The Scoop View All →

I Made a Math Mistake

By   2 days ago

That I made a math mistake is no surprise to people who know me well. I’ve never been good with numbers starting when my Dad tried to teach me to count with my fingers. When I’d demonstrated that I could count to ten, he sent me to the kitchen table to count plates, knives, forks […]

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The Future is Looking Bright for On Pasture

By   1 week ago

The other day, my good friend John Marble was asking me about On Pasture’s future, given that our grant funding hadn’t been renewed and we’d lost about 70% of our funding. He said that when I spoke about it, he heard faith, and confidence that things would work out. Of course, he wasn’t around when […]

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Is On Pasture Worth 16¢ a Day?

By   2 weeks ago

Last week I broke the news that On Pasture was not selected for ongoing funding through the NRCS’s Conservation Innovation Grant program. For the past three years, 70% of On Pasture’s operating budget was covered by a Conservation Innovation Grant. Now we’re exploring new avenues to fill that gap, including a subscription model, to ensure […]

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Change is Coming to On Pasture

By   3 weeks ago

Thank you for the great input on what you’d like to see from On Pasture as we go forward. I’m making lists of topics for articles, working on ways to provide more of what you need to adopt new practices, and looking at how I can provide new materials – like more video, podcasts, ebooks, […]

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Create the Grazing Publication of Your Dreams!

By   4 weeks ago

Folks are sending us their ideas. Have you added your two cents? On Pasture is preparing for its 7th birthday (coming this March) by asking readers what we can do to serve you better. Our short survey asks why you come to On Pasture, how often you come, what On Pasture provides that other publications […]

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What Does On Pasture’s Future Look Like?

By   1 month ago

Here’s your chance to make OP’s future something that works even better for you! March of 2020 will mark seven years of On Pasture. What have we done together in that time? Check it out! We think those are pretty good stats, but we think we could do even more. So we’re asking you to […]

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A Little Holiday Break Brain Surgery For On Pasture 

By   1 month ago

A look behind the scenes at what keeps OP online. Last week, we moved On Pasture’s brain from our old server to a better dedicated server. We’ve done this a couple of times in the past in response to increasing readership that required more and more space and more connections to the server. In theory, […]

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Five Things You Can Do For Healthy Soils

By   2 months ago

On Pasture readers have told me they want to know more about improving their soils. And so, I shared a 5-week series on the principles of soil health. What I’ve learned from doing this for you is, though we’re working within a very complex system, what we need to remember is actually pretty simple: 1. […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    How Many Acres Per Cow Do You Need?

    By   2 days ago

    This time of year, especially after you have shifted from grazing to fed feed such as hay or baleage, you might start wondering why you have the number of livestock you have. Life is short, and some animals just need to grow some wheels. It’s probably a good thing to question the number of grazing […]

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    How a Blue Ridge Farmer Set Up His Rotational Grazing System

    By   1 week ago

    John Fant, Colonel, US Army (Ret), returned to southwest Virginia in 2013 to resume daily operations and management of the family farm. In this 6:52 video, John describes how he assessed the farm’s resources and then developed and implemented a plan that would improve water quality, and soil and animal health. What he found was […]

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    The Key to This Ranch’s Successful Grazing Strategy? People!

    By   2 weeks ago

    When we talk about grazing management, we usually think about how to manage livestock, and we think of forage and the soil below it. But there’s one more factor to consider – people – and that’s the key to the success of Bill and Dana Milton. The Miltons raise Angus cattle on 15,000 acres of […]

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    Here’s the Impact of Fencing and Planning on Grazing Days and Profitability

    By   3 weeks ago

    In November I shared thoughts on the economic importance of stockpiling grass. In that article, I made the case for building internal fence on a new property because of the economic value of the grass. Well, we did build the fences even though we were sick of fencing by November! This article covers what happened […]

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    Flexibility Key to Grazing Through the Winter

    By   4 weeks ago

    Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada for this article. It includes a lot of examples of how one producer is solving the problem of keeping his herd grazing through the season through rain, mud, snow and ice. You’ll also find ideas on weaning, handling and culling. Enjoy! Variable weather is something Dean […]

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    This Ranch’s Grazing Management Improves Soil and Vegetation

    By   1 month ago

    The Bench Ranch has been using intensive, rotational grazing for at least 35 years and they have seen a change that includes more grass, healthy soils, and double the stocking rate the ranch used to carry. We add ideas for how you can follow in the ranch’s footsteps.

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    Outwintering Cattle With Stockpile and Bale Grazing

    By   1 month ago

    If you’re outwintering cattle, you have many options for providing the forage they need. In addition to grazing stockpiled pasture, I have tried bale grazing and unrolling hay. I have found all three methods to be useful in different situations. Preparing for Winter Before switching to seasonal heifer development, I used to outwinter a custom […]

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    Cody and Deanna Sand – Inspiration for Making Change and Being Happy

    By   2 months ago

    This series from our Special Collections, a great place to find series of articles on one topic. I’m sharing these articles because I think that Cody and Deanna Sand can inspire all of us to think about how we approach change. Here they describe the steps they took to move from $20,000 in debt to […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      This Farmer Finds Annual Pastures Are a Great Option for Soil and Animal Health

      By   2 days ago

      Tim Tobin started planting annuals for two reasons. First, he wanted to transition some crop fields to perennial pastures and annuals were a good first step. He also wanted to smother out the Kentucky 31 fescue in some of his pastures. He liked the results so much, that it looks like annuals will become a […]

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      From Brush to Grass – Conservation Practices Pay Off

      By   1 week ago

      Here’s another in our series of “Everything old is new again.” This story by Homer A. Taff, former State Conservationist with the Soil Conservation Service, comes to us from the November 1, 1961 edition of  “Soil Conservation,” a publication of the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service). The practices, which some might […]

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      Revitalizing Soil With Paper

      By   2 weeks ago

      This article comes to us from Sandra Avant and the Agricultural Research Service. While it’s unlikely the average farmer is going to run out and do this tomorrow, it is an example of another way producers might work with their urban neighbors in the future. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is helping to arm the […]

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      What Is Manure Doing For Your Soil?

      By   3 weeks ago

      Would you like to reduce runoff and soil erosion? Would you benefit from soils that absorb more water, making your pastures more resilient to drought? Do you want to prevent phosphorus contamination of nearby waterways? Then you want stable soil aggregates, and to get there you want manure! Soil aggregates are individual soil particles that […]

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      Let’s Watch Grass Grow!

      By   4 weeks ago

      You know how we always tell you that leaving more leaves of grass results in quicker recovery, and quicker recovery means more forage for your livestock?  If you’d like to see that in action, here some videos you’ll like. This first video is a comparison of the difference in response between orchardgrass continuously grazed to […]

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      Here’s a Great Resource for Learning More About Your Plants

      By   1 month ago

      Are you considering planting a new kind of forage in your pasture? Do you have trees or bushes that you’re trying to manage and you need to know more about them to be successful? Would you like to know what plants grow in your state? Well, here’s the website you need to answer all those […]

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      Understanding the Two Sides to Soil Organic Matter Can Help Us Improve Soil Health

      By   1 month ago

      This story comes to us from Anne Manning at Colorado State University. It’s helpful to our community because it gives us a better understanding of what is going on in the soil beneath our feet as we work to improve soil health. It turns out there are two different kinds of soil organic matter – […]

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      Meet the Father of Soil Conservation

      By   2 months ago

      More than 100 years ago, a young scientist, Hugh Hammond Bennett, recognized that the United States was at risk of losing it’s most important resource – it’s soil. He made it his mission to change the trajectory of agriculture at a time of great crisis and to provide farmers and ranchers with the information and […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Fresh Pens and Pastures Keep Calves Healthy

        By   2 days ago

        Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada for this information! Doug Wray believes in keeping newborn calves separated as much as possible from other two-week and older calves on his south-central Alberta farm to avoid livestock congestion and dramatically reduce the risk of congregated calves developing and spreading scours. And for the past […]

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        Managing Cow Nutrition as We Head Into Calving Season

        By   1 week ago

        Everyone wants their cow-calf herd to make it through the winter in good condition and ready to calve and breed back. But do we understand what it takes to make that happen? In this piece, Travis Mulliniks and TL Meyer describe what what good body condition is, how gestational changes affect nutrition needs, the stress […]

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        Easy Techniques for Turning Cattle and Moving Them Out of Corners

        By   2 weeks ago

        If you want to develop your stockmanship skills, you’re in the right place. Thanks to the talents and contributions of Whit Hibbard, there’s a whole library at your fingertips. Today, Whit shows how easy it can be to head cattle where you went them to go by simply changing your own direction. (Some of these […]

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        Tips for Low-Stress Cattle Gathering and Driving

        By   3 weeks ago

        If you want to develop your stockmanship skills, you’re in the right place. Thanks to the talents and contributions of Whit Hibbard, there’s a whole library at your fingertips. Today, we’re adding more with some summaries of his instructions, along with videos illustrating his points. (Some of these were taken on horseback, so you’ll notice […]

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        Is Soybean Stubble Good Cattle Feed?

        By   4 weeks ago

        After soybeans are harvested, cows sometimes are put out on the residues to graze. Some bean residues are even baled. But how good is this feed?   We’re all familiar with the usefulness of grazing corn stalks, but I see more and more residue from soybean fields grazed every year. Cows seem to like licking […]

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        Low-Stress Livestock Handling – Working Cattle in Alleyways

        By   1 month ago

        This piece comes to us from Whit Hibbard and Dawn Hnatow. In their first piece in this pen-working series, they described how to move cattle into a corral, how to empty pens from the front and the back, and how to get cattle out of a corner. Now, we move on to what to do […]

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        We Finally Get a BudBox

        By   1 month ago

        Animal handling can go a lot more smoothly with the proper facilities. Here’s how On Pasture author John Marble made that happen at his place.

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        Why Do Your Animals Eat What They Eat and Do What They Do?

        By   2 months ago

        This 4 article series by Darrell Emmick will give you a really strong understanding of what’s going on in your pasture with your plants and animals based on the latest information and research. You’ll find out how plants influence animals and animals influence plants, how animals remember where to go to find the best stuff […]

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          Consider This View All →

          The Long View: Thinking About Forever

          By   2 days ago

          As most of you know, On Pasture author John Marble typically offers up an article every month, something about grazing management or ranching or some technical issue. But in January, John was busy with other tasks. In another life, John spent a significant amount of time working on drinking water problems in small communities across […]

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          Can We Eat Our Way Out of Climate Change?

          By   2 weeks ago

          Does what we eat matter when it comes to climate impacts? Are the vegans right? If we change our diet will we avoid climate change? That’s the question that Dr. Frank Mitloehner addresses in this short video. Mitloehner, a professor and air quality expert in the Animal Science Department at University of California-Davis, puts into […]

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          Bison Create Their Own Green Up

          By   4 weeks ago

          Graziers often cite bison as their inspiration for managing livestock in pastures and on rangelands. But what did bison actually do? Here’s what researchers learned from years of study of the Yellowstone bison.

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          What is the Cost of “Get Big or Get Out?”

          By   1 month ago

          A few months ago, at the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, our secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, made a statement that was similar to one made in years past by the then secretary of agriculture Earl Butz, GET BIG OR GET OUT. There are those who believe that consolidation is inevitable and there is no […]

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          Loading Day – Goodbye to 2019

          By   2 months ago

            Here I am; pasture empty, pants dotted with cow manure and a hoof imprint on my calf, standing in an empty pen wondering about my life’s effort as a grass farmer nourishing the land and people. My work seems to be under attack from contributing to climate change to animal welfare issues. It’s an […]

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          Tell Me – Show Me – Watch Me: How to Train and Inspire New Hires

          By   2 months ago

          In 2004, I stumbled upon a book by Robert Kiyosaki entitled Cash Flow Quadrant.  It really changed the way I looked at what I was doing. I thought we were building a great business, but after reading Kiyosaki’s book I realized we were just creating a job for ourselves. The difference between a job and […]

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          Making a Go of It – This is How We Do It

          By   3 months ago

          There seems to be a real interest of late in the opportunities for young people to get started in livestock agriculture. The question that I would ask anyone young, or not so young, who has a dream of being in the cow business, where are you trying to go and how do you plan to […]

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          Grasslands May Adjust More Quickly to Warmer Winters

          By   3 months ago

          From the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, here’s some insight into what happens to carbon uptake by grasslands and forests as our climate continues to warm. As climate changes, Northeast winters are warming more rapidly than other times of the year. While this may mean favorable growing conditions start earlier […]

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            How Much Grass Do You Have in Your Pasture?

            By   2 days ago

            This week Victor Shelton is answering the question, “How many acres per cow do I need?” Part of his answer is it depends on how much forage you have. Since we all live in different environments that produce different amounts of forage, here’s how you can measure what you’ve got to help you make good […]

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            How to Frost Seed to Add Legumes to Your Pastures

            By   1 week ago

            Folks have been asking about this recently. From January 2017, Genevieve’s tips can help you adjust your winter grazing now for frost-seeding for a better pasture this summer. Frost-seeding is one form of over-seeding, in which you can use legumes to economically and quickly thicken a pasture or a perennial hayfield in late winter. Though […]

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            Dung Beetle Facts

            By   2 weeks ago

            While the narrator in this first video has some issues with what the dung beetle does and how it does it, there’s some great information in here about the life cycle of the dung beetle. Enjoy! Need something a little more serious? This next video covers how much manure cows produce, (18 kilos = 40 […]

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            Using Your Herd to Get Manure Spread Onto Your Pastures

            By   3 weeks ago

            This is a Part 3 of a six part series Jim Gerrish wrote on feeding hay in pasture to improve pasture fertility. It goes well with another article this week on the soil benefits of manure. Here are the first two parts of the series: Part 1 and Part 2 . Follow links at the […]

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            Be a Business, Not a Charity – Lessons From a Young Grazier

            By   4 weeks ago

            One of the things folks say they like about On Pasture is that our authors are also willing to share mistakes and lessons learned from things they did that didn’t go according to plan. That’s the whole point of this article, shared by Meg Grzeskiewicz two years ago. We’ve seen these same issues crop up […]

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            How a Grazing Plan Prevented a Wreck

            By   1 month ago

            “The pencil is mightier than the pen,” Robert M. Pirsig, of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. “If I’d written my plan in pen, I would have been in trouble!” Troy Bishopp, the Grass Whisperer   Every year, about this time, On Pasture starts reminding our community of the importance of having a plan […]

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            Make These Lists to Get Your 2020 Off to a Good Start

            By   1 month ago

            Another year has come and gone and now comes the time for all of the resolutions to be made for the New Year. Folks resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or dipping, cut back on their drinking, exercise more – you know, the standard stuff that will be forgotten by the end of January. This […]

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            You’re Reading On Pasture Thanks to the National Grazing Lands Coalition

            By   2 months ago

            As we close out 2019, I want to thank the National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC) for all the support they’ve provided to On Pasture. When Rachel and I started, we had no funding at all, just an idea that helping graziers be more profitable and sustainable was a worthwhile thing to do. We hoped that […]

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              Money Matters View All →

              Why I Made the Switch to Stockers – Profit and Flexibility

              By   1 week ago

              About three years ago, I decided I would try my hand at raising some purchased stocker calves. I had kept brood cows on several different farms around my part of central North Carolina for over 10 years, and I was ready to try something new. I had run the numbers on stockers several times over […]

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              Do You Have an Idea for a New Product? Here’s How to Get Financial Assistance to Get Started

              By   3 weeks ago

              Information on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Value Added Producer Grant Program was recently announced. It includes $37 million in grant support to help producers generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities and increase income. In conjunction with this announcement, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) released a newly updated version of its Farmers’ […]

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              First Steps for Economic Success Integrating Livestock and Cover Cropping Systems

              By   1 month ago

              This information comes to us from the latest newsletter of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Grassland Studies. As part of its mission, the Center is home to the Beef Systems Initiative, an effort to provide producers the information that supports production systems that optimize feed resource use, natural resource conservation, healthy grasslands, and successful […]

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              The Farm and Ranch Leasing Tips You Need Going Into 2020

              By   2 months ago

              It’s that time of year when we reflect on what we liked or didn’t like about last year and what we might like to do differently in 2020. If that includes growing your operation using leased land, you’ll appreciate these articles. From Meg Grzeskiewicz: Building Your Farm Business on Leased Pasture Selling and Signing:  Connecting […]

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              Some Dos and Don’ts of Setting Up a Grazing Operation

              By   2 months ago

              I want to discuss the steps that we focus on when designing a new grazing operation on a new farm, starting with this saying: “If you have a lot of money, act like you don’t.” (If you don’t have a bunch of money ignore this.) The point is, being successful in a previous career is […]

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              Mushroom Foraging – A Pasture Walk and Community Building Opportunity

              By   3 months ago

                I’ve hosted or participated in pasture walks that feature ice-cream churning, soil health measuring, grassland bird watching, winter grazing techniques, dung beetle counting, stockpiling strategies, land listening, cattle judging and predicting forage production.  They’re all hooks to get folks to attend and focus on learning another aspect of pasturing.  I would suggest adding another […]

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              Welcome to Wally Olson’s Pity Party

              By   3 months ago

              Wally Olson is an On Pasture sponsor who wants to help readers make more money marketing their livestock. Here he provides an example of how that works for him. A couple of years ago, I sold 95 bred, fall calving cows in Joplin, Missouri on August 1. That same morning I delivered the weaned calves […]

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              How Does the Next Generation of Farmers and Ranchers Get Started?

              By   4 months ago

              Don shares this piece as an opening to a conversation. It’s an important one to have. Please share your thoughts, experiences, ideas and suggestions in the comments below. What Do Y’all Think? Donnie, our son, comes by to visit and check on the old people on Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. Last week he was […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                A New Use for Hoodies

                By   2 days ago

                Note – this doesn’t work for soup. Trust me on this.

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                Ask For the Romance You Want

                By   1 week ago

                May all your Valentine’s Day dreams come true!

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                Red Squirrel Factoid

                By   2 weeks ago

                Here you go!

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                In the Olden Days, Air Was Free!

                By   3 weeks ago

                I have to explain this to my husband every time we air up our tires.

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                Today’s Episode of Cooking With Power Tools – Making a Sandwich

                By   4 weeks ago

                Don’t forget your safety goggles if you try this at home!

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                Snow Joke

                By   1 month ago

                I hope this isn’t in your forecast!

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                Cookies to Go With New Year’s Resolutions

                By   1 month ago

                Personally, I think you look great just the way you are! But if you insist on a New Year’s diet…here you go!

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                It’s the Christmas Can Can!

                By   2 months ago

                Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Kwanzaa to you and yours. Thank you for being part of the On Pasture Community! Haven’t had enough? Here’s the Twelve Days of Christmas. 🙂

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