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The Scoop View All →

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   12 hours 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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   1 month 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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Electric fences make hilarious stories

fence cartoon

By   1 month ago

Good fences make good neighbors, but electric fences make hilarious stories. Rachel: Years ago, I heard this one, from a really neat guy named Bill Stout. This story was from when he was a kid. He and his cousins were messing around at their grandparents’ farm, and his cousin convinced him to pee on the […]

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Punching a gift horse in the mouth

photo 1

By   2 months ago

My husband and I have three kids. Two sons and a daughter. Two boys, and a girl. They are perfect children. Which means that they are at times, so kind and helpful, we sit back aghast that these well behaved children are ours. And then there are the other times, when one son walks up […]

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Grazing Management View All →

Mob Grazing in the Winter – A Good Time to Start

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

By   12 hours 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!

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By   1 week 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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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Managed Grazing Can Improve Stream Corridors

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

By   4 weeks 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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Does Pasture Reseeding Work?

One of Spud's cows enjoying the fruits of his labors.  Photo courtesy of Warren Schultz and the Rodale Institute.

By   1 month ago

It takes time and money, but the difference can boost your bottom line.

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Pasture Health View All →

Pasture Management: Perennial or Annual Forages?

Photo courtesy of Ozark Pasture Be

By   12 hours 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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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Soil Health Explained

HealthySoil

By   1 month ago

The concept of “soil health” has received a lot of emphasis lately. The phrase shows up in magazines, it’s discussed at farmer meetings and in scholarly articles, research projects are designed to study it and federal programs attempt to promote it. Soil health is a crucial topic and it’s well worth all the attention. But […]

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Chomp Down on Chicory

How could you hate anything this pretty? Especially since it's good eating!

By   1 month ago

Great protein, grows well, and has tannins that help livestock deal with parasites. Plus, it’s pretty! What’s not to like about this forage?

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Livestock View All →

How Do I Know When My Cattle Are Finished?

Finished Devon Steer

By   12 hours 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   1 week 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   1 week 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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Cow Efficiency

EfficientCow

By   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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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Management-Intensive Grazing With Bison

Photo Courtesy of VermejoParkRanch.com

By   4 weeks ago

I was lucky enough to visit Mark Kossler when he was the manager of Turner Enterprises’ Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico. The ranch was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. There was the natural beauty, and the beauty of how the ranch was managed, and the beauty of the mountain […]

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The Proof is in the Poop Pudding

All photos are by Jim Gerrish from the American Grazing Lands, LLC's post.

By   1 month ago

Want to know how much your cattle are gaining per day without weighing them? Here’s how looking at their manure will give you a pretty good idea.

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Stress Spreads: What’s Pee Got To Do With It?

CowPees

By   1 month ago

You may have noticed that whn a few animals get stressed, others do too, or that a normally calm group of animals just isn’t the same when you add a Nervous Nelly. Here’s what could be going on.

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Money Matters View All →

Cooperative Farming/Ranching – Frameworks for Working Together

co-op-farming_medium

By   12 hours 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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   1 month 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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How to Write a Letter/Resume When You Want to Lease Land

For Lease Sign

By   1 month ago

If you want to start or expand your farming operation, making contact with a landowner is one of the first steps. Here are some tips about making that all important good first impression.

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Successful Selling at Farmers Markets

Cover of SSAFM

By   2 months ago

Did you miss out on this year’s Farmers Markets?  Are you wondering if this is for you and what it takes to get started?  Or did you try out this sales venue and are looking for ways to improve your sales?  The answers to your questions can be found in Nada Haddad’s 12 page fact […]

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Consider This View All →

Lard Can Actually Be GOOD For You

Smith Meadows meat filled empanadas with a lard based crust.

By   12 hours 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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   1 month 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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Right to Farm – Should There Be a Law?

Righttofarmamendment

By   1 month ago

All states have some kind of “right to farm” legislation but only two have amended their constitutions to include this kind of language. The first was North Dakota.  The latest is Missouri where, two weeks ago, about a third of registered voters turned out to approve the amendment by a slight margin of just 50.13% of the vote.  The […]

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Don’t chuck it, cook it!

Honest Weight, the food co-op here, offers up its imperfect food for cooking lessons, and for free.

By   2 months ago

Food waste – there’s a LOT Of it!  The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 40% of of edible food goes to waste.  It’s trashed because it goes bad before we can eat it, or because it looks “odd.” Food waste makes up the largest proportion of the trash in our landfills, and as it rots it produces […]

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The Funnies View All →

No Sitter?

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By   12 hours 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   1 week 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   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks ago

Safety first in the hen house!

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Tanning Tips For Vacationing Farmers

FarmersTanSmall

By   1 month 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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Touching an Electric Fence Experiment Ends As Expected

Electric Fence Shock

By   1 month ago

Since we shared electric fence safety tips this week, we also thought you’d like this video demonstrating how an electric fence works.

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Bouncing Bison

Bouncing Bison

By   2 months ago

For our readers raising bison, reconsider giving them trampolines for exercise.

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