Underwriting

The Scoop View All →

Breeding Goes Viral

InbreedingCoefficient

By   3 days ago

Here’s what happens when you share. It’s a good thing!

Read More →

What did one octopus say to the other?

octopuses holding hands

By   1 week ago

Will you hold my hand, my hand, my hand, my hand, my hand, my hand, my hand, my hand? Walking home from school the other day, the littlest one was riding in the stroller, and she reached out her hand to her brother. She didn’t say a word, and neither did he. He just held […]

Read More →

The Drinks That Fuel Us

decalf coffee

By   2 weeks 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 […]

Read More →

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

b6db8c71-4553-4be0-bf9f-023d6efe2d77

By   3 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 […]

Read More →

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   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

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 month 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 […]

Read More →

Funnies, Friends and Fall Memories

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

By   2 months 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 […]

Read More →

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

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

By   2 months 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.

Read More →

Grazing Management View All →

Grazing Stockpiled Forage: When Planning Meets Reality

The herd returned from the pasture we rent at Wightman Farm on October 17, so the experiment has already begun.

By   3 days ago

Stockpiling forage and grazing through the winter – great idea, right? But sometimes you don’t want to be the first one to try a great, new idea. That’s where The Grass Whisperer, Troy Bishopp, comes in. He’s starting to graze his stockpile now and he’s going to take you through the season with him. You’ll get to see first hand how it works, the challenges he faces, and how he makes it work.

Read More →

How to Set Up Paddocks For Managed Grazing

Flexible grazing with a portable fence inside a permanent fence.

By   1 week ago

Managed grazing means gaining more control of your grazing. When we built our first grazing system 25 years ago, portable fencing using reels and polywire were not part of the equation. Not that there wasn’t polywire and reels, just that I didn’t see how they could work!  Every time we wanted to gain more control over […]

Read More →

One Wire Electric Fences Make Managing and Teaching Calves Easy

We don't see any fence!

By   2 weeks 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!

Read More →

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

Cow and Calf Montana

By   3 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.

Read More →

Mob Grazing in the Winter – A Good Time to Start

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

By   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

Batt-Latch Lets Your Animals Move Themselves!

batt-latch-hi-res-in-use

By   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

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

Pasture Use Patterns

By   1 month 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 →

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 months 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.

Read More →

Pasture Health View All →

Louisiana Cows Eat Horsenettle

Here's a picture of horse nettle from the Virginia Tech Weed ID Guide put together by Scott Hagood.

By   3 days ago

If cows in Louisiana can eat Horsenettle, why not your herd. Here’s what you need to know about the plant with links ot how to train your own cows.

Read More →

Don’t let your pasture rust. Fight Puccinia.

IMG_4397

By   1 week ago

Puccinia, a.k.a. rust, is a problem in pastures all over. Researchers are fighting it, and you can help!

Read More →

Cover Crops + Livestock = Winning!

Gabe Brown Presentation

By   2 weeks ago

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

Read More →

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

SmallPastureResearchCover

By   3 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!

Read More →

Pasture Management: Perennial or Annual Forages?

Photo courtesy of Ozark Pasture Be

By   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

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

Pasture Use Patterns

By   1 month 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 →

Weed Nutritional Values and Toxins

Weed Nutrition Cover

By   2 months 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.

Read More →

Catch the Soil Health Bug

Ashley Pierce and Ray Archuleta talk at Grasstravaganza

By   2 months ago

Here’s a little inspiration for you from Grasstravaganza 2014

Read More →

Livestock View All →

Can Animals Figure Out What Minerals They Need?

Photo courtesy of smallfarms.cornell.edu

By   3 days ago

Not only will this help you understand if you should provide cafeteria minerals to your herd, but it will also give you some new insights into how creatures choose what to eat.

Read More →

Breeding Matters III – Inbreeding vs. Line Breeding

InbreedingCoefficient

By   1 week ago

Confused about the difference? Here’s what separates the two “relatives.”

Read More →

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   2 weeks 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 […]

Read More →

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

Nutrition Fact Sheet Example

By   2 weeks 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 →

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

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

By   3 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.

Read More →

How Do I Know When My Cattle Are Finished?

Finished Devon Steer

By   1 month 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.

Read More →

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 month 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.

Read More →

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

Pasture Use Patterns

By   1 month 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 →

Money Matters View All →

Confusing Labor Laws Lead to Trouble for Farm Employers

Is this person in agriculture?  I'm not sure.  It could depend on where the person is and where the milk for the cheese came from.

By   3 days ago

Misunderstandings and confusion over definitions of different kinds of labor occurring on farms has cost some farmers money. A closer look at the regulations doesn’t bring a lot more clarity. So, what’s a farmer/rancher to do?

Read More →

Changes to Microloan Program Benefit Beginning and Family Farmers

The young farmers of Serenbe Farms courtesy of growingagreenerworld.com

By   1 week ago

The Farm Service Agency now offers loans from $35,000 – $50,000 and has made important changes in who is eligible. It could be you! Here’s a breakdown of the changes and how you can share suggestions to make the program even better.

Read More →

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

Nutrition Fact Sheet Example

By   2 weeks 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   3 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!)

Read More →

Cooperative Farming/Ranching – Frameworks for Working Together

co-op-farming_medium

By   1 month 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!

Read More →

Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm/Ranch

Click to download the guide.

By   1 month ago

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

Read More →

Your Guide to Figuring the Right Farm Rental Rate

Click here to download the guide.

By   2 months 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.

Read More →

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   2 months 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 […]

Read More →

Consider This View All →

Should GMO Foods Be Labeled?

As Bill points out, ever since we started farming, we've been trying to control plants and animals for three very good reasons:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

By   3 days ago

Here’s an interesting look at an aspect of GMO foods and their labeling from a whole new perspective: the potential impact on the circle of life.

Read More →

Farm Hats Make the Man

Are there really too many hats?!

By   1 week ago

Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man”.  I wholeheartedly agree, however when it comes to working on the land, the farm hat is a close second to complete a jean-wearing ensemble for both men and women. Today I’m feeling remorseful because I’ve amassed too many caps to fit in my closet and have to choose […]

Read More →

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

FarmlandProducers

By   2 weeks 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 […]

Read More →

Trying My Patience

dabull

By   3 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.

Read More →

Lard Can Actually Be GOOD For You

Smith Meadows meat filled empanadas with a lard based crust.

By   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

Capturing the Wind for $1000

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

By   1 month 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 […]

Read More →

Video Tour of an Award Winning Ranch

Mortenson Family 2011

By   2 months 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 […]

Read More →

Pasture Scout – Connecting Pasture Users With Pasture Owners

PastureScoutFeaturedImage

By   2 months 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.

Read More →

The Funnies View All →

Decorating for Hallowe’en

decorations-details-cool-carving-pumpkins-ideas-with-human-face-design-by-ray-villafane-brilliant

By   4 days ago

Are you tired of carving jack’o’lanterns?  Here’s a risqué take on decorating with pumpkins!

Read More →

Fun With Chickens

FunnyChickensmall

By   1 week ago

When I was kid, chickens were always whole. When I was given the chore of washing them off and cutting them up, I always took the opportunity to dance them around the kitchen first like strange, headless people.  I never thought of doing this with them. Option 1.   Option 2.

Read More →

Hunting Safety Notice

smallhuntersafetysign

By   2 weeks ago

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

Read More →

We Are Farming! Parody of Pharrell Williams “Happy”

Farm Kids Dancing

By   3 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.

Read More →

No Sitter?

10624751_10152402391242875_7798281056240488472_n

By   1 month ago

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

Read More →

Music Down On The Farm

Donkey sings with violin

By   1 month ago

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

Read More →

My Favorite Animal is Fried Chicken

FriedChickenFunnySmall

By   2 months ago

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

Read More →

What to do when your overalls get too tight

OverallModel

By   2 months ago

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

Read More →
Underwriting