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The Scoop View All →

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

By   3 days 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!  

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Thank You, Rachel!

By   1 week 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 […]

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

By   1 month 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 […]

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A Solution For You – From My Heart

By   2 months ago

I’m the kind of person who can’t listen to someone complain without trying to find a solution. So, last April, after several days of listening to a variety of farmers at the conference I was at talk about low or no profits, I reached my limit. And I decided I had to do something to […]

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On Pasture is Hosting a Free Profitable Farmer Webinar This Friday!

By   2 months ago

Last May I hosted the first ever webinar with Charlotte Smith. With about 800 people participating, it was a huge success. BUT…not everyone who wanted to participate got the chance. So we’re doing it again! I’m hosting Charlotte Smith this Friday, September 21 2018 at 10 am PDT / 1 pm EDT! 3 Steps to […]

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Let’s Make Some Money!

By   2 months ago

For the last five years, On Pasture has focused on helping our community by translating research and experience into practices you can use right away to improve your operation. Then, last June, we added something new to our mission: After years of conversations, we were tired of talking about how hard it is to make […]

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How to Find a Speaker for Your Next Event

By   4 months 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   5 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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    Grazing Management View All →

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

    By   3 days 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 […]

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

    By   1 week 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 […]

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

    By   2 weeks 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 […]

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

    By   3 weeks 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 […]

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

    By   1 month 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 […]

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    How the Wahl Family Manages for Healthier, More Productive Animals and a Better Bottom Line

    By   1 month ago

    This is the first 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. It’s drawn from an article by Robert Hathorne with photos by Tracy Robillard, both of the Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service. I’ve added the videos they […]

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    Greg Judy’s Success Making it Through This Summer’s Drought

    By   2 months ago

    Hello From Green Pastures Farm! Things haven’t been so green this summer thanks to very little rainfall this past winter, spring and summer. But what you’ll see in this video is a lot of green grass. Why? As I describe in this video, we manage our pastures to get plenty of rest, and to leave […]

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    Slugs for Solving Bio-Film Problems in Floats, Tanks and Pipes

    By   2 months ago

    Oregon is a funny place. We recently changed our State bird from the Meadow Lark to the Osprey, mostly because several other States were claiming the Meadow Lark, and Oregon likes being….unique. Some would say bizarre. Our State Flower is called Oregon Grape, and of course, is not a grape at all. But it is […]

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Manure vs Inorganic Fertilizer – Which One is Better?

      By   3 days 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 […]

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

      By   2 weeks 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 […]

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      The Four Principles of Soil Health Applied to Forages

      By   3 weeks 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 […]

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

      By   1 month 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 […]

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      Frost Can Cause Forage Hazards – Protect Your Livestock

      By   1 month 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 […]

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      What Makes Grass Grow Back Fastest – Trampling, Clipping or Cow Spit?

      By   2 months ago

      Troy started this piece, Kathy Voth added some, and Jim Gerrish shared his observations. And with all that, we’re still not sure we have an answer. Troy: The heifers moved ahead into a fresh break of pasture while I lingered and admired the trample effect that was left behind. The rough residual was a beautiful […]

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      Can Cover Crops and Rotational Grazing Extend Your Grazing Season?

      By   2 months ago

      Thanks to the UDSA Natural Resources Conservation Service for sharing this story and the photos with us! Jared Namken is an Angus man. Red Angus, specifically. A fourth-generation farmer-rancher in Lake Norden, South Dakota, he hopes to pass on his operation to generation five with the soil in even better shape than when he started. […]

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      Cover Crop Seeding – Build Your Own Seeder Or Use the One You’ve Got

      By   2 months ago

      Readers who responded to our 2018 survey asked if we could include a little more information on cover crops. So here’s a start of what we’ll be doing more of in the future. This week we thought you’d like to learn a little bit about seeding equipment. In this first video you’ll see how Ed […]

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        Money Matters View All →

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

        By   3 days 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 […]

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

        By   1 week 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 […]

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        Seeking Succession vs Seeking Success

        By   2 weeks 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 […]

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        Arkansas Beginning Farmer Gets Financing to Get Started

        By   1 month 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 […]

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        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 […]

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

        By   2 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. […]

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        Learning to Market from the Heart – What I Learned from Charlotte Smith

        By   2 months ago

        On Pasture author Jenn Colby was one of the people who participated in Charlotte Smith’s free webinar last May and then went on to take Charlotte’s 5-week farm marketing course with me and about 50 other members of the On Pasture Community. We asked her to share what she learned from “Farm Marketing From the […]

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        The Language You Need to Be Using in Your Marketing

        By   2 months ago

        You’re Not Selling What You Think You’re Selling… Most farmers think they sell grass-fed beef, or raw milk, organic chicken or fresh flowers. But when it comes to marketing, that language won’t help you stand out. It looks just like your competitor! What you’re selling is a solution to your customer’s problems. You’re selling ‘that […]

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          Consider This View All →

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

          By   3 days 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 […]

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          An Excerpt From Kathy’s Favorite New Farming Book

          By   2 weeks 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 […]

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

          By   1 month 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.

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          Should Uncle Sam Bail Us Out of Drought?

          By   1 month 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 […]

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          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 […]

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          Is Glyphosate Killing Bees?

          By   2 months ago

          This comes to us from the University of Texas at Austin.   The world’s most widely used weed killer may also be indirectly killing bees. New research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that honey bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts […]

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          Here’s My New Favorite Book on Farming

          By   2 months ago

          There is no set recipe for success in farming and ranching. What works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for another. And even when you think you’ve figured out the recipe that works at your place, everything can change due to the weather or the marketplace. That means that in order to sustain a […]

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          The Best Thing to Do With a Brush Pile

          By   2 months ago

          Those piles become a thing of beauty with this suggestion from Troy and featuring another On Pasture author, Jenn Colby, and her husband Chris Sargent from the Howling Wolf Farm in Vermont.

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            The Classic by NatGLC View All →

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

            By   3 days 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 […]

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            Where Can You Find a USDA Poultry Processing Facility?

            By   1 week 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 […]

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

            By   2 weeks 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 […]

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

            By   3 weeks 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 […]

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            How to Be a Successful Farmer/Rancher in the 21st Century

            By   1 month ago

            Forrest has been thinking about this for a long time. We first published this in October of 2014. Read on for how he’s gone deeper with a new book on the topic. As Bren Smith recently explained in his heartfelt editorial for the New York Times (Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be […]

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            Ideas for Watering a Winter Grazing Herd

            By   1 month ago

            This week, The Classic by NatGLC answers a question that I hear from graziers quite often. What do you do about water in the winter, especially if your cattle are grazing the whole season? Here’s a solution from our northern neighbors who know a lot about dealing with cold and snow. These Alberta ranchers have […]

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            Grazing Too Short in Fall and Winter Can Mean More Weeds in the Spring

            By   2 months ago

            Back in September of 2016, On Pasture readers were wondering if their fall and winter grazing might have an impact on the health of their pastures come spring. Turns out, it’s always a good idea to leave enough grass so you don’t add to your spring weed problems. Results of a study by University of […]

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            Adding More Forage and Reducing Hay Feeding – How a Montana Rancher Did It

            By   2 months ago

            We shared this story from the Montana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service last year about this time to get us all thinking about what we can do during the off season to improve things in the Spring. We hope it helps your 2019 grazing season be even better! It’s these kinds of producer stories that […]

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              Livestock View All →

              Livestock Handling Basics – Part 2

              By   1 week 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 […]

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              Livestock Handling – Starting With the Basics

              By   3 weeks 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 […]

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              Grouping Calves For Sale – Good Idea or Bad?

              By   1 month 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 […]

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              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 […]

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              Improve Your Stockmanship by Understanding the Flight Zone

              By   2 months ago

              We’ve all seen those diagrams of the flight zone. But sometimes seeing a group of animals demonstrate how it works is a lot more helpful. That’s what this video does for us. Yes, it is sheep, but the same principles hold when you’re working with cattle. Though I mostly work with cattle, I like this […]

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              Small Cows Are Profitable – Big Cows Will Bankrupt You

              By   2 months ago

              Spend two minutes with Greg Judy and this video he made to talk about why small cows are better for your operation than big cows.

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              An Egg Mobile From a Repurposed Trailer

              By   3 months ago

              It’s always nice to get a little inspiration from other folks when it comes to creatively housing poultry. Even if you don’t have a trailer, this could give you some good ideas for repurposing something you already own at little to no cost.

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              Beware of Drought-Caused Nitrate and Prussic Acid Poisoning

              By   3 months ago

              It’s that time of year when current drought and potential weather changes could cause increases of nitrates and prussic acid in some forages. This article from Jill Scheidt, University of Missouri Extension, tells us what to look out for. I’ve added some charts and testing information as well as links to addtional On Pasture articles […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Best Venn Diagram Ever

                By   3 days ago

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

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                A Visit to an Almond Milk Dairy!

                By   1 week 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.  

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                Stick Horse Dressage Competition

                By   3 weeks ago

                Grown ups on stick horses performing…really!

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                Words of Wisdom

                By   1 month ago

                From the Indian Hills Community Center in Colorado….   It’s October and we have only 3 months left to make our grant match that helps keep On Pasture online. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a community-wide effort. Any amount helps! If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing Supporter” at just […]

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                Something Beautiful That Can Only Happen On a Farm

                By   1 month ago

                From the college lots of my family attended, Farmer Derek Klingenberg, and a brand new grain bin. It made me happy and I hope it will do the same for you.

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                What’s YOUR Favorite Essential Oil?

                By   2 months ago

                The folks at El Arroyo Restaurant choose…

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                It’s Officially Fall!

                By   2 months ago

                Since we don’t really have Fall in Tucson (which makes me sad), we only know it’s arrived when we start seeing Pumpkin Spice everything!   Thanks to all the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a community-wide effort. Any amount helps! If it’s an option for you, […]

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