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U.S. forage specialist receives CFGA leadership award

First non-Canadian to win award.
Dr. Dan Undersander, middle, is the 2023 winner of the Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association Leadership Award. He is joined by Cedric MacLeod, executive director of CFGA, left and Eric Boot, right, chair, international exporters of CFGA.

HARRISON HOT SPRINGS, B.C. — The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association (CFGA) presented its Leadership Award at its 14th Annual Conference, in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, to Dr. Dan Undersander of Wisconsin – the first non-Canadian to win this award.

Also the Keynote speaker at the conference, Undersander has worked as a forage specialist for 48 years, having shared his knowledge across Canada, partly through his Alfalfa Intensive Training course.

Undersander tells Glacier FarmMedia that he is glad to see the Canadian Forage Council pushing ahead with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) initiatives and says there is an urgent need for cooperation across Canadian livestock and forage production sectors to quantify their efforts relating to GHG mitigation initiatives.

Undersander has published over 1,600 papers related to forage production and utilization. He led the development of the University of Wisconsin Team Forage website, the most widely recognized source of forage information for temperate regions around the world.

Undersander developed the use of the Relative Feed Value (RFV) index in 1990 and the Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) index in 2000, as indices of energy intake by ruminents.

His work with the National Forage Testing Association and its chemical analysis methods has resulted in more dependable analysis of forages. Undersander and a colleague also developed the Milk-per-Acre spreadsheet for evaluating forage yield and quality changes. He led the writing of the Alfalfa Management Guide and worked with grazing groups internationally, which led to a 44-page grazing document. He developed a program to encourage contract harvesting of forage and he conducted numerous studies showing that forage dried more rapidly in a wide swath than conditioned forage in a windrow.

Undersander also developed the concept of stem density to determine when an alfalfa stand density was limiting yield, as a determinant to when the field should be turned over.

The CFGA AGM is hosted in conjunction with the British Columbia Forage Council (BCFC). This event brings together key participants and leaders in the both the forage and livestock sectors to focus on climate solutions for these interdependent industries. is Saskatchewan's home page. Bookmark us at this link.