Next week ranchers and graziers will be celebrating National Forage Week. American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC), along with the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council, will lead the way with activist designed to showcase the importance of forage crops. The celebration runs June 19 -25, followed by the Illinois Forage Expo in Carbondale on the 29th.
“If you think about it, without forage—the grass, hay, and other legumes that cattle and livestock eat—we couldn’t enjoy hamburgers, steaks, or even have milk to pour on our morning cereal,” explains Ivan Dozier, State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Illinois.
Farmers and livestock producers play a key role in growing and managing thousands of acres of land used to grow quality food for livestock. “With all the different soil types, different water sources and weather conditions, not to mention issues like pests and weeds, trust me, there’s an art and a science to growing good forage. It’s a big job and it can get complicated,” says Don Brown, President of the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council (IFGC). It is for this reason that key organizations, technical specialists, and information about state and federal programs are made available to help producers be successful, profitable, and do so in a sustainable way.
The expo is from 9 am to 3 pm at the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Admission is free and includes food, demonstrations, programs and speakers and an exhibit. For more information, visit www.illinoisforage.org.