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The Scoop View All →

Farmers and Ranchers Are The Future

By   10 hours ago

In this week’s issue, we have two articles that describe the important role farmers and ranchers play in creating a healthy planet. In one, ranchers talk about the progress they’ve made protecting the prairie. Without these folks and others grazing their cattle, prairies would grow up in trees, and we’d lose the wide open spaces […]

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Some Tips for Talking When We Disagree

By   1 week ago

As I write this I’m in a Subway in Walmart in Canyon, Texas, using their free wifi. I’m in town visiting my ailing, 90-year-old Aunt. I won’t be back in the office until Thursday morning, so if you notice that I’m not as responsive as usual, you’ll know why. One of the reasons I’m a […]

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Is There One Right Answer? Yes – And Here It Is!

By   2 weeks ago

When I was working for the Bureau of Land Management and stationed at Utah State University, a friend and I started an internship program called “Tehabi.” The name comes from the Hopi Kachina legend that describes two spirit-beings – one without sight, the other paralyzed – who survived, even thrived, when they teamed up and […]

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Have You Ever Wished for a Mentor?

By   3 weeks ago

Back in the ’90s, when I was running my research project on how to use goats to build firebreaks to protect homes and people, the folks around me thought I was a little crazy. Even the two faculty members listed on the project didn’t take it seriously. Whenever I went to them with a goat […]

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For Earth Day, Do What You Do Best – Graze!

By   4 weeks ago

This week I ran across a video from one of On Pasture’s sponsors, Organic Valley. In it, Kevin Mahalko talks about one part of the “Soul of Farming:” grass. He talks about the relationship between grass and his dairy cows, and the importance of a farmer’s stewardship of his lands to everyone around him. I […]

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Even a Tiny Bit of Water Makes Things Grow

By   1 month ago

Check out the super bloom in Tucson, and find out how you can grow one with On Pasture.

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Know Where Your Food Comes From

By   1 month ago

As a kid, even though I grew up in town, I knew a lot about where my food came from. In the summers, while Dad was at work, Mom took my brother and me, and sometimes some of the neighborhood kids, on field trips. We visited Monfort feedlots in Greeley, driving around among the pens […]

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Things Farmers Never Tell You

By   2 months ago

The first time I bred the does in my goat research project, people kept asking, “How will you know they’re pregnant?” My answer: “If they have a baby, they were pregnant.” I was asked this question so often I decided this must be important information to have. So the next year I bought a marking […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    Twelve Steps to Amazing Grazing – Part 2

    By   10 hours ago

    This is Part 2 by Matt Poore and Johnny Rogers. Here’s Part 1 if you missed it. These steps aren’t just 1-2-3 and you’re done. We’ve all started down this road, and these are some ideas to help us keep going. Step 6.  Start cutting individual pastures in half with polywire. The place to start […]

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    Twelve Steps to Amazing Grazing – Part 1

    By   1 week ago

    This article comes to us from Matt Poore and Johnny Rogers. Amazing Grazing, in addition to being something we all aspire to, is a state-wide, pasture-based livestock educational initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, coordinated by Matt and Johnny coordinate. These steps aren’t just 1-2-3 and you’re done. We’ve all started down this […]

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    Here’s How to Successfully Grow Grass

    By   2 weeks ago

    I took the time to walk through most of my pastures a few days ago. I recommend doing this fairly often to keep a mental forage inventory. It is best to record the findings. Some use fancy electronic data sheets, some track on paper charts, some just have notes in their pocket datebook or smart […]

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    Teaching Livestock to Respect Electric Fences

    By   2 weeks ago

    Electric fencing is fine. It makes it possible to be more flexible and versatile with our management and I recommend it without reservation. As one of the ads by one of the companies that sell power fencing products states, it will maximize grazing and increase profits, and without question, that’s what all of us who […]

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    Water Development for Effective Grazing

    By   3 weeks ago

    Getting water to livestock is one of the challenges to managed grazing systems. It’s also a problem for graziers trying to take advantage of crop residues to extend the grazing season. No one wants a permanent tank in a crop field, or the soil compaction that livestock can cause by congregating to drink. To help […]

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    Surviving the Naysayers – Part 2 of Thinking Outside the Box

    By   3 weeks ago

    Greg has spent a lot of time thinking and working outside the box. Last week he shared ideas on how you can do it to. This week, he talks about surviving the folks who will laugh at you for stepping out. I’ve watched farmers do the same thing for 40-50 years and all they do […]

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    Thinking Outside the Box Can Be Fun and Profitable

    By   4 weeks ago

    One of the easiest things to do on the farm is to get in a pattern of doing things the same way. This may go on for days or even years. We seem to get comfortable in a zone and no longer question how we do things during our daily routines around the farm. We […]

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    Sharing the Bounty of Spring – Providing Food and Shelter for Wildlife, Whether We Want To or Not

    By   1 month ago

    This is an exciting time of year here on the ranch. The plants, the animals, and the people are all starting to recover from a difficult winter. Grass is sending up cautious spears to look around and some early forbs are getting busy too. We humans are trying to shift from rubber boots and heavy […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      How Farmers and Ranchers Are Going to Save the Planet – Part 1

      By   10 hours ago

      In this video, you’ll meet my good friend, John Wick and you’ll learn about an amazing discovery made on his ranch. It’s a discovery that could mean that farmers and ranchers could not only slow climate change, but could actually begin to cool the planet back down. And they can do it all while growing […]

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      A Canadian Farmer’s Success Grazing Alfalfa

      By   2 weeks ago

      After last week’s article about how to reduce our fear of bloat when grazing alfalfa, I got some good feedback from our readers and I learned some interesting things that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming issues. In the meantime, here’s an example of how one farmer is successfully using alfalfa as part of […]

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      Fear of Bloat Costs More Money Than Actual Cases of Bloat

      By   3 weeks ago

      Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council for this excellent article! I’ve made a few edits adding information for U.S. graziers. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Stay tuned for alfalfa grazing tips from cattle producers from across the country in part 2. High protein forage can increase rates of gain, benefit soil […]

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      Greg Judy Talks Spring Turn Out on Green Pastures Farm

      By   1 month ago

      Folks asked me to do a video showing what it looks like as I’m getting ready to turn cows out this Spring. So here’s a video from April 4. In this video you’ll see the green grass that is ready for our cattle, along with the old grass – a perfect mixture for making sure […]

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      Grazing Cover Crops for Soil Health and Profit

      By   1 month ago

      Thanks to Elisabeth Spratt of the Pasture Project for this article on their recently finished project! If you raise crops and are looking for a way to improve your soils and your bottom line, Wade Dooley says cover crops grazed by livestock is your solution. “It is the best and fastest way to realize an […]

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      Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 6

      By   2 months ago

      This is the last part in Jim’s series. If you missed any part, here are links to catch up: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5. Hay is more Carbon (C) by dry weight than anything else. When we feed hay we are also adding carbon to the soil in addition […]

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      Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 5

      By   2 months ago

      In case you missed them, here are links for previous articles in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. We have so far only considered the role of buying and feeding hay as a Nitrogen source for your pastures. Hay is also a great source for slow-release Phosphorus to benefit your […]

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      Feeding Hay to Improve Your Land – Part 4

      By   2 months ago

      Did you miss the start of this series? Here is Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Bale grazing has been increasing in popularity for several years now. This method of feeding minimizes or eliminates the need for running any feeding equipment in the winter months, but is it really all sunshine and roses? Let’s […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Polioencephalomalacia – A Danger for Young Goats, Sheep and Cattle

        By   10 hours ago

        In 2002, I was raising 60 baby goats by hand. We started them in a barn, and by Spring had transferred them to pasture where they were learning to graze. One morning, during my usual check on them, I noticed one was acting oddly. He didn’t seem to be able to see, and was turning […]

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        Happiness is Being in the Herd

        By   1 week ago

        Tom has learned that if he teaches his livestock that it’s safest to be in the herd, everyone’s life becomes much easier and better. Here’s how he trains herd behavior.

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        Teaching Livestock to Respect Electric Fences

        By   2 weeks ago

        Electric fencing is fine. It makes it possible to be more flexible and versatile with our management and I recommend it without reservation. As one of the ads by one of the companies that sell power fencing products states, it will maximize grazing and increase profits, and without question, that’s what all of us who […]

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        Settling Your Herd – Letting Them Know They’ve “Arrived”

        By   3 weeks ago

        Big thanks to Dawn Hnatow for co-authoring this article! In the last five articles we talked about how to properly drive cattle. So lets assume that we’ve driven our cattle somewhere and we had good movement and we didn’t do anything to interfere with it so the cattle trailed out nicely, and we’ve gotten to […]

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        SACB Method for Grafting Orphan Calves

        By   4 weeks ago

        SACB Method: (pronounced ‘sawb’) a simple and easy way to graft calves. Everyone and their dog has a sure fire method for grafting a twin or orphan calf. However, each method takes time and patience. These are things I don’t normally have during calving. Further, the very fact that an animal has to be handled […]

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        Prepping For Livestock Arrival

        By   1 month ago

        For those of you who are starting new herds or adding to the one you have, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to receive new livestock. Coordinate With Your Shipper on Lane and Gate Size An eighteen-wheeler may fit through your gate, but will it be able to make it down the […]

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        Prevent Grass Tetany in Beef Cows

        By   1 month ago

        Thanks for this article go to Karla H. Jenkins, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cow/Calf Systems and Stocker Management and Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension Beef Systems Specialist. Listen to a discussion of the content in this article on this episode of the BeefWatch podcast. You can subscribe to new episodes in iTunes or paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlbeefwatch into your […]

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        Driving Cows and Calves – How to Make Sure They Stay Together

        By   2 months ago

        In the last four articles we talked about how to properly drive cattle. (Here are the last four articles in case you missed them: Approaching the Herd, Starting Herd Movement, Driving Your Herd, Turning Your Herd.) Driving pairs deserves special attention because this could well be the #1 livestock handling problem on ranches; that is, […]

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          Money Matters View All →

          Partnerships Demonstrate That Profitable Ranching and Healthy Ecosystems Go Hand in Hand

          By   10 hours ago

          Thanks to my co-author on this piece, Pete Bauman. He sent me the video and shared the key takeaways that makes the video so helpful. Pete is a Range Field Specialist for South Dakota State University Extension. His specialty is helping producers combine profitability and ecological balance. Bill Sproul loves prairies and all that open […]

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          Check Out the Programs That Helped This Start-Up Farmer Succeed

          By   2 weeks ago

          Whether you’re a start-up, or you’ve been in the business awhile, here are some programs that provide assistance to get you going, or provide support for new projects, or to get through emergencies.

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          A Model for Getting Local Meats and Produce Into Supermarkets

          By   4 weeks ago

          Fifteen years ago, it was unheard of for a small farm to sell beef to a supermarket. But today, thanks to Diana Endicott and several projects supported by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Educatioan grants (SARE), over 100 farmers in the Kansas City area supply 30 supermarkets, with meats, fruits, vegetables and specialty goods. Diana and […]

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          DEADLINE ALERT: Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due May 10, 2019

          By   1 month ago

          $700 million is available nationwide to support conservation efforts on your operation. But you have to fill out a short form and apply by the deadline to be considered. The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is USDA’s largest conservation program, offering whole farm, comprehensive conservation assistance to farmers and ranchers across the country. CSP helps producers […]

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          Fiber Farm Grows Thanks to Technical and Financial Assistance

          By   1 month ago

          Thanks to Savannah Halleaux, Michigan FSA Public Affairs & Outreach Coordinator for sharing this article with us. “It was always my desire to have a sheep farm,” said Bridget Kavanagh, owner and shepherdess of Happy Goat Lucky Ewe Fiber Farm in Mason, Michigan. Kavanagh bought the property in 1987 when her children were little. It […]

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          Is Your Grass Making You Money?

          By   2 months ago

          Once you get your grazing organized (see how to do that here), you will see a lot of benefits. You will have more grass, more water, then birds, bugs, and wildlife will return. These are pretty cool benefits! Many would call this sustainable agriculture. There is another aspect of sustainability that doesn’t get much attention, […]

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          Is That Farm/Ranch Enterprise Really Making You Money?

          By   2 months ago

          Allocating costs is a tool used to assist in financial and managerial decision making within your operation. Done well it can help you focus on what’s making the most profit for you.

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          New ARS Study Shows U.S. Beef Is Not a Significant Contributor to Global Warming

          By   2 months ago

          An Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-led team has completed a comprehensive life-cycle analysis quantifying the resource use and various environmental emissions of beef cattle production in the United States. Their results so far indicate that U.S. beef’s contribution to climate change is small percentage of the country’s Greenhouse Gas emissions, and were not a significant contributor […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Three Things You Can Do Starting Now to Be More Profitable

            By   10 hours ago

            When Greg Judy wrote this in February of 2017, farmers and ranchers were reeling from the ups and downs of the market from the previous couple years. It seems that some things never change, so here’s Greg’s advice once more for ways you can survive no matter the ups and downs. There has been quite […]

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            What to Do About Runaway Grass

            By   1 week ago

            Victor Shelton shared this article with us in May of 2017 – but it’s a problem that comes up for folks every year. Hopefully this will give you some ideas you can use. I can’t believe how much forage growth we have already had this year in Indiana.  It seems early, but it is only […]

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            Test Yourself – See if You Know When Your Grasses Are Ready to Graze

            By   2 weeks ago

            From May of 2018, thanks for this article go to UNL Beefwatch and Bethany Johnston, Nebraska Extension Educator, Beef Systems, at University of Nebraska Lincoln. You can always find great grazing related information by checking out the UNL Beefwatch newsletter. “We always turn out on May 15th.” Have you heard that before? Does a calendar […]

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            Use the Sun to Get Water to Your Stock

            By   3 weeks ago

            This article is from our 2014 archives. I like these two videos because they make learning something new easy – and that’s really important when the grazing season is heating up and you’re realizing that it would be helpful to have more water in more places. Plus it uses a resource that’s almost always there […]

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            Surviving Volatile Cattle Prices

            By   4 weeks ago

            When we first shared this article in October of 2016, John started with, “The cattle market is in the toilet. The future looks even worse. Calves bring only one-half of what they did a couple years back. Stocker margins are negative, feeders too.” The graph below shows why he said that. Cattle prices had risen […]

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            Guides for Identifying Pasture Grasses

            By   1 month ago

            This is the time of year when folks wonder, “What’s that growing in my pasture?” You can use these handy guides to help you find out. A number of On Pasture readers have asked for help identifying what they’ve got growing in their pastures. Finding resources for all of you is a little challenging because […]

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            Streams and Grazing – How to Do the Right Thing

            By   1 month ago

            From May of 2018, here’s the last in a series by Troy about one of the most important things we can do as graziers: protect streams and water bodies. All across the country, farmers and ranchers are facing tightening regulations and restrictions on grazing next to streams and water bodies. In his first article on […]

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            Plant Diversity in Pasture Improves Animal Productivity

            By   2 months ago

            Before I began farming, I was an oceanographer. I used to study tiny, planktonic crustaceans called copepods that feed on microscopic algae, at the base of the food chain, and are themselves consumed by fishes. Some 70 percent of all fishes in the ocean eat copepods at some time in their lives. So naturally, oceanographers […]

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              Consider This View All →

              Is Grass Fed the Worst Thing That Happened To Agriculture?

              By   1 week ago

              James Matthew Craighead has studied sustainable agriculture for a decade and the result is a lot of questions. Some of these are hard questions and may trigger a little defensiveness in us all. Just remember, he’s sharing them here to open a constructive dialogue that might lead us all to a place where we are better both individually and as a group.

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              Surviving the Naysayers – Part 2 of Thinking Outside the Box

              By   3 weeks ago

              Greg has spent a lot of time thinking and working outside the box. Last week he shared ideas on how you can do it to. This week, he talks about surviving the folks who will laugh at you for stepping out. I’ve watched farmers do the same thing for 40-50 years and all they do […]

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              The Conservation Stewardship Program – Funding for Improvements to Your Operation

              By   4 weeks ago

              “What CSP has done for us, it has allowed us to explore better options and produce a better product. it gives you a little more financial freedom to do things, things that you dream up and say ‘Gees, I wish we could do this, but money wise you just can’t’. It’s given us more freedom […]

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              High Tensile Fencing Knots

              By   2 months ago

              Last week Greg Judy shared a couple of videos showing how he sets up effective, economical fencing using high-tensile wire. To make your own set-up easier, here are instructions for the wire knots to make the fence as strong as it can be. These instructional videos come to us from Tim Thompson, an Agriculture teacher […]

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              A Farmer Walks Into a Print Shop….The True Story Behind the Free Grazing Charts

              By   2 months ago

              “A farmer walks into a print shop” could be the beginning of a funny joke. The joke, however, is mostly on you, as many farmers and ranchers have said they can’t take our excel file of free grazing chart templates and get them printed on a door-sized piece of paper. And then, when Troy gets […]

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              The Little Things Matter

              By   3 months ago

              Little things add up to big things that cost time and money. Here’s how to stop them while they’re small.

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              Getting Water to the Stock Means a Ranch Survives

              By   3 months ago

              Thanks to Heather Emmons of the Natural Resources Conservation Service for this story of how to get water where livestock need it. (It comes to us from the  Conservation Roadtrip and you can see it in it’s original form here.) It can give you an idea of how you might work with the NRCS on […]

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              From Tibet, With Love

              By   3 months ago

              When your spouse knows you and what you love, even the most ordinary ranch supplies can become a sweet gift.

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                The Funnies View All →

                Marshmallow Orchards in Trouble

                By   10 hours ago

                As the time for summer hot dog roasts nears, we may run into a S’mores shortage. Want more marshmallow news? Here’s the horrible truth behind marshmallow ranching.

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                What Do You Call Someone Who Raises Chickens?

                By   1 week ago

                Is this what you put on your resume?

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                Solution for Head-Butting Goats

                By   2 weeks ago

                I really wish I’d known this back when I had 130 goats! Can you imagine what it would have looked like? Hey! Where else would you get all this great information? On Pasture is here for you 24/7 with an archive of over 2100 articles. If that’s valuable to you, if it’s helped you be […]

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                Another Option for Herding Livestock

                By   3 weeks ago

                If you haven’t yet perfected your livestock handling skills, maybe you need an assistant.   Hey! Where else would you get all this great information? On Pasture is here for you 24/7. All you have to do to find what you need is hover over the little magnifying glass near the top of the page […]

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                A New Opportunity for Diversifying

                By   4 weeks ago

                If you’re going to do this, you might want to see what kind of releases your gym members should sign. Without you, On Pasture doesn’t happen! If you appreciate what On Pasture does for you, please join your fellow readers and send support to meet our grant match. Becoming an Ongoing Supporter with monthly support […]

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                Dad and Daughter Sing-Along

                By   1 month ago

                The fireworks show had just ended, but this little gal thought she kept hearing them outside. So her Dad sang with her to keep her mind preoccupied. In the end, nothing competes with fireworks. Maybe I love this because I’m learning to play the ukulele. If we run into each other somewhere, we can sing […]

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                What Do You Call A Cow That Doesn’t Give Milk?

                By   1 month ago

                You may have other names for her too! Without you, On Pasture doesn’t happen! If you appreciate what On Pasture does for you, please join your fellow readers and send support to meet our grant match. Becoming an Ongoing Supporter with monthly support is especially helpful when we approach funders. And right now, it would […]

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                How to Get Someone Else To Prep Your Garden for Free!

                By   2 months ago

                It will just take a little planning ahead and the right kind of relatives.

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