Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Thinking Outside the Box

Consider This – it’s the On Pasture category where you’ll find articles that are a little out of the ordinary for a grazing publication. Some have no relation to grazing at all. Some are doorways to new ways of thinking about the work that we do every day. All together, the category is meant to tickle your brain cells to help you come up with new ideas.

Since it’s winter, and we’re indoors more with more time to think, I thought I’d offer you a Consider This collection. Enjoy!

Could Life Be Easier?

Sometimes we work too hard because we’re proud of lots of effort, or because we’re doing things the way we’ve always done them, or maybe because we’re worried about what someone else will say about us. In this video, see how life changed for these graziers when they decided to make their lives easier. I hope it inspires you to think outside whatever box you may be in.

Why Do We Do Things the Hard Way?

Improving Our Response to Weather

Thanks to our changing climate, we’re seeing more drought and extreme weather events. Here’s an example of why our responses to these changes might be delayed causing problems for us, our resources and our livestock, and ways that we can improve by planning ahead.

What A Slinky Knows and What That Means to Our Drought Response

GMOs and Saving Bananas From Extinction

The other day as I was running errands I caught a really interesting Freakonomics podcast about the future of bananas. A fusarium wilt threatens to wipe out the one variety of banana that we all eat, the Cavendish. To prevent this, an Australian scientist found a creative solution. He inserted a gene from a wild banana resistant to the disease into the Cavendish banana, and now it is resistant to the wilt as well. Good news! Bad news – this makes them GMO, and banana companies are reluctant to grow them. This makes me sad because I love banana splits, banana bread and banana pancakes.

Perhaps if we had more background in GMOs we might think outside the box and save the banana. So, here’s a two-part exploration of the science of GMOs:

How Science Works: Learning From Controversy Over a Study Linking GM Corn to Tumors in Rats

Man-Made Meat

Now, here’s a solution that is WAY outside the box and reminds me of the science fiction world of Dune, a desert planet so arid that people wear special suits that recycles all the the moisture and liquid emissions from their bodies into water for them to drink. Hopefully we won’t have to turn to this kind of solution any time in the future!

Excre-Meat: A New Use for Sewage Sludge



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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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