COON VALLEY, Wis. — Landowners and farmers in Southwest Wisconsin are invited to a workshop that teaches fencing solutions for grazing livestock. “I use multiple types of fence on my ranch including barbed, temporary, and high tensile wire and wooden, plastic, and metal posts. We will take a hay ride around the farm to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. And our fencer will show and tell good fence construction” says Rod Ofte, owner of Willow Creek Ranch.
The workshop is part of the Mentorship Program for Future Livestock Farmers, which connects beginning livestock farmers to financial coaching, business mentorship, land, and training through the Southwest Badger RC&D Grazing Broker. The mentorship program is funded by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The host of the fencing workshop is Rod Ofte, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher who raises 30 cow-calf pairs and finishes about 50 head of cattle on his family’s 300-acre property. “Personally, as a veteran of the U.S. Army, I feel this is my calling. I believe what I’m doing on this farm is helping to revive rural America.” says Rod.
Rod also works part-time for The Pasture Project, an initiative run by the nonprofit Wallace Center, funded by the Walton Family Foundation. The project developed an Excel-based calculator to determine cost of production for each segment of beef production from cow-calf to finisher. During the workshop, Rod will show how he uses the calculator to plan his fencing investments.
Vernon County provides technical and financial assistance to setup fences for well-managed grazing, including some of the fence that will be toured during the workshop. County Conservationist Ben Wojahn will speak on the variety of programs available to farmers and landowners to help them build good fences.
The “Fencing Solutions for Graziers” workshop is scheduled for July 21, 2018 from 1:00 pm-5:00 pm at Willow Creek Ranch, E5930 Spring Coulee Road, Coon Valley, WI. Dinner will be served from 4-5 pm thanks to the Wisconsin Grassfed Beef Cooperative. The event is $20 and open to the public but RSVP is requested by July 18th to Robert Bauer at 608-732-1202.
Southwest Badger Resource Conservation & Development Council, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working in the Southwest Wisconsin region. The organization’s mission is to implement natural resource conservation and rural economic development in the area through education and best practices relating to agriculture, grassland, forests, and surface waters.
— Southwest Badger RC&D Council
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