by Jarrod Miller, President of Maryland-Delaware Forage Council
Fall is around the corner, but several changes are already upon us. This summer I had the honor of taking on the role of president of the Maryland Delaware Forage Council. Unfortunately, this change could not take place without Les Vough stepping down. Although Les has been retired for many years, he continued to be a leader in forage education and outreach for the Mid-Atlantic region. We still expect Les to be a source of knowledge for the council and region, hopefully with fewer responsibilities. The MDFC would like to thank Les for all of his service and hard work over the years, his leadership will be sorely missed.
We are also welcoming two new experts in forages and animal science to the University of Maryland Extension team. Dr. Amanda Grev has been hired as the new Pasture Management Specialist and Dr. Sarah Potts is their Dairy and Beef Extension Specialist. This is exciting news for the region, as their expertise will bring new ideas, research, and outreach for the MDFC to rely on.
This summer has had the usual range of weather across the region, with some areas lucky enough to receive steady rains. We all had to experience the dog-days of July, along with all of the hay and pasture ground. This is especially taxing on our cool season grasses. The American Forage and Grassland Council promotes the positive impact of forages in the U.S., and celebrated the 5th annual National Forage Week on June 16-22. This is also why your membership and support of the MDFC is important. Hay and pasture not only supports cattle, horse, and ruminant industries, it also promotes soil health through constant cover and root growth. Forages provide an agricultural backdrop to our landscape that is appreciated by the wider public. The MDFC will continue to work with regional producers and experts to maintain the economic vitality of forages.
In this vein, some of the upcoming workshops and conferences you can attend include the Tri-State Pasture Field Days (Aug 14th in Maryland, Aug 29th in West Virginia, and Sept 4th in Virginia), the Equine Pasture Management Field Day (Sept 18th, Reisterstown) and the Small Ruminant Conference in Keedysville on October 19th. Thank you for your membership and support and do not hesitate to reach out to the MDFC with questions and comments.