The first Northeastern Indiana Pasture Walk for 2012 will be held Thursday, April 12, on the Jim Courtright Farm in western Steuben County. The Courtright farm is located at 9284 W 400 S, Hudson, just east of SR 327 on CR 400S. The program is open to anyone interested, and is scheduled to take place from 1-3 p.m.
Jim and his family farm around 270 acres of their own as well as additional rented acreage. Much of their land is dedicated to forage crops where they rotationally graze their mixed breed beef herd of around 60 cows. They also rent pasture to graze dairy heifers for a neighboring farmer. Surplus forage is used for hay production, and Jim is planning to plant around 120 acres of row crops this year as well.
The Courtright farm is on rolling land with widely varying soil types, so drainage and erosion control are a couple of challenges that they deal regularly.
After the pasture walk, the program will move four miles to Lake Bethel Church for a short grant presentation. The Steuben and LaGrange County SWCDs have a three-year grant from Clean Water Indiana that will help landowners pay for conservation practices on their farms including cover crops, filter strips, heavy use areas, and exclusion fence. Lake Bethel Church is located at 10500E 275S in LaGrange County. The program there will include free refreshments and a short program from 3:30-4:30 p.m. It will involve a brief explanation of grant details and some pictures and testimonials from farmers who have already installed some of these practices.
Interested parties are invited to attend either one or both of these programs. For more information, contact the LaGrange County SWCD at 260-463-3471 or the Steuben County SWCD at 260-665-3211.