Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyA Visit With Greg and Jan Judy

A Visit With Greg and Jan Judy

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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Kathy Voth
Kathy Voth
I am the founder, editor and publisher of On Pasture, now retired. My career spanned 40 years of finding creative solutions to problems, and sharing ideas with people that encouraged them to work together and try new things. From figuring out how to teach livestock to eat weeds, to teaching range management to high schoolers, outdoor ed graduation camping trips with fifty 6th graders at a time, building firebreaks with a 130-goat herd, developing the signs and interpretation for the Storm King Fourteen Memorial trail, receiving the Conservation Service Award for my work building the 150-mile mountain bike trail from Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah...well, the list is long so I'll stop with, I've had a great time and I'm very grateful.

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