A discussion on ‘Land, Soil and Animals: The Whole Picture for Pasture’ comes to the Agricultural Hall

FARM Institute Education Director Tim Connelly leads a tour of the farm institute.   — File Photo by Lisa Vanderhoop

Agronomist Rachel Gilker, co-founder of On Pasture and associate director of Ben and Jerry’s Caring Dairy program, will be host of a talk at the Agricultural Hall on Monday, Oct. 26, beginning at 7 pm. The lecture and discussion, “Land, Soil and Animals: The Whole Picture for Pasture,” is open to the public and is focused on issues for farmers, conservation groups, and private property owners interested in improving the productivity of their land.

The program is hosted by the Farm Institute and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, and supported with a grant from the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard. According to a press release, Ms. Gilker visited the Island in May to help the Farm Institute develop a plan for pasture improvement at Katama Farm. At that time she also visited with several area farmers to discuss the special soil, livestock, and economic conditions on the Island.

Ms. Gilker received her Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Maryland. She worked for six years as a program coordinator for the University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and currently provides educational and program-improvement assistance for 100 dairy farmers through Ben and Jerry’s Caring Dairy program. She is also the editor and co-founder of On Pasture (onpasture.com), a weekly online magazine for livestock farmers. Her focus for 20 years, she says, has been on helping people understand the natural world around them so they can grow food sustainably and profitably.

For additional information or questions about the program, contact Lindsay Brown at Lindsay@farminstitute.org or 508-627-7007, ext. 101.