Fifty-eight people joined the Piedmont Forage and Grassland Council at its first meeting in Pendleton, SC, reports John Andrae, Clemson University Extension forage specialist.

“That’s a fantastic start,” says Andrae. He helped organize the council because, “We felt like we needed a voice for the forage community separate from, but complimentary to, the cattlemen’s associations and horse councils.”

The council encompasses the northern halves of Georgia and South Carolina. Several pasture walks are planned for this summer, and the council is a sponsor of the Legume Management In The Southeast Field Day, set for May 13 at the Central Georgia Research and Extension Center near Eatonton. The council’s bylaws will be approved during that event, says Andrae.

It will have a Web site and probably a quarterly newsletter, he adds.
A president hasn’t been named yet, but eight directors were elected at the Pendleton meeting. The South Carolina directors are Tom Trantham, Joe Davis, Scott Goodwin and Kevin Campbell. Georgia directors are Whitey Hunt, Terry Chandler, Wayne Tankersly and Dennis Chessman. Andrae and Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Extension forage specialist, are ex-officio board members. Chris Kirkland is the treasurer.

The new council will become an American Forage and Grassland Council affiliate. “It will be the first affiliate council that crosses state lines,” says Andrae.
It was organized that way because of the distinct differences in soil types within the two states, he explains. Tall fescue is popular in the northern Piedmont regions of Georgia and South Carolina, which have heavy clay soils. In the southern Coastal Plain areas, soils are sandy and warm-season grasses are prevalent.

The northern and southern halves are “completely different worlds as far as forage is concerned,” says Andrae. “So we hope to form a Coastal Plain Forage Council sometime in the future.”