The Scoop View All →

Wearing Shorts Through the Cold Spell

By   7 days ago

The freeze finally snapped this week, and we’re getting a January thaw. I can breathe a sigh of relief, and not just because I can breathe without swallowing my scarf or having my nostril hair freezing. It means that, at least for a little while, I don’t have to write the daily note allowing the […]

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Things My Cat Has Trained Me To Do (and what your livestock teach you to do)

By   2 weeks ago

With Rachel in New York and me in Arizona, we spend a lot of time on the phone working together. These calls are often interrupted by my cat, Molly, tapping me on the leg and meowing so that I will follow her to her food dish and wiggle my fingers in her dry food bowl […]

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Farmers and Ranchers Growing Together in 2018

By   3 weeks ago

The On Pasture community is all about learning and growing together. With that in mind, we’re kicking off 2018 with some articles that help us do just that. Here’s what we’ve got for you: Matt Bomgardner shares his lessons learned and changes he made as he transitioned to pastured dairy. Will Kearney has been looking […]

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We’re On Break – But Here’s How To Find Something to Read

By   4 weeks ago

It’s an On Pasture tradition for Kathy and Rachel to take off the last week of every year to spend  some time with our families. So we’re off this week. We’ll be back on January 2, 2017 with lots more great stuff for you. But we never leave you without something good to read! We’ve […]

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On Pasture’s What’s What and Who’s Who List

By   1 month ago

It’s that time of year, when we report back to you what the On Pasture community has accomplished together. This year that includes a total of 400 new articles: 50 Scoops, 50 Classics by NatGLC, 50 Funnies and 250 articles on grazing management, pasture health, livestock, money matters and some new things to consider. Readership […]

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Help, Thanks, Wow!

By   1 month ago

Author Anne Lamott says these are the three essential prayers: Asking for Help, expressing Thanks, and exclaiming “Wow” about something inspiring. Here at On Pasture, we’ve had a “Help, Thanks, Wow” kind of Fall and you are the reason why. First we asked for help. We needed $15,000 from readers as our grant match for […]

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What Do You Think of This Idea?

By   2 months ago

Readers have been telling us On Pasture should offer workshops and other educational opportunities. Before we head in that direction, we need some input from you about what you really want and need. Five years ago when we had the idea for a new kind of publication,  we asked potential readers what they thought. And… […]

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December To Do List: 1) Find the Perfect Gift, 2) Save Net Neutrality

By   2 months ago

Two things you’ve probably figured out about On Pasture already: 1) We’re not big into telling you to spend money and, 2) we don’t like to get into politics. But it’s December, and there are two things that we all need: 1) Gift ideas and 2) an easy way to get those gifts. So here […]

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    Grazing Management View All →

    From Minimal to Mob – Lifestyle and Economic Considerations for Designing your Grazing Program

    By   7 days ago

    America is a great place. In this neck of the woods we get to do almost anything we want, and nowhere is that more true than in the grazing world. Graziers get to decide what their business, their land, even their life looks like. But here’s the trouble with all that freedom: lots of choices […]

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    Winter Electric Fence Solutions

    By   2 weeks ago

    The use of Electric Fence in the winter is fast becoming a solution for controlling livestock. Some use it for winter grazing practices, some use it to protect haystacks from both livestock and wildlife. Others use it for a quick fix all through the winter and early spring, not to mention using normal range fences. […]

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    Lessons Learned From a Year of Grazing Management

    By   3 weeks ago

    This is a good time of year for reflecting on what went well and what you might like to do differently next year. Though Matt wrote this a few years ago, his lessons learned are ones many of us can benefit from, as is the example of putting something in writing to refer back to […]

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    The Idea of a Stockshare – Managing Together for Better Pastures and Better Profits

    By   1 month ago

    This is the third in a series of articles looking at how ranchers in Texas might work together to manage a landscape as a whole. Read Part 1 here, and Part 2, here. In my last two articles, I wrote about how a “Stockshare” program could help livestock raisers in the Gulf Coast region of […]

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    Sheep Can Now Safely Graze Vineyards!

    By   1 month ago

    Vineyard managers don’t like the weeds and grass that grows between vines because they slow vine growth and grape production. Sheep graziers call the vineyardist’s problem “forage” and would love to be able to use it to grow their herds. So how can vineyard managers work with sheep growers so that they’re both happy? The […]

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    Looking Drought in the Eye – Working Together to Get Through the Next One

    By   1 month ago

    The week that I got married, the drought of 2011 finally broke. I will never forget the Justice of the peace saying to everybody gathered, in his gravelly voice, “Now that Will and Laura are married, maybe the good lord will water the earth a little.” Sure enough, within a couple of days the first […]

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    Training Livestock and Wildlife to Electric Fence

    By   1 month ago

    I always like to start an electric fence conversation with this statement: “Electric fence is not a Miracle.” Quite frequently it is a miracle that it ever works when installed by uninformed consumers. There are certain principles that must be used and challenges overcome to use the product successfully. Over the next several months I […]

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    Like a Prairie – A Big Picture View of Grazing Management

    By   2 months ago

    Welcome to Will Kearney, a new On Pasture author. In this series, Will Kearney introduces a big idea about how we might manage prairies in a way more consistent with their ecological history and that could improve the landscape and our success as ranchers.

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      Pasture Health View All →

      Hedgerows – How Tos for Great Shelter and Habitat

      By   7 days ago

      In this 3:56 video, John Suscovich (Farm Marketing Solutions) and Troy Bishopp (our own Grass Whisperer) talk about hedgerows and why you should consider them for your operation. One of the first reasons is that wind you hear in the background. If you’re tired of wind blowing unchecked across your pastures, hedgerows are for you. […]

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      Why Should You Grow Multiple Types of Forage Grasses for Grazing Animals?

      By   2 weeks ago

      Thanks to Jesse Morrison of Mississippi State and the Soil Science Society of America for this article! Although it might seem like grazing animals will eat any grass in the field, they are actually picky eaters. They prefer a “buffet” of grass choices. And while it’s good for the grazing animals, growing a variety of […]

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      Fire Up Your Beef Production

      By   3 weeks ago

      “Fire can be used as a tool, but fire is not a tool. Fire is part of the ecosystem process and it is just as important as rainfall on the land.” See what the benefits are and how you can get started.

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      The Right Recipe For Fertilizing Forage Grasses

      By   1 month ago

      Thanks to Dennis O’Brien, ARS Office of Communications, for this article. It was published in the October 2016 issue of AgResearch Magazine. It focuses on results for forage grasses in the Southeast, but could give you some ideas about questions you could ask about your fertilizer use. Producers growing forage grass for cattle in the southeastern […]

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      Have You Checked Out the Conservation Stewardship Program?

      By   1 month ago

      Have you ever looked across your property and thought about some land management goals you would like to take to the next level? Have you not gotten started because you weren’t quite sure what to do, or were lacking funding to implement practices? Well, the Natural Resources Conservation Service might be help with their Conservation […]

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      Reader Questions and Answers About Fall Alfalfa Nutrition, Varieties, and Reseeding

      By   2 months ago

      We’ve been getting alfalfa-related questions from readers. Genevieve Slocum and David Hunsberger of King’s Agriseeds have some answers. Question: My cows and calves have been on a pasture for about a week with approx. 50% grass 50% alfalfa it has dried down on the stem and we have had -2 c frosts several times some […]

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      What Farming Challenges Did the Pilgrims Face?

      By   2 months ago

      This comes to us from Tom Sauer, USDA-ARS, and the Soils Matter Blog from the Soil Science Society of America. The Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in ancient harvest festivals. Grateful people came together to celebrate a successful harvest. Before trade networks or long-term food storage, failed crops meant hunger or even starvation, so bountiful […]

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      What 30 Years of Study Tell Us About Grazing and Carbon Sequestration

      By   2 months ago

      This is Part 3 of an ongoing series. Here is Part 1 and Part 2. In the first part in this series we told you that decades of grassland research show that grazing does not seem to have much influence on increasing carbon in the soil. On the other hand, many graziers have noted that […]

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        Livestock View All →

        Common Diseases of Grazing Beef Cattle

        By   7 days ago

        This article comes to us from Dr. John Comerford, Penn State Extension Beef Specialist. Thanks! 1. Bloat The incidence of bloat in cattle grazing legumes is well documented. Bloat is caused by the rapid fermentation of legume plants that produce high levels of gas as a by-product of the fermentation. This excess gas cannot be […]

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        How to Make Lambing, Kidding and Calving Happen During Daylight Hours

        By   2 weeks ago

        Here’s a way to make your upcoming calving, lambing and kidding season a little less stressful: feed your pregnant stock every evening, right around dusk. They’ll spend the night ruminating and wait to give birth until morning. That’s the advice shared in this video by Glenn Selk, Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension Cattle Specialist. The […]

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        Cow Nutrition Requirements: Calving to Breeding

        By   3 weeks ago

        Thanks to South Dakota State Extension for this article! Nutritional management of the cow herd is more important during the periods of late pregnancy and early lactation than any other time in the annual production cycle. “Nutrition has a huge impact on the performance of both the cow and the newborn calf,” said Ken Olson, […]

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        Sheep Can Now Safely Graze Vineyards!

        By   1 month ago

        Vineyard managers don’t like the weeds and grass that grows between vines because they slow vine growth and grape production. Sheep graziers call the vineyardist’s problem “forage” and would love to be able to use it to grow their herds. So how can vineyard managers work with sheep growers so that they’re both happy? The […]

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        Training Livestock and Wildlife to Electric Fence

        By   1 month ago

        I always like to start an electric fence conversation with this statement: “Electric fence is not a Miracle.” Quite frequently it is a miracle that it ever works when installed by uninformed consumers. There are certain principles that must be used and challenges overcome to use the product successfully. Over the next several months I […]

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        Training Cattle to Follow Part 2: Working With Short Term Cattle

        By   2 months ago

        Teaching cattle to come to call is pretty easy. It takes time and patience, but it is not all that hard. Here’s the problem: sometimes, you just don’t have that much time. In Part 1 of this series, I talked about receiving cattle and working with them for quite a long time, developing a relationship, […]

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        Training Cattle to Follow – Part 1

        By   2 months ago

        Several readers have asked for instruction in teaching cattle to follow. John Marble has written a two-part article on the subject. Part one begins with some basic thoughts on animal behavior, both human and bovine. It’s a good bet that with small modifications, this could work for all livestock. Dateline: Raub, North Dakota, circa 1935 […]

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        Here’s How Seven Sons Farm Manages Pigs On Pasture

        By   2 months ago

        When managing pigs on pasture, Seven Sons Farm focuses on meeting the triple bottom line of health of the land, business and community. See how they achieve these goals.

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          Money Matters View All →

          Ten Things You Can Do For Yourself in 2018

          By   7 days ago

          Let’s not call these New Year’s Resolutions. Let’s think of them as things we do just because they make us happy, and more profitable.   1. Pay Yourself a fair wage If you are like most farmers or ranchers you don’t pay yourself or other family members a regular salary. That’s a mistake and you […]

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          Hiring the Right People and Keeping Them Too

          By   2 weeks ago

          As we head into 2018, many of us are thinking about how to get the kind of help that will make us more successful. Here’s a good overview of the kinds of things we can think about. We’ll be going deeper on some of these topics in coming months. Tell us what you need more of!

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          Managing Across Boundaries For Mutual Success

          By   3 weeks ago

          An old farmer once told me, when I was getting my start in the ranching business, “You don’t control the wind, but you can at least set your sail.” To me, that sounded like a fair deal. If the ranch is the ship, than beyond the perimeter fences lies the ocean. When I stand there, […]

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          Grassroots Farmers Cooperative Helps Farmers Grow and Make Money

          By   1 month ago

          Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative has grown into a $2 million-a-year business thanks to farmers working together to serve a common market, and some assistance from Heifer International. They hope their example can serve as a model for other farmer groups.

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          Here’s How to Make More Money

          By   1 month ago

          If I put the term “opportunity costs” in the title of this article most people would roll their eyes and move on. But if you want to make more money, pay attention. Most people dismiss opportunity costs as a theoretical concept economists use to confuse people who live in the real world. By the end […]

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          Baby Steps for Transitioning the Farm or Ranch

          By   2 months ago

          Are you a “senior” farmer or headed that direciton, and wondering what retirement might look like, or IF there could be retirement? Here are a few steps to figuring out where to go that are especially helpful with family coming together for the Holidays.

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          Determine Land Area and Distance With Your Smartphone

          By   2 months ago

          The next time you need to measure something, leave the tape measure in the toolbox and use your phone.

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          What’s the Right Price for Prescribed Grazing? Ask the Market

          By   2 months ago

          Recently, On Pasture ran an excellent article by Dave Pratt aimed at helping graziers apply the right price tag to commercial prescribed grazing services. Dave’s piece outlined a detailed, step-by-step process one should follow to make sure a hypothetical  price will cover all the costs of providing the service and still allow for a meaningful […]

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            Consider This View All →

            Beef and Biodiversity – How Do We Get Both?

            By   7 days ago

            The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is working with ranchers and other partners on research that will tell us which grazing management gets us the most bang for our buck. Thanks to Jan Suszkiw, and the ARS’s AgMag for this article!  Justin Derner likens the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER) in northeastern Colorado to a “living […]

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            Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint” in 2018

            By   2 weeks ago

            It’s hard to be a speaker at a conference when that’s not your normal job, and sometimes PowerPoint doesn’t help as much as we thought. So here are some tips to help speakers, and audiences have a more productive conference season.

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            One of Our Own Receives Award for Grassland Advocacy

            By   3 weeks ago

            On Pasture contributor Troy Bishopp, known by many as “The Grass Whisperer,” received the 2017 Grassfed Exchange Service Award in honor of his more than thirty years of advocacy and mentoring to expand grass-fed livestock enterprises. Grassfed Exchange Board member, Dr. Allen Williams said, “Troy has long been a pioneer and innovator in the world […]

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            Reindeer Grazing Is Good For Plant Diversity

            By   1 month ago

            Not only do reindeer bring us joy on Christmas Day, it turns out they can also graze for biodiversity.

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            What Makes a Good Pasture Walk?

            By   1 month ago

            We have a grazing group that meets several times a year. I guess it could be called graziers anonymous or some such thing. But actually it has a name: Southeast Graziers. Most of us in the group live in the Florida parishes of Louisiana which are located between the Mississippi river on the west side […]

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            Good Grief

            By   2 months ago

            The Holidays bring up lots of memories, especially of those loved ones we’ve lost. Troy shares what he’s learned about grief and the Holiday season and shares it in hopes that it could help others in our community.

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            I Thought I Had Those Calves Sold!

            By   2 months ago

            One Saturday afternoon I was in the milk room hooking up for the evening milking when I heard something drive up. I didn’t stop what I was doing I just figured it was one of those old boys that came by to visit every once in a while. After a few minutes there was a […]

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            Relax! It’ll Save You AND the Farm

            By   2 months ago

            Give yourself permission to relax. If there were 25 hours in a day, how would you spend that extra hour? Would you cram in another hour of work or would you take time for yourself and relax? Before you answer, consider this: According to studies conducted on stress and its polar opposite, relaxation, those who […]

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              The Classic by NatGLC View All →

              BudBoxes Work Better Than Tub Systems

              By   7 days ago

              This is Part 2 of a series by Whit Hibbard that we published in 2017. Part 1 busted the myth that distractions cause animals to balk in handling systems.  In this article he address which handling systems work best. When asked about the differences between tubs and BudBoxes, Temple Grandin claims that BudBoxes are skill […]

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              Tips for Setting Up Paddocks for Managed Grazing

              By   2 weeks ago

              Last week’s video provided food for thought on how to look at your landscape to produce the most forage possible. Here’s an example from October 2014, of how Steve Freeman set up paddocks on his operation. Managed grazing means gaining more control of your grazing. When we built our first grazing system 25 years ago, […]

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              Working On Your Pasture Layout

              By   3 weeks ago

              If you’re just starting management-intensive grazing, or if you’ve been doing it for awhile and are wondering if there’s something you might improve on, here’s a video we shared in 2013 that gives some good pointers for thinking about your pasture layout. Starting from a goal of taking advantage of your landscape to maximize forage […]

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              Here’s How Soil Has Saved Lives

              By   1 month ago

              Did you know that a fungus in a soil sample is responsible for an antibiotic effective against 90% of bacteria-caused infections? Here’s how that happened from an article first published in January of 2015. In 1943, after 55 years of research and working in universities, Benjamin Duggar retired at the age of 71.  He turned […]

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              Mother Knows Best – Why Your Livestock Eat What They Do

              By   1 month ago

              If Mom didn’t eat it, chances are your young livestock won’t eat it either. Enjoy the video and the examples of what researchers have found, and then use the suggestions to work with your animals to help them make new food choices.

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              Should You Worry That Grazing Stockpile is Harming Spring Regrowth?

              By   2 months ago

              Troy Bishopp asked this question back in December of 2014 when he was sharing the progress of his own winter grazing program. This is what we found out then. If you have more to add to this, please share it in the comments below! The answer to how much future forage production you’ll get from a […]

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              Plants Are Better Than Subsoilers For Reducing Soil Compaction

              By   2 months ago

              Here’s an article from November 2014 that puts conventional wisdom on it’s head. Enjoy! Alan Sundermeier, a researcher at Ohio State University says, “You can’t solve your problems with steel. Even with a subsoiler that may have minimal surface disturbance, it’s really not solving the problem. We’re seeing that soil structure can be better solved […]

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              Turning Farmers Into Graziers – Mentoring for Success

              By   2 months ago

              The Pilgrims never would have made it, and we wouldn’t even be celebrating Thanksgiving, if not for the mentoring of Native Americans who told them how to grow food. That’s why we thought it was a good week to share this story about mentoring success from our November 2015 issue. Grazing isn’t a big thing […]

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                The Funnies View All →

                Baling Twine Part 1

                By   7 days ago

                What would you do without it?  

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                Engine Problems Solved

                By   2 weeks ago

                Sometimes the solutions are so obvious!  

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                The Running of the Squirrels

                By   3 weeks ago

                Sure, bulls can be big and scary, but it’s the squirrels that will take you down. A lesson from a Superbowl XXXIV Ad in 2000 that works for farmers and ranchers too.

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                Swiss Cows Can Ski!

                By   1 month ago

                Maybe this is why we all like Swiss Chocolate so much! Schweizer milch echt stark = Swiss Milk to make you strong!

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                Cowboys Herding Cats

                By   1 month ago

                Are you tough enough to be a cat herder? These cowboys show you what it takes.

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                Beardaments – Ornaments For Your Beard!

                By   2 months ago

                Here’s a way to make your Holiday parties even more festive! And there’s glitter too! If you go for this, send pictures!

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                Beware of the Two Feet of Snow

                By   2 months ago

                If you haven’t had snow yet, you know it’s on the way. Save

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                Are You Cooking for Thanksgiving?

                By   2 months ago

                Be sure to follow recipes carefully! Save

                Read More →