AMHERST, Mass. — UMass professor, Dr. Masoud Hashemi will offer an online version of his popular Pasture Management class this spring as part of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming Online Degree Program. This class is designed for both new and experienced farmers who manage all types of grazing livestock including horses and is one of 11 online agriculture courses being offered this spring.
It is well known that forages in form of pasture, hay, and silage have the potential to provide all the nutritional needs for livestock and horses. Well-managed forage systems including planned grazing contribute significantly to the sustainability of animal operations and can enhance environmental quality at the same time. This course covers the principles of pasture and hay field management which can be implemented in all farms regardless of the type of animal being raised. Upon completion of the course, students will have acquired basic knowledge about the benefits of pasture as the main source of animal diets, identification and growth pattern of grasses and legumes commonly grown in pastures and hay fields, forage quality and testing and factors affecting forage quality, grazing and/or harvesting management of forages to maximize their health and productivity, managing existing pastures and hay fields, and establishing new pastures and hay fields.
Options for extending the grazing period such as stockpiling forages, using grain corn field residues, dual purpose cover crops, and summer annual forages will be discussed. Due to differences between horses and other livestock in terms of grazing habit, nutritional need and sensitivity to poisonous plants, specific recommendations will be given for equine operations.
STOCKSCH 211 – Pasture Management is a 3-credit college level class and maybe used to satisfy the degree requirements for the UMass Sustainable Food and Farming 15-credit Certificate, the 60-credit Associate of Science and/or the 120-credit Bachelor of Science degree programs. Credits may also be transferred to other colleges or universities. The UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture Sustainable Food and Farming program is the only online program in the U.S. that offers 40 online classes that may be taken either individually or toward completion of one of these three fully online degrees.
In addition to Pasture Management, spring classes include other courses on Pastured Poultry, as well as Small Farm Husbandry of Cows, Sheep and Goats for Meat Production. Spring classes begin on January 18, 2020 and registration is now open. For more information on Pasture Management and the other online classes offered this spring semester, please see: https://onlinesustfoodfarm.com/.
–Stockbridge School of Agriculture
University of Massachusetts
For more articles out of New England, click here.