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Council honors successful forage managers with "Grasslander Award"

Landry Jones, MFA Incorporated conservation grazing spe­cialist, was presented the industry “Grasslander Award” Nov. 3 by the Missouri Forage and Grassland Council (MFGC) at its annual conference in Springfield, Mo.

The award is given to active participants in Missouri grassland agricul­ture who have made significant contributions to the industry. Awards are also presented to a producer and agency representative each year.

Jones, whose position is a joint partnership among MFA, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Department of Natural Resources, works with growers throughout the state to promote awareness and educate producers about on-farm grazing management strategies. In this role, he encourages practices that incorporate soil, water and wildlife conservation tactics to achieve the producer’s agronomic and economic goals.

“Delivering relatable technical service to growers is chal­lenging with all the information available today,” said Allen Huhn, MFA Farm Supply Division director and MFGC past president. “Landry continues to excel in synthesizing that information and providing it to production-minded farmers across Missouri, equaling more acres of diversified, well-man­aged systems.”

Other winners of the Grasslander Award this year were Megan Rudroff, soil conservationist with USDA-NRCS in Linn, Mo., and August and Kayelyn Horstman, livestock producers near Owensville, Mo.

Rudroff’s nomination described her as an “instrumental part of cost-share for both Maries and Osage counties.”

“She makes herself readily available to landowners so that they can freely ask questions or converse about the newest ideas,” the nomination continued. “Megan is always willing to make a visit…and then collaborate with them to make better management decisions or implement new practices to make their operation run more smoothly.”

The Horstmans, who raise beef, pork, chicken and lamb, have used several cost-share programs to convert their land into an intensive grazing system. They move their cattle on a daily basis, allowing adequate rest peri­ods for forage growth. Their sheep and cattle are 100% grass fed, and pigs and chickens are raised on pasture.

“Their passion is to teach others about soil health and why regenerative farming is so important,” said nomi­nator Diana Mayfield of the Gasconade County Soil and Water Conservation District. “This young couple is a prime example of grassland managers with the desire to provide a quality product to American homes.”

The MFGC consists of producers, researchers, profes­sors, agencies, industry representatives, legislators and conservationists who share a common goal—speaking for the Missouri forage industry. The organization is part of the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC), which represents the interests of forage production and use across the United States.

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