Missouri cattle producers can capture great value for their operations by attending grazing schools offered by University of Missouri Extension and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, says Tim Schnakenberg, MU Extension agronomy field specialist.

Classes are scheduled throughout 2024, starting in mid-April. Over several days, each school will show producers how to increase profitability while protecting the land, Schnakenberg said.

MU Extension teaches research-based concepts on managing soil, water and forage resources during the schools, he said. Management-intensive grazing (MIG) concepts are taught so manure is better distributed, grass resources are preserved, soil health is improved and soil erosion is lessened.

“The instruction involves an understanding of the soil resource, plant growth, forage quality, forage options for classes of livestock, nutritional needs of livestock, design and layout of a grazing system, proper fence building, developing water sources and the economics of MIG,” Schnakenberg said.

There will be 25 separate three-day schools offered across Missouri this year. All instructors are extensively trained in one location before teaching at one of the schools, he said.

“Other states have adopted the Missouri concept of grazing schools, but we believe there is no other state in the country that offers as many educational events with as much extensive content over the last 34 years.”

The schools often operate with support from other agencies such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

More than 21,000 livestock producers throughout the state have participated in Missouri grazing schools since they began in 1990, Schnakenberg said.

A 2018 MU study found the annual economic impact of management-intensive grazing on the Missouri economy to be $125 million annually, he said. The program supports more than 2,000 jobs in Missouri, and there is an additional net return per acre for producers of $40 to $60.

The grazing schools run April 16 through Oct. 10. See the complete list on the Missouri Forage and Grasslands Council website at Register through contacts at each location.

Contact for the Bolivar grazing school (April 16, 19, 23, 25 and 27) is Debbie Henderson, 417-345-7599,