editor and contributor
Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.
- When Livestock Eat Weeds You Have 43% More Forage*
- Surprise! You’re Not the Only One Making Mistakes
- The Best Medicine?
- Holistic Management to the Rescue
- How to Drive Livestock Using Low-Stress Handling Techniques
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editor and contributor
Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.
- Here’s How a Farmer Goes Viral
- No One Said Farming or Ranching Was Easy. Can We Help?
- Have You Taken an Intelligence Test Lately?
- Beware of Tanning Beds
- Assessment Time
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web support and contributor
Leah has a degree in psychology from Colorado State University and has been working in animal behavior for the last 5+ years. She is a web designer and our tech support as well as our shipping and advertising departments. Leah will also be proof-reading many of our articles; not only for editing purposes but also to make sure articles are applicable and understandable to the average reader, rather than just to researchers with science backgrounds.
Biographical information here
- ‘Free Aluminum’ Could Be Costing You Thousands of Dollars In Yield and Quality
- It’s Cold! Time to Seed?
- Healthy Soils Hold Water, But Not Too Much
- Give Your Soil a Physical
- Foiled Again!
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Greg and Jan Judy of Clark, Missouri run a grazing operation on 1400 acres of leased land that includes 11 farms. Their successful custom grazing business is founded on holistic, high-density, planned grazing. They run cows, cow/calf pairs, bred heifers, stockers, a hair sheep flock, a goat herd, and Tamworth pigs. They also direct market grass-fed beef, lamb and pork. Greg's popularity as a speaker and author comes from his willingness to describe how anyone can use his grazing techniques to create lush forage, a sustainable environment and a successful business.
- Your Role In A Better Tenant Landlord Relationship
- Calving On The Move With Mob Grazing
- Autumn Olive – Friend or Foe?
- Spring Management After Mud Season
- Set Up For Year Long Grazing in the Spring – In Spite of Mud Season
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Troy Bishopp, aka "The Grass Whisperer" is an accomplished professional grazier of 27 years, grasslands advocate and media guy who owns and manages Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raises dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased organic native pastures. The whisperer routinely asks customers, Is there any grass in the animal products you buy? Beef grazed on the farm has been served at President Obama's inaugural dinners, restaurants and to diners as far away as Japan. Troy also works for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist and is a free-lance writer, maintaining a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com
- Linger Grazing Improves Your Pastures and Your Life
- I’m Sorry I Missed Your Drought Party
- Grazing Through January 1 – One Farmer’s Results
- Get Started With Your New Grazing Chart
- Troy Bishopp’s Free Grazing Chart Makes the Difference in Drought
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Bio to follow
Jenn is a diversified meat livestock farmer, competitive barbecuer, UVM Extension professional, and self-described Communitarian. She lives and farms in Central Vermont, and delivers education and outreach to grass-based and livestock farmers statewide.
- The Progressing Farmer Buys a Farm Part 3: How to Pick the Right Farm
- The Progressing Farmer Buys a Farm Part 2: Getting Your Head Right
- Jenn Colby, Progressing Farmer: How to Start Your Own Farm From Scratch
- Sweet Swine Success
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Bridget's Bio is coming soon!
Sandra Kay Miller
Sandra Kay Miller is a female farmer, damn good cook and witty writer slicing her finger open on the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture. Visiting her Painted Hand Farm is like living a crash course on all that's right with food and farming today - taught by one of the most delightful people ever to rebuild an antique Babson Surge Milker (and use it!) or raise a goat from birth to curry pot. Sandra has served on the boards of many organizations and has been instrumental in developing farmers markets. She's a prolific writer and speaker sharing her knowledge and experience with others.
- From Our Archives – Orchestrating Diversified Livestock
- Squeezing Every Drop of Profit From Your Small Ruminant Herd
- Managing Multi-Species Grazing
- Portable Panels for Inexpensive Livestock Handling
- Don’t Burn Down Your Barn!
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Jim Cropper is the Executive Director of the Northeast Pasture Consortium, which works on helping guide the direction of future research keeping the needs of farmers and ranchers in mind. Before taking this position, he worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for 36 years. His expertise includes creating tools and protocols to help farmers and ranchers monitor soils, pastures and hay crops. He authored sections of the National Range and Pasture Handbook and helped to develop protocols for the pastureland National Resource Inventory.
- Adding and Spreading Pasture Nutrients With All Four Feet on the Ground
- Concentrating on Nutrients
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Bio on its way!
Ed is the Forage Extension Specialist at West Virginia University. He works with other specialists, county agents, farmers, and NRCS staff in developing and implementing on-farm research and educational programs to support pasture-based livestock production and helps landowners develop economically and environmentally sustainable production systems on their farms. He was technical editor for the four volume NRAES book series on pasture-based livestock production. He previously worked for the USDA-Soil Conservation Service in western New York as a Grassland Specialist serving dairy and livestock producers in the 15 western counties of New York. Ed, his wife Sue, their three border collies, and 30 cows manage a pasture-based farm in Preston County West Virginia
- Turning Sunshine Into $
- Figuring the “Marginal Value” on Calf Weights
- Plant Growth Under Rotational Grazing
- Collect More Sunshine to Grow More Grass
- Turn Sunshine Into $ by Understanding How Plants Grow
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Forrest Pritchard is a professional farmer and writer, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William and Mary. His farm Smith Meadows was one of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for more than fifteen years. His book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm (Click HERE) was named a Top Read by The Washington Post and NPR. Forrest’s new book The Farmer In Your Kitchen: A Celebration Of Extraordinary Farms And Local Flavors is slated for release in Fall 2015, from the award-winning press The Experiment.
- You Can Mob Graze With Chickens!
- Are You Smarter Than a Cow?
- The Farm to Table Fable
- Lessons From Thomas Jefferson’s Farm
- Does 4-H Matter Now More Than Ever?
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Bill Fosher started farming in 1989 in Hadley, Mass., and hasn’t been able to stop since. After years of moving from place to place, he and his wife, Lynn Zimmerman, have put down roots in the Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire, not far from where Bill grew up. Vegetables were his first farming venture, but sheep were added in 1990 and have been Bill’s main passion ever since. They also raise and sell pork, pastured chickens and turkeys, farm fresh eggs, hand-dyed and natural color yarns, and sheepskins. Bill is an expert in pasture management, and moonlights as the coordinator for Granite State Graziers. He is known for his common-sense approach to intensive rotational grazing and for his commitment to animal welfare.
- The Importance of Tail Docking Lambs
- Saving Hypothermic Lambs
- Are Parasites a Limiting Factor In Your Flock?
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I graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a degree in livestock management, and a minor in agribusiness. While at WVU, I won a statewide entrepreneurship competition with a patentable device I designed for video-assisted cattle artificial insemination. I then spent six months interning for grazing expert Greg Judy in Missouri. Now I run Rhinestone Cattle Consulting, helping new and experienced farmers build profitable mob grazing beef operations. I offer artificial insemination, electric fence building and graphic design services too. I'll travel anywhere in the 48 states for on-farm consulting and speaking at conferences.
- Custom Grazing Rates and Contract Structuring
- Digging Into the Business of Custom Grazing
- Getting Stuff for (Almost) Free With Non-Traditional Farm Business Ideas – Part 2
- Getting Stuff for (Almost) Free With Non-Traditional Farm Business Ideas
- A.I. Sires and Online Dating
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Rachel Lohof Larsen is a fifth-generation rancher, mom, wife, cowgirl, and blogger. Originally from Montana, Rachel has a BA in Environmental Science from Colorado College. She and her husband, Guy, bring a sense of integrity and a strong interest in sustainability to all their pursuits. Rachel, her husband and children, practice their stockmanship skills in Southwestern Idaho.
Gabe Clark owns and operates Cold Spring Ranch in New Portland, Maine with his wife, Molly, and daughter, Maisie Wren. They are known for providing natural and healthy meat that is locally sourced, raised and finished. Gabe holds degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Animal Science from the University of Maine, Orono. Gabe is an active member of several boards and committees related to the agricultural communities of Maine and New England and is committed to supporting and expanding local agriculture.
Dr. Krishona Martinson has been with the University of Minnesota Extension since 2001 and is currently the Equine Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science. She holds a Ph.D. in Weed Science from the University of Minnesota and specializes in weed identification and control, poisonous plants and forage utilization and management for horse owners. Dr. Martinson also raises, breeds, and trains Foundation Quarter Horses.
- How Bad Is It When Your Curing Hay Gets Rained On in the Field?
- Beware of Feeding Herbicide Treated Hay
- Boost Horse Pasture Productivity
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Chip Hines was born and raised on a farm and ranch southwest of Burlington, Colorado. After moving to the Kit Carson, Colorado area and working on several large ranches Chip and his wife Judy began leasing land and buying cows in 1968. Unbeknownst to them this was the run-up to the big cattle break in 1974. Their first cattle cycle lesson. Chip has not forgotten! In 1989 he began planned grazing and concentrated even more on his low input philosophy. The years of learning have been published in three books on ranch management, available on his website, http://chiphines.com. Chip now lives in Yuma, Colorado and is still involved in supporting the cattle industry.
- Regain Genetic Parasite Resistance
- Choose a Calving Date That Grows Good Calves With Low Inputs
- Left Handed Logic – Figuring per Calf Costs
- The Right Cow Makes You Money
- Intelligent Groups Make Innovations Easier
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I grew up on a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, but left for heavy education, winding up with an MD and going on to a 30 year career in biomedical research. But I retained my love for farm life, and when it came time to move on, it was back to my first love. In 1985 my wife, Helen, and I were lucky to acquire 350 acres of grass pasture that had been purchased forty years earlier by the King Ranch of Texas for their cattle en route to slaughter in New Jersey. Over the years our Angus herd has been bred and selected to do it all on grass. In 2008 I attended Greg Judy U.on the Devil's Washboard rd in Mizzou, and have been trying to graze his way since then. I'm trying to understand some of the fascinating biology that goes on in my pastures, so I read bio-medical literature and blogs like this one.
Kimberly Hagen is a Grazing Specialist at the University of Vermont Pasture Network. She also owns and operates Osprey Hill Farms where she grazes sheep, producing lamb, sheepskins, yarn and raspberries for local sale.
- Right Sizing Your Operation
- Pastoral Icon or Wooly Menace? Are Sheep Destroying the Planet?
- It’s OK to Trample!
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Rachel and Kathy
Rachel and Kathy are co-editors of On Pasture. They often collaborate on articles so that you get the best they have to offer.
- Go FCC Yourself
- You’re Invited to On Pasture’s Birthday Party!
- Why We Farm
- Steps to Prosperous Entrepreneurship – Real Simple
- Sometimes We Say Unpopular Things Because We Want You To Save Money
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Rose founded her consulting services to specialize in business planning and business development for the farm and food sector. Since 2004 Rose has worked on business plans, strategic plans, feasibility studies, market research, market development, and marketing plans, and provided grant writing services for over 157 farms, and related businesses and organizations. Rose’s mission is to make a difference on a local level: helping build a strong, sustainable, local economy; encouraging a sense of community; and minimizing our collective impact on the environment. Rose’s passion is working with agricultural producers, small businesses, and non-profits and seeing them succeed. Rose is a graduate of Dartmouth with experience in sales for Geographic Data Technology and as the Business Development Manager for Harpoon Brewery. She serves on several boards and committees including the NOFA Loan Committee and the Council of Trustees for Stanstead College. She lives with her husband, Mike and their Ragdoll cats in Norwich, Vermont.
Rebekah Perry farms with her husband Neal at their diversified farm in Brownington, VT. They raise grassfed beef, lamb & freerange broilers using horse power for much of the haying and manure spreading. See more at www.nealperryfarm.com.
Dr. Bob Parsons has been an Extension Economist with the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont since 2000. He works in the area of farm financial management, dairy farm management and marketing, farm succession and other farm management issues. He's made lots of videos about working through farm transfers and successions that you can see here: http://www.uvm.edu/farmtransfer/?Page=videos.html
- Easy Questions for Farm Succession
- Death and Taxes Part II – State Taxes
- Tips for Transferring the Farm to the Next Generation
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J.B. began sending us funnies for On Pasture shortly after we started publishing. We thought that you'd enjoy these offerings too. J.B. is a stalwart supporter of the marriage between humor and farming from years of breakfasts eaten while reading the funnies. Weaned on "Bloom County," "The Far Side," Calvin and Hobbes," Cul de Sac" and "Bizarro" with a variety of meats, eggs, dairy, wheat and oat products.
- Supermarket Scents
- Do Surfboards Give Up On Their Dreams?
- Here’s What You’re Having For Dinner!
- What is Mightier Than the Swordfish?
- New Candidate Enters the Presidential Race
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Dave Scott is a Livestock Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Dave has 30 years experience with intensive grazing, including dairy and sheep. He has also served as a part-time consultant in management-intensive grazing, helping ranchers design and implement grazing systems that increased their stocking rates and net profits. Currently, Dave and his wife, Jenny, operate Montana Highland Lamb, a 200-ewe enterprise that markets over 50% of their grass-based natural lamb directly to the consumers in southwest Montana.
- How to Tell When Your Lamb/Steer is Finished
- The Lambulator: A Cut-Yield Calculator for the Lamb Direct Marketer
- Laying Hands on Them – How to Tell When Your Lamb is Finished
- ATTRA’s Extended Cow Calf Calculator
- Intensive Grazing – Putting it All Together, Or “Calling the Dance”
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Karen has a B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell with an emphasis on dairy cattle management and nutrition and an MS from Penn State where her thesis project investigated various grain feeding strategies to high producing dairy cows on a rotational grazing system. She spent 6 years with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County, NY as a dairy management educator for 6 years. She now serves as Resource Conservationist - Animal Science for the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, where she has been for 15+ years. Karen's expertise is feeding management that keeps costs of production low. She also troubleshoots nutrition and management problems when needed, and provides educational presentations on grazing and feeding. She is co-author of the publications “Prescribed Grazing and Feeding Management for Lactating Dairy Cows” and NOFA-NY’s “Transitioning to Organic Dairy Self-Assessment Workbook” and “The Organic Dairy Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Transition and Beyond”. She also writes for Graze magazine addressing feeding questions, and participates in grazing research projects with Universities and USDA-Agricultural Research Service. Karen and her family run a grass-based farm Chenango County, NY raising polled Dorset sheep, heritage breed turkeys, laying hens, and a registered Holstein calf. She has a small number of milking Holsteins on a friend’s grass-based dairy farm as well.
- Get a Better Grip on Soil Health in Just 5 Minutes
- Graze or DIE!
- Prepping Livestock for Winter Feed
- Graze Or DIE
- Five Minutes to a Better Understanding of Soil
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Josh Vaillancourt grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, but had no plans to continue farming as an adult. Those plans changed after meeting his future wife, Sarah, volunteering with Heifer International, having children, and developing a greater awareness of food and farming. Now he and Sarah and their family are farming in New York's Adirondacks, on their diversified, pasture-based farm, Woven Meadows. In addition to farming, Josh has also taught college courses (having a Ph.D. in Religious Studies), photographs with Sarah through her photography business, works as a chef, and has been a home-cheesemaker for six years. Josh and Sarah are currently in the process of developing a small-scale farmstead creamery.
Brett Chedzoy is a Forester with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, NY and grass-fed rancher in Watkins Glen, NY and Argentina. Brett can be contacted via CCE’s silvopasture forum: www.silvopasture.ning.com. Additional silvopasture resources are available at: www.forestconnect.info under the “publications” page.
- Creating Quality Silvopastures in Open Pasture Areas Part 2
- Creating Quality Silvopastures in Open Pasture Areas Part 1
- Creating Quality Silvopastures From Wooded Areas
- Living Barns
- Silvopasturing: Two Products in One
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Mark Cannella is a farm business management specialist for University of Vermont Extension. He has been working in the field of agriculture in VT for over 10 years. He has managed farm operations in vegetable production, maple sugaring and agricultural education. His current focus is the management and delivery of farm business planning programs, business management trainings and farm economic research. Mark contributes to programs that serve a diverse audience of farm producers raising different products at different scales. His areas of expertise are farm financial analysis, farm business planning, project/program management and applied food systems research.
- Your Guide to Figuring the Right Farm Rental Rate
- Risk Sharing Implications for Today’s CSA Farm
- Plan Ahead for Broiler Profits
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – Do You Know Yours?
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Bruce Hennessey and Beth Whiting
Bruce spent eleven years in the classroom teaching science and mathematics to grades kindergarten through 12. He received his M.Ed. from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. From 1999—to 2005 he directed North Country Camps, a summer residential camp focused on wilderness trips with farming offered as part of an extensive in-camp program. He has served on several boards: VT Grass Farmers Association, Aikido of Champain Valley, Rural Vermont, and at present, NCC Chief’s. Beth is an artist, master gardener, and organizer, who also spent many years directing wilderness trips through both Wilderness Ventures and North Country Camps. Beth received her M.Ed from Lesley College in Boston in Creative Arts after a B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Southern California. She is no stranger to running her own business; her experience as an entrepeneur began at age 12, with successful business forays into community mapping, hand-painted clothing and adventure travel. She currently is the sales manager, bookkeeper, and marketer for the farm. Beth and Bruce enjoy the farming lifestyle and can’t think of any better way than sharing it with their son David and his younger sister Bryn. When they are not farming, they are skiing with our family, taking hikes, biking and watching soccer games.
For more than 25 years, Victor Shelton, Indiana agronomist and grazing specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has provided advice about grazing’s best practices. He travels across the state conducting pasture walks, working one on one with farmers and participating in grazing talks. He also writes a newsletter called "Grazing Bites" as a way to talk about current and seasonal grazing issues and what farmers need to be prepared for.
- Timely Tips for Managing What’s Happening in Pastures Now
- Runaway Grass – What Can You Do?
- Wait! Grazing Too Early Is Harmful to Your Pasture’s Health
- A Walk in the Rain Tells You A Lot About Your Pasture’s Health
- Grazing Stockpiled Pasture How-Tos
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Darrell began his career in grassland research and management in 1980 by walking across a plowed field in the rain to ask the farm manager of Cornell University’s Mount Pleasant Research Farm for a job. Although the farm manager had no funds that particular year for hiring summer help, Darrell was informed that there was a new pasture research project getting underway at Cornell’s Teaching and Research Center in Harford, NY, and they could likely use some help from a person willing to walk across a plowed field in the rain to ask for a job. Little did Darrell know that plodding through mud and rain would lead to 34 years of researching, promoting, and helping farmers implement grazing-based livestock production systems. Along the way, Darrell earned a Master’s degree in Resource Management and Ecology, a PhD in Range Science with a concentration in the foraging behavior and diet selection of herbivores, served as the pasture research manager at the Cornell University Hillside Pasture Research and Demonstration project, and after 26 years as the state grazing land management specialist with the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service in New York State, has retired. While Darrell can still be found walking across plowed fields in the spring rain, with a turkey call in his jacket pocket and a 12 gauge shot gun cradled in the crook of his arm, which, by the way, was exactly what he was doing those 34 years ago when a job got in the way, he does prefer to talk grass and fish.
- How Animals Choose What to Eat
- Managing Grazing So Animals Make the Most of Their Time
- What Your Livestock Think About Your Pasture
- The Predator in Your Pasture
- Grazing: Is it Art or Is It Science?
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Rick Machen and Ron Gill
Dr. Rick Machen is professor and animal and natural resource management Extension specialist stationed at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde, Texas. Machen is also a member of the animal nutrition section in the Department of Animal Science. Through multi-county, regional and statewide venues like the Luling Foundation Field Days, Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course and the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, Machen interacts with beef, lamb and goat production professionals to improve sustainability while preserving the stability and productivity of the natural resources. Dr. Ronald Gill is professor and Extension livestock specialist for Texas AgriLife Extension. He also serves as Associate Department Head and Program Leader for Extension animal science faculty. Gill continues to provide leadership in Extension programming related to animal well-being and low-stress livestock handling and assists in providing leadership to statewide programming efforts for Beef Safety and Quality Assurance programming. Other interests include beef cattle and equine nutritional management and value added marketing. Gill received the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence on two separate occasions for his support and performance as a member of an Interdisciplinary Team implementing Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) program for Texas beef cattle producers, and for his contributions on the Beef Quality Assurance Team. Gill has also been recognized as the Specialist of the Year by the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association.
- Young Animals Experienced With Poor Quality Forage Will Do Better Throughout Life
- Even Ruminants Don’t Like to Eat the Same Thing Over and Over Again
- Oregon Rancher Teaches Cows to Eat Sagebrush
- Grazing Sagebrush to Save It
- An Animal’s Early Experience Outside Can Change Its Body Inside
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Dr. Andrae has a 65% extension, 25% research and 10% teaching appointment at Clemson University. His extension program focuses on improving the management of forage crops for beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses and small ruminants. In particular he works on fescue toxicosis, grazing management, and legume incorporation into grazing systems. He's also doing research on grazing and novel endophyte management impacts on tall fescue toxicosis (impacts on both male and female reproduction recently emphasized), the impact of various forage species and effects of grain supplementation on forage-based beef production, effects of grazing high sugar ryegrass cultivars on stocker performance, and evaluation of various forage legume and grass species for use in the Southeastern US. John also teaches a senior/graduate level forage crop management course.
Aimee grew up on a commercial cow-calf and farming operation in eastern Montana. She got her B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science at Montana State University and went on to complete a Ph.D. focusing on beef cattle nutrition at Texas A&M University. She is currently a Post-doctoral Animal Research Scientist for the USDA-ARS at the Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, in University Park PA. Her current research focuses on pasture management, extending the grazing season, and winter flaxseed supplementation of grazing dairy cows in the Northeast.
I have been with the Department of Animal Science of the University of Vermont, as the Extension Dairy Specialist, since 2002. My background is in biosecurity and preventive animal health management (especially calf management and Johne’s disease). I’m currently working on an interdisciplinary project to better prepare farms and communities to implement biosecurity plans in the face of a highly contagious disease emergency. I also conduct research to better understand the risk of highly contagious disease spread among Vermont dairy farms.
Independent farm advisor & grazing consultant out of Ryegate, VT (802)535-9067 partnering with Dairy Consulting Group, LLC (www.dairyconsultinggroup.com/index.html) and Agri-Nutrition Consulting, Inc. (http://agrinutrition.com/our-consultants/willie-gibson/) Willie was born into a Vermont dairy farm family in the 1960s. His parents sold the 30-cow herd in 1968, but Willie pursued his interest in farming by visiting farms with his Extension Dairyman father, showing dairy cattle throughout New England, and then working on Vermont farms from his early teens until his mid-20s. After graduating from UVM in 1985 with a B.S. in Animal Science – Dairy Herd Management, Willie expanded his herdsman experience from dairy cows to dairy goats at The Barnyard Chorus goat dairy, in Brookfield, Vermont. (Real Vermonters DO milk goats!) In 1988, Willie was hired as the last “County Ag Agent” for the UVM Extension Service in Washington County, Vermont. For 15 years, Willie was a key player in bringing ‘sustainable agriculture’ into the mainstream of education, research, and on-farm technical assistance, delivering a cadre of tools including: grass-based ruminant/dairy herd management, intensive/planned grazing, Holistic Management®, cultural pest management, diversified/alternative farming, natural/organic farming, soil health/quality, and financial/business management. In this position, Willie was mentored by many gracious dairy and livestock farmers, including Dairy Consulting Group, LLC colleague, Brian Stone. From 2005 - 2013 Willie was the staff dairy & livestock farm advisor with NOFA-Vermont. He helped nearly 100 Vermont dairy farms transition to certified organic, and provide in-depth technical assistance to the 200 certified Vermont dairies, and many other farmers, from grazing and forage management, to herd husbandry and nutrition, and business planning and farm financial management. Willie has helped dozens of farmers develop and implement farm business plans through the VT Farm Viability Program. Second only to being on a farm regularly as an advisor, coach, and ‘critical observer’, bringing farmers together for local, on-farm discussions and workshops is a favorite approach used by Willie for over 25 years. Willie and wife Martha have been blessed with ten children, and with owning and operating a homestead farm in Ryegate, Vermont. They raise and graze cattle and other critters, and grow food and herb crops for the family and local use.
Whit is a fourth generation Montana rancher who spent aobut 38 years handling cattle conventionally before making the paradigm shift to low-stress livestock handling (LSLH) as taught by Bud Williams. For the past 10 years he has studied and practice LSLH, and shares his knowledge in clinics, onsite consultations, and articles. He began publishing the Stockmanship Journal in 2012. It is the definitive source for quality information on stockmanship. Though the importance of stockmanship is becoming well recognized, until this Journal, there was no professional publication addressing the subject. Hibbard began publishing the Journal in January of 2012 to provide a consistent and efficient way to share information on stockmanship, and to serve as a forum for open, intelligent and informed dialogue. The Journal is a means for improving the level of discourse and the discipline of stockmanship. It is published twice a year in electronic form and includes articles written by experts in the field.
- BudBoxes vs. Tub Systems: Which is Easier to Use?
- Are Distractions In Handling Pens the Real Reason Cattle Balk?
- How to Load Cattle Onto a Trailer in Pasture Without a Chute
- Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Approaching Your Cows Before Driving
- Low-Stress Livestock Handling “Dance Steps”
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- Assess Alfalfa, Winter Cereal and Grass Stands for Reseeding Decisions
- Planning Crop Rotations for Dairy, Livestock and Cash Crop Farms
- Soil Health Explained
- Sneaky Pasture Weeds – Sedges and Rushes
- Assess Alfalfa and Small Grain Winterkill Now
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Dr. Ray Weil is professor soil fertility and ecology at the University of Maryland and an internationally recognized leader in research on soil quality and in soil science and education. He has researched, taught and advised farmers in the U.S. and Africa and other regions on ecological approaches to soil management. His research and writing focuses on soil fertility, cover crops, nutrient cycling and organic matter for soil health, food security and water quality. He is best known for authoring the widely used textbook, "The Nature and Properties of Soils."
- The Scoop on Poop – Recycling Nutrients Through Animal Manures
- Peak Phosphorus – Even More Important Than Peak Oil!
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CEO/Co-Founder, Home Grown Cow
Entrepreneur, traditional technophile, enthusiastic novice beekeeper, lover of nature and enjoying what she provides.
Mark is the Soils Agronomist for Organic Valley and CROPP Cooperative. He has spent most of his life working in agriculture. After serving in the Marine Corps, Mark attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he earned a Bachelor of Science in soil science and a minor in agronomy. He worked two years as a soil scientist with the Soil Conservation Service and then attended graduate school at UW-Madison where he completed a master’s degree in soil science. Mark worked for over 24 years an agriculture agent for UW-Extension providing education to farmers throughout Wisconsin, focusing on crop and soil management. In 2012, he accepted his current position, where he helps cooperative members and others to improve their crop and soil management skills. He and his family have operated a small grass based dairy farm in northern Wisconsin for over 20 years and have been members of Organic Valley since 2007.
- How Much Phosphorus Do We Want in Our Soils?
- Mechanics of Soil Compaction in Pastures
- Should We Test Soils For Molybdenum, Cobalt, and Selenium?
- Got Trefoil?
- Using Wood Ash to Improve Pasture Soils and Forages
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Natalie is related by research to On Pasture editor Rachel Gilker, having studied soil science with Ray Weil at the University of Maryland. She was responsible for tossing hundreds of gravel samples leftover from Rachel's research, and then quickly filled the shelf space with samples from her own research on cover crops and no-till vegetable production in organic systems. After a few years in Maryland, she moved back to Maine where she farms along the Androscoggin River and continues to do research and outreach. For more fun, she writes for www.notillveggies.org
- Maine Legislature Pays Tribute to Soils – Get Your State To Do the Same!
- Be It Resolved. Soil is NOT Dirt. Make it so in your state.
- Celebrate Soils From Dung Beetles to Blueberry Pancakes: Now With Stickers!
- You Can Leave the Rototiller in the Barn Next Spring If You Start Planning Now
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- What Do Different Plants Tell Us About Our Soils and How to Improve Them?
- UH-OH! I’m running out of grass! What should I do?
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Morgan Hartman is a grazier and Founder/Managing Partner of Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY. He regularly can be found near a smoky fire with greasy fingers and a well-fed expression on his face. Less frequently he can be found actually working.
- Breeding Matters Part IV: Culling for Fertility
- Breeding Matters III – Inbreeding vs. Line Breeding
- Line Breeding is Good For Profit
- All Forage Bull Test Gearing Up For Year 3
- Breeding Matters
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Ryan Reuter, PhD
Dr. Reuter serves as an associate professor on the Agricultural Division's Agricultural Research Team as well as a livestock consultant in the division's consultation program. His expertise is in forage nutrition of beef cattle and stocker cattle management. Reuter returned to the Noble Foundation in 2007 after leaving to complete his graduate education. From 2000 to 2005, he served as a livestock consultant for the Agricultural Division. He is a certified professional animal scientist (PAS) by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists.
Sarah Galbraith is the program manager for the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) and also coordinates bioenergy cross-over with the Vermont Farm to Plate Network. With over seven years of community-scale and locally-sourced biofuel experience, Sarah administers small grants to support researchers and technical assistance providers who are advancing biofuel production in Vermont and leads strategic planning and coordination among stakeholders in the program areas of grass thermal energy, oilseeds for fuel and feed, and algae for fuel and wastewater management. Sarah assists farmers, facilities, and communities by providing resources and technical assistance for energy crops to be grown alongside food production. Prior to transitioning into the bioenergy management role at VSJF, Sarah supported Farm to Plate Network activities and contributed to several chapters of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. Previously, Sarah worked at the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC), where she conducted over 50 bioenergy project assessments including siting, technology selection, fuel sourcing, economic feasibility, and estimations of sustainable forest fuel availability. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Eastern Connecticut State University. She lives in Marshfield, Vermont with her long-time partner, their dog, a large garden, and a small woodlot.
Greg Halich, PhD
Greg Halich is an Associate Extension Professor at the University of Kentucky in the department of Agricultural Economics. He works extensively with profitability evaluation and improvement in livestock and forages, with a particular focus on the analysis of grazing systems, extended season grazing, and grass-finished beef production. Outside of his official work duties, he raises stocker cattle and produces pasture-finished beef for direct sale near Lexington Kentucky, and is in a partnership that raises sheep and custom grazes beef cattle in upstate New York where he is originally from.
Gaelan is a 4th generation Vermonter from the Northeast Kingdom with roots in Vermont’s agricultural community. He has a background in newspaper reporting, internet business development/consulting, and various entrepreneurial sales and marketing roles. He has always been an avid student/promoter of clean energy and alternatives to our current energy infrastructure. He was the Vice President of Marketing for gro-Solar and now serves as Executive Director of CompostPower.org.
Jim Gerrish is the author of "Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" and "Kick the Hay Habit: A Practical Guide to Year-around Grazing" and is a popular speaker at conferences around the world. His company, American GrazingLands Services LLC is dedicated to improving the health and sustainable productivity of grazing lands around the world through the use of Management-intensive Grazing practices. They work with small farms, large ranches, government agencies and NGO's to promote economically and environmentally sustainable grazing operations and believe healthy farms and ranches are the basis of healthy communities and healthy consumers. Visit their website to find out more about their consulting services and grazing management tools, including electric fencing, stock water systems, forage seed, and other management tools.
- Fences and Management-intensive Grazing – Why Bother?
- Is Swath Grazing for You?
- Do We Have to Have Feedlots to Raise Enough Beef?
- Stockpiling is Good For Encouraging Legumes in Your Pastures
- It Doesn’t Take Long for a Change in Grazing to Make a Difference
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Juan comes from a two-generation pasture-based family farm in Uruguay. He obtained his BS in Agronomy in Brazil, his MS in Plant and Soil Science with Bill Murphy and his Ph.D. in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. He has experienced interdisciplinary research in grazing management, agroecology, ecosystems goods and services, land use change, conservation policy, green markets, and ecological economics. His work addresses environmental, social and productive aspects of grazing farms, with emphasis on dairy management, ecosystems conservation and sustainable livelihoods in Vermont and New England. In his study, grasslands play a key role because they are complex ecosystems that sustain a vast array of functions and processes delivering benefits for supporting healthy environments and communities.
- Rhizobia = Free Nitrogen!
- When Planning for the Summer Slump, Consider Pearl Millet
- Baby It’s Cold Outside! Watch Out For Livestock
- Grazing Sequentially vs. Pasture Skipping
- Life and Soil Minerals
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Howard Moechnig graduated from North Dakota State University in 1974 with a degree in Agriculture, majoring in Soil Science. He worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service from 1972 through 2006. For the last 10 years of his career he was a Grazing Specialist with NRCS, and was the State Grazing Specialist from 2001 through 2006. After his retirement on January 3, 2007, Howard organized a consulting business, Midwest Grasslands. His business specializes in consulting with those who desire to manage their pastureland, rangelands, and grasslands in a manner that will sustain the soil, water, and plant resources. His work includes pasture and rangeland evaluation, and planning managed rotational grazing systems on pastures, rangelands, and land for wildlife habitat. For more information you can contact him at Midwest Grasslands, 37484 90th Avenue, Cannon Falls, MN 55009 or (507)263-3149.
- Managing Grazing to Improve Stream Corridors Part II
- Managed Grazing Can Improve Stream Corridors
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- Building a Cow Herd – Billy Bean Style
- Bloatless Alfalfa Grazing
- My Experience With Ultra-High Stock Density Grazing
- Weaning Calves on Pasture
- Selling Cattle With Video and Satellite
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Chris, his wife Julie, and his kids work together to retain and enhance a portion of the farm that has been in the family since the 1840s. They're renovating pastures using hooves, claws, snouts, beaks, teeth and time, along with all the wildlife around them. Chris says, "It's the coordination , planning, and unexpected nature of..erm..nature…that keep us hoping." Currently they sell eggs, chickens, turkeys and hogs, but those are just their tools. Their real goal is not financial, rather they want to make sure the next owners take possession of more fertile land than they bought.
- I Know. It Happened to Me Too. And I’m Still Here
- The Failure of Reduction When It Comes to Working With People
- Some Thoughts On Keeping Chickens
- Trying My Patience
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My name is Don Ashford and my wife is Betty and we live in Ethel, LA. It would be impossible for me to write a bio about myself without including Betty in it. We have been together since high school. I was in the senior class of 1955 and she was in the class of 1957. Do the math. We have raised cattle since 1959 except for a little time that I spent with Uncle Sam. We have grazed stockers, owned several cow- calf herds and custom grazed cattle for other folks. I worked as a pipefitter for more than 25 years. Until we went into the dairy business in 1977 we were as most people down here part-timers or week-end ranchers. Later after we had learned enough about MIG to talk about it so that it would be understood by others we put together a pasture-walk group to introduce it to our friends and neighbors. We belong to more farm groups then we probably should but we get great joy working with other people. What makes us most proud are our son and daughter, our 5 grandkids and our 7 great-grand kids. It has been a hell of a trip so far, but we are not done yet.
- The Froze Cow Incident
- Is Where to Cut Costs the Right Question?
- Avoiding “Too Much Stuff”
- How I Adapted My Grazing When the Weather Made Things Tough
- Crossing the Creek
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Sarah Flack is a consultant specializing in grass based and organic livestock production systems. She is nationally known for her public speaking, workshops, books and numerous articles on a range of agricultural topics. She has worked and lived on diversified, organic and biodynamic diary, livestock and vegetable farms. She is an independent organic inspector and has helped many farms successfully convert to new farming systems. When she's not traveling, Sarah lives in northern Vermont on her off-grid small farm. You can contact Sarah at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-309-3714. or: email@example.com.
More to come!
I was born and raised in northern Vermont, in a two-room cabin situated on the 160-acre homestead my father purchased in the late 60’s. At 16, the legal age of “school leaving” in my home state, I dropped out of high school to pursue a self-designed study program in excessively loud heavy metal music and extreme partying. I began writing for magazines in my early 20’s; within two years, freelance magazine writing became my sole means of supporting myself and later, my family. "In 1997, my then-girlfriend (now wife) Penny and I purchased 40 acres in the town of Cabot, Vermont, where we now run a small-scale, diversified hill farm with our two sons, Finlay and Rye. We live in a self-built home that is powered by a windmill and solar photovoltaic panels, and tend a menagerie of animals, including cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens. We also have copious gardens, a small orchard, and a pick-your-own blueberry patch. Our focus is producing nutrient dense foods from vibrant, mineralized soils for ourselves and the immediate community. "I have written three books, am currently working on a fourth, and I still write the occasional magazine story. I am tremendously grateful to be so privileged. Thank you for your support. You can find my book's by searching for "Ben Hewitt" on Amazon.com, or by visiting your local bookstore. Learn more at http://benhewitt.net.
Ali Shahidy is a women's rights activist from Kabul, Afghanistan whose advocacy work includes: The End Violence Against Women project at WorldPulse, Safe Public Spaces Mentoring Program with the Stop Street Harassment project, intern at Vermont Commission on Women, as well as online activism and indecent project conducting workshops on domestic violence in private schools in Kabul. He is currently a student at Norwich University working on a Psychology major and English and Sociology minor.
Nancy Hayden and her husband John own The Farm Between, an organic nursery and fruit farm in Jeffersonville, VT. They specialize in selling winter hardy fruit trees, berry bushes and pollinator-friendly plants. They have converted a 14-acre pasture into a pollinator sanctuary that is open to the public. They also keep honeybees mainly for the honey since their bumblebees and native bees are doing such good work pollinating. Nancy is also a writer and artist.
I am the head of the GIS Department and Assistant Professor of GIS at Northern Virginia Community College. I am a scientist. I love data, discovery, and problem solving. I am a bit of a water quality expert. My academic background is in the natural sciences. I have Ph.D. from West Virginia University where I studied phosphorus movement and modeling and agriculture. I have degrees in Applied Agricultural Science, Animal and Vet Science, Agronomy -Soil Science, Public Administration, and Agriculture. I am an experienced Agriculture and Natural Resources extension educator / county Agent and author of multiple articles and publications. I have served as a local resource to assist in the identification and resolution of any agricultural and natural resources issues. I have developed agricultural and natural resources related programming to support the people of the county, the state, and the nation. In my current position I train students in the basic and advanced use of Geographic Information Systems to solve problems, model “stuff” and identify patterns in data. In my spare time, I love to write for On Pasture!
- A Process For Better Grasslands and Pastures
- Frosty the Snowman: Friend or Foe
- Spring “To Do” List for Grass Managers
- Managing Heat Stress Across Your Farm
- Ten Steps to Better Grasslands and Pastures
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Lorenzo Lasater is co-owner and President of Isa Beefmasters, LLC in San Angelo, Texas. Lorenzo graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz in 1990 with a B.A. in Literature. He then attended Texas Christian University's Ranch Management Program. Isa Beefmasters raises registered Beefmaster cattle on native ranchland in 8 leased locations around Texas. The company holds a 140 head bull sale each October (this October will be the 54th!), offers females for sale private treaty and sells semen and embryos both domestically and internationally. Lorenzo is the grandson of the founder of the Beefmaster breed, and a fifth generation rancher, so he has spent his entire life around Beefmasters. He has served as President of Beefmaster Breeders United and is also is a Director of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
is an industry leader in developing bulls on forage, and is internationally known as a successful rancher and businessman. In the mid 80s, Kit started out by leasing grassland and buying cows. In the beginning, he strived to build a herd that would wean bigger calves, but quickly learned that increasing weaning weights did not increase profit. Kit then changed his management approach to be profit-driven instead of production-driven, and carried-out management practices to reduce and eliminate expenses. At the same time Kit implemented ways to increase beef production per acre – compared to beef production per calf. Over the last 25 years, Kit has grown his ranch into a very profitable family corporation. From the first production sale of 7 bulls in 1990, Pharo Cattle Company now produces and markets over 800 forage-developed bulls every year. Kit Pharo advocates several no-nonsense ways to put profitability back into ranching and publishes a quarterly newsletter that is sent out to over 20,000 people.
- Do Your Calves Have Winter Coats?
- Don’t Let a Down Market Get You Down
- Cattle Market Trend Line Moving Up
- Let Your Environment Help You Choose Your Replacement Heifers
- Don’t Ear Tag Your New Born Calves
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Julie Moore is the Water Resources Group Leader at Stone Environmental, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Montpelier, Vermont. Julie has led numerous watershed planning and assessment projects, and has a deep understanding of water quality concerns associated with runoff from agricultural areas and developed lands. She has a wide variety of experience engaging the public in watershed management programs and activities. Prior to joining Stone in 2011, Julie spent seven years at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) where she led the state’s efforts to reduce phosphorus pollution in Lake Champlain. Since leaving state service, Julie has volunteered in various capacities with organizations dedicated to improving Vermont’s water resources, including: as Chair of the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain Advisory Council; on the Board of Directors of both the Friends of the Winooski River and Watersheds United; and as an Associate Supervisor with the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District. Most recently, Julie was appointed by Governor Shumlin to a second three-year term on the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) on the Future of Lake Champlain and elected Chair. Julie earned a B.S. in civil engineering, cum laude, from the University at Buffalo and an M.S. in environmental science and policy from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. Julie lives in Middlesex, Vermont with her husband, Aaron, and their two children.
Shannon Hayes (also known as "The Radical Homemaker") works with three generations of her family producing grassfed meats on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in upstate New York. She is the author of several books, including The Grassfed Gourmet, Long Way on a Little: An earth lovers' companion for enjoying meat, pinching pennies and living deliciously, and Radical Homemakers. Hayes blogs weekly at TheRadicalHomemaker.net and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she studied sustainable agriculture and community development.
- How Sap Bush Hollow Farm Meets the Challenge of Cooperating Across Generations
- A Radical Homemaker’s Take on Investing
- Meat Cuts for the Spring-Summer Market Season
- What’s the Difference Between Grain-Fed and Grass-fed?
- A Stupid Idea Turns Good
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- Inexpensive Electric Fencing Solutions – Courtesy of Nicaragua
- 17 Mistakes to Avoid With Electric Fencing
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Emily Lancaster Moose, Director of Communications and Outreach, developed an interest in food, sustainability, and agriculture at an early age during summer visits to her cousin’s hog farm in eastern Virginia. After studying sustainable agriculture in college, Emily gained hands-on experience working at several farms in her native state of North Carolina. Based in Pittsboro, NC, Emily now works with AWA to build consumer awareness of the program and provide farmers with the highest level of service and support, leading AWA’s four-region Outreach Team, guiding communications, and developing new programs and initiatives within the program. She also coordinates AWA’s Labeling Assistance program.
Wayne runs "Fencer Fixer" where he repairs electric fence chargers and fence testers. He's always happy to help folks figure out their fencing problems. Check out his website for more information.
- Is Your Multi-Wire Fence Too Much For Your Charger?
- Is a Fault-Finding Fence Tester Worth the Money?
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I work with farmers on finances. I started with UVM Extension in 1983, and have worked with hundreds of farmers on issues ranging from starting a farm, how to get a loan, leasing a farm, understanding farm finances, to retiring from farming. I teach 1 or 2 courses for farmers each winter. I am working with several farmers now on business plans, and I continue to work with many farmers on balance sheets and budgeting.
- Transferring Farm Assets or Retiring From Farming: Tax Tips When You’re Gifting or Inheriting
- Transferring Farm Assets or Retiring From Farming: Tax Tips When You’re Selling
- How to Get Your First Farm Loan
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Ben holds a B.S. in Conservation of Soil, Water, and the Environment from the University of Maryland. He became particularly interested in sustainable agriculture issues after working as a coffee farmer in Costa Rica and a dairy farmer in Russia. He and his wife recently returned from Malawi, where they served as agricultural extension agents in the Peace Corps. They are starting a diversified farm of their own in Johnson, Vermont. Ben is excited to be a new part of the Center's team in developing its Beginning Farmer and Land Access Program.
John van der Giessen
Genevieve provides forage and cover crop research and marketing support for King's AgriSeeds Inc. in Lancaster County, PA. She has also worked on organic vegetable farms and as an intern in agricultural field trials at the Rodale Institute.
- The Summer Annual Manual
- Seeing the Pasture for the Trees
- Why Inoculate, Exactly?
- Beating Heavy Clay and Wet Soils
- Regulating the Sugar Intake of Horses on Pasture
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A systems thinker with an interest in a 'Whole Farm Approach' to land and livestock stewardship, Lisa has been involved in sustainable, organic and biodynamic agriculture since the late 1980's. She studied under Dr. Bill Murphy (Author of 'Greener Pastures On Your Side of the Fence') at the University of Vermont, and worked as a grazing consultant for UVM's Pasture Management Outreach Program (PMOP) from 1992 - 1995, working closely with dairy and beef producers on grazing strategies, Holistic Management Planning, seasonal dairying, economics of grass-based livestock systems, and livestock health and nutrition. She's shared her expertise as a technical advisor for NOFA Vermont and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association. Today Lisa spends much of her time farming with her husband and three children, while making time for on-farm consultations, offering workshops, speaking at conferences, and ski instructing at Suicide Six Ski Area during the winter months. She writes regularly and has contributed articles to eOrganic Extension, Graze Magazine, the NODPA Newsletter and Holistic Management International (HMI), and is also a grazing consultant/speaker for (HMI) and their Beginning Women Farmer Program.
- Egg Production: What You Need to Do and Charge to Make It Pay
- Swine Time
- Have Goat, Will Travel (And Make Money Too!)
- Pluck N’ Grit: Getting a Small Poultry Processing Facility Off the Ground
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- Cool- and Warm-Season Grasses Make for Better Pastures
- How Grass Grows Tells You How You Should Graze It
- Grass Growth and Response to Grazing
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Stuart is an Area Range Conservationist/Grazing Land Resource Management with the NRCS in Lafayette, Louisiana. He's a national team member for the development of training courses and software for ranch planning and animal resource management. He also raises quarter horses, custom grazed beef cattle and meat goats on the ranch that has been in the family for 5 generations.
Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Purple Pitchfork. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm since 1999, Chris raised twenty acres of vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse crops, marketed through a 200-member year-round CSA, food stores, and farmers markets. He has also managed student farms, worked as an intern, packing house manager, plant breeding assistant, and farm manager, and provided consulting for a major organic processor, in California, Wisconsin, Maine, and Washington state. His workshops, writing, and consulting throughout the country about farm business concepts, food safety, organic vegetable production, and scaling-up have gained a reputation for fresh approaches, down-to-earth information, and honesty. While Chris focuses on produce, his business experience is invaluable to anyone in agriculture. For more, visit his website, AND check out his Farmer to Farmer Podcast.
- How to Hire Potential Winners
- A Prussian General Knows You Need a Plan
- Clearing Your Plate for the New Year
- The Best Time to Act
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Julie Elliott likes to say she ‘grew up on a horse’ in the country on the Palmer Divide west of Limon, CO. Her family raised beef cattle on a small operation and ran a few milk cows, along with sheep, chickens, meat rabbits and feeder pigs. She attended Colorado State University and majored in Wildlife Biology, but soon realized that most wildlife live on private lands and most private lands are rangeland. She added a Range Ecology minor and was actively involved in the student chapters of both The Wildlife Society and Society for Range Management. Julie started with the (then) Soil Conservation Service as a Range Conservationist in April 1991 in Cheyenne Wells, CO. There she was able to garner a grant to host a workshop with Stan Parsons which jump started her career long passion of educating those who live on the land. After 11 years in Cheyenne Wells, she transferred to Wray, CO, where she now serves as a multi-county Rangeland Management Specialist in the Republican River Watershed. Julie lives in Holyoke, CO, and is married to her best friend, Thom. They have one daughter, Camille.
- Tips For A Drought-Ready Grazing Playbook
- Protecting Your Forage During and After Drought
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I have gained many useful skills and knowledge working on various operations. These operations ranged from a sandhills cow/calf ranch, a custom feedlot, a hog operation, feed mill, and even a dairy. While working for others I saved up money to start my own cattle operation. One day, when I was in my mid-twenties, my operation grew big enough that I no longer had time to work off the farm. As my operation grew I realized I was growing with it. To accelerate my personal growth I decided to seek out people who were the best in what they do, and learn all I could from them. I still continue to do that. Over time it became obvious that my hedgehog concept, the one thing I excel at, should be starting calves. The marketing, stockmanship, grazing, and business skills I have learned have helped me to grow my backgrounding/stocker operation.
- Cattle 529 Plan for Funding College
- How Do You Benefit Others? Like This…
- Pitfalls of Good Stockmanship
- Time is Not Always Money
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Sarah Bailly and her husband, Donald Keller, own and operate Bayou Farm on the Cajun Prairie in South Central Louisiana. They raise hair sheep and cattle with management intensive grazing techniques to optimize microbial, plant, and animal performance. Sarah completed the Louisiana Master Cattle Producer program in 2013 and is a member of the Louisiana Forage and Grasslands Council (LFGC), the Pineywoods Cattle Registry and Breeders Association (PCRBA), and the Livestock Conservancy. Between tracking lambs, moving fences, and watching the grass grow, she is attempting to put her M.A. in English to use by writing about and sharing her farming experiences.
Jason Bryan Detzel
Jason is social worker turned farmer and owner of Diamond Hills Farm, a pasture based cow/ calf operation in Hudson, New York. When he is not grazing, watering, or calving he is the Livestock Educator for the Ulster County Cooperative Extension Office. He gets up early, tries to stay up late, and enjoys looking at his collection of unread book. He is currently hard at work trying to slow the rotation of earth in order to increase the length of the days and is the most happy at that time of year when you can smell the soil but not the cold.
- How Rewards and Punishment Work with Animals
- Quitting, the dirtiest word in the farmer dictionary?
- Charge MORE For Your Eggs. Your Neighbors Will Thank You!
- Gardening With Grandpa
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Aljoe serves as a pasture and range consultant in the Agricultural Division's consultation program. He also serves as the consultation program manager, coordinating the efforts of the division's agricultural consultants across the division's 47-county service area, in both Oklahoma and Texas. Before coming to the Noble Foundation in 1995, Aljoe was the ranch manager of Belvedere Land & Cattle Corp. for 10 years. He supervised the growth of the ranch from a small 450-acre, 150-head purebred ranch into an extensive 3,900-acre, 1,500-head purebred and commercial cow-calf operation. Forage resources were predominantly introduced bermudagrass pastures (overseeded to ryegrass) that were operated in modified short-duration grazing systems. Aljoe grew up on a family farm in the rural west Texas community of Roscoe.
- Precautions for Potential Mob Graziers
- Potential Mob Graziers Should Consider Precautions
- Strategic Grazing Plans – The Steps to Meet Your Goals
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Joshua is a Certified Educator of Holistic Management who speaks and teaches regularly throughout the United States and Canada. Joshua’s career path started as an Agricultural & Bio-systems engineer, but has evolved into a professional role of educator, facilitator, and mentor. Through this progression was born a consulting business that works with land managers, families, and organizations in assisting them with achieving sustainable balance of people, finances, and resources. Joshua has the good fortune of working with some of the most innovative and progressive holistic managers in the United States and Canada. His travels have afforded him the opportunity to observe and learn through direct management of challenging whole situations in many different environments. Owning livestock of his own and providing grazing and financial planning for various ranches and farms has allowed Joshua to stay directly involved in production agriculture. This connection to reality provides the foundation to his teaching, consulting, and speaking activities. It also allows him to share both the conceptual basis and applied techniques of the regenerative agriculture he promotes. Joshua stays involved with management of the family ranch where he grew up, which concentrates on meshing grazing and forage cropping for enhancement of all animals, wild and domesticated. This family-focused business annually combines land, cattle, and resources with other ranches to provide greater financial, ecological, and social benefits then each ranch could achieve alone. Joshua also works for the Burleigh County Soil Conservation District. This soil health team serves as an educational and support network for agricultural producers in developing grazing, cropping, gardening, and cover cropping plans for the purpose of enhancing soil, plant, animal, and human health.
Linda Coffey is a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, focusing on sheep and goats. She grew up on a diversified livestock farm in central Missouri, where her family raised cattle, hogs, and sheep. Linda has a master’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Missouri. She is a member of the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (ACSRPC), American Dairy Goat Association, and Gulf Coast Breeders Association. Linda and her family run Maple Gorge Farm near Prairie Grove, Ark., raising sheep, dairy goats, and a few laying hens. A couple of calves, three livestock guardian dogs, and occasionally hogs complete the farm.
- Dealing with Coccidiosis in Sheep, Goats, and Calves
- Livestock Guardians Protect the Flock
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Dan works for the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the Franktown, Colorado Office.
Kevin holds a Bachelor’s in Poultry Science from Texas A&M University, and worked there as a research assistant specializing in nutrition and animal health. He was also a member of two national championship winning teams in collegiate poultry judging, including a first overall individual ranking, and won a proficiency award from the Future Farmers of America for raising poultry. Prior to joining NCAT, Kevin worked with Garden Harvests Farm, a Texas organic CSA. When not thinking about poultry, he likes to read and cook, and he collects music records.
Dr. Roger Gates is a Professor & SDSU Extension Rangeland Management Specialist in South Dakota State's Natural Resource Management Department. With his work, he seeks to enhance the heritage of South Dakota’s privately owned rangelands by contributing to the success of livestock producers and grassland managers. He also contributes to collaborative, applied ranching systems research as a professor in SDSU’s Natural Resource Management Department.
Dr. Michelle Arnold is the Ruminant Extension Veterinarian for the University of Kentucky.
Jonathan Rupert has been in the wholesale seed industry for over 25 years, and works for Smith Seed Services helping with sales, marketing and product development. He is a big fan of learning from the past and being willing to try something new.
Tom is a passionate entrepreneur and precision conservation thought leader with over 30 years of experience in conservation planning. Through his work at Agren, he is able to marry his love of the environment with his passion for pioneering innovative solutions to complex environmental problems. Prior to founding Agren in 1996, he spent 14 years with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa, first as a Soil Conservationist and later as a District Conservationist. Tom has received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1982 and a Masters in Business Administration in 1995, both from Iowa State University.
David works in Sales & Support for Kings Agriseeds serving the mid-Atlantic states. David has over 20 years of experience as a dairy nutritionist, and as active dairy farm owner/manager in Mifflintown, PA. David’s key strength is that he has years of firsthand experience growing and feeding King’s products. David has degrees from Hesston College and Delaware Valley College in Dairy Husbandry. He offers excellent technical advice on crop rotation planning and seed selection. David lives with his wife in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania and you can best reach David on his cell phone, (814) 880-5186 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Funderburg serves as a soils and crops consultant in the Agricultural Division's consultation program. He joined the Noble Foundation in 2000. Funderburg has broad experience in agriculture, including soil testing, irrigation water quality, soil fertility, fertilization of most crops and nutrient management planning. He has conducted numerous on-farm research projects examining fertilizer rates, sources, timing and soil test calibration. Prior to joining the Noble Foundation, Funderburg worked as an assistant county agent with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service from 1977 to 1981. He further served as a state soils and fertilizer specialist with the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service from 1984 to 1990. He then served as state soils and fertilizer specialist with the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service from 1990 to 2000. Funderburg was born and grew up in rural northwestern Louisiana.
After working in various aspects of the livestock industries across South Dakota and even Beijing, China, Heidi has promoted responsible animal care and safe food products. With a Masters Degree in animal science with an emphasis in ruminant nutrition, she handles a wide variety of topics concerning animal well-being. You can view her latest tips and advice at iGrow Livestock.
Jim Hardin is Senior Investment Manager at AVAC Ltd., the parent company of Verdex Capital. Jim joined AVAC as an investment manager in 2006. Prior to joining AVAC, Jim spent over 13 years in academics and the biotechnology industry. Jim has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Gastrointestinal Physiology, and brings a broad background in life sciences to the organization. He has published over 100 patents, book chapters, full articles, and abstracts in the area of gastrointestinal physiology and animal models of infectious disease, thus lending an extensive background in life sciences. Jim’s focus areas include biotechnology, medical devices, and agricultural technology.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Kansas State University, Greg made his living for several years on cattle ranches and feedlots from Colorado, to Missouri to Texas and Oklahoma. He then moved with his wife, Ann, son, Tanner, and two daughters, Megan and Ashley, to a farm in east central Kansas and began a row crop farming and cattle operation. About 12 years ago he started buying meat goats and began to grow his herd with the occasional help of his son Tanner. In a typical year, Greg will have more than 600 commercial does kidding, along with raising corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle.
Doug McCarty runs a grazing operation on 335 acres of land in Eugene, Oregon which in two years has expanded to include cattle, Caribbean style (hair) sheep, meat chickens and pigs, all raised while keeping the ideas of permaculture and holistic management in mind. He aims to have Spencer Shadow Ranch provide more and more food to his neighbors. Doug graduated from the University of Virginia (English and Romance Languages), Harvard University where he studied Korean History, and Harvard Law School. He served in Korea with the Peace Corps, was a Fulbright Scholar, and is the author of Sustainable Enlightenment. He has a certificate in Permaculture Design.
- It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know (who can save your barn)
- Want Things to Stay As They Are? Things Will Have to Change.
- What Should You Charge For Your Eggs?
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Jack Lazor is co-owner of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont, with his wife Anne. They raise a herd of Jersey cows and make organic Jersey-milk yogurt, buttermilk, and other dairy products available throughout the northeast USA. He is also co-founder of the Norther Grain Growers Association and author of The Organic Grain Grower. A nationally recognized speaker and teacher, Jack Lazor has been a student of agriculture and and a farmer for nearly half a century.
- How We Transitioned to Be A Grain Free Dairy
- Why Don’t Farmers and Ranchers Get Paid Well For the Food They Produce?
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Blaine has spent his life working on the family farm. During high school Blaine pursued an interest in multimedia design and marketing. Blaine's interest in marketing served as an integral part of helping his family develop a direct marketing business. Today Blaine is employed full time at Seven Sons and is responsible for overseeing daily marketing and distribution activities. Blaine enjoys sharing the Seven Sons story by speaking to consumer and producer groups and has offered consulting to numerous direct marketers and has written for grazing publications.
John Marble grew up on a terribly conventional ranch with a large family where each kid had their own tractor. Surviving that, he now owns a small grazing and marketing operation that focuses on producing value through managed grazing. He oversees a diverse ranching operation, renting and owning cattle and grasslands while managing timber, wildlife habitat and human relationships. His multi-species approach includes meat goats, pointing dogs and barn cats. He has a life-long interest in ecology, trying to understand how plants, animals, soils and humans fit together. John spends his late-night hours working on fiction, writing about worlds much less strange than this one.
- What Size Cow Is Right for Grass-Finishing?
- Blaming Our Troubles on the Market
- The Grazier’s Bookshelf
- Before You Dive Into Grazing….
- On Becoming a Professional Grazier
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Sandy Smart is an Extension Rangeland Management Specialist and Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management at SDSU.
SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist, SDSU Animal Science Department
Gregory Hopkins, prior USAF Pararescueman, operates Breen Mesa Farm and was a compost specialist at the Univ. of Hawaii Maui College. He has extensive background in various forms of composting as well as regenerative soil development. His farm also hosts Veterans Homestead Project teaching homesteading skills to combat veterans as a means of self reliance and healing.
Bruce is a professor of agronomy and extension forage specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He works with grazing systems and does research on annual forages, utilization of warm-season grasses, forage quality in hay and pasture systems and using legumes to improve pastures.
Cheryl Cesario is a Grazing Outreach Specialist with the University of Vermont Extension in Middlebury. She works with dairy, beef, and other livestock farmers to get the most out their pastures - balancing the needs of the animals, plants and people. She and her husband Marc graze beef cows and dairy heifers at their farm Meeting Place Pastures in Cornwall, VT.
- Setting Up Fences and Water for Dairy Grazing – With a Little Help From Some Grants
- Transitioning from Confinement to Pastured Dairy – One Farm’s Process
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Sean is a South Dakota State University Extension Range Management. A Winner, SD native, Kelly grew up working for Tripp County farmers/ranchers. After receiving an ag business associates degree from Western Dakota Technical Institute, Sturgis, Kelly worked fulltime for an area farmer and began building his own cow/calf herd. He returned to school in 2002 to pursue a Range Science degree from South Dakota State University. After graduating, he went on to earn a masters in Ranch Management from Texas A&M Kingsville, King Ranch Institute for Range Management. Before joining SDSU Extension, Kelly worked for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Montana and Nebraska as a Soil & Range Conservationist.
Ryan Sexson and his wife Jamie were born and raised in the Sandhills and have a passion for ranching. Both of them have been told numerous times that there is no future in ranching, however, they have found that statement anything but true. They lease a small ranch south of Nenzel, Nebraska. They own a portion of the cow herd and take in cows on shares. They also custom calve some heifers and cows. Ryan and Jamie concentrate heavily on a “holistic” approach to everything in their lives, not just ranching. The holistic approach helps with problem solving. Whether it is grazing, budgeting or family time, Ryan and Jamie attempt to make it all work together.They are using what they have learned from Holistic Management courses, Bud Williams' stockmanship schools, and Ranching for Profit classes to build a successful ranching operation. Legacy is important to both of them, and they have concentrated on building relationships and gaining knowledge in order to develop a sustainable business to pass to their children if they desire to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Ryan hopes to have some knowledge and ideas that can help others, particularly those that have a desire to start their own operation.
- The Beginning of a Legacy: Building a Ranch From the Ground Up, Part 2
- The Beginning of a Legacy: Building a Ranch From the Ground Up, (Part 1)
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Tina Barrett, is executive director of Nebraska Farm Business, Inc. and a program manager in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is originally from Hordville, Nebraska where she grew up on a family farm raising mostly irrigated corn and soybeans. New as a degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Agriculture Economics and an emphasis in Farm and Ranch Management.
Dr. Mousel is part of the Beef Team at University of Minnesota Extension with expertise in cow/calf reproduction.
Edmund Brown and his family live in upstate New York where they raise beef cattle, pastured pigs, and a few sheep. He enjoys learning about techniques to improve his grazing management skills.
Caroline Abels is a journalist, essayist, and editor focusing on issues related to local agriculture and the humane treatment of farm animals. She lives in central Vermont, where she also practices Zen Buddhism. From 1997 to 2003, Caroline worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she was the paper’s first cultural arts reporter. Following that, she earned a master's degree in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing from Antioch University New England. Since 2007, she has been the founding editor of the quarterly magazine Vermont’s Local Banquet, which covers local food and farming issues. In 2011, she launched Humaneitarian, a website that inspires people to find and eat humanely raised meat. She is also a freelance editor, available to assist individuals and organizations with editing or writing projects, large or small. Her goal as a writer and editor is to produce work that is viscerally felt, meticulously investigated, and consistently honest. Caroline has worked on an organic dairy farm and two small-scale livestock farms in Vermont. In 2009, she joined with six other Vermont residents to establish the Vermont State House Food Garden, the first public vegetable garden planted on the lawn of an American state capitol in modern times.
Tammy Dunakin is the owner and Chief Goat Wrangler at Rent-A-Ruminant, located on Vashon Island in the Seattle area. Tammy, her herding dogs, and the goats form a team who all pitch in to clear land and get it ready for whatever project you have next. Tammy started this business in 2004 with only ten goats and now the herd has grown to over one hundred and twenty happy goats. She brings goats to locations to eat a wide range of vegetation, such as blackberries, ivy, and other invasive species. She now offers franchise opportunities to help others get going in the goat grazing business.
Graham grew up in East Montpelier and currently lives in Plainfield, VT. He has grazed and raised grass fed and finished beef cattle in different parts of central Vermont for almost 10 years. This will be the third season that Graham has been operating Robinson Hill Beef in Calais, VT. Graham works with Aaron Guman providing home-to-farm scale agroecology design / build services as Walking Onion LLC. Graham works as a mentor with youth ages 6-18 at EarthWalk Vermont, the ROOTS School, and by private arrangement. He is an herbalist and educator of adults in the community as well. Graham has served on the board of Rural Vermont - a small farm and economic justice advocacy organization - since 2014, and since 2015 as its Chair. Graham graduated from UVM with a degree in Religious Studies and Plant and Soil Science; has a Permaculture Design Certificate from Yestermorrow Design / Build School; and attended the 3 year clinical herbal training program at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism.
Curt Gesch is a retired schoolteacher. He publishes a free e-newsletter (www.justfarmers.wordpress.com) from his home in central British Columbia. Mr. and Mrs. Gesch own a 153-acre farm, most of which is in forages. The rest is made up of glacial eskers and “moose pasture”. Curt experiments with pasturing techniques, seed mixtures, etc., on a small part of the acreage near the house where he pastures a few Dexter cows. He is presently working on a project to help small-scale sheep producers renew their pastures with legumes. Curt has no formal agricultural education but knows how to ask questions of those with education and experience.
Tom Gervais has been a Grazing Specialist with the USDA-NRCS since 2008. Tom is also a Certified Forage and Grassland Professional. He enjoys working one on one with farmers and ranchers to improve the productivity of their grazing lands. Tom lives, works and farms in Northeastern MN.
Julie Finigan Morris
Julie Finigan Morris is the Co-Founder and Owner of T.O. Cattle Company and Morris Grassfed Beef. She lives in San Juan Bautista, California. Visit her online at www.juliefmorris.com
Cheryl is the Office & Communications Manager at the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture. She earned her BA in Cultural Studies at Burlington College in 1995, and is beginning UVM's MS in Leadership for Sustainability fall of 2017. Her background includes growing up in a restaurant family, then non-profit fund raising and communications, freelance writing, marketing and social media, and a long love affair with Vermont food. She lives, cooks and writes in Burlington, Vermont with her two sons.
Dr. Ringwall is the director of North Dakota State University's Dickinson Research Extension Center. The Center was established to research crop production and improvements to native and introduced forage crops for ranchers on the Missouri Plateau region. The Center's runs a herd of May calving cattle.
- The “Lazy L” Gets You Ready for Herd and Stocking Rate Changes
- Are the Cows Ready to Breed?
- Zero Tolerance for Bad Cows
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Haley Walker brings nearly a decade of communications experience to The Freshwater Trust. Borrowing from her background as an environmental reporter and editor, she’s served in storytelling roles for nonprofits such as Environment America, the Nature Conservancy, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. She holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish. As Communications Director, her sights are set on creatively and clearly broadcasting the work of The Freshwater Trust with the world. Outside the office, Haley is a yoga teacher, a wannabe runner and a long-distance hiker.
Daimon Meeh- Daimon grew up on a farm in Canterbury, NH and studied agriculture at the University of New Hampshire. He then attended Michigan State University for graduate school in Sustainable Agriculture and studied multi-species pasture rotation systems. After completing his MS Daimon moved back to NH and began working for UNH Cooperative Extension on the Dairy, Livestock and Forage Crops team. He worked for UNHCE for just over 3 years before recently making the move over to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in August 2016. As part of his current duties Daimon has the responsibilities of the State Grazing Specialist and is working to support NRCS staff and farmers statewide to further their understanding of their animal and forage management. Daimon has also been an active member of the Granite State Graziers Board since 2013.
David Kitner has been involved in ranch management for 45 years. Since his arrival at Killam Duval County Ranch in 2001, he has made many changes. What once was an over-stocked, over-grazed, over-hunted ranch has been transformed by his management. His strong work ethic and honest, principled business practices have earned him recognition around the state as an excellent ranch manager and individual. He has an extensive background in cattle, wildlife, and range management. The ranch was awarded the Lone Star Land Steward Award in 2010, and David was named the Outstanding Conservation Rancher in 2012 for San Patricio County. David is Chairman of the South Texas Grazing Land Coalition and also sits on the state advisory board for Texas Grazing Land Coalition. Some of the many improvements David has made have been the implementation of rotational grazing, pasture rest, and water improvements. Well over 100 miles of water pipeline have been installed, with over 100 water troughs being added also. This has had a dramatic effect on both cattle and wildlife. The ranch is grazed mainly as a stocker operation.
Julie MacSwain has served as the State Public Affairs Specialist for NRCS in Minnesota since 2003. Effective May 28, 2017. Julie will be working for Oregon NRCS as the Assistant State Conservationist- Partnership Coordinator. Julie has been with NRCS for 32 years. She has worked in Wisconsin and Minnesota and held positions including Soil Conservationist, District Conservationists and Public Affairs Specialist. Julie was born and raised on a beef cow calf operation in Blanchardville, Wisconsin where she learned about crop and beef production, soil and water conservation, and the importance of caring for the land. Julie has a Bachelors of Science degree in Agriculture Education from the University of Wisconsin Platteville. She enjoys many sports, but especially the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. Julie values outdoor activities and spending time with family and friends.
Holistic Management International
Since 1984, Holistic Management International (HMI) has helped communities grow and thrive by educating family farmers and ranchers and pastoralists in regenerative agricultural practices that empower them to strengthen their businesses, produce healthier food, improve local wildlife habitats and protect the environment. HMI's mission is to educate people in regenerative agriculture for healthy land and thriving communities, which supports their vision - a world where lands and communities flourish through the practice of Holistic Management®, an internationally recognized regenerative agricultural practice. HMI offers various training platforms for ranchers, farmers, land stewards and consumers. Other benefits include being part of HMI's worldwide network of conservation award-winning agriculturalists and Holistic Management Certified Educators, HMI's #LaVidaLocal blog, free learning downloads, IN PRACTICE bi-monthly journal and free bi-monthly e-newsletter, Covering Ground. LEARN MORE with HMI at www.holisticmanagement.org.