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The New Sign of Our Times

By   /  January 30, 2017  /  2 Comments

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You can fix pretty much anything with duct tape and baling twine. December of 2015, Kathy and I put up our very first On Pasture sign at the National Grazing Lands Conference in Texas with a bunch of tape, some pins, and some PVC pipe. The whole kit and caboodle ran us about $30, and $25 of it was for the sign.

Sure, it tipped over a lot, but it was up and we were proud. When folks stopped by our booth, they posed in front of the sign, and those pictures were badges of honor.

It started out looking pretty good.

But over time it drooped a little (as NRCS’s Astor Boozer points out)….

And then got REALLY droopy! It looks like Kimberly Hagen is holding it up with her head.

The fix only lasts so long. The PVC connections got loose, the sign kept falling over, and we ended up taping the whole set up to the wall in Albuquerque at the Quivira Coalition Conference last November.

We’re here for the long haul, so we figured we might as well bite the bullet and invest in a sign that stays up and doesn’t have big PVC feet that Rachel trips over. That meant we had to design a new sign. The top half of the sign is filled with the On Pasture cow. The cow is made up of all the things we put into writing On Pasture. Right under that cow, it says” Sign here if you’re part of the On Pasture Community. And then, the bottom half of our sign is blank, or it was blank. Because a big part of On Pasture is all of you. And the past two weekends Rachel took it to the Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference and then Winter Green Up in New York. And you signed it!

Most conference signs represent the folks standing behind the table. This sign represents you, the folks in front of the table and on the other end of every article.

You can fix everything with duct tape and baling twine. And, with a Sharpie, you can make your mark. We’re going to take this sign to future events, and if you haven’t signed it yet – come on over and sign the sign!

(By the way, it takes only 1 minute and 12 seconds to put up the new sign, and a minute flat to take it down.)





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  • Published: 4 years ago on January 30, 2017
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  • Last Modified: January 30, 2017 @ 1:41 pm
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Author and editor emeritus

Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.


  1. Don Keener says:

    Sure wish I had known about the National Grazing Lands Conference in Texas, I would have gone…

    • Rachel Gilker says:

      It’s a great event. There’s going to be another one in Reno in 2018. Hope to see you there!

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