News Release


 Contact:              Patrick Davis

Regional Livestock Field Specialist

University of Missouri Extension

Phone: (417) 276-3313


 Date:                    Monday, December 18, 2023

Headline:            The 40th SW MO Spring Forage Conference will be held February 20th in Springfield, MO

The 40th SW MO Spring Forage Conference will be held Tuesday, February 20, 2024, at the Oasis Hotel and Convention Center, 2546 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, Missouri.

“Keynote presenter Jim Gerrish, independent grazing lands consultant, will address the conference on “Why we can’t continue business as usual” from his numerous years of research and outreach experience in grazing and ranch management,” says Patrick Davis, conference public relations chair and MU Extension Livestock Field Specialist.  Gerrish’s career started with 22 years of experience in research and outreach at the MU Forage Systems Research Center.  His research included many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions which provided the foundation for management-intensive grazing (MiG) schools that are currently conducted annually in Missouri.  Fifteen states have pickup this MiG school model and Gerrish has taught at schools in 11 of these states.  In addition, he provides education at many producer workshops, seminars, and field days in the US and Canada annually.  Besides his consultant services to farmers and ranchers across five continents, Gerrish lives in the Pahsimeroi Valley of Idaho, manages a ranch unit, writes magazine articles as well as books, and educates people annually at the University of Idaho’s Lost River Grazing Academy near Salmon, ID.  Besides Gerrish’s keynote presentation Davis urges conference attendees to listen to his presentation following lunch titled “Does Cow Size Really Matter?”

“For further education conference participants can attend several breakout sessions,” says Davis.  Breakout session topics include pasture recovery following drought, benefits of annual forages, native warm season grass establishment & management, enterprise options for $5000/acre pasture, extending the grazing season, managing nitrates in your forage system, understanding beef quality & yield, geo fencing, benefits & economics of liming, black vultures, and stretching your forage through efficient hay feeding.

“This conference also provides educational sessions specific to sheep and goat producers,” says Davis.  These session topics include myths around parasite control, breed selection or crossbreeding, and a multi-species grazing Q&A that includes a key small ruminant industry producer as well as being moderated by an MU Extension Specialist.  There will also be a producer panel discussing guard animals that includes local sheep and goat producers.

“A trade show is held in conjunction with the conference,” says Davis.  Agricultural businesses and organizations will have exhibits and representatives available to discuss their products and services. If interested in becoming an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Jody Wade at the Webster County MO SWCD office at (417) 468-4176 ext. 3 or by email at

Conference check-in begins at 8 a.m., with sessions running from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A banquet luncheon is included with the registration. The cost is $55 per person.  To attend register by February 9th  online at  No walk-in registration allowed.  For additional questions contact Jody Wade at the Webster County MO SWCD office at (417) 468-4176 ext. 3 or by email at