The Scoop View All →

Principles Toward a Productive and Healthy West

By   7 days ago

This past week, On Pasture joined the Western Landowners Alliance, Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition, Family Farm Alliance, and Partners for Conservation, along with a host of businesses and organizations working across the West in signing a non-partisan statement of principles to guide lawmakers and communities in creating a healthy working lands and communities. We […]

Read More →

Your Most Important Tool? A Pencil!

By   2 weeks ago

My son thinks he is building a clubhouse. He doesn’t realize that he is a farmer in training. The sort of planning he is doing reminds me and Kathy of the sort of planning that farmers, or everyone, does. There’s a spot he’s got in mind for the clubhouse, under the canopy of trees, up a […]

Read More →

Summer Vacation Is the Best!

By   3 weeks ago

Your On Pasture editors are on vacation this week. Rachel is off to the beach and Kathy is getting out of the Tucson heat and visiting friends and family in Colorado. But we haven’t left you in the lurch. All of this week’s articles come from the On Pasture Special Collections. That’s the new menu […]

Read More →

Dingo: 1, Danged Groundhog: 0

By   4 weeks ago

Saturday afternoon, our dog caught a groundhog. This was, in our way of thinking, very good news. The bugger had already gnawed on spring pea vines peeking through the garden fence, and we aren’t big fans of ground hogs. The other part of the good news is that Dingo seems to be showing his age, and […]

Read More →

Surprise! You’re Not the Only One Making Mistakes

By   1 month ago

I like Home and Garden TV. I like to watch happy hosts take a house that just doesn’t quite suit the people that live there, and use power tools, hammers, drywall and paint to turn it into something that brings the residents to happy tears. I think beauty is important, I like to see problems […]

Read More →

No One Said Farming or Ranching Was Easy. Can We Help?

By   1 month ago

This week we share stories from two farmers as examples of how to become a farmer, and how these particular folks climbed over their hurdles. Jay Lavery started as a flight attendant and doing standup. As he turned 50, he turned to farming, and then – SURPRISE! – he went viral as the farmer famous […]

Read More →

How Much More Can You Do With How Much Less?

By   2 months ago

Can we talk, politely, about what it means for the USDA budget to be cut 21%, about what we really need from the Department and the agencies that serve farmers and ranchers? Do you have suggestions for fixes to programs that would make them better for you? The time to figure it out is now, as Congress considers a new budget and Farm Bill.

Read More →

The Next Level of Dedication

By   2 months ago

On Pasture has been through a lot of behind the scenes change in the last two months, and today, if all went according to plan, the site is faster and you’re not getting the dreaded “500 error” anymore. That’s because we are now on a dedicated server. But if all DIDN’T go according to plan, […]

Read More →

    Grazing Management View All →

    What Works for Wildlife Is Also Better for Montana Rancher and Her Livestock

    By   7 days ago

    Janet Endecott thought she was just being nice when she agreed to improve fish habitat on her ranch. It turns out the livestock loved the change too!

    Read More →

    Rotational Grazing With Bison

    By   7 days ago

    These bison ranchers are succeeding thanks to assistance from the NRCS. See if this kind of assistance might work for you too.

    Read More →

    Roaring Springs Ranch Doubles Its Herd Thanks to Holistic Management

    By   2 weeks ago

    In the first 10 years of managing holistically, Roaring Springs Ranch was able to double their carrying capacity. Then, because of their improved grazing practices, wildlife habitat improved as well. The sage grouse population has increased by 30% and the redband trout population is up 80%. So what is ranch manager Stacy Davies doing that […]

    Read More →

    Special Collections – All About Grazing Charts and How to Use Them

    By   3 weeks ago

    If you look up at the menu bar, you’ll see a link called “Special Collections.” That’s where we’ve put collections of articles on topics that readers ask about over and over. Here’s one set in that collection that you can check out over this July 4th week. Enjoy! Troy’s Grazing Charts and How To Use […]

    Read More →

    Putting Idle Land Back to Work Through Intensively-Managed Livestock Impacts and Silvopasturing Principles

    By   4 weeks ago

    Throughout most humid regions of the US, the landscape is dotted with old farm fields and pastures that today grow trees and shrubs.  In some cases, there are obvious reasons why land was left to revert back to its natural state – too wet, stony or steep. But many of these old field sites also […]

    Read More →

    Holistic Management to the Rescue

    By   1 month ago

    Over the past four years On Pasture has shared articles about farmers and ranchers who have used Holistic Management as a tool to go from debt to profit, from mediocre animal performance to something much better, and from pastures and range that were in poor condition, to a landscape that is functioning and that works […]

    Read More →

    Timely Tips for Managing What’s Happening in Pastures Now

    By   1 month ago

    This is great info for those folks on irrigated pasture or those in areas of decent precipitation. For those of you working in the arid west and parts of Texas, see if this gives you ideas for how to manage your drier forages.

    Read More →

    Beginning Farmers’ Success with Managed, Multi-Species Grazing, Cover Crops and More

    By   2 months ago

    Shane and Jessica Blair are new Minnesota farmers getting started with the help of a team from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Here’s how it worked for them. See if there are resources here that might be useful to you, no matter where you are in your farming/ranching career.

    Read More →

      Pasture Health View All →

      Soil Health – We All Love It, But What Is It Worth?

      By   7 days ago

      Soil health gets a lot of air time. But have you ever thought about what it’s actually worth in dollars? That’s the question Tom Buman of Agren decided to answer. What he learned is that we can put a dollar value on healthy soil as well as the cost of erosion. Tom worked with a […]

      Read More →

      Grazing Height Determines the Health of Your Forages

      By   2 weeks ago

      As livestock producers, you know very well how forages will impact the growth or productivity of your animals. However, we very seldom think of how our livestock will impact the growth and productivity of our forages. Understanding the impact that grazing or cutting will have on the pasture is critical to achieving stand longevity, productivity, […]

      Read More →

      Soil 101 – From Special Collections

      By   3 weeks ago

      If you click on “Special Collections” in the menu bar, you’ll find a list of things that folks often ask us about or that we all need the most help with. With a topic as complex as soil, it’s hard to cover all the bases. So this collection of articles is just the basics to […]

      Read More →

      Solving Alfalfa “Windrow Disease”

      By   4 weeks ago

      Rained-on hay plagues all of us eventually. The ‘windrow disease’ that often follows presents lingering problems. Bruce Anderson, Nebraska Forage Extension Specialist has these words of wisdom for preventing it.

      Read More →

      When Livestock Eat Weeds You Have 43% More Forage*

      By   1 month ago

      It’s that time of year when I remind you that you can teach your ruminant livestock to eat your weeds so that you have as much as 43% more forage, and you don’t have to worry about herbicide. Training a group of 50 animals to eat weeds takes just 8 hours spread over 7 days […]

      Read More →

      Easy Monitoring to Track Pasture and Rangeland Changes

      By   1 month ago

      All you need is your smart phone, maybe a shovel or fence post from the back of your truck, and the willingness to take a picture and email it to yourself and you’ve become a monitoring master!

      Read More →

      Using Your Cattle To Control Blackberry Bushes and Other Plants You Love to Hate

      By   1 month ago

      In this video, Jason Crisman of JC’s Organic Farm shares a surprising development in his herd. They’re eating blackberry bushes with gusto! He attributes their new foraging to his rotational grazing, fencing them into smaller paddocks so that they become less selective graziers. Like us, cows are creatures of habit and they eat what they’ve […]

      Read More →

      The Summer Annual Manual

      By   2 months ago

      Summer annuals have unique benefits, like filling a small space in the rotation with multiple cuttings of big yields. They also bring some unique challenges and considerations. Here’s what you need to know. Step 1 is waiting for warm soils. These crops are adapted to hot climates and won’t germinate consistently until soil is at […]

      Read More →

        Livestock View All →

        Rotational Grazing With Bison

        By   7 days ago

        These bison ranchers are succeeding thanks to assistance from the NRCS. See if this kind of assistance might work for you too.

        Read More →

        Can I wean 90-day-old calves that weigh 300 pounds?

        By   2 weeks ago

        The answer is yes. Dry weather has made this – and variations – the question of the day. In an ideal world, mother and calf should enjoy green pastures from birth until weaning at about 7 months of age. The typical weaning age is 192 days for producers in the Cow Herd Appraisal Performance System […]

        Read More →

        Chicken Library in Special Collections

        By   3 weeks ago

        Though over 75% of you are focused on raising beef, information on raising chickens is always a big draw here at On Pasture. To make it easier to get right to these articles, we put together a “Chicken Library.” Here you go. Just click, scan through to find a topic you’re interested and read away! […]

        Read More →

        Guardian Dog Success in West Texas on Large Landscapes

        By   4 weeks ago

        Can guardian dogs make a difference against coyotes and other predators, even when both the livestock owner and the dogs are inexperienced? Steve Bryns, Texas A&M AgriLife News editor shares what researchers found, along with resources you can use to get started with dogs.

        Read More →

        How to Drive Livestock Using Low-Stress Handling Techniques

        By   1 month ago

        Driving is one of the most common interactions we have with our livestock. Here’s how to make that less stressful for everyone involved.

        Read More →

        Using Your Cattle To Control Blackberry Bushes and Other Plants You Love to Hate

        By   1 month ago

        In this video, Jason Crisman of JC’s Organic Farm shares a surprising development in his herd. They’re eating blackberry bushes with gusto! He attributes their new foraging to his rotational grazing, fencing them into smaller paddocks so that they become less selective graziers. Like us, cows are creatures of habit and they eat what they’ve […]

        Read More →

        Looking for Heritage Hogs? Buyer Beware!

        By   2 months ago

        This article by Alison Martin and Jeannette Beranger offers advice on making the right choices when buying heritage or traditional breed hogs

        Read More →

        The Importance of Tail Docking Lambs

        By   2 months ago

        Ever had a rotten tooth pulled? I have, and it smarts a bit. But would I rather that tooth was still there, or that it abscessed and dumped toxins into my bloodstream? Not really. And that’s essentially the case in favor of docking most lambs’ tails shortly after birth. “But Bill!” you protest. “A lamb’s […]

        Read More →

          Money Matters View All →

          You CAN Farm/Ranch for Profit

          By   7 days ago

          This past weekend I reviewed a DVD that I think every On Pasture reader should have. “The Three Secrets For Increasing Profit” is an introduction to principles from the Ranching for Profit School and features Dave Pratt of Ranch Management Consultants. I’m recommending it so highly because I think it helps On Pasture accomplish one […]

          Read More →

          State by State Poultry Processing Laws

          By   2 weeks ago

          Tracking down what your state’s poultry processing laws can be frustrating. So we knew that you’d like to see this map and chart from the Farmer to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Just click on the map below and you’ll head over to their site. You can mouse-over your state to see what the processing limits […]

          Read More →

          Farm and Ranch Leasing Tips

          By   3 weeks ago

          “Special Collections” is a new menu item we added recently. It’s where you can find collections of articles that readers ask for or search for over and over. Since folks want to know about leasing and how to do it, we’ve collected all the articles we’ve published so far on the topic in this Special […]

          Read More →

          Growing Farmers With Internships and Apprenticeships – Part 2

          By   4 weeks ago

          Thanks to the CSA Solutions Hub for sharing this article by Alex. While it was originally written for CSA oriented farmers, the principles are just as true for all farmers and ranchers hoping to work with interns. If you didn’t see Part 1, here it is. Learning – Patience Is a Virtue We’re always struck […]

          Read More →

          Growing Farmers With Internships and Apprenticeships – Part 1

          By   1 month ago

          Thanks to the CSA Solutions Hub for sharing this article by Alex. While it was originally written for CSA oriented farmers, the principles are just as true for all farmers and ranchers hoping to work with interns. I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of direct-market farmers started as interns or apprentices on […]

          Read More →

          The Progressing Farmer Buys a Farm Part 3: How to Pick the Right Farm

          By   1 month ago

          In Part 1 of this series, Jenn Colby described her drive to farm, how hard she worked to make a go of it on a tight budget, the business plan that told her, don’t quit your day job and maybe get a better paying job so you can afford your farming dream, and how that […]

          Read More →

          Western SARE Internship Handbook

          By   2 months ago

          On Pasture readers have asked for  information on how they can get started with interns for their farms or ranches. It’s a big topic that requires more than one article. So we’re going to ask for help from our readers as well. If you have experience with interns and apprentices and would like to share […]

          Read More →

          How Sap Bush Hollow Farm Meets the Challenge of Cooperating Across Generations

          By   2 months ago

          Farming should be about making way for the next generation, as well as serving the needs of the present.

          Read More →

            Consider This View All →

            The Grazier’s Vow

            By   7 days ago

            On Oct. 3, 2016 an article I wrote entitled Stupid Is As Stupid Does was published on the On Pasture web site. This was just a simple tale of one of the many mistakes that I have made in the cow business over the years. Hopefully I have learned from these mistakes and do not […]

            Read More →

            15 Favorite Things – Or “How to Survive Farming With Your Spouse”

            By   2 weeks ago

            Sometimes knowing what’s on another person’s top 15 list is a good path to working and playing better together.

            Read More →

            Will Temple Grandin’s Handling Facilities Work For You?

            By   3 weeks ago

            We think this series of articles from the Stockmanship Journal is especially important to our readers because it is the first time that anyone has tried to apply science to find out if the handling facilities as designed by Dr. Temple Grandin work well for farmers and ranchers. If you’re taking a break from the […]

            Read More →

            Real Life as a Prescribed Goat Grazier

            By   4 weeks ago

            Here’s another example from a member of our On Pasture community describing some of the fun and the challenges of life working with livestock.

            Read More →

            I Know. It Happened to Me Too. And I’m Still Here

            By   1 month ago

            We’ve all made plenty of mistakes. Here are some examples to show you that you’re not alone and you will survive.

            Read More →

            Here’s How a Farmer Goes Viral

            By   1 month ago

            From flight attendant/comedian/water polo enthusiast to losing everything because of a back injury, to learning how to read in spite of dyslexia and ADHD, studying for a PhD, buying a farm, and dancing to heal – that’s how you go viral. (And what to do when you’ve got all that attention!)

            Read More →

            Mirror Reduces Stress and Increases Animal Happiness.

            By   2 months ago

            Even if you’re not raising pigs, you can get something useful from the Agricultural Research Service’s Sandra Avant showing the importance of companionship to reduce stress, even when it’s only an animal’s own reflection.

            Read More →

            Grizzlies of the Corn

            By   2 months ago

            At first bear experts were skeptical that grizzlies had actually learned to love corn. But when they saw the damage being done to this Montana dairy’s crops, they stepped in to help.

            Read More →

              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              Soil Health is a Deep Subject

              By   7 days ago

              Ray Weil, who literally wrote the book on soils says “Think deeper.” These short videos show why what’s going on below the top 12 inches matters to you.

              Read More →

              Turning Soil-Poor Cropland Into Healthy, Profitable Pasture

              By   2 weeks ago

              We first shared this video from the Capital Resource Conservation District’s “Soil Health Project,” in July of 2015. In it, Russ Wilson talks about the challenges he faced when he bought a former crop farm that he wanted to use for multi-species grazing. With poor soil, he could barely grow feed for his livestock. But […]

              Read More →

              Fourteen-Foot Long Roots – That’s What Great Grass Farmers Grow!

              By   3 weeks ago

              We shared this article the first time in November of 2015. What I think we all love about it is getting to see what’s going on underground with the plants that are growing in our pastures. Enjoy! If you go to enough workshops about grazing, you’re bound to see an illustration that shows how biting off the […]

              Read More →

              A Calculator for Marginal Calf Weight Values

              By   4 weeks ago

              When you’re raising calves for sale, how do you know if you should feed that supplement, spend time and money on pasture improvements, or make other investments to increase weaning weights? Well, you do a little math. Here’s a calculator that can help!

              Read More →

              Get a Better Grip on Soil Health in Just 5 Minutes

              By   1 month ago

              This article, along with the “Soil Health in a Minute” videos, was first published in June of 2014. We know you’ll enjoy them! As an animal science major at Cornell in the 1980’s, I took a course in soils. I’m not sure if it was the subject matter or the professor, but I just couldn’t […]

              Read More →

              Graze or DIE!

              By   1 month ago

              Karen Hoffman of the Natural Resources Conservation Service shared this article with us in June of 2015. We’re pretty sure change is as hard as it ever was. Here’s why, and some additional thoughts about how you can get yourself to change. Over a year ago, a friend of mine who is interested in health […]

              Read More →

              Post-Fire Grazing Doesn’t Always Slow Forage Recovery

              By   2 months ago

              We originally published this article by Ann Perry of the Agricultural Research Service in June 2015 courtesy of the November/December 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine. Given that fire season is headed our way in the west, we knew you’d be interested. If this doesn’t cover your particular area of the country, you might ask your […]

              Read More →

              Try These Simple Steps to Improve Livestock Distribution, Pasture Health, and Your Bottom Line

              By   2 months ago

              From June of 2016, here are some really good ideas from Sean Kelly at South Dakota State University Extension. Sean believes that livestock grazing distribution is something we should all work on because it maximizes how much forage your livestock eat, improves range health and, ultimately, adds up to more profit per acre. “Poor grazing […]

              Read More →

                The Funnies View All →

                Accurate Food Labeling

                By   7 days ago

                These pictures are worth a thousand words – the ones you would have used!

                Read More →

                Ask Me About My Moo Cow

                By   2 weeks ago

                Need this? Here are some options from Amazon. A percentage of sales goes to keeping On Pasture online. Got Goats? This one’s for you! 🙂

                Read More →

                Tan Aspirations

                By   3 weeks ago

                Here’s something to shoot for!

                Read More →

                Another Use for Mayonnaise

                By   4 weeks ago

                This kid’s going to need therapy!

                Read More →

                The Best Medicine?

                By   1 month ago

                Sometimes you can’t use the same medicine for everything, no matter how good it is.

                Read More →

                Fun With Peas

                By   1 month ago

                Are you visualizing whirled peas?

                Read More →

                Buy Your Kid a Nose Ring!

                By   2 months ago

                Fighting about whether your kid should get a nose ring or not? It’s not so bad when you get to choose the ring. (Plus we’ve added shopping resources!)

                Read More →

                Senior Statements

                By   2 months ago

                It’s that time of year when high school seniors are getting ready to head out on the next part of their adventure. Some leave messages for their classmates:   Save Save

                Read More →
                  Print