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The Scoop View All →

You’re Invited to On Pasture’s Birthday Party!

By   4 days ago

On Pasture is 4 today! The very first issue of On Pasture went out on March 21, 2013. On Pasture has been there for you every week since. And look how On Pasture has grown! There are now 1,428 articles in the archives, and you are part of a group that is 90,000 strong – that’s […]

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The Worm Moon Has Risen

By   2 weeks ago

We’ve made it to the Ides of March once more in our revolution around the sun. In the Algonquin tradition this time of year is known for the “Worm Moon” because it marks the time of year when the earth begins to soften and earthworms begin to emerge to get back to work, donating their […]

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Why We Farm

By   3 weeks ago

Kathy’s ahead of most of the rest of us in the seasons. In Tucson spring has sprung, she can go outside in shorts and a t-shirt, the birds are singing and everything is saying “GROW! GROW! GROW!”  The middle On Pasture kid over in the northeast has been wearing shorts all winter, and he did again this morning, […]

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Spring Is Coming Early This Year

By   4 weeks ago

After 3 years of only minimal gardening here in Arizona (tomatoes and basil in pots was the extent of it) I’ve decided that I can’t live without growing something other than cactus. So this past weekend I headed over to Native Seed Search to get some instruction in desert gardening and pick up some seed […]

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Happy 60th Anniversary, Orie and Donna Voth

By   1 month ago

On Pasture exists, in part, because of how my parents raised me. Here’s what they taught me along the way.

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Tell Us What You Want, What You Really, Really Want!

By   1 month ago

As we head into our fifth year, we’re continuing to grow, and we’re focusing on serving the On Pasture Community in some new ways. But we need your help to make sure that we’re giving you what you really want. So here’s where we’re headed, and how you can guide us. Beginning Farmers and Ranchers […]

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Steps to Prosperous Entrepreneurship – Real Simple

By   2 months ago

Rachel started Monday morning with her annual physical and the flu. Like all trips to the doctor’s office, this one involved some time in the waiting room, checking out reading material that we don’t ordinarily see. In this case it was Real Simple magazine and an article with nine steps on how to start a […]

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The New Sign of Our Times

By   2 months ago

You can fix pretty much anything with duct tape and baling twine. December of 2015, Kathy and I put up our very first On Pasture sign at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Texas with a bunch of tape, some pins, and some PVC pipe. The whole kit and caboodle ran us about $30, and […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Set Up For Year Long Grazing in the Spring – In Spite of Mud Season

    By   4 days ago

    Greg Judy has great tips for getting through mud season so that your cattle are well-fed and your pastures are healthy and ready for the summer.

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    Wait! Grazing Too Early Is Harmful to Your Pasture’s Health

    By   2 weeks ago

    You and your livestock might be itching to start grazing. Victor Shelton tells us why it’s not a good idea to start too early, and what you can do in the meantime to scratch that itch without causing problems for yourself.

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    Pasture Walk at the Judy Farm

    By   3 weeks ago

    Sometimes the best way to learn something new is to visit another farmer or rancher to see how they do things. With that in mind, Greg Judy sent us this video so that you can take a virtual visit to his farm in Missouri. It shows him moving his cattle from one pasture to the […]

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    New Mexico Ranch Recovers During Drought With Rotational Grazing

    By   4 weeks ago

    When Nancy Ranney and her siblings took over the family ranch in 2002, they decided to try something different: Planned rotational grazing. Instead of 19 pastures grazed year-round by 18 herds, they put all the cattle in one herd and split the ranch into 31 pastures. As Nancy says, “By moving them across the landscape […]

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    Cows Prefer Grazing Stockpile to Eating Hay

    By   4 weeks ago

    On a winter day, -3 degrees and so cold that he was having trouble videoing, Greg Judy found that the hay he’d kindly brought his cows to help them out wasn’t what they wanted at all. Instead of eating it they walked over it to the stockpile pasture in front of them. In this 3:46 […]

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    Mob Grazing With Charlie Totten

    By   1 month ago

    Take a pasture walk with Charlie and Tanya Totten to see how mob grazing is working for them.

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    Winter Grazing Through Extreme Cold and Deep Snow

    By   1 month ago

    One of the biggest challenges farmers and ranchers face is feeding their livestock through winter. It can be costly and time consuming. But as the seventeen ranchers in this video series demonstrate, bale, swath or corn grazing on pasture is a way to make the winter more profitable while freeing up a lot of time. […]

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    Extending the Grazing Season With Bamboo

    By   2 months ago

    Cairncrest Farm in West Winfield, New York is experimenting with Bamboo as a forage to extend their grazing season. Here’s the ins and outs of their field trial along with some video of cows grazing bamboo in a snowy pasture.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Want Good Soil? Feed the Microbes

      By   4 days ago

      In June of 2014, Grist reporter Nathanael Johnson reported on a battle between two men in New South Wales Australia. Clive Kirkby and John Kirkegaard were having it out over the proper handling of crop residues after harvest. Kirkby was trying to get farmers to stop torching wheat stubble. Rather than letting fire release all […]

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      Maintaining Sagebrush-Covered Landscapes Keeps Water on the Land for Ranchers and Wildlife

      By   4 days ago

      Thanks to  Justin Fritscher, Natural Resources Conservation Service, for bringing us this summary of research benefiting ranchers and wildlife. Removing invading conifer trees improves the health of sagebrush ecosystems, providing better habitat for wildlife and better forage for livestock. And now, new science shows these efforts may also help improve late-season water availability, which is […]

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      Why Inoculate, Exactly?

      By   2 weeks ago

      That little packet of dark powder you are coerced into purchasing along with your clover seed can be mystifying. It only weighs a few ounces, and it has to be kept cool and dry and managed like a living pet (it is, after all, alive). Plus it invariably gets all over your hands and clothes. […]

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      Beating Heavy Clay and Wet Soils

      By   3 weeks ago

      Here’s a whole list of forage species that can help you manage this problem. Genevieve explains how they work for you.

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      Why is it Good to Have the Ground Covered by Snow?

      By   4 weeks ago

      This comes to us from Mary Tiedeman, Florida International University, and Soil Science Society of America’s Blog, Soils Matter. The winter holidays may have come and gone, and we’re headed toward the first day of spring. This is clearly good news if you aren’t fond of winter. There will surely be a few more storms […]

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      Nurse Your Forage Seeding For Success

      By   1 month ago

      I caught up with Jeff Rasawehr of Center Seeds the other day to learn about why he likes to add “nurse crops” when he’s seeding in a new pasture or hay field. A nurse crop for forage plantings is an annual that gives forage plants an extra boost as they’re getting started. The nurse crop […]

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      A Walk in the Rain Tells You A Lot About Your Pasture’s Health

      By   1 month ago

      Is your soil and forage healthy and absorbing rain and moisture? Grab your raincoat and talk a walk with Victor Shelton to see what your pasture tells you.

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      Frost Seeding Now For a Better Pasture This Summer

      By   2 months ago

      Its a good time of year to get the seeds on the ground so they have enough time to get into the soil and won’t be eaten by other critters.

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        Livestock View All →

        The Silver Bullet of Parasite Control in Small Ruminants

        By   4 days ago

        Tired of battling parasites in your herd or flock? Here’s what three experts found to be the best solution.

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        Building a Cow Herd – Billy Bean Style

        By   2 weeks ago

        Two of my favorite subjects are cattle and baseball. Two of my favorite books on these subjectsare “The Lasater Philosophy of Cattle Raising” by Laurie Lasater and “MoneyBall” by MichaelLewis. One day, on a long drive, I started playing with the idea that breeding a fertile, easy keeping and most importantly, profitable, herd of cows […]

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        Kidding and Lambing Tips For First Timers and Old Hands

        By   3 weeks ago

        We’ve got you covered with a short how-to video on kidding, some solutions for keeping kids and lambs warm and saving hypothermic lambs, and a resource for taking the next steps to low input lambing and kidding.

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        Cows Prefer Grazing Stockpile to Eating Hay

        By   4 weeks ago

        On a winter day, -3 degrees and so cold that he was having trouble videoing, Greg Judy found that the hay he’d kindly brought his cows to help them out wasn’t what they wanted at all. Instead of eating it they walked over it to the stockpile pasture in front of them. In this 3:46 […]

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        How to Grow a Goat Grazing Business Part 1

        By   1 month ago

        In 2004, I opened Rent-A-Ruminant LLC in Western Washington State. I started with a handful of goats, no experience and not a clue how to start and run the business. There were only two of us goat rentals in the State of WA at the time. It was still a fledgling industry and took a […]

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        Winter Grazing Through Extreme Cold and Deep Snow

        By   1 month ago

        One of the biggest challenges farmers and ranchers face is feeding their livestock through winter. It can be costly and time consuming. But as the seventeen ranchers in this video series demonstrate, bale, swath or corn grazing on pasture is a way to make the winter more profitable while freeing up a lot of time. […]

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        Regulating the Sugar Intake of Horses on Pasture

        By   1 month ago

        Not long ago we got a question from a reader: “I am an equine conservationist in Maryland. I am working to promote rotational grazing for small horse property owners. I would really like to see some information about grass combinations for horses with insulin resistance and varieties that would allow for longer grazing times. We […]

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        Is Your Beef Finished? Use Frame and Body Condition Score to Find Out

        By   2 months ago

        These are helpful tips for figuring out if your animal will be well-marbled and tender while it’s still on the hoof.

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          Money Matters View All →

          My First Wonderful Lease Part 2

          By   4 days ago

          In his book “No Risk Ranching” Greg Judy describes how he went from liquidating his cow herd and almost losing the family farm, to paying off the farm and home loan in three years by custom grazing on leased land. Since then, Greg has been traveling the country telling folks how to grow a successful […]

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          My First Wonderful Lease – Part 1

          By   2 weeks ago

          In his book “No Risk Ranching” Greg Judy describes how he went from liquidating his cow herd and almost losing the family farm, to paying off the farm and home loan in three years by custom grazing on leased land. If you know Greg’s name, it’s because he has become an evangelist for growing a […]

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          Avoiding “Too Much Stuff”

          By   3 weeks ago

          With a little musical accompaniment from Delbert McClinton, Don reminds us how to avoid too much stuff.

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          Is Becoming a Grazier an Economically Viable Option?

          By   4 weeks ago

          We need your input on this conversation about making grazing a viable option for new and beginning farmers and ranchers.

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          Got Projects? Need Money? Maybe There’s Help

          By   1 month ago

          Are you looking around your farm or ranch this winter thinking about projects that need to be done to improve your operation? Are you also looking at your bank account and trying to figure out to stretch dollars to pay for projects that would reduce erosion, increase your forage, or help you better manage your […]

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          Tips For Staying Profitable In A Depressed Livestock Market

          By   1 month ago

          There has been quite a price change in the livestock world in the last two years. There has never been a time in recent history that cattle prices crashed as quickly as they did in the fall of 2015. Historically high prices were being paid for anything that looked like a cow. The new normal […]

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          Working Successfully With Your Meat Processor

          By   2 months ago

            Miscommunication is at the root of so many problems, including working successfully with meat processors. That’s why our friends at National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT/ATTRA) put together this fact sheet by Agriculture Specialist Linda Coffey. It covers things you can do to communicate better with your processor to solve the problems that so […]

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          Getting Ready for Farm Loan Renewal Time

          By   2 months ago

          Shortly before Christmas, I was watching a Christmas movie with my family about a farm family who was in jeopardy of losing the operation if they didn’t come up with the required payments by January 2. You can guess, as well as I did, that it was a Christmas miracle and the necessary funds were […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Maintaining Sagebrush-Covered Landscapes Keeps Water on the Land for Ranchers and Wildlife

            By   4 days ago

            Thanks to  Justin Fritscher, Natural Resources Conservation Service, for bringing us this summary of research benefiting ranchers and wildlife. Removing invading conifer trees improves the health of sagebrush ecosystems, providing better habitat for wildlife and better forage for livestock. And now, new science shows these efforts may also help improve late-season water availability, which is […]

            Read More →

            What’s the Difference Between Grain-Fed and Grass-fed?

            By   2 weeks ago

            Shannon shares what grass-fed customers need to know about what makes a piece of grass-fed meat different from grain-fed, and what that means in the kitchen so they can have the best meal possible.

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            The Consequences of Doing or Not Doing

            By   3 weeks ago

            When I mow the grass, it is an ecological catastrophe for some creatures, a boon to others. When I keep living roots in the soil, I increase stability and complexity of soil life. When I plough or grow annual crops—in my garden, for example—I create havoc for many types of fungi, some of which are […]

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            Ag Research Can Help the Economy and Inform Policy

            By   4 weeks ago

            This comes to us from Cody Sullivan, U.S. Forest Service Research and Development. When most people think of forests, science isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but, perhaps, it should. That’s because the U.S. Forest Service Research and Development program oversees projects across many science disciplines including forestry, genetics, wildlife, forest products and […]

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            The Grazier’s Bookshelf

            By   1 month ago

            The icy hand of winter grasped my little valley just after Thanksgiving. After a fabulous grass-growing fall, the dark curtain fell, which meant I began watching the mailbox in earnest as winter is the time of year new books arrive, some of them about grazing. Recently I’ve written about steps people might take to explore […]

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            A Conservation Group That Loves Farmers and Ranchers

            By   1 month ago

            Since it’s Valentine’s Day, here’s a little love for all our readers.

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            Better Than Circling the Wagons

            By   2 months ago

            Circle the wagons… An expression “…traditionally used by 19th century American settlers traveling to the West in convoys of Conestoga wagons. When faced with attack, such as by hostile Native American tribes, the travelers would rapidly form a circle out of their wagons, bringing the [vulnerable]… to the center of the circle….This tactic was popularly […]

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            Herbivores Might Save Coral Reefs

            By   2 months ago

            We know that well-managed grazing can help maintain rangelands and wildlife habitat. Turns out grazing is important for coral reef survival too.

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              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              March Medusahead Madness – Get Started NOW to Stop it in Its Tracks

              By   4 days ago

              Medusahead grass is an “Ecosystem Transformer” species. Not only does it compete for resources with other plants, but it can change ecosystem function to favor its own survival at the expense of an entire ecosystem. It thrives in areas with hot dry summers and cool wet falls and springs. Its seeds travel well on animal […]

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              Here’s How to Tell When It’s time to Let the Cows Out

              By   2 weeks ago

              It’s the time of year when we’re all chomping at the bit to head out to green pasture.  We can see the grass coming up, we’re tired of feeding hay and our stock is tired of eating it.  We know that hitting our pastures too soon could come back to bite us later and might […]

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              Here’s a Solution for the Weeds That Are About to Sprout

              By   3 weeks ago

              This article was first posted in March of 2015. It’s still a great solution today. Back in the Spring of 2010, the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in Miles City, Montana put out a press release announcing an online calculator that could tell producers how many more cattle they could raise if they were able to […]

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              Soil That Looks Like Cottage Cheese – It’s a Good Thing

              By   4 weeks ago

              Gabe Brown is known for the work he’s done improving his soils, and with it, his farm’s profitability. He quit tilling back in 1993, turning instead to no-till, cover crops, and crop rotation. Here he’ll show you what his soil looks like after 20 years of caring for his land this way. The result is […]

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              From Our Archives – Soil Saves Lives

              By   1 month ago

              Since you’re the protectors of one of our most important resources, we thought you’d appreciate this January 2014 story about soil’s contribution to medicine. In 1943, after 55 years of research and working in universities, Benjamin Duggar retired at the age of 71.  He turned down all the consulting offers that came his way, thinking […]

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              Fences and Management-intensive Grazing – Why Bother?

              By   1 month ago

              This article ran in February of 2016. We thought it would be helpful as you’re considering what you’ll do this coming spring. My friend, Bob Kinford, recently posed the following question during a conversation about grazing management alternatives. Recognize most of my operating experience is in high rainfall & irrigated environments while Bob comes from […]

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              How to Body Condition Score Your Beef Herd

              By   2 months ago

              This article was originally published in February of 2015. It comes to us from the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Beef website. Thanks to Dr. Rick Rasby for his excellent explanations! Be sure to scroll down to the bottom and check out the app that UNL created to help you practice your body condition scoring and […]

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              Ideas for Additions to Your Pasture Forages

              By   2 months ago

              This article first appeared in January of 2014. We hope these ideas from Jerry Doan will inspire you to consider what might work well in your pastures. With all the cold and snow many of us have been having, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just step out of it all and take a […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                This Kind of Mud Season Pugging Is OK

                By   4 days ago

                Sometimes Google gives interesting results to searches. Here’s “Pugging.” Even the dog thinks this is just wrong. Save

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                RIP Autocorrect

                By   2 weeks ago

                For all of you who have been haunted by autocorrect accidents, maybe this will make you feel better. Save

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                Giant Firework Flying Saucer

                By   3 weeks ago

                We’re sharing this now so you can save up money for your own this July 4th. FYI, it flew almost 3/4 of a mile high!    

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                The Next Step In Stockmanship – Cows That Come When Called

                By   4 weeks ago

                It turns out all you really have to do is name your cows and then teach them to come when called.

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                Who’s Destroying America Now? GOATS!

                By   1 month ago

                Back in October of 2014, Stephen Colbert broadcast this expose on the danger of goats taking over landscaping jobs across the country. It features our own Tammy Dunakin of Rent-A-Ruminant and her goats. You can get the real scoop on what she’s up to in this week’s Growing a Goat Grazing Business Part I. (Beware […]

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                Don’t Forget Your Valentine!

                By   1 month ago

                If you’ve got sheep or a manure spreader, here are some Valentine ideas for you! This Australian farmer had help from his 800 sheep to make a valentine in the field This fellow, well, manure was his art form: If you don’t have time for all that, choose one of these fine valentine’s. Click, print, […]

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                Ten Paraprosdokians to Tickle Your Brain

                By   2 months ago

                Paraprosdokian: a figure of speech where the latter part of the phrase is humorously surprising or unexpected and causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. Enjoy these 10! Save

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                How Many Sit-Ups Have You Done?

                By   2 months ago

                You’d think we’d have more to show for it.

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