Equine Environmental Stewardship Workshop coming to Romano 4H Center

Are you a horse owner or barn manager who wants the best for your horses and the environment? Are you interested in improving pasture conditions by increasing forage quality, reducing weeds and maintaining a dense vegetative cover? Are you aware of the benefits and potential health risks associated with grazing? Do you wish you could turn your manure into a valuable resource for your pastures? Are you aware of the changing environmental regulations in Pennsylvania that affect all equine owners?

The Penn State Extension Equine Team is offering an “Equine Environmental Stewardship and Manure Management Plan Writing” short course dedicated to managing healthy animals, healthy farms and a healthy environment. The one day, one evening short course provides hands on experiences that will help all horse owners develop the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt sound best management practices for their farm and horses.

The short course will be held at two locations: the Romano 4- H Center in Chester County on January 26th from 9 am to 3:30 pm, and January 30th from 7pm to 9:30 pm; and the Londonderry Township Building, Dauphin County on February 9th from 9am – 3:30 pm and February 12th from 7pm to 9:30 pm. Cost for the short course is $45, which includes lunch, both workshops and all course material.

The full day workshop will include topics ranging from pasture management to manure storage. Learn about the nutritional benefits and health risks associated with grazing; basics of forage growth, biology and identification; rotational grazing and stress lots. Learn how to identify common and toxic weeds found in pastures, why they exist, and how to manage and reduce their populations. Understand the importance of, and how to take soil samples, benefits of liming, and determine the appropriate fertilizer rate based on soil test results. Learn the techniques to successful composting, and the do’s and don’ts of manure spreading and storing.

The evening workshop will assist individuals step by step in writing their Manure Management Plan. As of Fall 2011, all farms, regardless of size, applying or spreading manure, need a written manure management plan for their farm. Participants will leave with not only a completed plan, but also be in compliance with state regulations. This workshop is optional, but attendance is strongly recommended.

To receive more information, or to register for the short course, please contact Northampton County Extension at 610 – 746 – 1970, or email Donna Foulk at dlf5@psu.edu. Space is limited, so register early.