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Is Contract Grazing in Your Future?

By   /  March 16, 2015  /  2 Comments

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Businessman Nido Qubein said, “Change brings opportunity.”  With the volatility of conventional
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About the author

contributor

Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is a seasoned grazier and grasslands advocate who owns, manages and linger-grazes at Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raise dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased pastures. Troy also mentors farmers on holistic land management for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. This award-winning free-lance writer, essayist and photographer maintains a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com

2 Comments

  1. Chip Hines says:

    Troy’s comment; While contract grazing is an accepted ranching business model west of the Mississippi River, it’s not as common in the east, where we’re still learning how to integrate the millions of acres of underutilized pasture-land into our farming systems, environment and socio-economic business climate.

    The unused land stood out in my first trip east. In the west (I am from Colorado) there is almost no unused land that can be pastured. About the year 2000 Joel Salatin wrote of renting grass for $5 per acre that only took about two acres to run a cow. Unbelievable to us westerners. In Eastern Colorado land that required 30 acres per cow was renting for $5 per acre or more. Folks in the east were sitting on gold mines and didn’t realize what they had. Add to this the fact that you don’t have multi year droughts like the west!

    Keep on leading and teaching Troy!

  2. Thank you for this article.

    I manage upwards of about 2,400 of sheep and goats in the Bay Area of California for land stewardship efforts and fire hazard reduction with large public agencies.

    We began from seeing the success in addressing an encroachment of Coyote Brush at our home ranch using sheep and goats to reduce the vigorous growth from over rest.

    The business is successful and ever growing. We are a staked enterprise in both contract grazing and meat sales in Fall and Spring.

    My hope is that more producers see the ability to partner with public agencies, land trusts and private land owners to provide meaning services in ecological stewardship, invasive species management and restoration efforts.

    Thanks for exposing me to other contract grazing efforts with cattle in the country.

    Best,
    BCB Shepherdess

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