Grazing Profitably With A Cherry on Top

Bobby Prigel smiles a lot. He's a guy  you'd want to sit down and have a drink with while you swap stories. He's fun, and kind, and friendly, and, well, just that kind of guy. He'd probably even smile as he told you about the six figure lawyer bills his farm has racked up, or the hundred dollar round bales he has bought to feed his herd. The thing is, even with all the bills and stress Bobby and his family have been through, they are making their family farm not just endure, but succeed. So he has every right to smile. The Prigels have been dairy farming in Long Green Valley for going on 120 years. In 1895, John Mathias Prigel started sharecropping just north of Baltimore, Maryland. He bought the land in 1906 and the family kept farming. About a hundred years after his great-grandfather started Bellevale Farm,  Bobby stepped into the boots of the family farm. After a lot of hard work and thought, Bobby took the family dairy farm from a conventional farm to grass-based management. At first, it didn't work too well. They had just bought a computerized feeding system, and weren't too sure about what they wanted to do with the pasture, so they left the gate open, letting the cows walk back to the barn when they were done grazing. When it was hot, Bobby said, the cows beat them back to the bar

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