WAYMART—The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is presenting educational event “Grazing Beef, Grazing Dairy” next Tuesday at two locations in western Wayne County.
Split between Sam and Brian Fox's Salem Mountain Farms and the Enslin family farm, the field day will showcase the day-to-day usage of grazing cattle in both a beef and diary specialization.
According to a PASA press release, the day begins at Salem Mountain with an exploration of the farm's grass-fed beef operation.
Brian Fox stated their grazing operation – an aside to their already established vegetable production – began in the fall of 2009.
He attests that the cows enjoy themselves more roaming freely in the field “doing what they're meant to be doing.”
Additionally, it lets the cows do the work, said Fox. Grazing allows them to keep the grass trimmed at a reasonable level without cost to the farmer to hay the field.
While grazing, the cows also spread manure which in turn revitalizes the field for future growing, said Fox.
The Fox's presentation will commence with a pasture walk, discussion of their managing strategies, and an outline of their beef operation development.
After dining on grass-fed beef tacos for lunch, the group will travel over to Enslin's Farm for a presentation on their new certified organic grazing dairy operation.
According to the PASA release, Enslin will present on their choice and challenges apparent in starting the dairy farm.
Jeff Enslin, farm manager, said attempting the organic, grass-fed operation “seemed like a good challenge.”
Before starting the farm, he and his family read quite a bit on grass-fed farming and were delighted to hear it had low-input costs.
Fox also mentioned the low cost of entry into the grass-fed market, stating that the cows are the most expensive part.
Enslin is excited to see the steady growth of interest in the area, not just for the sake of the farms themselves, but also for the supporting industries.
“We're hoping that the organic market continues to grow,” he said.
According to PASA spokesperson Aaron de Long, there is an increasing consumer demand for grass-based beef and dairy operations.
He alluded to data showing that grass-fed cattle are healthier as grazing is more akin to the animals' traditional dietary needs.
He also said grazing systems can reduce a farm's carbon footprint.
Information on cost, environmental impact and overall grass-fed farming experience will be discussed at length at the farm field day next Tuesday, August 15 form 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Those interested can register for the event online at www.pasafarming.org.
More information is available online or by emailing Aaron de Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.