Northwest PA Grazing Education Field Day set for August 4th

A.J. O’Neil standing next to his locally produced grass fed beef banner at the O’Neil Quality Foods Store in Clarion, PA.

Penn Soil RC&D Council is pleased to announce that it is now accepting registrations for a day long grazing educational field day to be held at the A.J. O’Neill Family Farm in Clarion County, PA from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday August 4, 2016. The field day will provide an opportunity to absorb a great deal of information and education from well-known expert speakers to help forage and livestock producers improve their operations in western PA. Additional features of the field day will be a tour of The O’Neil Family Farm located at 799 Route 322; Cranberry, PA and O’Neil’s Quality Foods Market located nearby.

A.J. O’Neil raises Devon cattle for grass fed beef on a rotational grazing system. A.J. has a pasture and watering system that allows him to move the cattle as often as twice a day when needed to optimize forage quality and management of his herd. Most of the animals raised are for the family’s retail meat market-O’Neil’s Quality Foods located on the River hill on Rt 322 near Clarion, PA. The market specializes in value added products made from beef, pork, and chicken including flavored bacons, beef hot dogs, flavored patties, and sausage links.

Featured speakers for the program include Mark Bader, Owner of Free Choice Enterprises in Lancaster, Wisconsin who will speak on the chemistry and physiology of plant, animal, and soil, including yield, volume, energy content, and the quality of various grasses. Also presenting is Jeremy Engh, Manager of Lakota Ranch in Remington, Va. The Lakota Ranch specializes in Devon cattle. Lakota’s genetics have been the premier Devon genetics in this country since 1950. From 1985 to 2000, more than 70 percent of the Devon cattle registered in the county were registered by Lakota Ranch. Jeremy will discuss genetic selection and most appropriate beef animals for grazing systems.

Although the main program is scheduled to conclude at 4:00 pm, there will be additional optional bonus activities continuing after 4:00 pm for those who would like to get the most education for their money. A session on linear measurement of cattle with Jeremy Engh will take place and a tour of the O’Neil’s Quality Foods Market will be offered. As an added attraction, Bob Van Kirk, owner of Four Seasons Farm in Tyrone, PA will have a 2015 National Reserve Grand Champion Devon Bull at the farm for evaluation.

For complete information on the Educational Field Day or to register for the event, you can view or download the brochure on the Events page of the Penn Soil RC&D website Registration fee for the event is $30.00 per person which includes a hot catered lunch by O’Neil’s Quality Foods. Those wishing to register can download and print the brochure and send a check along with their registration form via regular mail, or you may register online with a credit card in the Penn Soil online Shop. The deadline for registration is Monday July 25, 2016.

This educational field day is being co-sponsored by Penn Soil RC&D Council, PA Grazing Lands Coalition (GLC), Northwest PA Project Grass, Clarion County Conservation District, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to benefit livestock producers in our region. For more information, contact Wes Ramsey at 814-726-1441 extension 5.