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A Visit With Greg and Jan Judy

By   /  April 9, 2018  /  Comments Off on A Visit With Greg and Jan Judy

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I (Kathy) got to spend a couple days with Greg and Jan Judy at Green Pastures Farm last week. I had so much fun!

I got to see how he’s working with another young farming couple to grow their pastured hogs and egg-layers business on the Judy place.

This is one of two layer set ups on the farm run by Bobbie Sandwisch and her husband Alex Weber. They sell the eggs to restaurants in St. Louis.

 

Bobbie and Alex run their pigs in the draws on the farms where they get good shelter, and enjoy the nuts dropped by the trees.

 

We checked out his flock of parasite resistant hair sheep and his guardian dogs in training, another farm enterprise that has grown out of their experience with what folks need to get going well.

Guardian dogs begin learning as puppies with Greg and Jan’s sheep. It takes the worry out of buying a guardian dog.

 

I learned about growing shitake mushrooms, something they added to take advantage of all the white oak that grows on their farms.

Greg demonstrates the mushroom log table he built and his new inoculating tool. Both have sped up his work tremendously.

 

We visited the “mother ship” of the farm – the cattle herd that everything has grown around. Greg talked about their culling program and how he allowed the soil on his place to dictate the size of the cattle. Cows now run around 900 to 1,000 pounds and they grow fat on pasture year-round.

This year’s calf crop is off to a good start.

 

And of course we looked at poop!

Since evening temperatures are still quite cool, the worms are just getting started on their job of breaking down manure pats.

 

Too dry, too loose and just right – the Goldilocks principle at work in manure.

 

Greg also talked about some of the things they’ve tried that haven’t worked out so well – like adding swales to pasture, buying bulls that were supposed to have grass fed genetics but that melted on Missouri fescue and clover. We’ll be sharing the lessons he’s learned, and his recipes for success (hard work, paying attention to nature, and more hard work) in future issues of On Pasture. (Or, if you want a head start, you could head to his grazing school May 3-5. There are still some spaces available, but you’ll want to hurry. And you’ll learn so much more than just good grazing management!)

We think you’re going to get a lot out of these upcoming articles. But we’d still like to know what else you’re interested in having us cover each week. So if you haven’t had a chance to tell us by filling out our online survey, please do. It only takes 5 minutes and your answers to 10 questions tell us what you need and help us secure the funding to make it happen.

We hope you’re having a good Spring!

Thanks for reading,

Kathy and Rachel

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  • Published: 6 months ago on April 9, 2018
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  • Last Modified: April 9, 2018 @ 9:40 am
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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