2010 Wisconsin Grazing Conference

I am looking forward to the Wisconsin Grazing Conference in Wisconsin Rapids, February 18-20.  The theme is “Pasture, People, Planet, Profit.”  Here is the schedule of speakers and entertainment.

I will report on some of the more interesting speakers  and any other scuttlebut I hear.  I have attended this conference several times and have always learned something and been rejuvenated by talking with my peers.  I hope to see you there!

6 Responses to 2010 Wisconsin Grazing Conference

  1. chainey says:

    Regarding one of the “possibly related posts” (Grazing cattle are actually less work?) – I read recently about my fellow countrymen (New Zealanders) having great success in the US with grazing cattle in places where confinement was the norm. For instance, see article here:

    At the moment there’s a controversy about allowing confinement operations in areas of NZ that don’t have good pasture year round. I think it would be a disaster for our image.

  2. curiousfarmer says:

    Thanks, Chainey for your comment and interesting link! Yes, New Zealanders lead the world in efficient milk production and The Grazing Conference has had several speakers from New Zealand.
    The story about how New Zealand eliminated farm subsidies and the farmers thrived instead of dying as predicted is also interesting. Do you have any first-hand information about that time period?

  3. chainey says:

    I hope I haven’t given the impression that I’m a farmer – far from it: I grew up and live now in the suburbs.

    However I am a low-carb (LC) enthusiast, and that interest extends to the source and quality of the animal foods I choose. And also the trends elsewhere in the world. For instance, I know that LC people in the States generally go for “grass-fed” beef because of the superior fatty acid composition. I’m fortunate that that’s the norm here, but I wonder how long it can last.

    I probably ended up on your blog because of your meat-diet experiment, and stayed because I found the commentary interesting, though much of the specifics is over my head.

    In terms of subsidies, I can offer minor insight. By the late 70s NZ was on the brink of bankruptcy as a country – it was a socialist nightmare with everything subsidized or quota-ed and tax rates up to 90%. I was a child then but I’ve learned about it since. There were no shortage of horror stories – for instance certain good (TV sets I think) were assembled in Japan, then specifically disassembled for the NZ market, then re-assembled here as a “make-work” scheme. Most of NZ’s millionaires at that time got their wealth by snaffling exclusive import licences.

    Then a new Government (Ironically a Labour one – e.g. Democrat in your terms), had no choice but to slash and burn; open up everything to competition. The pain and loss was horrible for many who had been carried by the state for so long and couldn’t adapt, but ultimately we were all better off.

    I hope you won’t be offended if I observe that many NZers (and probably many other countries) feel a little cynical about America’s claim to be “free market” champions when certain industries remain massively subsidized, shutting out small producers in other countries who already have their smallness against them.

    On the other hand though, it’s probably Americans who are most harmed in the long run – not just from the dependence angle, but by being addicted to cheap food that enables massive consumption of HFCS-laden foods and nutritionally substandard meat subsidized by cheap grains.

    Sorry, I’ve run on a bit.

  4. curiousfarmer says:

    No, love the commentary from a NZer! Your explanation is the way I understood it. And I’ve always been fascinated to see people thrive when the subsidies are pulled.
    It’s also good to see how America looks through someone else’s eyes.
    Thanks, Chainey!

  5. chainey says:

    Well, despite your graciousness in not taking offence, I should clarify that how I see Americans is not solely based on some trade inequities (which don’t even affect me directly).

    There’s plenty that you could be offended about: That NZ free-loads on defence – maintaining virtually no armed forces and yet living free and secure thanks to America’s implicit backup. Moreso because we have a ridiculous “nuclear fee” policy and won’t even allow your ships to dock at our ports.

    Not to mention that every useful and fun technology we enjoy in modern life was invented or developed/popularized in America – including the computer I’m typing this on and the internet that allows me to have my say.

    I am very much a fan of America.

  6. chainey says:

    Sorry, typo: make that “nuclear free” and of course I’m referring to warships.

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