A Home on the Range

September 20, 2009 07:00 PM

The success of last year's Normande Pavilion showed Expo organizers the need for more information on grass production. Photo: Graze Magazine
At this year's World Dairy Expo, grass-based producers will find an opportunity that's been created just for them.

It's called the Grazing Pavilion, and it will not only feature grass-based dairy services and products, but also allow producers to see live cattle and genetics developed specifically for grass dairying.

The Grazing Pavilion grew out of the success of last year's Normande Pavilion, which featured live cattle and products from grass-based systems.

Increasing numbers of producers are looking at grass-based dairying and intensive grazing practices as an alternative to more traditional production practices. They see an opportunity to create value-added products by delivering naturally raised products to the marketplace. For others, grazing is a viable alternative in regions where grass is plentiful but feed grains are not.

"World Dairy Expo serves the global dairy industry,” says John Rozum, Expo sales manager. "In a lot of countries, grazing is the predominant production system. And we're seeing increasing numbers of American producers turning to grass-based systems as a way of adding value to their production. Our hope is that the new pavilion will meet their needs.”

The pavilion will feature live cattle exhibits from several "non-traditional” breeds, including Dutch Belted, Bavarian Fleckvieh and Normande. It will also showcase new products and technologies.

"Having a facility that's dedicated to grass-based producers will attract additional people to Expo,” says Rinell Vincent of Taurus Service, Inc., an artificial insemination company that specializes in grass-based genetics. "There will be vendors on hand whose expertise is in this area, so if a producer has questions about a new product, genetics or a marketing opportunity, they can get them answered.”

The pavilion will be housed in a clear span structure in front of the Exhibition Hall on the trade show grounds, with the flexibility to grow as demand warrants. "We believe the Grazing Pavilion will generate interest from both an international and domestic perspective,” Rozum says.

Adds Vincent: "This is an interesting opportunity for dairy producers to independently review, investigate and learn how different production models unfold. It will be a good way for them to weigh the impacts of grazing on the environment, their bottom line, and determine the best way for them to proceed.” WDE

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