Annual Iowa Forage and Grasslands Conference Returns to Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa – For the first time since 2014, the annual conference of the Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council will be held in Des Moines during November. The 2018 Iowa Forage and Grasslands Conference is set for Nov. 26-27 at the Des Moines Airport Holiday Inn. While plans are still being finalized, two featured speakers are sure to draw attention of IFGC members and others interested in forage, grazing and grasslands topics.

Jim Gerrish, renowned grazing consultant from American Grazinglands Services, and Byron Shelton, Senior Program Director of the Savory Institute, are scheduled to speak during the Nov. 26 evening session and again in in-depth sessions on Nov. 27. (Note: featured speaker bios follow.)

New this year, the event will begin with a bus tour of cover crop grazing farms in central Iowa. This tour is sponsored by the Fall Grazing Cover Crops project funded by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226, and the Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University. Following the tour, a producer panel will discuss cover crops, along with the presentations by Gerrish and Shelton.

The Tuesday agenda will include more in-depth sessions by Gerrish and Shelton as well as breakout sessions on grazing, wildlife and conservation and other production topics.
Additional conference and registration information will be available soon on both the IFGC website and the IBC website

For more details, contact either IFGC President Patrick Wall at or by phone at 515-450-7665, or IFGC annual meeting chairman Jeff Matthias at or phone at 515-323-2257. Wall also is extension beef specialist with IBC and Iowa State Extension and Outreach.


The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University was established in 1996 with the goal of supporting the growth and vitality of the state’s beef cattle industry. It comprises faculty and staff from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine, and works to develop and deliver the latest research-based information regarding the beef cattle industry. For more information about IBC, visit

Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, 515-450-7665,

Featured speaker bios

Jim Gerrish, American GrazingLands Services
Jim’s experience includes over 20 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri, as well as 20 years of commercial cattle and sheep production on their family farm in northern Missouri. The University of Missouri - Forage Systems Research Center rose to national prominence as a result of his research leadership. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provides foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing.

He was co-founder of the very popular 3-day grazing management workshop program at FSRC. These schools were attended by over 3000 producers and educators from 39 states and 4 Canadian provinces from their inception in 1990 through 2003 when Jim left MU. At least sixteen other states have conducted grazing workshops based on the Missouri model and Jim has taught in twelve of these states. He is a key instructor in the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy held near Salmon, ID each June and September.
Byron Shelton, Senior Program Director, Savory Institute
Byron is the Senior Program Director for the Savory Institute. His role involves providing training in Holistic Management for the worldwide network of Savory Institute Hubs and Accredited Professionals. He also provides farm and ranch management consulting for Savory Institute. Byron is a Savory Institute Master Field Professional.

Byron is the founder and managing member of a private consulting firm providing facilitation and training in whole farm planning using Holistic Management™ decision-making, financial planning, ecosystem processes management, planned grazing, ecological monitoring, land planning, policy analysis and development processes, and low stress animal handling in agricultural, natural resource, business, family, and community settings. He has worked with large and small beef and dairy operations as well as with a wide range of other livestock and crop enterprises across North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Mideast.

2018 News and releases