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The Scoop View All →

Electric fences make hilarious stories

fence cartoon

By   2 days 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   1 week 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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The Top of the To-Do List

RachelZucchini

By   2 weeks ago

This weekend, I had a list of things to do as long as the zucchini I found in the garden. In other words, about two feet long. I did most of the things on the list, but didn’t get to one, and I’m going to do that one in a minute. The thing I didn’t […]

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Uh Oh! Plan B!

Blessed Flexible2

By   3 weeks ago

What happens when life comes up against a business plan? You develop flexibility!

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The $60,000 Potato Salad

photo-main

By   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months 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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Grazing Management View All →

Fast Facts – Electric Fence Safety

Electric-Fence-Shock-Warning-Sign-K-9806

By   2 days ago

These safety tips come to us from Rob DeClue of the Chenango County Soil and Water Conservation District and the New York Grazing Coaltion’s Grazette newsletter.

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Fixing Seasonal Electric Fencing Problems

Additional Grounding

By   1 week ago

A season of managed grazing can be hard on your fences and changes in vegetation and soil moisture take their toll. Here are some suggestions for figuring out what’s wrong and fixing it.

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Fenceless Grazing

Here's a photo by Jornada ARS showing a cow wearing an early version of the DVF system.

By   2 weeks ago

If Dean Anderson of the USDA ARS Jornada Experimental Range has his way, cows will wear these little “hats” that tell them where to go and we won’t have to build fences anymore!

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Rehabilitating Degraded Rangelands With Managed Grazing

Photo points showing visual differences of grazing impacts on decadent grass stands

By   3 weeks ago

This article is from the SARE website and provides great information on how grazing can improve rangelands for the benefit of wildlife, visitors and ranchers alike.

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Stockpiling Tall Fescue

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 8.57.31 AM

By   1 month 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

hot_cow

By   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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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Pasture Health View All →

Chomp Down on Chicory

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

By   2 days 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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Got Trefoil?

Lotus_corniculatus_plant

By   1 week ago

Here’s a great forage that you should think about for your pastures, what it can do for you, and how you can manage it best so it can do its job.

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How To Feed 9 Billion People With Healthy Soil: 7 Simple Steps!

Root Exudates

By   2 weeks ago

We talked with fellow soil enthusiasts Ray Archuleta and Jeff Rasawehr, and here’s what they have to say.

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Today has been brought to you by the letter P: Planting peas in pasture

Today's article is brought to you by the letter "P"

By   3 weeks ago

The puny pea can pack a powerful punch when it comes to nitrogen fixing in your pastures. Jeff Rasawehr of Center Seeds talks about peas and planting procedures for pasture productivity and profit.

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Sneaky Pasture Weeds – Sedges and Rushes

Photo courtesy of www.agry.purdue.edu

By   1 month 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   1 month 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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Science backs profits from grazing cover crops

New Picture

By   1 month 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   2 months 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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Livestock View All →

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

CowPees

By   2 days 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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A Cowboy, His Cows and Grizzly Bears

Collared grizzly bear. Photo courtesy of Paul Lazarski

By   1 week ago

Managing livestock means more than just dealing with the animals in our herds. It also means taking into account the animals that we live amongst. In some cases, grizzlies, and the humans who are there to protect them.

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Grass-fed Beef and Milk Is Healthier

The full title of this report is "Greener Pastures: How grass-fed beef and milk contribute to healthy eating.  You can download t by clicking here, or wait until next week when we share more results.

By   2 weeks ago

When a scientist says something works, or is better, it’s based on what research has demonstrated, or at least what it has demonstrated up to that point in time.  So when the Union of Concerned Scientists says that you can safely claim that grass-fed beef and milk is better than their conventionally raised counterparts, you can take […]

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Carrot or Stick – What’s the Best Way to Get Your Livestock to Do Something?

reinforcement

By   3 weeks ago

The other day I was talking to a friend who was trying to figure out how to get her kid to quit yelling in the house.  One idea was to tell him that if he yelled he would lose Gamebox time.  But then, if he started out the day yelling, and he lost his game […]

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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   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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 →

Money Matters View All →

How to Write a Letter/Resume When You Want to Lease Land

For Lease Sign

By   2 days 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   1 week 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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How To Start A Grass-Fed Beef Cooperative

Grazers Cooperative

By   2 weeks ago

This is a work in progress. But if we all pitch in, it’s something that will help all of us who need the benefits of a good co-op.

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Grass-fed Beef and Milk Is Healthier

The full title of this report is "Greener Pastures: How grass-fed beef and milk contribute to healthy eating.  You can download t by clicking here, or wait until next week when we share more results.

By   2 weeks ago

When a scientist says something works, or is better, it’s based on what research has demonstrated, or at least what it has demonstrated up to that point in time.  So when the Union of Concerned Scientists says that you can safely claim that grass-fed beef and milk is better than their conventionally raised counterparts, you can take […]

Read More →

Compost Powered Heat: A New And Proven Form of Renewable Energy

Here's an illustration of how this system works.

By   3 weeks ago

If you’ve got livestock, you’ve got manure and other compostables. Here’s another way to take advantage of this great resource.

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Grass for Gas: Bioenergy in your tank

Switchgrass harvest at Meach Cove Farm in Vermont

By   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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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Consider This View All →

Right to Farm – Should There Be a Law?

Righttofarmamendment

By   2 days 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   1 week 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 Best Sandwich in the Universe

TheBestSandwichInTheUniverse

By   2 weeks ago

A tomato and mayonnaise sandwich on store-bought white bread is the finest sandwich known to mankind. This is not up for debate, and the ingredients are not negotiable. Salt and pepper are permissible, but if you try to get schmancier than that, you’ll screw it all up, and your sandwich should be taken away from you until you learn to properly appreciate the simple perfection of this combination.

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Don’t Feed 9 Billion People. Feed the Soil.

world-pop-278x300

By   3 weeks ago

Tired of all that pressure? Here’s a solution that will take some of the load off, and still feed 9 Billion people.

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Home Grown Fuel and Feed

Home Grown Fuel

By   1 month 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   1 month 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   1 month 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   2 months ago

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

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The Funnies View All →

Touching an Electric Fence Experiment Ends As Expected

Electric Fence Shock

By   2 days 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   1 week ago

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

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5-year-old Hair Stylist

Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut Ever

By   2 weeks ago

Have you laughed AND cried over the haircuts your kids give themselves or each other? Here’s an interview with two little girls about the haircut that went wrong.

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Cowaramarup in Cow Suits

5592324-3x2-700x467

By   3 weeks ago

I don’t know which is funnier:  the name of this town, Cowaramarup, Australia, or that 1,352 people who live there dressed up in cow suits to achieve a new Guinness World Record. Sadly for those in Northern Virginia, this far outpaces their previous record of 470.  And the folks in Simcoe, Ontario who set the original […]

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Our Alter Egos

So Much Cooler Online

By   1 month 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   1 month ago

Be safe out there!

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Date Night Anyone?

DateNightSmall

By   1 month 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   2 months ago

A little video starring one of our pasture pals….

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