"It's a place where people can come, see for themselves and take
home information they can use," explained Ed Ballard, a retired
University of Illinois Extension animal systems educator who
oversees a cattle grazing project on the U of I's Dudley Smith
The project utilizes year-round grazing to support about
60 head of beef cattle, explained Dan Faulkner, U of I Extension
"There are several alternative techniques that can increase
cattle performance or reduce input costs of forage-based beef
production systems," he explained. "But how these technologies
affect the total beef production system is not completely
To answer those questions is one goal of the beef grazing
Year-round grazing allows producers to reduce feed costs by
buying less prepared products and relying more on natural
"We've got some pretty valuable ground in Illinois and
especially on the Dudley Smith Farm," said Ballard. "We can
graze year-round on this type of ground and thereby cut down on
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Faulkner believes the project has particular implications for two
groups -- farmers looking to increase revenue on their grain farms
and younger people looking to enter farming with limited capital.
"Using a year-round grazing system, a young person could enter
farming without having to purchase as much equipment," he explained.
"It also allows them to operate competitively on a smaller scale and
earn enough income to support a family.
"We believe this approach offers real opportunities for smaller
producers and allows them to develop niche markets by avoiding
hormones and other additives."
Faulkner and Ballard said several field days have been held in
the past at the Dudley Smith Farm to demonstrate the year-round
grazing program. The next one will be June 14, and details about it
can be obtained by contacting the Christian County Extension office
[Text from file received from
the University of