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The Scoop View All →

The Drinks That Fuel Us

decalf coffee

By   7 days ago

We all have a beverage of some kind that gets us up in the morning and keeps us running at top speed through the day. Here’s what does it for the On Pasture Editors: Rachel:  Tea. Hot cocoa. Steamed milk with Honey. More Tea. Kathy:  1 cup of 1/2 caf Coffee in the a.m. P.M […]

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Monkey Bread, Cricket Brownies, Fried Larvae and Horse Nettle = A Perfect Trip!

b6db8c71-4553-4be0-bf9f-023d6efe2d77

By   2 weeks ago

I spent the last week of September in  Louisiana.  Dr. Alan DeRamus of the University of Louisiana invited me there to talk to farmers about how to teach their livestock to eat weeds.  It was an outstanding trip and here’s why: Great food I ate Monkey Bread for the first time, and that was just one of […]

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You’ll Bring Your Own Hot Dog to Your Sister’s Because You Won’t Eat Her Cooking, But You’ll Stand By Her Forever

Kathy's great-grandpa Voth is second from the left.  Her great-grandma is standing next to him.

By   3 weeks ago

This week’s article about cooperative farming/ranching frameworks reminded us that helping each other and working together is in our blood.  None of us would have made it without our clan. In the late 1800s Kathy’s great-grandpa Voth came from the Ukraine to Newton, Kansas, a young boy arriving at a train station with nothing but a few coins in […]

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If you’re going to bloom where you’re planted, you have to adapt

One of the barrel cacti in our yard this summer.

By   4 weeks ago

Last night the cat tried to bring me a present.  It was something wiggling around on the doormat and when I took a closer look I realized it was a lizard’s tail.  I knew that lizards could lose their tails so they could get away from predators, but I hadn’t realized until just then that the […]

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Funnies, Friends and Fall Memories

Bramley seedling apples ready for picking. Photo courtesy of Markus Hagenlocher.

By   1 month ago

This week’s Funny reminds me of a friend not talked to in years. Dan Allen, are you out there? Not to give the joke away, Dan called the conglomeration of KFC and TacoBell a “cluster-bleep.” That was the first time I heard that phrase, and it seemed so apt. It works in other situations too, if […]

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It’s Football Season – Time for Responsibly-Sourced Meats!

A new reason to celebrate in the end zone! Grass-fed hotdogs and hamburgers!

By   1 month ago

From our friends at Animal Welfare Approved – here’s The Scoop on how St. Louis Rams fans will be eating the most sustainable, high-welfare hot dogs and burgers courtesy of Sportservice and former Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon’s Shire Gate Farm.

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All Forage Bull Test Gearing Up For Year 3

Beral of Wye, one of Morgan's fine bulls that has moved on to Kit Pharo's ranch.

By   2 months ago

I’m sending out this forward to let you all know in black and white about the Cornell All Forage Bull Test. This year there was a lot of producer input in the design of the test and a lot of feedback from previous consignors as to what data is economically important. Of course, many of […]

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Guitar duet, on one guitar

One Guitar 4 hands

By   2 months ago

You have to really know your partner when you play a duet, and this is especially true if you are sharing a single instrument. The minute we saw this video we realized, “That’s us!” Putting out a new issue of On Pasture every week looks a lot like two guitar players playing on a single guitar, each […]

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Grazing Management View All →

One Wire Electric Fences Make Managing and Teaching Calves Easy

We don't see any fence!

By   7 days ago

As you’re thinking about next year’s grazing season, here’s a fencing technique to work into your system. Easy for you, easy for your calves!

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Early Weaning – A Good Bet For Producers in Drought-Stricken Areas

Cow and Calf Montana

By   2 weeks ago

Here’s something to think about this winter as you’re planning for next year’s weaning. Who knew that early weaned steers gain better?! That’s just one of the things ARS scientists found when they looked at early weaning as an alternative when forage is limited.

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Mob Grazing in the Winter – A Good Time to Start

Notice foreground showing small section from previous day's grazing.

By   3 weeks ago

We began using MG way back in the early 90′s during the winter with stockpiled fescue on rented farms. Each year we came to trust more and more what we were doing until we eventually sold all of our hay equipment. One of the best decision we’ve ever made. It was the key to making […]

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Batt-Latch Lets Your Animals Move Themselves!

batt-latch-hi-res-in-use

By   4 weeks ago

Being a farmer is simply one of the busiest human activities so, what grazing farmer wouldn’t benefit from an automatic gate opener? We recently learned about this useful device with the ability to automatically open gates. It is called a ‘Batt-Latch.’ A Batt-Latch is an electronic locking device (developed by NZ company Jenquip), that incorporates a […]

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Just a Few Fences Can Improve Pasture Health and Increase Stocking Rates

Pasture Use Patterns

By   4 weeks ago

This video comes to us from our friends Downunder.  It shows one sheep producer’s experience with using rotational grazing to improve his pastures.  With just three fences dividing a 45 hectare pasture (111 acres), John Keogh says, “We’ve picked up 4 DSE (dry sheep equivalents) per hectare and has seen a 15 to 20% return on […]

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Cattle and the Military Team Up to Protect Butterflies and the Prairie

Taylor's checkerspot butterfly. (Photo by Barna Aaron, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

By   1 month ago

This article comes to us from Washington State University. Think of it as an example of how you might work with partners to demonstrate how managed grazing can improve ecosystems and protect wildlife.

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Managing Grazing to Improve Stream Corridors Part II

One type of solar pumping system.  This one pumps whenever the sun shines on the solar panel. It is set up in a paddock adjacent to the one with the livestock to avoid livestock damage to the solar panel. It pumps to a tank in the paddock with the livestock.

By   1 month ago

In Part I of this series, we looked at a variety of ways to create paddocks so that we could water livestock from streams while at the same time managing them to improve stream corridors.  But in some cases, using streams as a water source can lead to damage, or can prevent livestock from grazing […]

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A Great Grazing Systems Planning Guide

Grazing Systems Planning Guide sm

By   2 months ago

From folks at University of Minnesota Extension, this guide helps you look at your pastures and your stock so you can develop your own grazing management plan or tweak the one you’ve got.

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Pasture Health View All →

Cover Crops + Livestock = Winning!

Gabe Brown Presentation

By   7 days ago

Well-known grazier Gabe Brown shares his five steps for healthy soil and how using them on his farm has made him successful.

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You’re Already Doing Research – Now Here’s How To Make It Pay.

SmallPastureResearchCover

By   2 weeks ago

Trying out a new technique may make you money. Or it might just cost a bundle. Here’s how you can figure out the answers to all your pasture questions – on your own pasture. And it’s just in time to help you if you’re thinking of getting a SARE grant to cover the costs!

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Pasture Management: Perennial or Annual Forages?

Photo courtesy of Ozark Pasture Be

By   3 weeks ago

One of the questions grazing farmers often ask are, what type of forages will grow well on their farms or, which will best suit their livestock?  It’s probably no surprise that the simple answer is “lots of them!” as opposed to one or two annuals. Thus, most grazing farmers should aim for as much forage […]

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Just a Few Fences Can Improve Pasture Health and Increase Stocking Rates

Pasture Use Patterns

By   4 weeks ago

This video comes to us from our friends Downunder.  It shows one sheep producer’s experience with using rotational grazing to improve his pastures.  With just three fences dividing a 45 hectare pasture (111 acres), John Keogh says, “We’ve picked up 4 DSE (dry sheep equivalents) per hectare and has seen a 15 to 20% return on […]

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Weed Nutritional Values and Toxins

Weed Nutrition Cover

By   1 month ago

Here’s a great, new resource to find out if your weed is a potentially valuable forage, or if it’s something that should be avoided.

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Catch the Soil Health Bug

Ashley Pierce and Ray Archuleta talk at Grasstravaganza

By   1 month ago

Here’s a little inspiration for you from Grasstravaganza 2014

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Socialize With Cows to Promote Soil Fertility

the-moo-man-cow-1024x576

By   1 month ago

When I studied Agronomy in Brazil, my grazing mentors recommended that farmers that walked in the paddock or grazing strips for a few minutes previous to movingvthe cows to a fresh pasture, might stimulate soil fertility. If you are wondering how this is possible, read on and I’ll try to explain. Before moving their animals, […]

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Managed Grazing Can Improve Stream Corridors

Read the booklet that this article came from by clicking and downloading it now.

By   2 months ago

Exclusion of livestock from streams doesn’t always result in better conditions for fisheries and wildlife or prevent negative impacts to the environment. Here’s how livestock and animal impact can be used as needed to maintain healthy streams and riparian corridors.

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Livestock View All →

Line Breeding is Good For Profit

Here's an example of a group of cattle sorted to create a uniform load.  Folks have been doing this for ages.  This photo is from the Union Stockyards in Chicago, Illinois.  Taken by John Vachon, July 1941 courtesy of Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress

By   7 days ago

A couple months ago I wrote an article for On Pasture called Breeding Matters. I briefly alluded to Line Breeding as a method of getting greater consistency and uniformity of type in one’s herd or flock. Many graziers I talk to essentially say, “So why should I care how my cattle are bred, or my […]

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Labeling Your Grass Fed Beef – Here’s What You Need To Make It Easy

Nutrition Fact Sheet Example

By   7 days ago

Grass Run Farms did the leg work to make it easier for you to put a label on your grass fed beef that helps show its value when compared with conventional beef.

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A Tale of Two Testes: The Boar Taint That Ain’t

Valdale-Farm-1-of-3-300x199

By   2 weeks ago

Woven Meadows Farm doesn’t castrate its pastured pork so boars grow faster and give more bacon. Here’s what they’ve found out about meat taint and preventing it, along with some information about pasturing bulls, rams and bucks too.

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How Do I Know When My Cattle Are Finished?

Finished Devon Steer

By   3 weeks ago

Here’s a great video to help you answer that question.  You’ll follow a handsome, grass-fed and finished, Lakota Ranch, Devon steer around the pen as Jeremy Engh shows how he evaluates a finished animal. In just 7 minutes you’ll have the information you need. Here’s your link, tablet users.

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Small Ruminant Toolbox Now Available

The Toolbox includes the 978 page Small Ruminant Resource Manual.  You can download it for free and read it with Adobe Reader version 6 or later, by heading over to the Small Ruminant Toolbox Page.  Just click to get there.

By   4 weeks ago

No, it’s not a toolbox for goats and sheep. They don’t have thumbs! Better than that – it’s a toolbox of information to help sheep and goat producers prosper.

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Just a Few Fences Can Improve Pasture Health and Increase Stocking Rates

Pasture Use Patterns

By   4 weeks ago

This video comes to us from our friends Downunder.  It shows one sheep producer’s experience with using rotational grazing to improve his pastures.  With just three fences dividing a 45 hectare pasture (111 acres), John Keogh says, “We’ve picked up 4 DSE (dry sheep equivalents) per hectare and has seen a 15 to 20% return on […]

Read More →

Cow Efficiency

EfficientCow

By   1 month ago

When the cattle industry embarked on the performance race 40 plus years ago, two things happened. Weaning weights went up, which was the prime goal. It was assumed (Assume: To take for granted) that since we were selling pounds, more was better. It again was assumed that increased production per cow was good. We were […]

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Socialize With Cows to Promote Soil Fertility

the-moo-man-cow-1024x576

By   1 month ago

When I studied Agronomy in Brazil, my grazing mentors recommended that farmers that walked in the paddock or grazing strips for a few minutes previous to movingvthe cows to a fresh pasture, might stimulate soil fertility. If you are wondering how this is possible, read on and I’ll try to explain. Before moving their animals, […]

Read More →

Money Matters View All →

Labeling Your Grass Fed Beef – Here’s What You Need To Make It Easy

Nutrition Fact Sheet Example

By   7 days ago

Grass Run Farms did the leg work to make it easier for you to put a label on your grass fed beef that helps show its value when compared with conventional beef.

Read More →

How to Farm Successfully

Sheep in pasture

By   2 weeks ago

These are the five steps that Forrest Pritchard used to turn his family’s farm into a money making venture. It’s more than just the numbers, it’s about the love of doing what you do. (With a movie clip!)

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Cooperative Farming/Ranching – Frameworks for Working Together

co-op-farming_medium

By   3 weeks ago

Working together can make things easier and better, especially if you know how to set yourselves up for success. Here’s a resource that will make that a lot easier to do!

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Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm/Ranch

Click to download the guide.

By   4 weeks ago

Here’s a look at some new, innovative ways that you might consider for financing projects on your farm or ranch.

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Your Guide to Figuring the Right Farm Rental Rate

Click here to download the guide.

By   1 month ago

Last week’s articles described how you can make more money leasing pasture, and shared a website that can help you find pasture to lease anywhere in the United States and Canada. Now, here’s how you can figure out what the right rental rate is.

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You Can Lease Land for Winter Grazing and Make More Money

Cattle grazed easily through this February storm that dropped just under 4 inches of snow.

By   1 month ago

At the end of his SARE-funded project looking at the possibility and profitability of winter grazing in the Northeast, farmer Ridge Shinn concluded that a farmer could afford to pay $100 per acre to lease pasture/hay land to graze during the winter and still spend less than the $500 dollars per acre it would cost to feed hay. For […]

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Getting Paid for Stewardship – Water Quality Trading

Illustration courtesy of the Bear River Watershed (http://bearriverinfo.org/htm/water-quality-trading/water-quality-trading-conclusions)

By   2 months ago

You’re probably already reaping the benefits of conservation practices on your operation like better soil, cleaner water, and bigger profits.  But what if you could be paid by others for improving water quality?  It’s a new idea, but one that may provide options for you. Water quality trading is a market-based approach to improving water […]

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Should You Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers?

Click to see more from the USDA ERS on this chart.

By   2 months ago

There are some pretty scary statistics out there about farm income and the difficulties of being profitable. But looked at another way, those same statistics give us interesting indicators of things we might do to swing the tide in favor of farmers and ranchers. On Pasture wants to help make a difference, and here’s how.

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Consider This View All →

Watch Farmland, the Documentary, Free For The Next Three Weeks

FarmlandProducers

By   7 days ago

Academy Award winning director James Moll’s documentary “Farmland” takes an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their 20s, all responsible for running their farming businesses.  It’s aimed at everyone who has never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or talked to the people who grow and raise their food.  But […]

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Trying My Patience

dabull

By   2 weeks ago

Everybody who works with animals has these kinds of days. When you’re having one of them, maybe it will help to remember this story.

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Lard Can Actually Be GOOD For You

Smith Meadows meat filled empanadas with a lard based crust.

By   3 weeks ago

Why do we make oat cakes, empanadas and pie crust with lard at Smith Meadows Kitchen? After listening to NPR’s story “Who Killed Lard?” and many questions from Smith Meadows customers, it seemed important to address this.  First lard makes for an incredible, flaky crumble of a taste experience in your mouth.  Second it is because it […]

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Capturing the Wind for $1000

The working wind turbine at Boundbrook Farm. Photo courtesy of Erik Andrus

By   4 weeks ago

Last week, Mr. On Pasture got stuck two days in a row behind a flatbed carrying a single blade of a wind turbine. The blade, standing upright, would be taller than the peak of our roof, he explained over supper. We can’t all afford such large scale wind power, but the good news is that […]

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Video Tour of an Award Winning Ranch

Mortenson Family 2011

By   1 month ago

In 2011, Todd Mortenson and his family were recognized with the Leopold Conservation Award for their sustainable ranching practices, including rotational grazing, riparian restoration and wildlife conservation.  Todd is the 3rd generation of his family to on this South Dakota ranch and in this video tour he describes some of the practices that have made them […]

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Pasture Scout – Connecting Pasture Users With Pasture Owners

PastureScoutFeaturedImage

By   1 month ago

There’s lots of information out there about how leasing pasture is a profitable way to expand your operation. Now here’s a place you can go to find the pasture you’re looking for.

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Eat more meat and save the world

Click to see the Ted Talk

By   2 months ago

Allan Savory tells us that increasing livestock numbers can reduce desertification and reverse climate change – but where is the scientific evidence? In this article, the author describes what he found when he asked this question. We found it very interesting, and thought you would too. It’s sure to bring up some lively and worthwhile discussion, particularly around the idea of Holistic Management, its definition and how it is implemented.

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Soil Bacteria Might Make You Smarter

HappySmartMouse

By   2 months ago

There’s a lot of buzz lately about how a bacteria found in soil may help reduce depression. But that’s not the only thing dirt might be good for.  Additional research shows that same bacteria might even make us smarter. Let’s start with depression.  Based on results in lung cancer patients, who said their quality of […]

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The Funnies View All →

Hunting Safety Notice

smallhuntersafetysign

By   7 days ago

Is it bad grammar?  Or is this county trying to send a message to some of its residents?

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We Are Farming! Parody of Pharrell Williams “Happy”

Farm Kids Dancing

By   2 weeks ago

Even if you’ve never heard the original, you’ll enjoy this music video from Farmer Derek Klingenberg. Dance around now! Tablet Users – check it out here.

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No Sitter?

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By   3 weeks ago

Troy shared this on his Facebook page and now he’s sharing it with us!  

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Music Down On The Farm

Donkey sings with violin

By   4 weeks ago

Here’s a donkey that really sings for its supper! And for our tablet readers – the link.

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My Favorite Animal is Fried Chicken

FriedChickenFunnySmall

By   1 month ago

We all have favorite animals.  Sometimes saying so can get us in trouble!  

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What to do when your overalls get too tight

OverallModel

By   1 month ago

This is an easy self-help solution that doesn’t require a diet or exercise.

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Beware of Chickens

Beware of Chickens Small

By   2 months ago

Safety first in the hen house!

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Tanning Tips For Vacationing Farmers

FarmersTanSmall

By   2 months ago

Sunscreen is always a better choice than soaking up the sun.  But if you have to perfect your tan, here’s how.

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