SWCS Annual Fall Meeting
“Managing Our Forests and our Pastures for Healthy Ecosystems”
Thursday, October 9th, 2014
9:00 am-3:00 pm
This tour is capped at 40 people… register early to save your spot!
9:00-9:30 am Refreshments and Registration
9:30-12:00 pm Tour Daigle’s Oak Hills (Daigle Shack)
12:00-12:45 pm Lunch provided as part of registration
12:45-1:00 pm Travel (via personal vehicle)
1:00-3:00 pm Twin Creeks Ranch
Morning Session-Daigle Brothers Oak Hills
The Daigle’s have been actively managing about 500 acres of woodlands since the early 1980’s. Discussion topics, with the local DNR Forester (invited) and a local geologist from County Materials Corporation (invited) will center around the following:
- Planting and managing Red Oak stands
- Red Pine establishment and management
- Aspen clear-cuts and management
- Food plots for wildlife
- Private landowner perspective of Managed Forest Law, woodland in Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Stewardship Program for woodlands
- Early plans for a non-metallic mining (sand and gravel) site on a glacial esker
Afternoon Session-Twin Creeks Ranch- operated by Ben, Tom and Linda Daigle
Highlights: Starting and growing a grazing based beef operation.
Twin Creeks Ranch was started in the late fall of 2011 with the fencing of 43 acres of cropland and the purchase of 31 young heifers and 6 cows, along with a Red Angus breeding bull. Animals arrived in December and began their first year winter bale-grazing, followed by managed grazing of pastures in spring, summer and fall. The herd has now grown to over 100 animals of a cow/calf herd and grass finished steers. The core philosophy of this farm is low cost production of high quality grass fed beef. This philosophy includes: soil testing and fertilizing fields, inter-seeding red clover and orchard grass into old hayfields, installation of an above-ground watering system, continuing to learn about pasture management systems and pasture inventory
Additional discussion topics will include the following:
- Lessons learned setting up a new beef operation
- Developing and implementing a managed grazing plan
- Seeding choices for sandy loam soils
- Selecting beef heifers to build a herd
- The importance of fertility in growing forage
- Selecting out-wintering sites
- Bi-weekly pasture monitoring, inventory and management
- Bale-grazing to lower labor costs and improve soil fertility
Morning Session-Daigle Brothers Oak Hills: Directions from Tomahawk: Take Hwy D east for 4 miles, go south (right) on Hwy H for 3 miles, go West (right) on Cloverbelt Road for ¾ of a mile. Driveway to the property will be on right. Watch for signs and address sign (W3972).
Afternoon Session-Twin Creeks Ranch: Directions: From Daigle’s Oak Hills (Daigle Shack), take Cloverbelt back to Hwy H. Go North (left) on Hwy H for 3 miles. Take Hwy D east for 4 miles to Gouda Road, go south (right) on Gouda Road for one mile.