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Grazing Management View All →

Ideas for Grazing Trampled Grass

By   4 days ago

If grass growth got away from you, like it did many Nebraskans this spring, you might be wondering how to graze it when the herd comes around to it again. Bruce has some ideas for you.

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Here’s What Graziers Do In August – Stage Forage, Prep Stockpile and Plan for Winter Forage/Feed

By   2 weeks ago

August often seems to arrive too early and speeds by way too fast. Mentally to me, August 1st starts the countdown to the first frosty morning. That time frame, depending on where you are in Indiana, is generally 60-75 days. There is a lot to do in that time frame. Staging Forage My first consideration […]

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More Ways To Keep Flies Off Your Livestock

By   3 weeks ago

There’s more than one way to skin a cat or catch a fly. On Pasture reader Fred Forsburg was inspired to share his method of keeping flies off his cattle by the article several weeks ago on Loran Shallenberger’s Farm Hack Fly Trap. We thought you’d like to see what works for Fred. We love […]

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Making the Switch to Grazing – With a Little Help From Your Friends

By   1 month ago

This is the story of a dairy farmer’s transition to pasture. It’s an excellent example how long it takes, and the challenges along the way. It’s also a great example for all graziers, no matter your livestock, of how helpful it can be to work with an Extension Agent, or someone from a local Natural Resource Conservation Service or Conservation District office. We should all be so lucky to have free help at our fingertips!

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Grazing Inspiration From the Hamann Family and Their Blue Bell Ranch

By   1 month ago

Some days you just need a little inspiration to keep on keeping on. So here’s the Hamann family, winners of South Dakota’s 2017 Leopold Conservation Award, to take you on a tour of their ranch and how their management has grown the grasslands they love.

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Drought Helps a Texas Rancher Turn the Corner to More Water and Forage

By   2 months ago

In the drought of 2009, Kregg and Diana McKenny’s well ran dry. They had to haul water, and ultimately sell all their livestock except for 2 retired horses. The well that had served his family’s ranch since the 1940s, and that got them through drought in the 1950s, just couldn’t keep up any longer. Even […]

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Being a Successful Grazier is All About Creating Resilience

By   2 months ago

Some places are unusually wet and cool this spring. Others are hotter and drier than ever and looking at the possibility of extended drought. So what’s a grazier to do? Rancher Gary Price says, “You just don’t know what’s around the next corner, so you have to prepare for the worst….Hope for the best of course, but you know, hope is not a plan.” Here’s some help for your plan.

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Here’s What Reducing Pasture Recovery Periods Can Cost You

By   2 months ago

We all know that giving our pastures enough time to recover before grazing them again is critical to our success. But what may be news is how big the impact of just a few days less of recovery can turn into a problem that costs us forage and money. Dave Pratt, CEO of Ranch Management […]

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    Pasture Health View All →

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

    By   4 days 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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    Greg Judy Talks Drought and Silvopasture

    By   2 weeks ago

    Greg Judy takes us on a 4:16 tour of one of his pastures on a typical hot summer day in central Missouri with a heat index of 105. It’s the second year in a row with a summer drought. While others are selling off their whole herd, Greg and Jan Judy are managing to keep […]

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    Fighting Purple Threeawn With Fire

    By   3 weeks ago

    Commonly known as purple threeawn, red threeawn, wiregrass or democrat grass, this plant can take over pastures and out-compete other, high quality forage. Agricultural Research Service scientists have discovered how to use fire to beat it back.

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    Improving Soil Means Adapting Ideas and Working With People

    By   4 weeks ago

    Today I have two videos for you from JP and Holly Heber who raise row crops and cattle in east-central South Dakota. They’re talking about their no till and cover crops and how they’ve managed to improve their soils, increase water holding capacity, and reduce erosion. If you listen closely, they’re also telling the a […]

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    So, Which Is It – Drought Planning or Weed Management?

    By   1 month ago

    John Marble plans for drought every year and some years, like this one, he has to implement that plan. Now, he’s seeing some real changes in the weed component of his pastures, making him wonder – is he managing for drought or to get rid of weeds?

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    It’s Time To Start Thinking About Stockpiling to Extend Your Grazing Season

    By   1 month ago

    In this 5:00 video two On Pasture authors, Troy Bishopp and John Suscovich, talk about how it is that on December 8, they’re standing in a pasture watching Troy’s cattle graze. As Troy says, it takes planning, timely rains, and good fertility. First, you need enough land to be able to defer grazing in some […]

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    How Long Should a Pasture Recovery Period Be? – Part 2

    By   2 months ago

    Last week, Dave Pratt of Ranch Management Consultants talked about pasture recovery periods, focusing on what happens when forages are severely grazed. This week he applies his principle of “leaving more leaves” to show how this works as forages change through the growing season. The biggest mistake people make in grazing management is providing too […]

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    Rest is Not a 4-Letter Word – Timing for Pasture Recovery – Part 1

    By   2 months ago

    Well – technically it is a 4-letter word, but we shouldn’t use it like it is one. Here, Dave Pratt talks about why it is one of the most important words in a grazier’s vocabulary if you want to build capacity on your farm or ranch.

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      The Classic by NatGLC View All →

      Your Phone and Some Cow Poop Can Tell You How Nutritious Your Forage Is

      By   4 days ago

      As you head into winter, you might be wondering if your stockpile is nutritious enough for your cattle. From August of 2017, here’s how to figure out what you’ve got without actually sending the forage to a lab: Use the FREE Cow Poop Analyzer with your smart phone! Don’t have a smart phone? Read on […]

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      Is It Ready Yet? How to Know When You Can Start Grazing a New Planting

      By   2 weeks ago

      Last year about this time, an On Pasture reader asked us when he could start grazing a planting he’s was getting ready for fall forage. We figured there’d be more of you out there this summer with the same question. So here you go! Timing to start grazing varies for each species and mix, as […]

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      This Winter, Improve Soil Health (and Your Life) With Bale Grazing

      By   3 weeks ago

      We’re bringing this article to you from an August 2017 issue of On Pasture because this is a great time to start thinking about setting up bale grazing this coming winter. Bale grazing is a good tool for improving soil health while reducing costs. This 4:49 minute video from the Natural Resources Conservation Service gives […]

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      Can You Trample Your Way to Success?

      By   4 weeks ago

      This week’s Classic by NatGLC comes to us from July of 2013. It’s a message well worth taking another look at. “Graziers need to get beyond the paralyzing paradigm of wasting grass if we want to be truly sustainable.” Those are the words of Ian Mitchell-Innes, a South African farmer, philosopher, punster, and no-nonsense, world […]

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      To Clip/Mow Your Pasture Or Not – That is the Question

      By   1 month ago

      Here’s a question that comes up all the time. In this article from July of 2016 Victor Shelton describes why it’s a good idea sometimes, and maybe not others. We talked about clipping pastures in June. I’m still getting questions and comments by email about it; all good. There certainly are two sides to this […]

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      DIY Flerds – Grazing Sheep and Cattle Together for Pasture Management and Predator Protection

      By   1 month ago

      From our June 23, 2014 Issue, the answer to a question we’ve been getting a lot lately. We’ve added the comments that readers posted then. Please add your own experience and thoughts! Flerd:   1.  A contraction of flock and herd. 2.  A mixed-species group of animals that consistently stays together under free-range conditions. When […]

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      How to Get Water to Livestock in a Rotational Grazing System

      By   2 months ago

      If there’s no water in a pasture, it doesn’t matter how much grass it has. Here are examples from your fellow farmers and ranchers of how they put water where they needed it, drawn from a 2014 issue of On Pasture. Getting water to livestock in pasture can be a challenge and farmers and ranchers […]

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      What Do You Do When Your Grass Gets Ahead of You?

      By   2 months ago

      While some of the country is droughty, other folks have found that a cool spring and lot of precipitation means that the grass got away from them and is turning to seed heads. On Pasture Community members are asking each other “Should I mow?” “Should I trample?” “Should I just stockpile?” Here are some thoughts […]

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        Money Matters View All →

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

        By   4 days 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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        Custom Grazing: Why I Got In

        By   3 weeks ago

        Meg spent her first five start-up years as a custom grazier. Here she talks about the benefits to her and to the livestock owners and how custom grazing worked for her.

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        How to Talk About Your High Prices Without Feeling Guilty

        By   4 weeks ago

        Here’s the mindset shift Joel Salatin taught me about pricing your products as “craft food” instead of as a commodity, and how you can implement it yourself.

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        How to Write a Custom Grazing Contract

        By   1 month ago

        Strong, written contracts can prevent some of the Boneheaded Business Blunders I made in my early years of ranching. My previous two articles have covered every brutally specific detail that I should have included in my former land lease contracts. This month I’m running down everything that needs to be in a custom grazing contract. […]

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        Managing for Margins Makes the Difference Every Time

        By   2 months ago

        With six decades of farming experience, Don Ashford has a lot of data to draw on. Here’s a lesson he’s learned that can help all of us look at our farming operations and decide what we can control and how we want to farm or ranch.

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        Increase Your Profit by Understanding Marketing

        By   2 months ago

        I recently read on article here in On Pasture where Kathy wrote that she’s tired of people talking about how little money they make, and that some youngsters think agriculture should be a public service. For years I thought the biggest problem facing animal agriculture is the brain drain. Think about it, generations before us […]

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        Free, On Pasture-Hosted Course on Increasing Your Farm/Ranch Profit

        By   3 months ago

        You hear all the time and read it in the news that local farm fresh food is trendy and all the rage. Your gut tells you you’re doing the right thing by providing farm fresh food for your community, healing your family and protecting the land in the process. Yet, we see farm owners selling […]

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        Great Marketing Advice Part 2: Three Steps That Will Get New Customers to Your Farm

        By   3 months ago

        Greg Judy turned On Pasture onto Charlotte Smith, saying hers was the best marketing advice he’d heard. Last week we shared her first article covering six steps for getting started making money from your farm. This week she takes a deeper look at one of those steps: Attract your dream customer. I work with thousands […]

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          Livestock View All →

          How Do You Know If Your Livestock Are Too Hot?

          By   2 weeks 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   4 weeks 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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          Guidelines for Culling Cows – and Other Livestock

          By   1 month ago

          You can ensure an optimally productive herd with these tips for choosing who should stay and who should go. If you’re in a drought situation this summer and want to maintain healthy soils, forage and animals, you’ll really want to check this out.

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          Everything Sheep! Or Cows, Or Bison Or…..

          By   2 months ago

          We’ve gotten requests from those in our On Pasture Community who raise sheep to provide them with more articles. So we’ll be doing some of that in upcoming issues. In the meantime, here’s everything we’ve published on sheep over the last five years. If sheep aren’t your thing – You can find what you’re looking […]

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          Let’s Talk Turkey – Pasture-Raised Turkeys in Time for Thanksgiving

          By   2 months ago

          If you’ve thought about raising turkeys as part of your pasture operation, and you’d like to get started this year, now is the time to get serious. It takes 16-20 weeks for a poult to grow to mature weight, and that means a start date around the end of June to mid-July for getting and […]

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          What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Livestock from Predators?

          By   2 months ago

          If you’re worried about predators and wondering what you should do to protect your stock, a good place to start is this table from the Livestock-Predator Hub of UC Rangelands at the University of California, Davis. It’s based research and field-based experience describing how effective different tools are against a specific predator. There may be […]

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          Does Creep Feeding Calves in Pasture Pay?

          By   3 months ago

          This article is drawn from information provided by the University of Nebraska Lincoln Beef, Randy Saner, Nebraska Extension Educator – Beef Systems, and Travis Mulliniks, UNL Beef Cattle Nutritionist – Range Production Systems. Thanks for your great work! Creep feeding is a practice of providing feed so that calves can get to it, but the […]

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          Sassy Calving: More Fun ~ Less Work

          By   3 months ago

          Over the past ten years or so I have read many, many articles encouraging ranchers to calve in sync with nature, to calve when the other ungulate-ruminants calve. In other words, suggesting we calve in the spring rather than winter. The basis for most of this writing has been economics: a discussion of costs, inputs, […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Prairies Help Us Understand Antibiotic Resistance

            By   2 weeks 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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            In Praise of the Wheelbarrow

            By   4 weeks ago

            In his book “If You Want to Be A Cowboy, Get A Job” and other insults about the way modern ranches are run, Stan Parsons quotes a South African livestock producer: “The biggest piece of machinery you want on a livestock farm is a wheelbarrow.” Stan Parsons then added, “That is only if you are […]

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            On Pasture Handouts – Free for your Workshop or Event

            By   1 month ago

            Do you have a workshop or event and would like to provide participants with helpful information? Here are free On Pasture handouts! Just click on a pic to download, then copy and share! I’ve set them up so you can copy them in color or black and white and they’ll still look good. We’ve started […]

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            The Grazier’s Vow – Do You Have One of Your Own?

            By   2 months ago

            These are the principles Don Ashford uses every day to be a better grazier. What would you add? On Oct. 3, 2016 an article I wrote entitled Stupid Is As Stupid Does was published on the On Pasture web site. This was just a simple tale of one of the many mistakes that I have […]

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            Tooth and Nail: Ranching With Predators

            By   2 months ago

            Last month On Pasture asked: “What’s the best way to protect your livestock from predators?” and provided information from the Livestock-Predator Hub as food for thought. Turns out, On Pasture author John Marble has been thinking about predators for a long time. I hope you enjoy his thoughts. _________________________ My relationship with predators goes way […]

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            Your Tree Planter is Saving the World – One Tree, One Planting Tube and One Weed Mat at a Time

            By   2 months ago

            If you farm within the sprawling Chesapeake Bay Watershed or other sensitive watersheds around the country, there is a better than even chance, you’ve heard about USDA Riparian Forest Buffer Programs. These initiatives supported by the Joint Chiefs’ Landscape Restoration Partnership are actively working, in earnest, to take whatever strategies or financial measures possible, to […]

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            Rickie Roddy – Texas Small Farmer of the Year, 2017

            By   3 months ago

            Rickie Roddy knew he was going to be a rancher early on. To get started, he saved up his money, and bought his first cow at the age of 13. “My dreams are coming true,” he says. “A 13-year old, you have big dreams. But a 13-year-old getting a cow, that was a big step […]

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            The Best Farm Girl Birthday Party Ever!

            By   3 months ago

            Doug Ferguson’s daughter wanted to have her 6th birthday party at the sale barn. It took some creativity to turn her wish into reality. But, not only did Doug Ferguson pull it off, people are still talking about what fun it was a year later!

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              The Scoop View All →

              How to Find a Speaker for Your Next Event

              By   4 weeks 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   2 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   2 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   3 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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              Let’s Not Just Talk About Making Money – Let’s Do It!

              By   3 months ago

              We’re doing something new here at On Pasture. After years of conversations about how hard it is to make a living as a farmer/rancher, we want to do something about it. And that’s why we’re working with Charlotte Smith at 3 Cow Marketing. Farmers and ranchers have to have a whole host of skills in […]

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              Six Steps That Will Make You Money On Your Farm

              By   3 months ago

              In April, when I was at the “Our Farms, Our Future” conference, I had a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment. For years I’ve heard from farmers and ranchers how little money they make. But at the conference, sitting in a room of about 1000 people, listening to a panel of young farmers say […]

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              How to Get City Folks to Understand and Support Farmers and Ranchers

              By   3 months ago

              It’s a common complaint among ag producers: “Those city folk don’t understand us and they don’t even know where their food comes from!” We all talk about it, but, what are we doing about it? In this week’s issue of On Pasture, John Marble shares what he’s doing about it. I REALLY want you to check […]

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              Ag Policy is Being Written. Does It Reflect What’s Important to You?

              By   4 months ago

              According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), “The farm bill connects the food on our plates, the farmers and ranchers who produce that food, and the natural resources – our soil, air and water – that make growing food possible. [It can have a] tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Sheep in a Tire Swing

                By   4 days ago

                No sheep were harmed in the making of this video. And after the farmer got done laughing a bit, the sheep was returned to her flock.   Here’s a Big Thanks to the On Pasture supporters providing financial support. You make On Pasture happen every week! To be sustainable, we need community-wide support. If it’s […]

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                Cow Space Art

                By   2 weeks ago

                As one commenter noted: “This is going to confuse aliens into thinking cows are trying to communicate to them and will sadly lead to an increase in cow abductions.” 🙂 Thank you Farmer Derek Klingenberg!

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                Hi-Tech Toaster

                By   3 weeks ago

                Every time I see this I imagine what I would say to the toaster to get it to work. What would you say?

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                How to Get Over a Fence With Style

                By   4 weeks ago

                Every farm and ranch I visit has a different kind of gate latch and I’m not good at figuring out gate latches. So in the future, I might use some of these techniques to get over a fence with style. Thanks to Jiemba Sands of Tasmania, Australia for this tutorial!  

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                How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

                By   1 month ago

                Terry Metz shows us her secret to success!

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                Where Corn Dogs Come From

                By   1 month ago

                This is why we need to protect wetlands!

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                Patriotic Livestock

                By   2 months ago

                In honor of the Independence Day, here’s some livestock done up right. If you do something like this, we’d love to see your pictures! Apparently, doing art on a goat is a little harder! And this JUST IN! Dixiebelle – courtesy of one of our On Pasture readers, Charles Black.

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                How to Diaper Your Chicken

                By   2 months ago

                I’d recommend against it, because we like the manure on the pasture….but if you really must!   And if you’ve got a kid that just insists on bringing a chicken inside, maybe you do need a chicken diaper. Here’s the website to check out.

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