Learn about cattle, contract grazing, and conservation at Woodlawn farm field day – September 3, near Amana

For Release: August 21, 2015

Amana, Iowa — Starting a cattle grazing operation requires the necessary infrastructure, proper planning, the right cattle genetics, and of course land. Leasing pasture through contractual agreements can be a great way to access land to start or expand an operation, but making these arrangements can be tricky.

John Schulte and his son Travis operate Woodlawn, a 600 acre cow-calf operation on pasture that also includes hay, cover crops, summer annuals, and conventional corn. The 600 acres are split between two locations, both of which were previously neglected and are now undergoing revitalization using various forms of rotational grazing. As John clarifies, “Both farms have steep hills, some timber and small creeks running through them. They have been grazed for decades. We are building waterways, exclusion fencing and implementing managed grazing which will dramatically reduce erosion. The pasture renovation includes interseeding, cover crops and reseeding as well as dealing with the many invasive trees, bushes and plants.”

The Schultes are hosting a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day to demonstrate their farms’ pasture renovation, infrastructure planning for grazing, and the leasing arrangement they’ve set up with a neighboring farmer for contract grazing. “The field day is an opportunity to hear both sides of custom grazing. See various ways to water cattle, renovate pasture, incorporate annuals and everything in between,” explains John.

This Practical Farmers of Iowa field day will be held on Thursday, September 3, from noon to 4 p.m. on the Schulte farms near Norway and Amana Iowa. The event – “Starting a Cattle Operation with Contract Grazing” – will begin at 1053 T Ave., Norway, IA 52318 before moving to 2955 126th St., Amana, IA 52203 for the second half of the day. The field day is free and includes a catered lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Lauren Zastrow at (515) 232-5661 or lauren@practicalfarmers.org by Monday, August 31. The event is being held in partnership with Iowa County Farm Bureau and the Price Creek Watershed.

“This year, Iowa County Farm Bureau teamed up with the Price Creek Watershed Project to offer a series of water quality workshops. Pasture management continues to be a hot topic with local cattlemen and we are excited to share how changes in management can improve profits, herd health and water quality,” explains Rose Danaher, Price Creek Watershed coordinator. “The Schulte’s have been strong supporters of the Price Creek Watershed Project, which aims to remove a bacteria impairment from Price Creek. The work they’ve done has improved water quality and serves as a model for others who are looking to make positive changes in their grazing systems.”

In addition to Rose Danaher and the Schultes, the field day will feature speakers Dan Gerhold, a neighboring farmer, Joe Sellers, ISU Extension beef specialist, and Ed Cox, agricultural lawyer. Joe Sellers and Ed Cox will talk about contracts for grazing and provide some resources for attendees to do their own leasing arrangements.

Directions to the starting location from Amana: Take U.S. 151 north for 3.2 miles, turn left on 110th Street and go 3 miles, then turn right on T Avenue; Woodlawn will be in one-half mile. From Norway: At the west end of town, go south on 29th Avenue for 2.7 miles; go straight on T Avenue for one-half mile to Woodlawn.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2015 field day season features 40 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend. The guide is available online at practicalfarmers.org, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661 to request a printed copy.

Practical Farmers’ 2015 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Applegate Natural & Organic Meats; BlueStem Organic Feed Mill; Center for Rural Affairs; Featherman Equipment Company; Grain Millers, Inc.; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa Farm Service Agency (USDA); Iowa Farmers Union in partnership with Town and Country Insurance and Hastings Mutual Insurance; 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 (I-CASH); ISU Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture; Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying and Seeding, Inc.; La Crosse Seed; Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES); MOSA Organic Certification; National Wildlife Federation; Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS); Organic Valley – Organic Prairie – CROPP Cooperative; The Nature Conservancy in Iowa; Pro-Soil Ag Solutions; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed and Honey Company.


Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit https://www.practicalfarmers.org.


John and Travis Schulte | (319) 227-7831 | Schulte.john@yahoo.com

Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | steve@practicalfarmers.org