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How to Write a Custom Grazing Contract

By   /  July 9, 2018  /  3 Comments

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Strong, written contracts can prevent some of the Boneheaded Business Blunders I made in my early ye
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About the author

I graduated from West Virginia University in 2012 with a degree in livestock management, and a minor in agribusiness. While at WVU, I won a statewide entrepreneurship competition with a patentable device I designed for video-assisted cattle artificial insemination. I then spent six months interning for grazing expert Greg Judy in Missouri. Now I run Rhinestone Cattle Consulting, helping new and experienced farmers build profitable mob grazing beef operations. I offer artificial insemination, electric fence building and graphic design services too. I'll travel anywhere in the 48 states for on-farm consulting and speaking at conferences.


  1. Jesse goat grazer says:

    Great info. I must admit I had to read it several times as the whole grazier and owner relationship is so much different for my goat herd. I rent them to land owners, take care of the goats needs completely and the owner of the land pays me for grazing and keeping the foliage down.

    I need to figure out how to adopt some of what you are saying as right now for my new grazing business it has been all hand shakes!

  2. Jake Johnson says:

    In your example contract, you mentioned no vaccines will be given and bulls will be not be removed from the herd. If you don’t mind me asking, why are you against vaccinating and using a defined breeding season?

    • Thanks for your question Jake. When it comes to a closed cow-calf herd that keeps home-raised replacements, I don’t want to vaccinate because I feel it covers up the cattle’s genetic immune competency and level of adaptation to their surroundings. Nobody is vaccinating herds of wild bison and deer. The sickly ones in nature die out. I treat and cull things that get sick. But when cattle are being subjected to unnatural management events, for example on an operation that buys and flips groups of outside cattle that get trucked around and sent through sale barns, I do think they should be vaccinated. If you’re not making genetics decisions, your goal should be to minimize losses and maximize the sale value of whatever you’re raising.
      As far as breeding, nobody is taking males in and out of wild herds of bison and deer. I don’t have a problem with doing that, but it’s more work to sort, feed and house bulls. In places with severe winter weather, accidental off-season calves might be more of a concern. I like to use rental bulls because it’s the best of both worlds: tight calving season and no separate bull care.
      I learned a lot from the way Greg Judy manages his herd, and he does not vaccinate or remove bulls.

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