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The Scoop View All →

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

By   4 days 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 weeks 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   2 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   3 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   4 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   4 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   4 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   4 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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    Grazing Management View All →

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

    By   4 days 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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    Can You Be a Grazing Soothsayer?

    By   2 weeks ago

    Back in 2014/15, Troy Bishopp took us all along on his journey to extend his grazing season. He showed the good and the bad and all the planning that went with getting to 257 grazeable days on his New York state farm. This year he’s trying something different – and he’s going to show us all how it goes as he does it. Check this out!

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    Phipps Livestock Uses Grazing to Solve Soil Health, Erosion and Weed Problems

    By   3 weeks ago

    Thanks to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana for this article and video. Bryan and Chelsea Phipps are using their cattle as tools to improve soil health, reduce erosion and weeds, and harvest one of our planet’s greatest resources – sunlight – on their ranch near Brusett, Mont. This new management style has […]

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    Can Cows Save the Planet? I Don’t Know – But Maybe They Can Save the Ranch

    By   4 weeks ago

    Can cows save the planet? Can cows reverse global warming? Can cows sequester carbon and prevent erosion and fix habitat problems? Can cows feed the world? Honestly, I just don’t know. These are big, complicated questions that seem to depend on a whole bunch of variables, things beyond my ability to suss out. Some Simple […]

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    Berlier Ranch – Success Based on a Passion for Soil and Range Health

    By   1 month ago

    I’ve had a passion for soil health and range conditions all my life. If we don’t maintain our grasslands in a healthy manner and leave them better than we found them, there just won’t be anything for our grandchildren and for future generations. Jim Berlier, Berlier Ranch, Encino, New Mexico Jim Berlier says that sustainability […]

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    Ideas for Grazing Trampled Grass

    By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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      Pasture Health View All →

      Can Cover Crops and Rotational Grazing Extend Your Grazing Season?

      By   4 days 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 weeks 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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      The Wildfire and Weed Cycle – What We Know About Slowing the Growth of Both

      By   4 weeks ago

      Thanks to Justin Fritscher of the NRCS for this great information! Out West, wildfires and weeds are closely linked. The spread of invasive grasses is leading to more frequent and intense wildfires. These invasive grasses degrade the health of native rangelands, which threatens both wildlife and rural ways of life. An estimated 100 million acres of […]

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      Healing Soils With Cover Crops and Cattle

      By   1 month ago

      Here’s a 4:13 video from the Land Stewardship Program’s Bridge to Soil Health Initiative. In it, Kaleb Anderson shows how he uses “sacrifice” pastures planted in cover crops to keep his cattle off their hilly pastures in the spring to prevent erosion and eliminate topsoil loss.Then to counteract the damage done, he lets it heal […]

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

      By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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        Money Matters View All →

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

        By   4 days 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 weeks 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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        Cow Calf Operation Costs Are Up. Tell Us How You’re Managing For This

        By   3 weeks ago

        The business success of beef enterprises often suffers because two questions are not evaluated regularly: 1. How much do I have invested in my cattle operation? 2. Can I get a fair market return on my investment? Some families accept a negative return because the “way of life” is a benefit. Still, good business practices […]

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        Custom Grazing: Why I Got Out

        By   4 weeks ago

        After five start-up years as a custom grazier, Meg decided to make some changes. Here she talks about why and what her new set up is.

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

        By   1 month 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   2 months 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   2 months 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   2 months 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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          Livestock View All →

          Improve Your Stockmanship by Understanding the Flight Zone

          By   4 days 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   3 weeks 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   4 weeks 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   1 month 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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          How Do You Know If Your Livestock Are Too Hot?

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

            Kick the Hay Habit – Jim Gerrish’s Tips for Getting Started

            By   4 days ago

            This week’s Classic by NatGLC is from Jim Gerrish. Jim will be speaking about Grazing Lands Economics at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Reno in December, so we thought you’d like to have an idea of what he might cover. Jim is one of over over 50 producers who will be part of the […]

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            Building a Ranch From the Ground Up (Part 1)

            By   2 weeks ago

            This week’s Classic by NatGLC is from Ryan’s presentation at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Dallas in 2016 and it’s an example of why we love this conference: It’s all about producers sharing their own stories about how they succeed on the ground. Ryan will be speaking again this year in Reno at the […]

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            From 60% Bare Ground to Less Than 10% – Grazing Management Made the Difference

            By   3 weeks ago

            This 2015 Classic comes to us from Pat Guptill who will be one of the speakers at this year’s National Grazing Lands Conference in Reno, Nevada. He’s just one of more than 50 producers who will be talking about innovative grazing techniques. We hope he’ll inspire you to join us in December! Register before October […]

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            The Secret of Successful Farming/Ranching

            By   4 weeks ago

            After six decades of farming, Don Ashford knows a lot about what it takes to be successful. But if he were to give you just one piece advice, it might be this. Enjoy this Classic by NatGLC from our August 2015 edition. When he was 95 years old Scott Nearing, who has been described as […]

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            Stress = Shrinking Livestock

            By   1 month ago

            Since you might be handling and transporting cattle now or in the near future, we thought you’d like this article from August of 2016. It comes to us from South Dakota State University’s iGrow. While it’s specific to cattle, it’s a sure bet that it applies to all livestock. Translating Time’s Impacts “This is the […]

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

            By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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              Consider This View All →

              Here’s My New Favorite Book on Farming

              By   2 weeks 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   3 weeks 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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              Are Pasture Walks a Waste of Time?

              By   1 month ago

              Sometimes it just seems that we are wasting our time having pasture walks. The other day, and as happens on most days, my mind was off on one of its wanderings. I recalled a particular pasture walk that we had hosted a few years ago. The turnout was not very good, in fact it was […]

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              Prairies Help Us Understand Antibiotic Resistance

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

                Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

                By   4 days ago

                Is this a girl with four legs?! How did that Chihauhua get in the box? What is that guy doing with his really long arm?! Is it safe to ride a motorcycle naked? And cowgirls, keep your horses out of the house!   Thanks to the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip […]

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                Bad Grass

                By   2 weeks ago

                Sandra Miller sent us this one. Do any of your livestock have this problem?   Thanks to the On Pasture readers providing financial support. Can you chip in? To be sustainable, we need a $15,000 match from readers to make our grant happen this year. If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing […]

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                Not as Dangerous as the Hell’s Angels

                By   3 weeks ago

                And not nearly as scary!   Here’s a Big Thanks to the On Pasture Community members providing financial support! Community-wide support keeps On Pasture online. If it’s an option for you, consider becoming an “Ongoing Supporter” at just $5/month. Being able to show that kind of support is especially helpful when we’re approaching outside funders.

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                Electric Fence Experiment Has Expected Ending

                By   4 weeks ago

                We all know what’s going to happen. Even so, it’s funny to watch these folks demonstrate how electric fencing, insulation, and grounding works with the expected outcome. See below for the explanation provided by the experimenters in the video. From Angus Fowles, the video’s creator: “For the benefit of the wider science community, I thought […]

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                The Luxury Chicken Diaper Business is Booming

                By   1 month ago

                OK – I can imagine that some of you will find this exasperating – and you’re right – people paying $17 to buy a diaper for their chicken so it can come in the house can really rub a hard-working farmer/rancher the wrong way. And then there’s this woman: “We spend an insane amount of […]

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                Sheep in a Tire Swing

                By   1 month 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 months 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   2 months 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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