How to Turn Farmers Into Graziers

Grazing isn't a big thing in Maryland. Management is more conventional, with confined dairy farms, and not too many farmers look out at their fields as something they could manage for feed. But thanks to the Maryland Grazers' Network, that's changing. In fact, thanks to this farmer-to-farmer network, cropland has been converted to pasture, conservations plans have been created by farms, marketing plans are being developed for grass-fed products, and dairy farm profits are going up. The change comes thanks to a partnership of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and University of Maryland Extension, along with a whole bunch of farmers. They all believed that more farmers would adopt grazing if they could learn about it from people they know and trust: other farmers. Their plan was to partner experienced graziers with farmers considering making the shift to grazing, and then support all participating farmers with technical resources, marketing assistance and financial analyses. The project team recruited farmers initially, but eventually farmers started reaching out to the network to participate. When the team picked farmers to become mentors they looked for folks with good grazing skills, good people skills, and a desire to help.  Then they

All the grazing management tips you need

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