Open Gate Farm Day Report
When the heavy fog burned off by 9 am on September 26th at KTS Farm in Mansfield, PA a crowd of almost 40 participants had the opportunity to hear about how Kress Simpson and Mike Geiser now divide management and assets on KTS Farm, an organic dairy. After an introduction about how Holistic Management has influenced Kress’ decision on KTS the group headed out to the field to see the result of the grazing planning and implementation. Jim Weaver from Tioga County Planning and Troy Bishopp from Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District helped with the forage assessment activity which prompted a great conversation about forage quality and management.
The group then moved to the New Zealand swing style parlor to learn how that has made a major difference in labor needs and quality of life on the farm. In the afternoon, the conversations continued at the Mansfield Hose Company Hall as Kress shared how he developed the management transfer of his farm to Mike Geiser as well as some of the asset transfer while also supporting his son, Alec, in beginning his own dairy. This presentation was followed by a grain crop enterprise analysis presentation by Dave Johnson of NODPA. The last part of the afternoon was a whole farm goalsetting presentation with exercises by Ann Adams, HMI’s Director of Community Services.
Evaluations of the event showed that 75% of participants intend to complete a whole farm goal and 80% intend to change management practices. 85% of participants expanded their network and 90% would recommend program to others. In total 3,820 acres will be influenced by this program.
|Topic Covered||Percent Change in Knowledge/Confidence|
|How to use Holistic Management to help with succession planning|
|How to use goal setting and testing questions to determine priorities|
|Ability to create a grazing plan|
|Ability to determine plant recovery|
|Ability to determine forage inventory|
|Ability to increase forage productivity|
|Ability to create a whole farm goal|
|Ability to test decisions|
|Intend to create or modify grazing plan|
Thanks to Kress and Tammy Simpson and Mike Geiser of KTS Farm for hosting the farm day and to our grantors CHS Foundation and Simply Organic Fund for their generous support and to NODPA for this opportunity for collaboration. Thanks also to Doug Wright of Dairymaster Parlors for supplying the morning refreshments for the day.
“Well done in a short amount of time.”
“Rewarding. Time well spent.”