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Why Do We Do Things the Hard Way?

By   /  April 19, 2021  /  3 Comments

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This weekend I was talking to a friend who has changed her lambing date to coincide with spring gras
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  • Published: 3 months ago on April 19, 2021
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  • Last Modified: April 19, 2021 @ 9:06 pm
  • Filed Under: Consider This

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. OogieM says:

    At least locally the reason ranchers cannot change their calving times is due to US Forest Service Grazing restrictions that forbid them from putting calves out on the range until a certain age and that also have the grazing starting in May and ending in October. If they use federal grazing allotments then their calving season is determined for them by the rules.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      This didn’t seem likely to me, so I just searched the Forest Service Grazing Administration Handbook. As I expected, they don’t mention anything about an age requirement for calves to be turned onto the allotment. There are no regulations, at least from the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, regarding the age of calves when they enter an allotment.

  2. john marble says:

    Well, heck. Here I go again, thinking back over the decades and asking a tough question: why was the change process so hard? And of course, it’s not just calving season. When I look around this place, not one bit of our ranch looks very much like where I grew up. Changes in fencing, water, cattle, calving, inputs, people, machinery and everything else, too. In the end, each of those changes was made difficult because of one thing: fear. And the biggest fear by far was my fear of what other people would think about me. I thought people would chastise me for placing our streams into CREP. I thought they’d hate me for selling all those fine cattle and mucking around with yearlings or custom cattle or salvage cattle. And the outrage of not making hay; all that good flat land being wasted.

    In the end, hardly anyone said one dang thing, and maybe that’s the best lesson I ever learned: Ignore them! just forge ahead and don’t worry what they think or say. Most of those folks just blabber among themselves anyway.

    And Ms. Mary Lou Guptill, you hit the nail on the head. Don’t talk to people, just insist that they come and see the results. Ask them what they see. Ask them what they think. Allow them to prove you wrong. Mostly, be brave.

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