Johnson says.
“As creation stewards of what we have been entrusted with, we continually try to see where our ideas of farming are in conflict with the natural design. From raising calves to reducing the energy and inputs needed to produce food, anything we do is fair game for dismantling and reconstructing,” he adds.
Johnson serves as a Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NESARE) farmer educator, and has served on the boards of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association (NODPA) and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. With NODPA, Johnson has been involved in the formation and implementation of the recent USDA National Organic Program’s “Access to Pasture” rule, and now helps certifiers, inspectors and farmers with implementing the rule and recordkeeping.
NESARE, the Adirondack North Country Association, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, and Cornell Cooperative Extension are sponsoring the “Grass Based Farming” programs for dairy and poultry farmers on:
• Saturday, February 26 from 10am to 12pm at Cornell Cooperative Extension Jefferson County, Watertown, NY, register with Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450.