Sunday, June 16, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyFor Earth Day, Do What You Do Best - Graze!

For Earth Day, Do What You Do Best – Graze!

This week I ran across a video from one of On Pasture’s sponsors, Organic Valley. In it, Kevin Mahalko talks about one part of the “Soul of Farming:” grass. He talks about the relationship between grass and his dairy cows, and the importance of a farmer’s stewardship of his lands to everyone around him. I thought it spoke beautifully to the contribution graziers make to the health of our planet. So, here are some quotes from Kevin along with some ideas for how you be even better at what you do best.

“The pasture can’t grow as well without the cow. The cow can’t grow as well without the pasture. It’s just a natural fit.”

Research has shown that ungrazed grass becomes less productive and doesn’t provide the habitat that many species need to survive. You can extend the benefit of your grazing by talking to your local Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation District, or Extension staffs about programs that can help you improve your grazing and conservation practices to benefit soil, water, and wildlife. Just as a start, check out the Conservation Stewardship Program here.

“As good as pasture is, it can be so much better when we keep moving the cows to a new area more often.”

Management-Intensive Grazing, Mob Grazing, Regenerative Grazing, Holistic Grazing – no matter what you call it, it’s all about managing forage so that it keeps growing, covers the soil, increases soil organic matter, reduces erosion, increases water holding capacity, and still feeds the cattle in a way that allows you to make a profit. At it’s foundation, everything relies on planning, and one way to get started is with our annual grazing charts. You can find them here.

Enjoy the 3 minute visit to Kevin’s farm and watch for all the things you have in common.

Thanks for reading and for all that you do!


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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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