Maibach Dairy will host field day and tour on organic dairying, cattle care – Sept. 5, near Bloomfield

For Release: August 21, 2014

BLOOMFIELD, Iowa — One of the biggest challenges of running a grass-based dairy, according to Samuel Maibach, is keeping the pasture quality consistent throughout the grazing season. “Weather and rain can make a big difference in forage quality, which can affect milk quality,” says Samuel, who operates Maibach Dairy near Bloomfield with his brother, Daniel, and father, Tim. The Maibach family will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day at their farm on Friday, Sept. 5, from 1-4 p.m., near Bloomfield, and welcomes farmers and the public to visit their organic dairy and learn some of their strategies for managing their grass-based herd. Maibach Dairy is located at 13854 315th St., about 17 miles southwest of downtown Bloomfield. The event – “Organic Dairying and Cattle Care” – is free to attend and sponsored by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). Attendees will get to tour the dairy and learn how the family cares for and feeds its milk cows. Hear how the paddock and pasture system is managed, and learn about cow health issues and the organic treatments the family uses for those conditions. The Maibachs’ veterinarian, or a representative from Organic Valley, will also be on hand to speak. Samuel says the cattle are rotated through fresh pasture daily, but the frequency can vary. “It depends on the quantity of forage in a paddock. We have to move the cattle at a minimum after every milking, but on average they get new grass at least twice a day. We need to monitor the forage species in a pasture. If it goes too mature, you can lose production. It’s a tricky balancing process.” Tim Maibach was a dairyman for years before moving to Iowa and starting the current farm. Now he and his family, including sons Samuel and Daniel, milk about 80 to 90 cows that they try to manage totally on pasture. The milk is marketed through Organic Valley. Directions: Follow U.S. 63 south into Bloomfield; it will turn right and join Iowa Route 2. After about 5 miles, turn left to stay on U.S. 63. Go 8.7 miles, then turn right on 305th Street for 1 mile. At the T intersection, turn left onto Fawn Avenue for one-half mile, then right onto 310th Street for 1 mile, when it curves left and becomes Ebony Street. Take the first right onto 315th Street; the farm is on the right, shortly after the turn. Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2014 field day season features 35 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend. The guide is available on Practical Farmers’ website, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a printed copy. Practical Farmers’ 2014 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Calcium Products; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Gateway Market and Café; Grain Millers, Inc.; Grassland Oregon; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa State University Extension and Outreach; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (ICASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Cross Seed – Soil First; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Insurance Corporation; MOSA Organic Certification; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); National Wildlife Federation; Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.

###

Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers that seeks to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call (515) 232-5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org. Contact: Tim, Samuel and Daniel Maibach | Maibach Dairy | (614) 929-3674 | [email protected] Tamsyn Jones | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected]