Friday, July 12, 2024
HomeNotes From KathyHow to Reduce Stress on the Farm or Ranch

How to Reduce Stress on the Farm or Ranch

Moving goats with a truck.
Moving goats with a truck.

I used to own goats. And as you all know, goats get out. And when they’re out they do bad things, like dance on the roof of your neighbor’s car. Or you get calls like, “Kathy, the goats are out and they’re eating the general’s flowers.”

That was a Saturday and my husband and I drove the 2 hours to the National Guard Training Facility where my herd of 50 goats was supposed to be working on building fire breaks. It was hot and dusty, and my husband was pretty sure that this was going to be another goat rodeo to get them back in. But my herd knew the routine and my truck. So when I showed up, they followed the truck as he drove it back to their pen, and I followed behind providing a little pressure when they paused for a snack.

My goats taught me early on that getting all excited, yelling, and running around, only reduced my chances that they’d go back in their pen easily. And that caused a lot of stress for me. On the other hand, if I approached them calmly, positioned myself the right way, and walked from side to side, they’d head back where I needed them to be, and even be so helpful as to show me the break in the fence they’d escaped through.

It’s a lesson I carried with me when I started working with cattle. I’d developed my own principles for working with livestock based on what the animals had taught me. They were reinforced by a workshop I took with Bud Williams in Texas some years back. By being quiet, paying attention to the animals, and approaching them in ways that correspond with how they see the world, I can be a lot less stressed and everything goes more smoothly.

Let On Pasture reduce your stress!

I think less stress is always a good thing – and it’s one of the reasons I started On Pasture for you. We provide you with basic principles, good information, and examples from your peers so you can choose techniques that work for your operation. We let you know when drought is on the way and give you strategies for dealing with it. We provide great tips for reducing your inputs and increasing your income. We do our best to give you what you need to be successful, and that’s a great stress reducer!

If that’s helpful to you, then become a subscriber today. Even better, take advantage of one more stress reducer – the new Grazing 101 ebook and the online courses are full of great information, they’re free AND they come with a coupon for 25% off your annual On Pasture subscription – and that’s locked in for the rest of your life! 🙂

So, relax with On Pasture. It’s a great stress reducer!

Thanks for reading!


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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.


  1. Oh, I’ve done the yelling and waving stuff and it’s destructive to both human and beast. And with cows they almost always show you the hole in the fence, too.

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