The 36th annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference will be Tuesday, Feb. 25, at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, 2546 N. Glenstone Ave. in Springfield. Pre-register early. There will be no day-of registration because of limited seating.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Temple Grandin. Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, animal behavior consultant to the livestock industry and spokesperson for autism. She has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals.

Grandin is one of the world’s leaders in the design of livestock handling facilities. She has designed livestock facilities throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. During the noon luncheon, she will speak about “Improving Cattle Stockmanship.”

The conference will also feature several breakout sessions. Topics include the following: improving pasture with grazing management, establishment and management of native grasses, management of orchard grass and other cool-season grasses, incorporation of crabgrass into fescue pasture systems, forage nitrate management, Bermuda grass pasture management, sunn hemp, PaddockTrac, managing spring through fall forage growth with cattle numbers, grazing system design considerations and understanding forage analysis reports.

A large trade show will also be held in conjunction with the conference. Agricultural businesses and organizations will have exhibits and representatives available to discuss their products and services. If interested in becoming an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Nathan Witt at (417) 451-1007, ext. 3.

Conference check-in begins at 8 a.m., with sessions running from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A banquet luncheon is included with the registration. The cost is $45 per person if registered by Feb. 14. After Feb. 14, the cost is $55 (if space is available). No walk-in registrations will be allowed.

Participants can find more information about the conference and register online at Contact the Laclede County Soil and Water Conservation District office at (417) 532-6305, ext. 101, for more information. 

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