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Kimberly Hagen to speak on controlling invasive plants through the use of livestock and mechanical means at PMA Annual Meeting.

The public is invited to the Putney Mountain Association Annual Meeting, to be held on Sunday, January 25, 4:00 PM, at the Putney Community Center on Christian Square. Our speaker will be Kimberly Hagen, Grazing Specialist, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont Extension Service.

Kimberly will discuss using livestock and mechanical means to control invasive species (buckthorn, Japanese knotweed, multiflora rose, honeysuckle, bedstraw, goldenrod, knapweed etc.) rather than herbicide treatments, when appropriate. If plants we consider to be invasive can provide nourishment to grazing livestock and keep populations of
these invasive plants from spreading, the benefit for both animals and environment is a good one. Come learn how it works. Kimberly will share a few examples of where she has implemented this work in Vermont.

There will also be discussion of, and time for questions about, this past year’s grazing project on Putney Mountain – what we are trying to do, what’s been accomplished so far, and what’s next. We will have photos of sheep and goats grazing buckthorn on the summit and show part of the film made for Brattleboro Community TV by Greg McAllister.

Kimberly joined the Center for Sustainable Agriculture in February 2012 to provide technical assistance and support for grass-based farms: for those already immersed in the practices, those planning to transition, and everything in between. She spent several years working on all kinds of farms around the world, finally returning to Vermont where she has been raising sheep, chickens, horses and the occasional cow, on her own grass-based farm since 1987, and providing agricultural education and outreach for NOFA to communities and schools. With a background and MS in Environmental Biology from Antioch New England, Kimberly thoroughly enjoys the problem solving of bringing farms to a more balanced relationship with the natural systems around them. Years of observations and working with grass-based systems have led her to believe that if the environment is healthy, the animals and plants are healthy and the economics of the farm will also be healthy.