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Serving: IN

Indiana cattleman recognized for grazing efforts

Tom J. Bechman Ronnie Boehm
TOP PRODUCER: The Indiana Forage Council recognized Ronnie Boehm, Spencer County, as the 2022 Outstanding Forage Producer of the Year.
Cattle and forage producer Ronnie Boehm, Spencer County, Ind., maximizes his small acreage through rotational grazing.

Some people tell Jason Tower that rotational grazing is only for large livestock producers. “They haven’t met Ronnie Boehm,” Tower quips. Tower is superintendent of the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center, known better as SIPAC, located near Dubois, Ind.

Recently, Tower presented Boehm with the 2022 Outstanding Forage Producer of the Year Award on behalf of the Indiana Forage Council. Boehm is a firm believer in rotational grazing, and grazes cow-calf pairs on 22 acres of pasture in Spencer County, Ind.

His operation is small, but it’s innovative. Instead of owning the cattle, Boehm has shifted to custom-grazing cattle for others. In 2021, he custom-grazed 14 cow-calf pairs on his 22 acres. Tower says Boehm manages his acreage intensively, often moving cattle to new forage each day.

“I believe in checking cows every day anyway because it’s a good animal husbandry practice,” Boehm explains. “Moving them to new pasture by utilizing temporary fencing only takes an extra 10 minutes per day. I do any prep layout work on weekends, so it’s easy to move them around during the week.”

In 2021, Boehm was able to graze the cow-calf pairs into December. His pasture is productive enough that he believes it can support a couple of more cow-calf pairs in the future.

Some people form the idea that rotational grazing is so intensive that only people with sizable acreage and larger cow herds can make it work, Tower says. He believes that many producers, such as Boehm, can find innovative ways to make smaller acreages profitable as livestock pastures by managing rotational grazing correctly.

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