Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyLearning to speak another language is good for graziers

Learning to speak another language is good for graziers

This week we’ve got three articles about communicating in another language. First, Greg Judy talks to us about fence chargers, using a language put together by electrical engineers. If you don’t know what a volt or a joule is or why we care, I translate this language into something more useful for the every day person.

Next, Wayne Burleson encourages us to consider the “body language” of plants as a form of communication and he translates it into something we can use next time we’re out in the pasture.

Finally, we learn a little bit about the language of cows from a researcher in Australia. Now, as you listen to some of the sound clips she collected and translated, you might have a new way to calibrate what your animals are saying to you.

When we look at communication this way, it turns out we speak more languages than we thought. We have the language created by routine with our spouse, our livestock, and our friends – where we watch what they’re doing and respond to them without having to speak. There’s the language of the clouds in the sky that tells us if we can expect rain. There is the scent of the soil that tells us if it is healthy or dry.

What I like about looking at these things as “language” is that it takes us out of our unconscious minds and let’s us really think about what is happening and what we want to do about it. It helps us pay closer attention to the pastures and livestock we manage, and perhaps give us different options for what we do.

Right now, my cat is at the door yelling at me. I’ve heard this from her before – I’m supposed to go outside with her and walk around the yard. I’ve been trying to ignore her, but it’s no use. So, off I go.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe out there!


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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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