Rotational Grazing Workshop – Sheraton Park Farm

Sat Jun 22, 2024 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
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Join Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, Working Landscapes, and NC Cooperative Extension at Sheraton Park Farm for an Introduction to Rotational Grazing Workshop! 

June 22nd, from 9am-3pm at Sheraton Park Farm, 8378 Sparta Rd, McGrady, North Carolina, 28649. *Rain Date: June 15th, 9am-5pm

Dive into the fundamentals of grazing management, pasture design, and essential considerations for managing grazing animals effectively. Led by Kendra Phipps, Watauga County's Livestock Extension Agent, this workshop will blend informative classroom style sessions with on-farm practical demonstrations that will equip you to begin your grazing operation. Learn all about the systems of rotational grazing and gain insights into its application on your farm or homestead. You will also learn pasture design and learn key strategies for optimizing grazing efficiency. Through interactive sessions and practical demonstrations, participants will visualize the direct impact of grazing management on pasture health and animal welfare.

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Considerations for getting started grazing
  • Pasture Design 
  •  1 hour of D, K, N, O, and X pesticide continuing education credit.
  • On Farm demonstration moving animals 

What to Bring:  Wear clothes appropriate for the weather, prepare for a warm day and limited shade for the on farm portion of the day. We strongly encourage you to bring a lawn chair for the lecture portion, we will have some extra though! Wear shoes that can get dirty, as you will be walking around an active livestock farm! Be sure to bring and water, snacks, or refreshments you might want. Lunch will be provided. Bring any note taking materials you want to take notes throughout the day. Bring a cooler or freezer bag to shop at Sheraton Park's on-farm meat market and bring home some delicious, pasture raised meat from Sheraton Park Farm! 

What to Expect: This workshop will be half classroom/lecture style with various presentations, and half outdoor, on Farm demonstration. Lunch will be provided at the workshop! 

Address: 8378 Sparta Rd, McGrady, North Carolina, 28649.

About the Hosts, Chuck and Saundra Lewis of Sheraton Park Farm: Saundra and Chuck, each with over 20 years of healthcare experience, found themselves drawn to farming following an eye-opening apprenticeship at Rose Mountain Butcher Shop. This experience ignited a passion for ethically sourced food, prompting them to learn sustainable farming practices. Now, their farm offers a diverse range of products, including grass-fed beef, pastured chickens, pigs, turkeys, and eggs. With a focus on transparency, they encourage customers to forge a connection with their food by knowing their farmer and understanding the journey from farm to table.

About the instructor, Kendra Phipps: Kendra Phipps was raised on a stocker and backgrounding operation in Alleghany County, where she was first exposed to agriculture. She attended Virginia Tech for her undergraduate degree, where she majored in dairy science and minored in animal and poultry sciences. Phipps graduated from Virginia Tech in Dec. 2018 and began graduate studies in animal science at NC State University in Jan. 2019. During her time at NC State, she was involved in a variety of research projects, including byproduct feeding trials, grazing studies and small-plot forage research. Phipps completed her master’s degree and began her career with the extension as the livestock and forages agent in Stokes County, NC in Dec. 2020. Her programming in Stokes focused on livestock production using a systems approach, including improving soil health, forage quality, and yield, as well as animal welfare/performance. Phipps also managed the mobile poultry processing unit and was involved in a variety of regional programming during her time there. Her favorite part of working for the extension includes working with producers and planning meaningful programs.

About Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture: Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture helps build an equitable, sustainable High Country local food system by supporting producers and cultivating community connections that educate, inspire, and increase the demand for local food. This workshop is part of BRWIA's 2024 CRAFT Summer Workshop Series. Blue Ridge Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) cultivates meaningful mentor relationships between aspiring and experienced farmers. ​We believe that the educational and professional development of tomorrow’s growers and producers informs the health of our diverse local-food system and rural economy. Check out our other workshops and events for producers at brwia.org/craft.

About Working Landscapes:

Working Landscapes is a rural development organization that was founded in 2010 by Carla Norwood, PhD and Gabriel Cumming, PhD, as a way of investing in the future of Carla’s home community: rural Warren County, North Carolina. Our office is in a renovated, historic commercial building on Main Street in our county seat, Warrenton. Started in 2012, we repurposed another vacant downtown property—a former cotton gin and flour mill—to become our region’s first food hub. Though we are rooted in Warren County, we believe that many pressing issues—from healthy food system development to climate change—are best addressed regionally. Our farm-to-fork value chains, educational programs, and research initiatives connect communities across our region and beyond. We provide research and stakeholder engagement services to other organizations as well.