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The Scoop View All →

The $60,000 Potato Salad

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By   7 days ago

Should we make potato salad or write for On Pasture?

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If You’re Reading This, You Have 142 People to Thank

142 Supporters

By   2 weeks ago

Those are the people who have joined the On Pasture Community in the last 16 months. Some did it by signing up for a monthly payment of $5. Others signed up for the support level that suited them best and in return we sent them a picture of Kathy riding a cow, or a bumpersticker […]

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We’re really biased

crazy-money-investwithalex

By   3 weeks ago

When you read something in the news, or watch a newscast on TV, or hear something from a friend, what you take from it depends on how much you trust that particular source. Your trust can be influenced by what you know about the source’s bias.  Here at On Pasture, your trust in us is […]

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People and Traffic and Bobcats, Oh My!

Bobcat

By   4 weeks ago

When the movers came to pack up our stuff so that we could move to Tucson, one of them tucked his pants into his socks.  He was afraid of the spiders in the garage and that they might crawl up his pants legs. Another said, “Aren’t you afraid living here?” “Afraid?”  I said, “What would […]

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Bits of Your Heart

heart-pieces

By   1 month ago

Sometimes, bits of my heart, often scattered across the country and around the world, come visit. Those moments when friends and family arrive are the joy of the bits of heart reuniting. This week we got to reunite with some friends who traveled through the area and stayed the night. Zip lines, four square, and […]

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Since Chemo Ended

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By   1 month ago

It’s been five months since chemo ended, and I don’t miss it one bit. Since chemo ended: I haven’t had to change a single diaper, because our youngest quit using them. Not missing them either. Our son lost his first tooth. And then his second. We planted our gardens, volunteered in the school garden, and […]

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The Last Lawn-Mowing

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By   2 months ago

In this week’s “Consider This” Kimberly Hagen asks a good question: “Why do humans love a well-manicured lawn?” Here’s Kathy’s answer based on her own obsession with mowing the lawn at the house she and her husband just left in Colorado.

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Floating Between Two Homes – and Two Bathtubs

The movers stacked all our stuff in a pile as they loaded it onto a truck.  Where the truck is now, I have no idea.  I just trust that when we tell them when and where to bring it, it will show up.

By   2 months ago

Kathy, her husband Peter, and her cat Molly are all in the middle of their move from Loveland, Colorado to Tucson, Arizona. It means that there’s not a place for everything and sometimes the poop ends up in the bathtub.

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Grazing Management View All →

Stockpiling Tall Fescue

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By   7 days ago

With proper grazing management and well-timed fertilizer applications, stockpiling fescue can be a good way to get more forage and keep costs down.

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Dealing With Summer Grazing Stress

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By   2 weeks ago

Whether this is year one or twenty-one for your grazing system, this time of year provides serious management challenges.  The days are HOT, the flies are getting cranked up, and the livestock are ducking for cover by 10 am. Eyes are watering, sides are heaving, there’s not much grazing happening.  The humidity is an added […]

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Using the Sun to Get Your Water – Easy Installation Ideas

Solar water

By   2 weeks ago

It’s mid-summer, it’s hot, and that sun is bearing down on you.  So why not turn all that energy into a way to keep your stock watered while reducing your work load?  

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Day Range Pastured Poultry – An Alternative to Chicken Tractors

Finished Hoopie

By   3 weeks ago

Lots of producers use chicken tractors.  The concept was popularized by Joel Salatin and the structure size and shape has been modified by many people.  I used my own version when raising meat chickens in my backyard.  It’s basically an open-floored enclosure that is moved once or twice a day around a pasture. Birds live […]

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UH-OH! I’m running out of grass! What should I do?

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By   4 weeks ago

First off, let’s not panic.  You have options for stretching your forage supply.  One or a combination of the options below could improve forage utilization and our production.  While these suggestions are best for folks in my neck of the woods (Tennessee) by contacting your local NRCS or Conservation District, or your extension agent, you’ll be able […]

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Flerds: Sheep and Cattle Grazing Together for Predator Control and Pasture Management

Photo courtesy of Jornada Experimental Range

By   1 month ago

Multi-species grazing isn’t just about diversifying your operation and making good use of your pastures. It can also be a way to protect small ruminants from predation!

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Should I Irrigate My Pastures?

Photo by Murray Close

By   1 month ago

Water can make more forage, but what’s the cost? Here are some tips to help you decide if you want to irrigate so that you can prep for this summer’s heat.

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Staying Ahead of Your Forage: Haying, Baleage and Grazing

Proffitt Family Cattle Company's happy cattle graze tall grass. Photo from proffittfarms.com.

By   2 months ago

Victor Shelton of the NRCS in Indiana puts out a monthly newsletter called “Grazing Bites.” In the June issue he talks about what we can do to stay ahead of our forage when it’s growing rapidly in the early grazing season.

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Pasture Health View All →

Sneaky Pasture Weeds – Sedges and Rushes

Photo courtesy of www.agry.purdue.edu

By   7 days ago

Do you have these? Here’s how to tell!

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Using the Sun to Get Your Water – Easy Installation Ideas

Solar water

By   2 weeks ago

It’s mid-summer, it’s hot, and that sun is bearing down on you.  So why not turn all that energy into a way to keep your stock watered while reducing your work load?  

Read More →

Science backs profits from grazing cover crops

New Picture

By   3 weeks ago

Cover crop profits range from $200-400/acre, depending on the crop Jeff Rasawehr plants. When he grazes those cover crops, he makes even bigger profits, and some scientists in Georgia back that up. Jeff has some suggestions for them, too!

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The $200 Cover Crop Bump

Rye, pea and crimson clover mix

By   4 weeks ago

Jeff Rasawehr (pronounced “Raise -a- veer”) farms 1500 acres in West Central Ohio, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and some beef.  His goal is to produce beef in an ecologically sustainable way, and, of course, to be financially viable.  His path towards that goal involves cover crops that improve his soil and become forage for his cattle. […]

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Soil Balancing: Mistaken Conclusions That Seem Scientific

Photo courtesy of University of Missouri Archives

By   1 month ago

This is an article that is going to raise some folks’ blood pressure. Soil balancing, or BCSR, and William Albrecht have a big following, and you’d think that that many people couldn’t be wrong. But turns out, this theory just doesn’t hold up and is costing folks time and money they could better use elsewhere.

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Five Minutes to a Better Understanding of Soil

This pie is what makes up the ideal soil: half solid, half pore space. The pore space is evenly mixed between air and water.

By   1 month ago

We all know soil is important, but understanding it can take a lifetime. Here’s five minutes of video that will get you a good ways down the road.

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Using Wood Ash to Improve Pasture Soils and Forages

This is an example of a wood ash application project in Minnesota.  Learn more by clicking on the picture.

By   2 months ago

Graziers in many parts of the country often deal with acidic soils that are low in several nutrients.  Potassium is one of the soil nutrients that’s often present in amounts that limit pasture yield.  In many parts of the United States and Canada, farmers could improve their pastures by occasionally applying wood ash. Wood ash […]

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When to Use Lime, Gypsum and Elemental Sulfur

This is NOT the kind of lime we're talking about.  But you could add this kind of lime to a drink as you consider how much lime, gypsum and elemental sulfur you'll need for your pastures.

By   2 months ago

So you got that soils report and you’re trying to figure out what you need to do to make your soils work better for your forages. Lime helps release calcium for use by plants, but there are times when you shouldn’t use it.

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Livestock View All →

7 Habits of Highly Effective Stock Handlers

Ag Research Associate Kent Shankles demonstrates proper cattle sorting technique at the Noble Foundation's Oswalt Road Ranch. Proper positioning and use of pressure reduces stress while handling cattle.

By   7 days ago

Dr. Ryan Reuter of The Noble Foundation shares what you can do to become a good stock handler.

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How to Get Your Chickens to Make the Best Use of Pasture

Chicks in feeding trial

By   2 weeks ago

Changing the time when you feed your birds can increase their foraging, potentially increase weight gain, and reduce labor costs.

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Breeding Matters

Beral of Wye was the senior herd sire at Black Queen Angus Farm.  He was purchased by Kit Pharo of Colorado who has sold a number of bull calves sired by this bull.

By   3 weeks ago

Like many of us in the business of grass-farming for livestock production, I have been preoccupied by a persistent question; Nature vs. Nurture, Breeding vs. Management, Genetics vs. Environment, all takes on the same dichotomy. Of course the answer is unequivocally, “YES.” The functionality of an animal for our particular purposes is absolutely the sum […]

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Day Range Pastured Poultry – An Alternative to Chicken Tractors

Finished Hoopie

By   3 weeks ago

Lots of producers use chicken tractors.  The concept was popularized by Joel Salatin and the structure size and shape has been modified by many people.  I used my own version when raising meat chickens in my backyard.  It’s basically an open-floored enclosure that is moved once or twice a day around a pasture. Birds live […]

Read More →

How to Install an Electric Poultry Fence

Fence Set Up

By   4 weeks ago

It’s quick and easy and protects your poultry from predators. Here’s how to put up an electric fence for poultry, and how to test to make sure it’s working. The same technique works for goat/sheep netting, so check it out even if you don’t want to fence in chickens.

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Livestock Foraging Behavior: It may not be what you think!

BehavePalatabilityChart

By   1 month ago

Understanding how animals choose what to eat, based on learning and how their bodies work, will help you see why your animals are eating what they’re eating and give you a leg up on figuring out how to help them do more for you.

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Flerds: Sheep and Cattle Grazing Together for Predator Control and Pasture Management

Photo courtesy of Jornada Experimental Range

By   1 month ago

Multi-species grazing isn’t just about diversifying your operation and making good use of your pastures. It can also be a way to protect small ruminants from predation!

Read More →

Temple Grandin’s Response to Analysis of Her Handling Facilities Design

Autism-Advocacy-Temple-Grandin

By   1 month ago

Dr. Temple Grandin shares her thoughts about the Stockmanship Journal’s analysis of her handling facilities design.

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Money Matters View All →

Grass for Gas: Bioenergy in your tank

Switchgrass harvest at Meach Cove Farm in Vermont

By   7 days ago

Are you a “Grass Farmer?” Well here’s a look at a way you can add new meaning to that term.

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Getting That Local Food Into Town

Smith Meadows Farm delivery truck

By   2 weeks ago

This isn’t really a how to. It’s a how not. Sometimes we need those too. It helps us think about solutions that will work for us all.

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3 Secrets of Free-Range Farms

This field was cropped for decades before we converted it to grass full time.  Although it looks abundant, mod of our fields are much thicker than this.  Given enough time, the land will restore itself.  It all takes time, good management, and patience.

By   3 weeks ago

If you’re writing an equation to determine whether or not a farmer will succeed, you might include these three things.

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Why Our Incredibly Popular Farmers Market Food Truck Failed

Did we mention we sell grass-fed meats?  No extra charge for the hayseeds!

By   4 weeks ago

Forrest says, “We need a word for: ‘Giving a dream a try, realizing it isn’t the right fit, and gracefully stopping before the dream explodes.’ Here he describes a venture that made him realize just because it’s successful, doesn’t mean you’re doing what you should be doing.

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The Case of the Missing Corn Plant(s)

Photo by R.L. (Bob) Nielsen, Agronomy Department, Purdue University

By   1 month ago

It costs a lot to get your crops in the ground. So when they don’t come up in uniform, tidy rows, it’s not just an issue of good-looking fields, it’s a money matter. Here are some ideas about what may have gone wrong.

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How To Direct Market Your Beef

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By   1 month ago

If you’ve been thinking about direct marketing your beef, here’s a great resource written by an Arizona rancher that will give you what you need to get started.

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Sweet Swine Success

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By   2 months ago

As farmers and direct marketers, the Nottermans of Snug Valley Farm have expanded their existing pork production and marketing by 900% in the last three years. They are now marketing pasture-raised heritage pork to customers and restaurants from Hardwick to Burlington, VT. Their expectation is that within the next two years, they will increase their […]

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Sell Your Products Without Leaving Home

Illustration of how it works

By   2 months ago

Home Grown Cow is America’s first and only national online farmers’ market for meat, poultry, and cheese offering local pick-up or door-to-door delivery. Farmers list and price their products themselves. Customers shop for what they like, place an order, and Home Grown Cow takes care of the delivery.

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Consider This View All →

Home Grown Fuel and Feed

Home Grown Fuel

By   7 days ago

Last year, Roger Rainville fueled all his equipment with biodiesel from oilseed crops grown on his farm.  Even more exciting to him than being 100% self-sufficient is that all that fuel only cost $1.71 per gallon. 

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Help Save This Ranching Family

Kevin Lunny at the Oyster Farm

By   2 weeks ago

At the end of the month, the National Park Service at Point Reyes National Seashore will close down Drakes Bay Oyster Farm which has operated in Drakes Bay for almost 100 years.  This comes in spite of the fact that 85% of the community wants to keep the farm and that all of the claims that the […]

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Low Impact Milk

Footprint

By   3 weeks ago

Cashew shells and oregano to reduce the carbon footprint of milk? Really?

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Daredevil Farming

Jumping on a huge pile of wood chips.  Risk Level: Splinters

By   4 weeks ago

Accidents happen. And they make you consider why you farm.

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You Can Leave the Rototiller in the Barn Next Spring If You Start Planning Now

No-till seeded spinach into a dead forage radish cover crop in Maryland, April 30, 2013.  Photo by Natalie Lounsbury

By   1 month ago

Whether you’re planting for customers, or just for you and your family, here’s how you can get the soil benefits of growing no-till veggies.

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Once Bitten

What Makes a Tick Stick

By   1 month ago

Lyme disease – It’s a scary thing! Here’s a cautionary tale from the Grass Whisperer about his tick encounter, along with information about how ticks manage to dig themselves in, and how quickly you need to remove ticks to reduce your chances of getting diseases from them. You’ll also find out if it works to trade grazing information to cover your tick health care costs.

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Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace? Are Sheep Destroying the Planet?

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By   2 months ago

In a recent Opinion piece in the New YorkTimes (Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace), author Richard Conniff describes British environmentalist George Monbiot’s problem with sheep.  According to Monbiot, because of overgrazing by sheep, the deforested uplands, including a national park, looked “like the aftermath of a nuclear winter.”  Monbiot’s self-described “unhealthy obsession with sheep” has […]

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The $20,000 House

Here's an example of a $20,000 house designed by Rural Studio. Rural Studio is an off-campus design-build program of Auburn University for undergraduates.  It gives architecture students a hands-on educational experience that also provides well-designed housing for poor communities in West Alabama's Black Belt region. The Studio continually questions what should be built, rather than what can be built, both for the performance and operation of the projects. To date, Rural Studio has built more than 150 projects and educated more than 600 "Citizen Architects."

By   2 months ago

We all need a place to call home. Here’s how students and faculty from Auburn’s “Rural Studio” program are creating new ways to make homes affordable for everyone.

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The Funnies View All →

Our Alter Egos

So Much Cooler Online

By   7 days ago

We like being On Pasture when we go online. Who do you turn into when you visit the internet? If you’re on a tablet, here’s the link.

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Porcine Heat Stress

Porcine Heat Stress

By   2 weeks ago

Be safe out there!

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Date Night Anyone?

DateNightSmall

By   3 weeks ago

We’re all so busy this time of year.  It’s important to make time for that special someone.

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Happy July Fourth

Happy Independence Day

By   4 weeks ago

A little video starring one of our pasture pals….

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Recipes for What Everyone Says They Want For Dinner

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By   1 month ago

I know! Don’t you wish these recipes existed?!  And of course the leftovers from these dishes are so delicious too! By Hilary Price, Rhymes With Orange Seriously, we know you’re running around like crazy with all the chores you have this time of year.  So here’s an article we did earlier this year that talks about […]

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Jazz For Cows

Jazz For Cows

By   1 month ago

The New Hot 5, a U.S.-based jazz band is also popular with cows! And here’s the link for tablet users.

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Do You Have to Be Naked to Be the Boss?

Convos With My Two year old

By   2 months ago

This Dad is re-enacting conversations he has with his 2 year old daughter, with the help of a grown man. It makes for some pretty silly stuff. Enjoy! Here’s the link for those folks using tablets.

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The Dangers of Methane

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By   2 months ago

Well, we may not want too much of it in the atmosphere, but it does have to be released!

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Underwriting