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Bus tour to Maryland to teach farmers about rotational grazing

| Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010

Dairy farmers are invited on a bus tour to Holterholm Farm in Jefferson, Md., southeast of Hagerstown, on Sept. 21.

Participants will learn how to incorporate seasonal rotational grazing techniques on their farms, saving time and money. Westmoreland Conservation District and Penns Corner Conservancy Trust are co-sponsoring the tour.

Ron Holter has made the transition to organic dairying and rotational grazing on his 207-acre, Frederick County farm during the past decade. His land has been in his family for more than 200 years. In addition to organic milk, the farm produces pasture-finished beef, veal and eggs without using herbicides, pesticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Dale Johnson, farm management specialist at the Maryland Extension Service, found that from 2006 to 2008 Holter's cows produced less milk (6,900 pounds annually, or less than half the average) but netted him more per cow ($923, compared with the average $527) because he paid less for labor, fertilizer, feed and fuel.

The tour will leave the Westmoreland Conservation District headquarters in Hempfield at 7 a.m. and return at 7:30 p.m. Cost of $10 per person includes bus transportation, lunch and snacks.

Register at wcdpa.com or call Dan Griffith at 724-837-5271, ext. 103, for information.

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