Grazing: Is it Art or Is It Science?

I commonly hear people talk about “grazing” like it was a single activity. Unfortunately, this leads people to argue about whether “grazing” is based more in art or more in science. However, the argument pretty much goes away by simply separating the term “grazing” into two distinct activities; grazing planning and grazing management. When this distinction is made, it becomes apparent that grazing planning is far different than grazing management. Grazing planning is mostly science with a brush stroke of art here and there, while grazing management is primarily the artful application of the science. So in my worldview, “grazing” is an art but it is primarily painted in science. As an example, suppose you are a landscape painter. And you have a masterpiece morning sunrise in progress. Unfortunately, you do not have much time to paint a sunrise and capture all of the magnificent morning hues of first light. The problem is the rustling you had heard in the pre-dawn darkness, as you were setting up to paint, was Rocky the raccoon running off with your last tube of green paint, and you do not have time to go get more. What to do, what to do? I suppose you could panic and begin mixing all of your paints together to see if you could come up with a suitable color to capture the sun peeking through the green foliage. Sooner or la

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One thought on “Grazing: Is it Art or Is It Science?

  1. Darrell,
    I appreciated your articulate, and at times humorous explanation of a Grazing Plan. As you say, it needs both the science and the art to make it successful. Having a plan as a guide, and willingness to adapt to changing conditions. Like so many things in life – being flexible is the heart of it. The world simply isn’t static. Perhaps we need to teach this in schools? How to observe, analyze and utilize some creative flex as conditions change. Goodness knows there are far too many that turn ugly or violent because something doesn’t “follow the plan” when they might have done better if they’d changed their paintbrush or used another method to make green paint.
    Thanks for the good read!
    Kimberly Hagen

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