The Scoop View All →

Creative Problem Solving – Yes! YOU can think like Einstein! (Free)

By   1 day ago

I love it when I come across people who think creatively about common problems. So I’m especially tickled with a couple articles in this week’s issue. First, John Marble shows us how small adjustments to his handling facilities make it possible for him to work cattle on his own. They’re tips that will make your […]

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Help For You From Us

By   1 week ago

Just to be right up front with you – this was a very hard issue to put together. Things are changing so rapidly in our world, and everything seems so uncertain, that it can be a little paralyzing. I finally just asked myself, “What can I do that will really make a difference?” My circle […]

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Springtime in Arizona & Updates on the Subscription Shift – Free Article

By   2 weeks ago

We’ve all got a lot on our minds right now with everything happening in the world. There’s not much I can do about most of it, so I’m focusing on the things I can do. I’m staying home and I’m bringing you On Pasture. I also thought a look at Arizona springtime might be a […]

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The New Grazing Charts Are Here!

By   3 weeks ago

The new grazing charts are here! This is what I feel like yelling every year about this time in a grazing version of Steve Martin in the Jerk. I don’t know about you, but in my daily life, I’m not a very detailed planner, and sometimes that means things go a little haywire. That’s why […]

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How to Login and Read On Pasture (And Why This is Happening)

By   4 weeks ago

If you’ve been reading the Scoop over the last few weeks, you know that On Pasture is switching over to a subscription model. Today is the day it’s happening. I’ll share more about why this is happening, but for now, let’s just cut to the chase and get you logged in and reading! Subscription Options […]

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Change is Coming – Starting Next Week

By   1 month ago

For the past seven years, every On Pasture article has been free to read. Starting in March, that will change. Here’s a little about this change and why it’s happening. If you’ve been reading this column, you know that On Pasture has covered its operating budget with a combination of a grant (70%), some sponsors […]

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I Made a Math Mistake

By   1 month 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   2 months 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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    Grazing Management View All →

    I Couldn’t See the Forest…or the Water, For the Trees

    By   1 day ago

    After digging a well and running polyethylene tubing all over the place, my intensive grazing operation was humming right along. Cows never needed to walk more than two or three hundred feet to water and things looked pretty sweet. Then the water problem started. During a dry spell my well struggled to supply sufficient water […]

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    How Should Livestock Farmers and Horse Owners 
 Prepare for Farm Disruptions from the COVID-19 Outbreak?

    By   1 week ago

    This article comes to us from Jim Weber, DVM, PhD, Associate Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences Attending Veterinarian, University of Maine. I searched for and added links to additional examples of Standard Operating Procedures to give you a head start on anything you might need to write. Successful farmers, whether they raise cattle, sheep, […]

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    Greg Judy’s Fail-Proof, Temporary Waterer

    By   2 weeks ago

    As grazing season approaches, we think of two things – fencing and water for the livestock. Stock-watering solutions for mob/rotational grazing require an extra degree of creativity, so we like to provide examples that you might be able to adapt to your own operation. So, here’s Greg Judy in a 7:40 video describing a temporary […]

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    Your FREE Grazing Chart Is Here – Along With All the How-To-Use-It Info You Need

    By   3 weeks ago

    Do you want more quality grazing days? Are you ready to make more money? Are you dealing with weather events proactively? Do you want to limit stress points in your operation? Would you like to get away for a vacation this summer? If you need help with any of these things, then check out the […]

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    Never-Fail Rules for Grazing

    By   4 weeks ago

    Shortly after I joined the NRCS about twelve years ago, a retired NRCS Grazing Specialist by the name of Steve Hibinger was assigned to me to “show me the ropes.” One of the things he taught me about grazing in Ohio thas stuck with me all this time. If I could teach it to every […]

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    A Start-Up Grazier Shares Lessons Learned

    By   1 month ago

    Welcome new On Pasture author Chad Fisher! This is a first in what will become a longer series describing challenges, solutions, resources and ideas helpful to new and experienced graziers. Enjoy! In 2012 my wife and I, and our two young daughters, embarked on a new and exciting side venture in the cattle industry with […]

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    How Many Acres Per Cow Do You Need?

    By   1 month 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   2 months 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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      Pasture Health View All →

      Why Cows That Learn to Eat One Weed Will Choose to Eat Others

      By   1 day ago

      In 2004, I trained cows at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site to eat Canada thistle, leafy spurge and spotted knapweed. Then, they started eating musk thistle as soon as I put them in pasture. When I trained 110 pairs to eat Canada thistle at the Jumping Horse Ranch near Ennis, Montana, they added musk thistle […]

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      How to Teach Cows to Eat Weeds in Just 8 Hours Over 7 Days

      By   1 week ago

      This works for any animal – so whatever you’re raising, check it out! In 2004, I taught a small group of heifers to eat Canada thistle, leafy spurge and spotted knapweed. I was inspired by two decades of research on how animals choose what to eat, and by ranchers’ (perfectly reasonable) refusal to incorporate goats […]

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      Plant Root Exudate Changes With Drought to Encourage Soil Microbes to Provide More Nutrients

      By   2 weeks ago

      There are all kinds of interactions between plants and the soils they grow in, and little by little we’re understanding more about what’s going on. Take root exudate for example. That’s the cocktail of carbohydrates – sugars, amino acids and organic acids – that result from photosynthesis and end up in the plant’s roots and […]

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      How to Choose a Grass Variety That Works for You

      By   3 weeks ago

      They say variety is the spice of life. That’s true, even when it comes to varieties of different forage grasses. Often, when we want to reseed our pastures, we may decide on a particular kind of grass, but may not consider all the varieties of that grass there are. Or, we may just ask for […]

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      Finding Credence in a Clearcut Revival – Converting a Dying Forest Into Grazing Land

      By   4 weeks ago

      In addition to being an article about forest conversion, this is also an example of looking at the resources we manage, paying attention to a site’s potential, and considering what is best for our operations. We hope it inspires you to look around with new eyes.

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      To Unroll or Not to Unroll? What Gives the Most Bang for the Buck When Bale Feeding?

      By   1 month ago

      The other day my buddy, Steve Kenyon, and I were discussing why concentrated bale grazing is so superior for pasture rejuvenation versus unrolling bales. Steve is the author of ‘The Calendar of the Year-Round Grazier,’ teaches a course on how to graze year-round, and has been bale grazing for more than 20 years. Steve is […]

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

      By   1 month 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   2 months 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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        Livestock View All →

        Enhanced Livestock Handling Facilities for the Single Man/Woman (With or Without Short Legs)

        By   1 day ago

        Because he usually works stock by himself, John Marble has modified his handling facilities to make it easy and safe for a single man/woman. Check out his tips and then share yours with the On Pasture Community.

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        Making the Business of Backgrounding Work For You

        By   1 week ago

        Readers have asked for more information about running stocker operations. So here’s Blake Allen with another in his series. Blake says that stockers aren’t for everyone, and that cow calf operations are very important. If that includes you, read on with an eye towards how you might implement some of what Blake explains here. Then […]

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        Feeding Colostrum and Colostrum Replacers to Newborn Calves, Lambs and Kids

        By   2 weeks ago

        Colostrum is that “liquid gold” that gets newborn babies off to a good start. Colostrum is the first milk that a cow, ewe or doe produces after birth. It is thick and yellowish and rich in energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. But its most important role is protecting the newborn from potential disease and infection. […]

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        Are You Raising Cattle That Fit Your Market?

        By   3 weeks ago

        Recently, John Marble has been adjusting what he raises on his ranch to meet what his local customers are asking for. Here’s what they want, and how that might be impacting you. Of course, things may be different in your region. But this may help you explain what’s happening at your livestock auction, or give […]

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        Bull Body Condition Is Important to Breeding Success

        By   4 weeks ago

        When a cow comes up open in a pregnancy check, we often assume it’s because of some fault with the cow. Maybe she was too thin or not cycling well at breeding time. But maybe it’s not the cow at all. According to Karla Wilke, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Range Management and Cow/Calf Specialist, it could […]

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        The Sandhills Calving System For Scours Prevention

        By   1 month ago

        Thanks to the Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada for this piece! Last week we looked at the system Doug Wray uses to prevent disease spread in his newborn calves. His process is a variation of a system developed at the University of Nebraska about 20 years ago, known as the Sandhills Calving System (developed […]

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        Fresh Pens and Pastures Keep Calves Healthy

        By   1 month 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   2 months 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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          Consider This View All →

          Grasslands and the Herds that Graze Them Provide Critical Ecosystem Services

          By   1 day ago

          Cattle play a vital role out on the landscapes for grasslands. They mimic in many ways what historic bison used to do. That’s why we need cattle out on the landscape. Marshall Johnson Vice President Audubon Society The Audubon Society knows all about the important role livestock play in protecting grassland habitat for birds and […]

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          Can Grazing Eliminate Weeds?

          By   2 weeks ago

          Before I started On Pasture, I was best known for having invented a method for teaching cows to eat weeds. The process is based in behavior science and is very simple. In as little as 8 hours spread over 10 days, anyone can teach their livestock to add a new weed to their diet. It […]

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          Let’s Help Each Other With Lessons Learned

          By   4 weeks ago

          Last year I took part in a pasture walk and workshop. The turnout was good and the folks in attendance were very attentive and seemed to be interested in what we had to say. As is normal, there was some negativity on display and this can lead to some very interesting and colorful conversations. At […]

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          The Long View: Thinking About Forever

          By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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   3 months 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   3 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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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            The Best Treatments for Pinkeye

            By   1 day ago

            This article was first published in April of 2018. I’ve updated it with information drawn from the comments readers shared when it was first published. When visiting Greg and Jan Judy a few weeks ago, I asked Greg “What do you do about pinkeye?” “We don’t treat it,” he said. “We found that if we […]

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            A “Keep-It-Simple” Method for Getting Minerals to Your Herd

            By   1 week ago

            From March of 2018, here’s a popular article on setting up a simple mineral supplement program. I recently sat in on a roundtable discussion about using mineral supplements on ranches that are practicing managed grazing. It turned out that even though it is well known that our region suffers from some serious soil deficiencies, most […]

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            Beware of Springtime Grass Tetany Dangers

            By   2 weeks ago

            This article comes to us from Ron Lemenager1, Allen Bridges1, Matt Claeys1, and Keith Johnson2 Purdue University Departments of Animal Sciences1 and Agronomy2 Most cattlemen look forward to warmer temperatures and spring grass.  As temperatures begin to warm, cool-season grasses and legumes begin a rapid growth phase resulting in the production of large amounts of lush, […]

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            Rejuvenating Your Pasture – The Best, Most Effective Method is Free

            By   3 weeks ago

            We’re talking grazing planning and grazing charts this week because grazing season is coming right up. From March 2019, Tom Krawiec describes how his plan and his chart get him organized so he can grow lots of grass and feed lots of animals. There are many ways to improve your pastures. Depending on who is […]

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            Grazing Season Is Coming – Let’s Talk Fencing!

            By   4 weeks ago

            With turn-out time coming in the next couple months, it’s time to think about keeping your stock where you want them. From March of 2019, Greg Judy shares what he uses on his place. High-tensile electric fence is the most effective and economical fence that you can build on leased land and it’s what I […]

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            Soil Microbes Need the Right Nutrients to Do Their Job

            By   1 month ago

            From March of 2017, here’s how a disagreement about managing crop residues gave us new insight into what soil microbes need in order to thrive. In June of 2014, Grist reporter Nathanael Johnson reported on a battle between two men in New South Wales Australia. Clive Kirkby and John Kirkegaard were having it out over […]

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            How Much Grass Do You Have in Your Pasture?

            By   1 month 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   2 months 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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              Money Matters View All →

              Setting up Drop Sites and Delivery to Get Through the Quarantine

              By   1 week ago

              I pulled this information together with Charlotte based on her website and conversations we had. I added additional notes to help you start building an email list, and find additional avenues for selling your products. We are in trying times, right now aren’t we? The Corona virus is affecting all of us, all over the […]

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              How Do You Pay Bills With $50 Profit Per Calf?

              By   3 weeks ago

              I was reading an editorial the other day in a major beef magazine that got my attention. The author was telling livestock producers that they should feel pretty darn good about making $50 a head on their weaned calves. Really? How in the world do you make a farm payment, buy groceries, pay for insurance, […]

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              Planning for a Stocker Operation – Homework To Do If You’re Considering This Option

              By   1 month ago

              Blake Allen follows up on his first article about switching to and running a stocker operation, going into more detail about considerations for folks thinking about this option. I spent several years reading about and talking to folks about stock calves before I ever bought any animals. Such careful planning and diligent research is critical […]

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              Why I Made the Switch to Stockers – Profit and Flexibility

              By   2 months 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   2 months 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   3 months 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   3 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   4 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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                The Funnies View All →

                Astrophysicist Gets Magnets Stuck Up Nose While Inventing Coronavirus Prevention Device

                By   1 day ago

                I like this story because A) it’s a great example of problem solving, and how it can run amuck, B) it’s also a great example of how folks turn to Google to solve problems they’ve created for themselves, and C) getting things stuck in your nose – well if we haven’t done it ourselves, we […]

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                Beware of Dog!

                By   2 weeks ago

                Oh no!

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                Get Ready to Celebrate Pi(e) Day!

                By   3 weeks ago

                Every 3/14 is know as “Pie Day” because – Pi = 3.141592. Here’s how Farmer Derek Klingenberg celebrates: Or – you could just eat some pie! I’d love to see pictures of your celebration! 🙂

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                Supermarket Special Effects

                By   4 weeks ago

                Some are great, some not so great!

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                Crows Are Adapting to Scarecrows

                By   1 month ago

                They’re very smart birds!

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                A New Use for Hoodies

                By   1 month ago

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

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                Ask For the Romance You Want

                By   2 months ago

                May all your Valentine’s Day dreams come true!

                Read More →