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Trusted Resources

set of old dirty tools in vintage style

During the nine years I wrote and edited On Pasture, I learned a lot about which resources provide the best information. Here are the places I went to time and time again for high quality, trustworthy science and practices.

If you’re doing a search online, look for extension publications as they are always science-based and focused on grazier success.

Beef Cattle Research Council of Canada
This is Canada’s national industry-led funding agency for beef research. It is funded through a portion of a producer-paid fees as well as government and industry funding, and is directed by a committee of beef producers from across the country. They have a very good blog, and offer great webinars. You can subscribe to get updates when new information is posted.

BeefWatch
Thanks to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for this excellent resource. Check the menu at the top of the page for even more resources. Click here to listen to their podcasts, and  subscribe here to receive their monthly newsletter.

Conservation Districts
Soil Conservation Districts were originally set up by Hugh Hammond Bennett, father of soil conservation in the U.S. They were made up of local producers and focused on soil health. Today, they’re supported by the federal government as well as grants. They can do many of the same things that Natural Resources Conservation Service staff can do and they’re an excellent resource.

Choosing to Farm Podcast
If you ever thought, “Boy, life would be easier if I could just hear how someone else is doing this stuff,” then this podcast is for you. Jenn Colby interviews first generation farmers and ranchers and they talk about how they got started, mistakes they made, and how they’re making things work.

Grazing Bites
Victor Shelton, retired NRCS State Agronomist & Grazing Specialist from Indiana, has been putting out a monthly newsletter for years and has continued into retirement. If you’d like to receive it, email him at grazingbites(at)gmail.com.

Growing Resilience Through Our Soils
The best videos on topics important to graziers. You can see collections by topic here. Plus you’ll find podcasts and radio shows by researchers and storytellers who are passionate about soil health. Enjoy!

Historical Soil Conservation Publication, 1935-1980
We’ve been working on soil health since the 1930s, and the beneficial practices described in these articles are still relevant today. Reading them, and sharing them with you, helped me see that we have the tools we need. We just need to apply them.

Oregon Forage and Grasslands Council Lunch With Forages program
These noon sessions bring in some of the most creative and interesting voices in the grazing world to talk about their work and help us consider what we’re doing, why, and how we can do better. You can look at past sessions and sign up for notifications of upcoming programs here.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Offices
This federal agency has offices in almost every county in the U.S. Their mission is to help farmers and ranchers be sustainable and successful. They can provide technical and financial assistance for grazing planning, fencing and water set up, soil health improvements and so much more. You owe it to yourself to visit your local office and develop a relationship with the staff there. And remember…budget cuts have reduced staffing which means fewer people are trying to do more and more with less and less. So be patient.

Ranch Management Consultants
This is the home of Ranching for Profit and the very best resources for learning how to create a profitable grazing business. The Profit Tips articles are brilliant. When you sign up for the Profit Tips email, you’ll also get RFP First Steps™, a great introduction to what you’ll learn in Ranching for Profit. Or check out their shop for books and DVDs.

Rangeland Ecology and Management/Journal of Range Management archives
This search for “grazing” in the archives always yielded great results.

Science Daily
This link takes you to the Food and Agriculture section of Science Daily, an excellent place to find articles summarizing the latest research and links to journal articles. You can also search their archives to find other information.

If you’re into some of this history, here’s a page with links to Hugh Hammond Bennett’s speeches over the years. This video is a good summary of the work he did to get us going down the soil health road.

South Dakota Grassland Coalition and South Dakota Soil Health Coalition
From their mentoring program, to their videos, to their educational resources, these folks are doing a great job of supporting great grazing and agriculture. Even if you’re not in South Dakota, you can benefit from the work they’re doing.

The Grass Whisperer
Troy Bishopp was instrumental in the start up and success of On Pasture. He created the grazing charts that we provided for free every year, and wrote lots of articles about how to use them and what it takes to be a great grazier. He’s also a gifted photographer. You can see more of his work at his website. I love his “Cowpie Commentary.” 🙂

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