OrganicValley726x88

The Scoop View All →

The Dairy Crisis Affects Us All

By   16 hours ago

What’s happening to our dairy farmers doesn’t affect just them. It also affects the farmers and businesses who supply them, and the future of rural communities across the country. Let’s take a look at the problem and some potential solutions.

Read More →

The Giving Farm

By   17 hours ago

In 1971, I was a confused eight year old who cried in horror as men lashed my grandfather William’s fourteen, beloved Guernsey cows in an attempt to make them walk up the steep ramp into a cattle truck destined for the auction barn. The sober event was dictated by the decision not to spend money […]

Read More →

Farm Lease Opportunity Available

By   1 week ago

On Pasture readers Joanna and Dave Koob are looking for someone to lease their farm located in central Kentucky about 25 miles south of Lexington. The farm is 400 grazeable acres with a centrally located barn and working facilities that include a sweep pen, cattle chute and digital scale. Two years ago they also installed […]

Read More →

Meet Me In Reno!

By   2 weeks ago

First – THANK YOU! We were overwhelmed last week by all the support that came in to meet our grant match before the deadline. And we did it! I’m behind on thank you notes and mailing out bumper stickers, but please know how grateful I am and that they’ll be on their way soon! Next […]

Read More →

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

By   3 weeks ago

I am really grateful for Thanksgiving this year. I’ll  be spending it with my husband, Peter, who’s been helping a lot with On Pasture lately, my Mom and Dad, who are a really healthy 82 and 84, and some good friends from Colorado. I’m planning on a quiet day of good food, a walk, and […]

Read More →

Who Is the On Pasture Community? What Do You Read, and Is It Helpful?

By   4 weeks ago

When you visit On Pasture, you probably don’t see any of the other folks that are visiting along with you. It turns out you’re part of a really big community. Here’s what you’ve told us about how On Pasture helps you. We think you’ll be proud of what we’ve all accomplished together!  

Read More →

Thank You, Rachel!

By   1 month ago

November makes it 5 months since Rachel moved on from On Pasture, and I didn’t want her to go without telling all our readers and thanking her for everything she did. As you all know, Rachel Gilker and I started On Pasture together back in March of 2013 and we spent the first four years […]

Read More →

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

By   2 months ago

Here are a couple articles I hope will promote some discussion about what kinds of results we want from federal programs. One is a story of how a young farmer got started thanks to support from a government loan program. The other looks at emergency drought payments and helps us ask the question, “Are we […]

Read More →

    Grazing Management View All →

    Winter Stockpile Grazing Tips

    By   17 hours ago

    I’m not really sure where this year went. At least for me, it seems like it should still be October, but the weather outside indicates a different message. Grazing activity for a lot of producers starts slowing down this time of year. If you are still grazing, and I hope you are, then you are […]

    Read More →

    Managing a Landscape to Increase Water, Forage and Habitat

    By   1 week ago

    This is a story of the importance of private lands for providing clean water and wildlife habitat, and how the changes this ranch made enhanced habitat and increased water availability and made their livestock more productive and profitable. Thanks to Robert Hathorne of the NRCS for sharing this story. I’ve added ways to apply the principles this ranch uses to help you translate this to your operation, and information on how to pay for the improvements.

    Read More →

    Coming to the Table to Create Grazing Solutions That Work For Everyone

    By   3 weeks ago

    According to legend, the first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated when two very different peoples sat down together to eat and give thanks. The folks in this video are following in that tradition, coming to the table with government agencies and others to create solutions good for wildlife and for the people who make […]

    Read More →

    Getting Water to the Herd – Sometimes Old Tech is the Best Tech

    By   4 weeks ago

    The reason I often mention the Natural Resources Conservation Service as a good resource is that NRCS is known for providing one-on-one, personalized advice on the best solutions to meet unique conservation challenges. As an example, here’s a story from David Sanden, about how NRCS staff helped a rancher get water to his herd without […]

    Read More →

    How Do You Graze in November When the Weather is Warmer or Wetter Than Usual?

    By   1 month ago

    I mentioned last month that there are still plenty of good growing days left this fall and they need to be taken advantage of. One of the first things to do to make sure you obtain as much plant growth as possible, especially with perennial forages, is to stop grazing forages that will continue to […]

    Read More →

    Improving the Power and Reliability of the Charge for Your Solar Powered Fencer

    By   1 month ago

    Dean Schneider of Bell Rule Genetics wasn’t satisfied with the typical all-in-one solar charged fencers he’d used. He’d tried a variety of brands and found they weren’t as reliable as he liked, he couldn’t get as much power out of them as he needed, and the batteries kept going bad. Since there was no electrical […]

    Read More →

    Wahl Family Farm Part 3 – What’s the Pay Off For Changes in Grazing Management

    By   2 months ago

    This is the third in a series about the grazing management changes the Wahl family has made and how it has improved soil health and increased animal productivity dramatically. (Here’s Part 1, and here’s Part 2.) It’s drawn from an article by Robert Hathorne with photos by Tracy Robillard, both of the Oregon Natural Resources […]

    Read More →

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

    By   2 months ago

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

    Read More →

      Livestock View All →

      Outsmarting Wild Cattle Part 3

      By   16 hours ago

      This year I switched from being a year-round cow-calf operation to being a seasonal heifer developer, one of the biggest issues I had was with temperament. Heifers that are new to my operation can be flighty and less calm than a herd I’ve worked with over the years. Here is part 3 of the skills […]

      Read More →

      Outsmarting Wild Cattle – Part 2

      By   1 week ago

      The cattle business can be hard on your self-esteem. It’s tough when in spite of all your schooling, knowledge, experience and success, you get outwitted by an animal that poops in its food. This is happening to me a lot less frequently now that I have been through a few years of learning the hard […]

      Read More →

      Outsmarting Wild Cattle – Part 1

      By   2 weeks ago

      Meg is back with some more about the skills she’s developing and practicing as she grows her cattle operation. This time she’s sharing her experience working with newly purchased heifers and techniques she used to move them more easily through pastures.

      Read More →

      THE Pastured Poultry Directory You’ve Been Looking For

      By   3 weeks ago

      Since it’s Thanksgiving Week here in the U.S., many of you might have poultry on your mind. If so, you’re going to love this directory!

      Read More →

      Livestock Handling Basics – Part 2

      By   1 month ago

      One of the things readers have asked us for is more information on low-stress livestock handling. Whit Hibbard, of the Stockmanship Journal, has given us a great start with his articles. (We’ve put them all together in this Special Collection so you can find them more easily.) To add to that, I’m searching the internet […]

      Read More →

      Livestock Handling – Starting With the Basics

      By   2 months ago

      If you’ve been reading On Pasture for very long, you’ve certainly seen Whit Hibbard’s articles sharing the ins and outs of moving cattle and other livestock. (We’ve put them all together in this Special Collection so you can find them more easily.) To add to that, we’re going to share a video series out of […]

      Read More →

      Grouping Calves For Sale – Good Idea or Bad?

      By   2 months ago

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

      Read More →

      Use Caution When Feeding Soybeans to Cattle

      By   2 months ago

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

      Read More →

        Consider This View All →

        The Giving Farm

        By   17 hours ago

        In 1971, I was a confused eight year old who cried in horror as men lashed my grandfather William’s fourteen, beloved Guernsey cows in an attempt to make them walk up the steep ramp into a cattle truck destined for the auction barn. The sober event was dictated by the decision not to spend money […]

        Read More →

        Free Guide For Managing Stress on the Farm/Ranch

        By   1 week ago

        Are you stressed? Or are you feeling anxiety? Turns out that there are specific definitions for these two terms. Understanding the difference, and labeling what we’re experiencing lets us adjust our mindset. And that can help us manage the level of stress in our lives and improve our businesses and our health. Thanks to Charlotte […]

        Read More →

        Only the Learners Survive – Thoughts on How to Be One of Them

        By   3 weeks ago

        This is a quote from Eric Hoffer who was known as the longshoreman philosopher. Mr. Hoffer has been dead since 1983 but these words are more applicable today than when he wrote them. Those of us, who a few years ago began to realize that the “learned” were being no help to us at all, […]

        Read More →

        Battling the Scourge of ‘Embalmed Milk’ – A Story From Our Past

        By   4 weeks ago

        Have you ever wondered how we arrived at our current dairy regulations? Well here’s part of the story. From Deborah Blum and Undark.org, here’s how an obscure Indiana public health official pioneered a campaign against tainted dairy products at the turn of the 20th century. At the turn of the 20th century, Indiana was widely […]

        Read More →

        An Excerpt From Kathy’s Favorite New Farming Book

        By   1 month ago

        About a month ago, I shared a review of Start Your Farm: The Authoritative Guide for Becoming a Sustainable 21st Century Farmer, by one of our On Pasture authors, Forrest Pritchard, and co-author Ellen Polishuk. Now, I’m tickled that the book’s publisher has selected On Pasture to share an excerpt from the book. Click here […]

        Read More →

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

        By   2 months ago

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

        Read More →

        Should Uncle Sam Bail Us Out of Drought?

        By   2 months ago

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

        Read More →

        Use ‘KISS’ System to Develop Your Management Plans

        By   2 months ago

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

        Read More →

          Money Matters View All →

          Diverse Family Farms Are Important To Us All

          By   16 hours ago

          This article comes to us from Bob Hoppe of the USDA Economic Research Service. It was originally published to announce the findings of the 2016 edition of the report on America’s Diverse Family Farms. The data he provides are still relevant. I’ve updated it with the most recent report link. Family farms remain an essential […]

          Read More →

          Are Your Cow-Calf Share and Cash Lease Agreements Up to Snuff?

          By   2 weeks ago

            The fall of the year is often a convenient time for those involved in cow-calf share and cash leases of spring calving cows to revisit the terms of the agreement.  Market values of cattle, interest rates, pasture rental rates and feed costs can change significantly from year to year.  Discussing how the share or […]

          Read More →

          Getting the Most Out of Internships – Tips for Interns and Mentors

          By   4 weeks ago

          With the average age of the American farmer holding around 59 years old in 2018, we need to look at who is going to farm in the future. There are young folks yearning to get on the land today, but the deck is stacked against them. The cost of buying land, equipment, livestock, etc. is […]

          Read More →

          Cow-Q-Lators for Figuring Feed Costs, Cow-Calf Share Lease Rates And More

          By   1 month ago

          One of the reasons some of us don’t track our costs well, or we find out too late that something we’re doing is more expensive than we anticipated, is that math is hard! The folks at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s West Central Research and Extension Center guessed that was a problem, so they’ve provided us […]

          Read More →

          Seeking Succession vs Seeking Success

          By   1 month ago

          There’s a lot of talk about “succession” being tossed around in agriculture. It occurred to me that some people might not be quite sure what that term means, especially since we seem to have more than one kind of succession to talk about. Currently, a lot of the talk seems to be centered on business […]

          Read More →

          Arkansas Beginning Farmer Gets Financing to Get Started

          By   2 months ago

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

          Read More →

          Choosing the Right Partner for a Custom Grazing Deal

          By   2 months ago

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

          Read More →

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

          By   3 months ago

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

          Read More →

            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

            Winter Stockpile Grazing – How Low Should You Go?

            By   16 hours ago

            From December of 2014, here’s an answer to a commonly asked winter grazing question. It’s the Classic by NatGLC!

            Read More →

            Fenceless Targeted Grazing Using Supplement Blocks

            By   1 week ago

            Sometimes landscape terrain and size makes temporary fencing too expensive or difficult to set up. Here’s an alternative that I’ve used successfully. From November of 2015 – an alternative to fencing that still directs your animals where you want them. When Derek Bailey began looking at ways to move animals across landscapes it was because he wanted […]

            Read More →

            Four Winter Watering Set-Ups

            By   2 weeks ago

            Keeping stock watered in winter can be a challenge. With that in mind we thought we’d check with our neighbors to the north to see what kind of solutions they’ve come up with to make watering easier in even the coldest winters. We found this factsheet from folks in Manitoba with four different solutions as […]

            Read More →

            Here’s What Dung Beetles Do For Us, and How You Can Have More of Them

            By   3 weeks ago

            From November of 2015 here’s the poop on Dung beetles. Enjoy! Troy Bishopp (the Grass Whisperer and On Pasture author) says that if he comes to visit your pastures, one of the first things he’ll look at are the manure pats. Why? Because they can tell him a lot about the quality of what the […]

            Read More →

            Some Do’s and Don’ts for Successful Bale Grazing

            By   4 weeks ago

            From November 2016 – a real time saver! If you’re going to be feeding your livestock this winter, bale grazing could be right for you. It can save you time and money and even improve your pastures. Here are some tips from the Manitoba Grazing Council to help you get started and make it work […]

            Read More →

            Where Can You Find a USDA Poultry Processing Facility?

            By   1 month ago

            Folks are asking for this information this time of year. From November of 2017 – here’s a list of USDA poultry processing facilities. I was told by a well established USDA inspected poultry processor that there were only a dozen or so small-scale USDA inspected poultry processors in the country that are willing to process […]

            Read More →

            How Much Winter Feed/Forage Do I Need? Am I Feeding the Right Animals?

            By   1 month ago

            From November of 2017, here are two questions we ask ourselves every year. I often talk about taking inventory of winter feedstuff.  I’m primarily measuring dry matter, e.g. hay, pasture, stockpile, crop residue, and grazeable annuals still left.  Fall rains certainly helped to green things up and provide some new growth, but that won’t last […]

            Read More →

            Buying Feed? Here’s How You Can Compare Them To Choose the Best Value

            By   2 months ago

            We first ran this in October of 2016. It’s just as timely now given that many folks had a droughty summer and may be looking at feed for the winter. Let’s say you had a droughty year and winter feed is in short supply.  One option is to reduce your herd size to match the […]

            Read More →

              Pasture Health View All →

              Carbohydrate Reserve Theory: What You Learned Might Be Wrong

              By   1 week ago

              The authors start with four pieces of information that put the role of carbohydrate reserves into question. Then they share ideas for good grazing to work well with plant physiology.

              Read More →

              You Can’t Grow Beans From Cracks in the Ground

              By   2 weeks ago

              Although I was trained in science, I never really made much of a scientist. All that sitting around in the lab, mucking out petri dishes and gathering data, well, I just really couldn’t stand it. What I wanted was to be out in the field, observing nature. And perhaps that’s why I wound up here […]

              Read More →

              There’s Just Not Enough Manure in the World

              By   3 weeks ago

              Last week we shared an article from the Soil Science Society of America that pointed out the benefits of using manure to fertilize and improve soils. The results are not surprising. Countless trials have described the beneficial results of applying manure. So why do we still use inorganic, manmade fertilizers? Andrew McGuire’s answer, after doing […]

              Read More →

              Manure vs Inorganic Fertilizer – Which One is Better?

              By   4 weeks ago

              Thanks to the Soil Science Society of America for this article. In a newly published study, researchers dug into how fertilizing with manure affects soil quality, compared with inorganic fertilizer. Ekrem Ozlu of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his team studied two fields in South Dakota. From 2003 to 2015, the research team applied either […]

              Read More →

              Beef and Bobwhites – How to Maximize Livestock Production While Helping Wildlife

              By   1 month ago

              Thanks to Nick Schell, a wildlife biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service for sharing this article with us. I added the section pointing out conservation practices that farmers and ranchers might receive assistance in implementing. You’re probably familiar with the northern bobwhite and its decline. The bobwhite, or what many of us call […]

              Read More →

              The Four Principles of Soil Health Applied to Forages

              By   2 months ago

                Soil Health is one of the main tools that will help sustain farms in the future. It will help us feed the world. NRCS recognizes four principles of soil health. They are very basic but can be applied many different ways to any agricultural system. Here is how I implement them on my forage […]

              Read More →

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

              By   2 months ago

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

              Read More →

              Frost Can Cause Forage Hazards – Protect Your Livestock

              By   2 months ago

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

              Read More →

                The Funnies View All →

                Is Cow-Cuddling Your Next Money-Maker?

                By   17 hours ago

                OK – we can all laugh – but then take a look at the price of these cow-cuddling packages offered by Mountain Horse Farm in the Finger Lakes area of New York! Mountain Horse Farm doesn’t raise food. They offer wellness retreats and massages and opportunities for folks to spend time with cows and horses. […]

                Read More →

                How to Haul Llamas

                By   1 week ago

                It turns out you don’t need a truck or trailer!

                Read More →

                Curious Cows

                By   2 weeks ago

                Meg wrote in her article this week how much she could get done by taking advantage of cow curiosity. So I thought you might enjoy this example of curious cows, with thanks to Derek Klingenberg.

                Read More →

                Do You Know Where Your Turkey Is?

                By   3 weeks ago

                Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

                Read More →

                Best Venn Diagram Ever

                By   4 weeks ago

                Don’t remember what a Venn Diagram is? You will the instant you look at this!

                Read More →

                A Visit to an Almond Milk Dairy!

                By   1 month ago

                “Milking a 600 kg holstein – that’s easy! Milking a 1 gm almond, that’s hard. Tiny little udders! Tiny!” A Funny with something to make you think at the end.  

                Read More →

                Stick Horse Dressage Competition

                By   2 months ago

                Grown ups on stick horses performing…really!

                Read More →