It began more with a zap than a bang: a zap that left around a thousand people in the Poteau area without power on a Saturday morning. Still, the Kerr Center livestock program practices the same kind of adaptability it prizes in the breeds it uses, and workshop attendees displayed the same quality, moving the program out of the lightless basement classroom into the outdoor light of morning.
Kerr Center Vice President David Redhage got the ball rolling, then quickly yielded the floor to Cattle Manager Will Lathrop, who’s been teaching audiences about sustainable livestock management since long before powerpont presentations were common, and thus never missed a beat. (Here’s the presentation he would have used, though, for those inclined toward the electronic comforts of the present.)
The workshop agenda covered all aspects of the Kerr Center’s livestock program: first with the morning’s classroom run-through on the theory, and then again in hands-on fashion with an afternoon tour of rhe ranch.
Participants learned, and practiced:
- measuring available forage,
- calculating how many acres of that forage would feed a given herd for a day,
- and setting up temporary electric fencing to give access to that amount of pasture.
In addition, they learned how gravity fills water tanks – including some made of old tires – from ponds on the ranch…
… as well as how the Kerr Center limits the grazing of riparian areas to reduce erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat.
Stay tuned for more educational events from the livestock program in 2016!