Grazing Management View All →

The Wahl Family’s Mobile Flock – Part 2 of Managing for Healthier, More Productive Animals and a Better Bottom Line

By   2 days ago

This is the second in a series about the grazing management changes the Wahl family has made and how it has improved soil health and increased animal productivity dramatically. (See the first here.) It’s drawn from an article by Robert Hathorne with photos by Tracy Robillard, both of the Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service. I’ve […]

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How the Wahl Family Manages for Healthier, More Productive Animals and a Better Bottom Line

By   1 week ago

This is the first in a series about the grazing management changes the Wahl family has made and how it has improved soil health and increased animal productivity dramatically. It’s drawn from an article by Robert Hathorne with photos by Tracy Robillard, both of the Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service. I’ve added the videos they […]

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Greg Judy’s Success Making it Through This Summer’s Drought

By   2 weeks ago

Hello From Green Pastures Farm! Things haven’t been so green this summer thanks to very little rainfall this past winter, spring and summer. But what you’ll see in this video is a lot of green grass. Why? As I describe in this video, we manage our pastures to get plenty of rest, and to leave […]

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Slugs for Solving Bio-Film Problems in Floats, Tanks and Pipes

By   4 weeks ago

Oregon is a funny place. We recently changed our State bird from the Meadow Lark to the Osprey, mostly because several other States were claiming the Meadow Lark, and Oregon likes being….unique. Some would say bizarre. Our State Flower is called Oregon Grape, and of course, is not a grape at all. But it is […]

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Can You Be a Grazing Soothsayer?

By   1 month ago

Back in 2014/15, Troy Bishopp took us all along on his journey to extend his grazing season. He showed the good and the bad and all the planning that went with getting to 257 grazeable days on his New York state farm. This year he’s trying something different – and he’s going to show us all how it goes as he does it. Check this out!

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Phipps Livestock Uses Grazing to Solve Soil Health, Erosion and Weed Problems

By   1 month ago

Thanks to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana for this article and video. Bryan and Chelsea Phipps are using their cattle as tools to improve soil health, reduce erosion and weeds, and harvest one of our planet’s greatest resources – sunlight – on their ranch near Brusett, Mont. This new management style has […]

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Can Cows Save the Planet? I Don’t Know – But Maybe They Can Save the Ranch

By   2 months ago

Can cows save the planet? Can cows reverse global warming? Can cows sequester carbon and prevent erosion and fix habitat problems? Can cows feed the world? Honestly, I just don’t know. These are big, complicated questions that seem to depend on a whole bunch of variables, things beyond my ability to suss out. Some Simple […]

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Berlier Ranch – Success Based on a Passion for Soil and Range Health

By   2 months ago

I’ve had a passion for soil health and range conditions all my life. If we don’t maintain our grasslands in a healthy manner and leave them better than we found them, there just won’t be anything for our grandchildren and for future generations. Jim Berlier, Berlier Ranch, Encino, New Mexico Jim Berlier says that sustainability […]

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    Pasture Health View All →

    Greg Judy’s Stockpiling and Grazing Advice for Kentucky 31 Fescue

    By   2 days ago

    Here’s a 3:14 video from Greg Judy talking about Kentucky 31 fescue and red clover. He starts off saying, “It’s probably the best forage in Missouri, if you learn how to manage it, especially for winter grazing.” Some folks say that you can’t grow red clover with Kentucky 31 and that Kentucky 31 crowds it […]

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    Frost Can Cause Forage Hazards – Protect Your Livestock

    By   1 week ago

    A rancher recently posted on a facebook group I’m part of that she’d lost 4 cows and one bull to bloat four days after turning them into a frosted alfalfa pasture. What should have been no problem suddenly turned deadly thanks to changes in frosted alfalfa that increase bloat potential. Here Bruce Anderson of University […]

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    What Makes Grass Grow Back Fastest – Trampling, Clipping or Cow Spit?

    By   3 weeks ago

    Troy started this piece, Kathy Voth added some, and Jim Gerrish shared his observations. And with all that, we’re still not sure we have an answer. Troy: The heifers moved ahead into a fresh break of pasture while I lingered and admired the trample effect that was left behind. The rough residual was a beautiful […]

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    Can Cover Crops and Rotational Grazing Extend Your Grazing Season?

    By   4 weeks ago

    Thanks to the UDSA Natural Resources Conservation Service for sharing this story and the photos with us! Jared Namken is an Angus man. Red Angus, specifically. A fourth-generation farmer-rancher in Lake Norden, South Dakota, he hopes to pass on his operation to generation five with the soil in even better shape than when he started. […]

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    Cover Crop Seeding – Build Your Own Seeder Or Use the One You’ve Got

    By   1 month ago

    Readers who responded to our 2018 survey asked if we could include a little more information on cover crops. So here’s a start of what we’ll be doing more of in the future. This week we thought you’d like to learn a little bit about seeding equipment. In this first video you’ll see how Ed […]

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    The Wildfire and Weed Cycle – What We Know About Slowing the Growth of Both

    By   2 months ago

    Thanks to Justin Fritscher of the NRCS for this great information! Out West, wildfires and weeds are closely linked. The spread of invasive grasses is leading to more frequent and intense wildfires. These invasive grasses degrade the health of native rangelands, which threatens both wildlife and rural ways of life. An estimated 100 million acres of […]

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    Healing Soils With Cover Crops and Cattle

    By   2 months ago

    Here’s a 4:13 video from the Land Stewardship Program’s Bridge to Soil Health Initiative. In it, Kaleb Anderson shows how he uses “sacrifice” pastures planted in cover crops to keep his cattle off their hilly pastures in the spring to prevent erosion and eliminate topsoil loss.Then to counteract the damage done, he lets it heal […]

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    How to Beat Back a Weed to Get Better Forage and Wildlife Habitat

    By   2 months ago

    Like almost every grazier, Dee (DeWitt) Morris has a problem weed. For him and his Mountain Springs Ranch in Wyoming, it’s cheatgrass, an annual grass that can out-compete and eliminate nutritious native forages for livestock and wildlife, and disrupt processes that create healthy soils. And the problem, left unmanaged only gets worse with time. Cheatgrass […]

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      Livestock View All →

      Grouping Calves For Sale – Good Idea or Bad?

      By   2 days ago

      A couple of years ago the idea was brought up by some of the members of what was left of the Heifer Project groups in our area that it would be beneficial to all involved to put their calves together for marketing. The idea was that this would enhance their position by selling in groups […]

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      Use Caution When Feeding Soybeans to Cattle

      By   2 weeks ago

      With drought impacting feed availability, and tariffs reducing soybean exports, some of us may be looking at ways to use what we have a lot of to make up for a lack of grazeable forage. While soybeans can be fed to cattle we need to be careful with how much we feed and we need […]

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      Improve Your Stockmanship by Understanding the Flight Zone

      By   4 weeks ago

      We’ve all seen those diagrams of the flight zone. But sometimes seeing a group of animals demonstrate how it works is a lot more helpful. That’s what this video does for us. Yes, it is sheep, but the same principles hold when you’re working with cattle. Though I mostly work with cattle, I like this […]

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      Small Cows Are Profitable – Big Cows Will Bankrupt You

      By   1 month ago

      Spend two minutes with Greg Judy and this video he made to talk about why small cows are better for your operation than big cows.

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      An Egg Mobile From a Repurposed Trailer

      By   2 months ago

      It’s always nice to get a little inspiration from other folks when it comes to creatively housing poultry. Even if you don’t have a trailer, this could give you some good ideas for repurposing something you already own at little to no cost.

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      Beware of Drought-Caused Nitrate and Prussic Acid Poisoning

      By   2 months ago

      It’s that time of year when current drought and potential weather changes could cause increases of nitrates and prussic acid in some forages. This article from Jill Scheidt, University of Missouri Extension, tells us what to look out for. I’ve added some charts and testing information as well as links to addtional On Pasture articles […]

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      How Do You Know If Your Livestock Are Too Hot?

      By   2 months ago

      It’s hot out there, and in some places it’s really humid too! If you’re feeling it, so is your livestock. To help you figure out if there’s a problem and to do what you can to protect them, here are some tips from Rob Eirich, Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator, and Mariah Woolsoncroft, Nebraska Extension […]

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      Right-Size Grassfed Cows

      By   3 months ago

      What makes a successful grassfed operation? Well, one important ingredient is the right kind of cow, and that’s what I’m talking about in this 3:20 minute video. I took it at the end of April just as the green grass was coming on to show you the kind of cows I’m raising so that I […]

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        The Classic by NatGLC View All →

        How to Be a Successful Farmer/Rancher in the 21st Century

        By   2 days ago

        Forrest has been thinking about this for a long time. We first published this in October of 2014. Read on for how he’s gone deeper with a new book on the topic. As Bren Smith recently explained in his heartfelt editorial for the New York Times (Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be […]

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        Ideas for Watering a Winter Grazing Herd

        By   1 week ago

        This week, The Classic by NatGLC answers a question that I hear from graziers quite often. What do you do about water in the winter, especially if your cattle are grazing the whole season? Here’s a solution from our northern neighbors who know a lot about dealing with cold and snow. These Alberta ranchers have […]

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        Grazing Too Short in Fall and Winter Can Mean More Weeds in the Spring

        By   2 weeks ago

        Back in September of 2016, On Pasture readers were wondering if their fall and winter grazing might have an impact on the health of their pastures come spring. Turns out, it’s always a good idea to leave enough grass so you don’t add to your spring weed problems. Results of a study by University of […]

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        Adding More Forage and Reducing Hay Feeding – How a Montana Rancher Did It

        By   3 weeks ago

        We shared this story from the Montana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service last year about this time to get us all thinking about what we can do during the off season to improve things in the Spring. We hope it helps your 2019 grazing season be even better! It’s these kinds of producer stories that […]

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        Kick the Hay Habit – Jim Gerrish’s Tips for Getting Started

        By   4 weeks ago

        This week’s Classic by NatGLC is from Jim Gerrish. Jim will be speaking about Grazing Lands Economics at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Reno in December, so we thought you’d like to have an idea of what he might cover. Jim is one of over over 50 producers who will be part of the […]

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        Building a Ranch From the Ground Up (Part 1)

        By   1 month ago

        This week’s Classic by NatGLC is from Ryan’s presentation at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Dallas in 2016 and it’s an example of why we love this conference: It’s all about producers sharing their own stories about how they succeed on the ground. Ryan will be speaking again this year in Reno at the […]

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        From 60% Bare Ground to Less Than 10% – Grazing Management Made the Difference

        By   1 month ago

        This 2015 Classic comes to us from Pat Guptill who will be one of the speakers at this year’s National Grazing Lands Conference in Reno, Nevada. He’s just one of more than 50 producers who will be talking about innovative grazing techniques. We hope he’ll inspire you to join us in December! Register before October […]

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        The Secret of Successful Farming/Ranching

        By   2 months ago

        After six decades of farming, Don Ashford knows a lot about what it takes to be successful. But if he were to give you just one piece advice, it might be this. Enjoy this Classic by NatGLC from our August 2015 edition. When he was 95 years old Scott Nearing, who has been described as […]

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          Consider This View All →

          The Ongoing American Dairy Crisis and Its Impact on the Family Farm

          By   2 days ago

          This is an issue close to Jason Birchfield’s heart. He doesn’t think there’s a silver bullet. But he believes in the small family farm and wanted to share this in hopes of starting a dialogue that could lead to solutions.

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          Should Uncle Sam Bail Us Out of Drought?

          By   1 week ago

          It was a very difficult summer. We suffered through more 90-degree days than any year in history. It was just plain hot and dry, the worst season that anyone around here could remember. Oh, that was way back in 2017. 2018, of course, was even worse. Month upon month with no rain. Baking hot days […]

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          Use ‘KISS’ System to Develop Your Management Plans

          By   2 weeks ago

          This comes to us from Lynn Myers. With his wife Marlene, he works and manages the home place, the Tippet Myers Ranch in Nebraska, which has been in the family for 100 years, as well as several leased pastures. His philosophy is to leave the pastures, rented or not, in better condition than he found […]

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          Is Glyphosate Killing Bees?

          By   3 weeks ago

          This comes to us from the University of Texas at Austin.   The world’s most widely used weed killer may also be indirectly killing bees. New research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts […]

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          Here’s My New Favorite Book on Farming

          By   1 month ago

          There is no set recipe for success in farming and ranching. What works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for another. And even when you think you’ve figured out the recipe that works at your place, everything can change due to the weather or the marketplace. That means that in order to sustain a […]

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          The Best Thing to Do With a Brush Pile

          By   1 month ago

          Those piles become a thing of beauty with this suggestion from Troy and featuring another On Pasture author, Jenn Colby, and her husband Chris Sargent from the Howling Wolf Farm in Vermont.

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          Are Pasture Walks a Waste of Time?

          By   2 months ago

          Sometimes it just seems that we are wasting our time having pasture walks. The other day, and as happens on most days, my mind was off on one of its wanderings. I recalled a particular pasture walk that we had hosted a few years ago. The turnout was not very good, in fact it was […]

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          Prairies Help Us Understand Antibiotic Resistance

          By   2 months ago

          This article comes to us from Sandra Avant, ARS Office of Communications, USDA Agricultural Research Services. It was published in the September 16 issue of AgResearch Magazine. Since the 1940s, antibiotics have effectively treated certain bacterial diseases. But over the years, some bacteria have developed resistance to the antibiotics that once killed them. Each year, […]

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            Money Matters View All →

            Arkansas Beginning Farmer Gets Financing to Get Started

            By   1 week ago

            This example of resources available to beginning farmers comes to us from Nicole Gurley, Farm Loan Officer, Washington County, Arkansas. There are links throughout the article that provide more information on the programs available to farmers, whether beginning or experienced. McKenzie Fanning grew up in Westfork, Arkansas, with the dream of becoming a cattleman. Although the […]

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            Choosing the Right Partner for a Custom Grazing Deal

            By   2 weeks ago

            Meg will be part of the On Pasture symposium at the upcoming National Grazing Lands Conference in Reno, Nevada, December 2 – 5, 2018. Register before October 16 for the best rates – just $395 for you and bring a friend or spouse for $175 more! Custom graziers and herd owners both need to be […]

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            Is It Possible for a Cattle Operation to Be Sustainable Without a Subsidy?

            By   3 weeks ago

            This question has been bothering me since attending a workshop a few weeks ago. There were presentations by several producers with the usual stuff, how we do this and why we do it this way. But there were two who really caught my attention. One was a young couple with a 40 acre multi-grazing operation. […]

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            Learning to Market from the Heart – What I Learned from Charlotte Smith

            By   4 weeks ago

            On Pasture author Jenn Colby was one of the people who participated in Charlotte Smith’s free webinar last May and then went on to take Charlotte’s 5-week farm marketing course with me and about 50 other members of the On Pasture Community. We asked her to share what she learned from “Farm Marketing From the […]

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            The Language You Need to Be Using in Your Marketing

            By   1 month ago

            You’re Not Selling What You Think You’re Selling… Most farmers think they sell grass-fed beef, or raw milk, organic chicken or fresh flowers. But when it comes to marketing, that language won’t help you stand out. It looks just like your competitor! What you’re selling is a solution to your customer’s problems. You’re selling ‘that […]

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            Cow Calf Operation Costs Are Up. Tell Us How You’re Managing For This

            By   1 month ago

            The business success of beef enterprises often suffers because two questions are not evaluated regularly: 1. How much do I have invested in my cattle operation? 2. Can I get a fair market return on my investment? Some families accept a negative return because the “way of life” is a benefit. Still, good business practices […]

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            Custom Grazing: Why I Got Out

            By   2 months ago

            After five start-up years as a custom grazier, Meg decided to make some changes. Here she talks about why and what her new set up is.

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            Don’t Play Their Game, Play Yours! Focusing on Efficiency Creates Profitability

            By   2 months ago

            Here’s how to improve your efficiency so you can have more cash and more profit. Don’t be put off by the crop example – livestock are just another crop, right? (And a special shout out to that On Pasture reader who said they don’t like Money Matters articles, but thinks about them every time before spending a dollar. :-))

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              The Scoop View All →

              Can We Put Our 100,000 Heads Together To Solve Problems?

              By   1 week ago

              This week we’ve got an interesting juxtaposition of articles that I hope will promote some discussion about what kinds of results we want from federal programs. One is a story of how a young farmer got started thanks to support from a government loan program. The other looks at emergency drought payments and helps us […]

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              A Solution For You – From My Heart

              By   3 weeks ago

              I’m the kind of person who can’t listen to someone complain without trying to find a solution. So, last April, after several days of listening to a variety of farmers at the conference I was at talk about low or no profits, I reached my limit. And I decided I had to do something to […]

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              On Pasture is Hosting a Free Profitable Farmer Webinar This Friday!

              By   4 weeks ago

              Last May I hosted the first ever webinar with Charlotte Smith. With about 800 people participating, it was a huge success. BUT…not everyone who wanted to participate got the chance. So we’re doing it again! I’m hosting Charlotte Smith this Friday, September 21 2018 at 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT! 3 Steps to […]

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              Let’s Make Some Money!

              By   1 month ago

              For the last five years, On Pasture has focused on helping our community by translating research and experience into practices you can use right away to improve your operation. Then, last June, we added something new to our mission: After years of conversations, we were tired of talking about how hard it is to make […]

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              How to Find a Speaker for Your Next Event

              By   3 months ago

              Lately I’ve been getting calls from folks organizing conferences asking if I have any ideas for speakers they might invite. And boy do I! So, to make it easier for folks to find someone who has great information to share, I put together the On Pasture Speakers Bureau. These are folks that I’ve worked with […]

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              Here Are Grazing Resources at Your Fingertips

              By   4 months ago

              On Pasture is on our annual summer break the week of July 2. But, with almost 2000 articles in our archives there’s always something to read. Here’s how to find what you’re looking for.

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              Summer Time, and the Grazing is Easy….

              By   4 months ago

              That’s the ear worm that keeps running through my head right now. So I thought I’d share. The reality is this is your busy time of year, and what time you have for reading is probably focused on things you need to know to actually make grazing easier. So that’s what we’re going to emphasize […]

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              Hey – Take a Free Webinar With Me This Friday!

              By   5 months ago

              I have something brand new to share with you today. I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m so excited about it! I’m hosting a webinar with Charlotte Smith this Friday, June 1, 2018 at 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT! 3 Steps to Build Your Profitable Farm Register Here! Yes! You’ll get […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Words of Wisdom

                By   2 days ago

                From the Indian Hills Community Center in Colorado….   It’s October and we have only 3 months left to make our grant match that helps keep On Pasture online. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a community-wide effort. Any amount helps! If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing Supporter” at just […]

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                Something Beautiful That Can Only Happen On a Farm

                By   1 week ago

                From the college lots of my family attended, Farmer Derek Klingenberg, and a brand new grain bin. It made me happy and I hope it will do the same for you.

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                What’s YOUR Favorite Essential Oil?

                By   2 weeks ago

                The folks at El Arroyo Restaurant choose…

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                It’s Officially Fall!

                By   3 weeks ago

                Since we don’t really have Fall in Tucson (which makes me sad), we only know it’s arrived when we start seeing Pumpkin Spice everything!   Thanks to all the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a community-wide effort. Any amount helps! If it’s an option for you, […]

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                Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

                By   4 weeks ago

                Is this a girl with four legs?! How did that Chihauhua get in the box? What is that guy doing with his really long arm?! Is it safe to ride a motorcycle naked? And cowgirls, keep your horses out of the house!   Thanks to the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip […]

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                Bad Grass

                By   1 month ago

                Sandra Miller sent us this one. Do any of your livestock have this problem?   Thanks to the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a $15,000 match from readers to make our grant happen this year. If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing […]

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                Not as Dangerous as the Hell’s Angels

                By   1 month ago

                And not nearly as scary!   Here’s a Big Thanks to the On Pasture Community members providing financial support! Community-wide support keeps On Pasture online. If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing Supporter” at just $5/month. Being able to show that kind of support is especially helpful when we’re approaching outside funders.

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                Electric Fence Experiment Has Expected Ending

                By   2 months ago

                We all know what’s going to happen. Even so, it’s funny to watch these folks demonstrate how electric fencing, insulation, and grounding works with the expected outcome. See below for the explanation provided by the experimenters in the video. From Angus Fowles, the video’s creator: “For the benefit of the wider science community, I thought […]

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