Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeGrazing ManagementRegenerative Agriculture Pioneers: Honoring the Legends

Regenerative Agriculture Pioneers: Honoring the Legends

Long before regenerative agriculture became a buzz word, and before the era of social media, four remarkable individuals forged a path less traveled in the world of ranching. Their keen observation of their land and critical thinking led them to foresee the need for change in the grazing management. These pioneers paved the way for regenerative ranching in Louisiana. That’s why we’re calling them “Legends.”

From the introduction to Regenerative Agriculture Pioneers: Honoring the Legends
On Pasture readers will recognize Don and Betty Ashford. Don has shared his wisdom and experience in On Pasture articles and was the inspiration for the ffree ebook Grazing 101.

In this 11:41 video you’ll meet Don and Betty Ashford, Cliff Vining, Wedge Barthe, and J.A. Girgente. It is Part 1 of a two-part series from the Louisiana Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative.

Early on these four ranchers became convinced that economic success depended on reducing costs through rotational grazing. “Management is the name of the game,” says Wedge Barthe. He also attributes his success to a major flaw in his DNA: that he is totally unconventional. “It allowed me to innovative and do what I thought was right.”

It’s an attribute shared by Don and Betty, Cliff, and J.A., who all headed down the path of regenerative grazing despite many thinking they were crazy. As their success grew, they encouraged others to join them. They formed the Louisiana Grazing Lands Coalition to educate others about the practices that ignited their passion.

“We weren’t trying to impress people or be famous…we thought it was a good idea and something we could help other people with,” adds Don Ashford.

And that’s just what they seem to have done. Today the Louisiana Grazing Lands Coalition continues to share knowledge and encourage others interested in regenerative agriculture.

I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know these regenerative grazing pioneers. In Part 1 of this series, they share their stories. In Part 2, which is coming soon, they’ll break down the practices that they used to achieve success.

Thanks for reading!


P.S. For more lessons from the past, check out this week’s article collection.

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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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