You are here:  Home  >  Grazing Management  >  Fencing  >  Current Article

Why Bother With Fences and Management-intensive Grazing?

By   /  February 29, 2016  /  6 Comments

Fencing is a big part of Management-intensive grazing. And that’s one of the reasons many of us avoid it. But here Jim explains why it really isn’t that bad, and could make you happier too.

    Print       Email
My friend, Bob Kinford, recently posed the following question during a conversation about grazing ma
    Print       Email

About the author

Jim Gerrish is the author of "Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" and "Kick the Hay Habit: A Practical Guide to Year-around Grazing" and is a popular speaker at conferences around the world. His company, American GrazingLands Services LLC is dedicated to improving the health and sustainable productivity of grazing lands around the world through the use of Management-intensive Grazing practices. They work with small farms, large ranches, government agencies and NGO's to promote economically and environmentally sustainable grazing operations and believe healthy farms and ranches are the basis of healthy communities and healthy consumers. Visit their website to find out more about their consulting services and grazing management tools, including electric fencing, stock water systems, forage seed, and other management tools.


  1. Walter Forrest says:

    That’s a great article but my cow horse is the only thing that keeps me same in this crazy modern world so if it’s all the same to you I will keep my permanent fences and move my cows every week. Tried the electric fence once and they don’t work very well on my cows. They either jump over or use their horns and just walk right through.

    • Jim Gerrish says:

      Hi Walter, I tried a horse for awhile and it drove me insane. Going out every day and moving electric fence is what really helps keep me sane. We all have different perspectives, don’t we?

      If your cows jumped the fence or walked through it, you were probably using the wrong equipment for the job. Most cows that disrespect electric fence usually just haven’t had the right attitude adjustment.


  2. Dan Nosal says:

    Great article! Thanks Jim!

  3. Jess Jackson says:

    Thanks for tactfully pointing out the we are smarter than the cows. While they will self medicate and get full they are also too selfish to resist eating all the ice cream plants until they are dead and then working down the succession chain until weeds and junk are all that’s left. I like the buffet analogy: If I let my young children (think 2nd grade so = cows mentally) turn themselves loose on a buffet line then all the dessert would be gone then the meat then fruit and a few veggies. The salad would mold and most of the veggies would be wasted. It is healthier for the kids and better parenting to give them a plate with all foods and make them eat that before going to the next (paddock) plate.

    • Jim Gerrish says:

      Jess, when it comes to being a cow, then cows are actually quite a bit smarter than we are. The unfortunate thing is very often, we don’t let them be the cow they were meant to be.

      When it comes to business management, I would like to think that most of us are smarter than cows. Sadly, sometimes the evidence doesn’t bear out that optimistic perspective.


  4. Chip Hines says:

    Jim brings out the fact that there is no one perfect system, depending on location and personal likes.

    Do what you enjoy and get good at what you do.

You might also like...

Good Grazing and Soil Health Protection When There’s Too Much Rain

Read More →
Translate »