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Loading Day – Goodbye to 2019

By   /  December 23, 2019  /  8 Comments

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  Here I am; pasture empty, pants dotted with cow manure and a hoof imprint on my calf, standi
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About the author


Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is a seasoned grazier and grasslands advocate who owns, manages and linger-grazes at Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Their certified organic custom grazing operation raise dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and backgrounds feeder cattle on 180 acres of owned and leased pastures. Troy also mentors farmers on holistic land management for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. This award-winning free-lance writer, essayist and photographer maintains a website presence at www.thegrasswhisperer.com


  1. Kathy Voth says:

    Over the Holiday break, On Pasture has been transitioning to a new dedicated server to better serve the On Pasture community. In the process, two comments on this article got lost. Here they are:

    Jason Detzel:
    You do what makes you happy…you deserve it…
    My wife said to me this year, “you only get upset two days during the year. The day they bring the cattle in and the day you send them out.”
    Load out is an emotional day for reflection, so grab a beer, watch some dumb videos and relax, you deserve it.

    And from Alice:
    What we do is a gift to the planet, whether or not it is recognized or acknowledged by humans. The gift we receive in return is a connection to the earth and its beings. It is a gift with many levels, both seen and unseen, which reaches far beyond us. We are so blessed to be chosen and to choose the toils of stewardship; living in concert with the animals, plants, sun, air and soil.

  2. Carrie in the Hudson Valley says:

    Alice, that is beautifully written. Thank you for that perspective on this New Year’s Day.

  3. Carrie in the Hudson Valley says:

    Troy, you always write well but this is particularly poignant. I’m finding that the public will never really understand what farmers do. Heck, I wrote about farmers for 10 years until I became one, and I can say that until I became one, I never fully understood. Rather than wonder if our agricultural work is valued, we should value the approbation of fellow farmers when it comes. I know that many of your colleagues, old and new, admire your work and have learned from it. This is the greatest gift, and you have earned it, my friend.

    • Grass Whisperer says:

      Thanks Carrie. There is a bigger picture to just grazing. I’m still trying to cultivate it and discuss it which Miss Kathy allows me to do.

  4. John Marble says:

    Dear Troy,

    Thank you for causing me once more to stare out the window at the blackness, begging the dawn to show up. Your inspiring words make me want to leave the house early, go fetch up my portable panels from the creek crossing before the flood takes them, lay out a water line for the new spring box, stop in -unannounced-at the new neighbors down at the south end of the valley. It’s holiday season, after all.

    “A faith born not of words but of deeds.” I think you are correct: we need to go forward in the faith that we are, most simply, doing good and doing it well. For today, that’s what I’m going to try and do. That, and perhaps just stop and whisper my thanks to the grass.

    • Grass Whisperer says:

      Thank you John. My journey may be of too many deeds and not enough reflection but I’m trying to work on it. It’s not easy to be the cry baby when your cast as the zealot, always questioning the status quo. Seems we should be visiting about “the processes” in our lives and in our environment for the good of our children. GW

  5. Curt Gesch says:

    Thank you for your willingness to share your deep feelings–hopes, confusions, and faith. For me, it is precisely this openness and honesty that have marked your contributions to onpasture.com and made reading anything written by you something to read and ponder, . . . and act upon.

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