MINNEAPOLIS — The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) invites land managers, graziers and interested members of the public to a “first look” at a new virtual fencing project on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.
SFA and GrazeTEK are trialing Vence virtual fencing technology at scale to see how it might be useful to livestock and land managers. Vence uses GPS collars to monitor individual animals and manage movement. Led by Doug Voss and Kent Solberg, field day attendees will hear what they’ve learned so far during the roll-out, and see how this new technology works in the field.
“Virtual livestock management is possibly the greatest development in grazing management technology since polywire, but as with any technology, we are just beginning to learn its limitations,” says Solberg. Attendees will get an overview of the technology and initial impressions from Solberg’s and Voss’ experience.
Why Sherburne? Followers of SFA’s silvopasture work may call to mind the years-long collaborative project at the Refuge researching the use of manged grazing to restore oak savanna.
The Refuge’s landscape is “a particularly challenging terrain for grazing management, in part due to other management uses and goals,” continues Solberg. “The degree of management necessary to meet both livestock performance and resource management goals requires a multifaceted approach to directing cattle. The hope is that the virtual fencing will offer an additional layer of management tools that will provide a more natural flow to cattle movements.”
The field day will start at the Oak Savanna Learning Center before moving out to see the cattle in action. It is free to participate. Livestock and resource managers are especially encouraged to attend. Registration requested, walkups welcome. Register by clicking here.
Thursday, August 18 | 9 AM – Noon | REGISTER
Address: 16797 289th Ave NW Zimmerman, MN 55398
Find more grazing and soil health resources at www.sfa-mn.org/soil.
— Sustainable Farming Association