Horse owners to learn about forage and grazing management during 2008 forage conference

BLACKSBURG, Va., Dec. 21, 2007 – Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council will explore how horse owners can maintain a healthy animal, pasture, and environment at this year's equine forage conference, Feb. 11-13.

The conference will be offered on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Ruritan Building, Chesapeake, Va.; Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Middleburg, Va.; and Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Alphin-Stuart Livestock Teaching Arena on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. Registration for each session will begin at 8:30 a.m., and events will end at 3:30 p.m.

"When it comes to making management decisions, knowledge of horses' grazing behavior or having the ability to think like a horse may help alleviate problems before they surface," said Shea Porr, equine Extension agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Northern district. "This conference is designed to help horse owners understand basic horse and land management principles, which in turn will improve the health and well-being of their animals."

Speakers will present information on a variety of topics including the management of toxic plants, horse grazing behavior and health, alternative forages and extending the hay supply, soil and forage testing, and soil and manure management.

The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation supports the conference. The early registration fee (postmarked two weeks prior to the event) is $25 for Virginia Forage and Grassland Council members and $40 for non-members. After the deadline for early registration, the fee is $35 for Virginia Forage and Grassland Council members and $50 for non-members.

For more information or to register for the conference, contact Chris Teutsch at (434) 292-5331.

Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.