Finding greener pastures

John Shutske, Associate Dean, UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
jshutske@cals.wisc.edu
(608) 262-9812

Dealing with the drought. Livestock producers can find pasture and forage by using the UW-Extension’s Farmer-to-Farmer website.

3:05 – Total Time

0:14 – Farmer-to-farmer web site
0:35 – New feature to find pasture
1:13 – How to use the program
1:50 – How the pasture match program developed
2:13 – How to find the information
2:29 – Additional resources
2:57 – Lead out
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john_shutske_farmer_to_farmer_program.mp3

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TRANSCRIPT
Sevie Kenyon:
John, tell us what Farmer-to-Farmer is?

John Shutske: The Farmer to Farmer website is a website that was put together several years ago to help farmers deal with the drought and, specifically, we knew that back in 2004, 2005, and especially in 2006, there was a big need for farmers to get a hold of hay.

Sevie Kenyon: John, what’s different about the site now?

John Shutske: We’ve added a component to the Farmer-to-Farmer site that allows people to trade pasture. For example, if you have beef cattle, or dairy heifers, or even sheep down here in the southern part of Wisconsin where we’ve been particularly hit by drought. If you’ve got animals down here and you think you might want to move them up north, if you’re not able to get hay and other feed. So we have had a few farmers who have expressed interest in finding pasture and likewise we’ve had farmers in the north-half of the state that are willing to have their pasture rented out. So the idea of the website is to facilitate that transaction to make the resource available and allow people to make the transaction.

Sevie Kenyon: John, how does it work?

John Shutske: You can go onto the website if you’re a person in need of pastureland. You can go on and see the dots on a map where pasture is located, where we have potential people who are agreeable to renting. Likewise, if you’re a person who has a few acres you can go on, you can make that resource available through a series of, it’s basically just filling out a form on a website, including your location and some other important parameters like how much shade or shelter is available, how much water is available, and also whether or not fencing is available.

Sevie Kenyon: John, maybe you can describe the conditions that led up to the forming of Farmer-to-Farmer site?

John Shutske: The need to actually think about renting pasture came to us from DATCP, from our Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel. He said, “You know, this would be a really great resource to provide,” and it was something that Extension was able to put together with the help of people in our campus community here very quickly and we were able to respond within two or three days.

Sevie Kenyon: If a producer is interested in this John, how do they find it?

John Shutske: For those people who use Google, if you type in the search term “Farmer to Farmer Wisconsin Extension” the number one link that will come up is the Farmer-to-Farmer website.

Sevie Kenyon: John, there are additional resources available at that site. Can you give us an idea of what some of those are?

John Shutske: We have a number of different links connected to pricing, there are links to leases, and sample contracts. Again, those are very important because we want to make sure people minimize the risk associated with the transaction. There’s also information connected to hay and silage harvest and storage and also some information on animal health and some of the risks and transportation issues.

Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with John Shutske, University of Wisconsin Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Madison, WI and I’m Sevie Kenyon.

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