January 20, 2020

Be a Business, Not a Charity – Lessons From a Young Grazier

One of the things folks say they like about On Pasture is that our authors are also willing to share mistakes and lessons learned from things they did that didn’t go according to plan. That’s the whole point of this article, shared by Meg Grzeskiewicz two years ago. We’ve seen these same issues crop up […]

January 6, 2020

Outwintering Cattle With Stockpile and Bale Grazing

If you’re outwintering cattle, you have many options for providing the forage they need. In addition to grazing stockpiled pasture, I have tried bale grazing and unrolling hay. I have found all three methods to be useful in different situations. Preparing for Winter Before switching to seasonal heifer development, I used to outwinter a custom […]

September 9, 2019

When High Density Hurts: Remediating Overgrazed Land

I am a complete believer in mob (high-density rotational) grazing. I have seen marginal land explode with productivity and vigor after a properly orchestrated high-density kick in the rear. But like any tool, misuse can turn animal impact into a powerful force for destruction. There are some situations in grazing when you should not use […]

June 17, 2019

Offset Fencing – An Option for Keeping Wily Animals in Pastures

This is my second summer buying, breeding and flipping yearling heifers in New York. I use two-day moves and high density grazing to get good animal performance and pasture utilization. My success of depends on my herd respecting a single electric wire. To make sure they have that respect, I’ve made some adjustments to my […]

April 15, 2019

Prepping For Livestock Arrival

For those of you who are starting new herds or adding to the one you have, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to receive new livestock. Coordinate With Your Shipper on Lane and Gate Size An eighteen-wheeler may fit through your gate, but will it be able to make it down the […]

April 8, 2019

Temporary Perimeter Fencing

Perimeter fencing is an important part of a rotational grazing system, and if, like a high tensile fence it’s also electrified, it makes it easier to set up paddocks and move livestock. Here’s the last in our series on setting up high tensile fence. (This piece was updated on 4/16/2019 with additional photos of gate set up.)

January 28, 2019

Successes In My Heifer Development Business

I spent my first four years in the grazing business running custom cow-calf pairs. It wasn’t profitable for me and I determined that it wasn’t the best use of my resources (as I discussed in some of my On Pasture articles in 2018). In spring 2018, I switched to being a seasonal operation. I bought […]

December 10, 2018

Outsmarting Wild Cattle Part 3

This year I switched from being a year-round cow-calf operation to being a seasonal heifer developer, one of the biggest issues I had was with temperament. Heifers that are new to my operation can be flighty and less calm than a herd I’ve worked with over the years. Here is part 3 of the skills […]

December 3, 2018

Outsmarting Wild Cattle – Part 2

The cattle business can be hard on your self-esteem. It’s tough when in spite of all your schooling, knowledge, experience and success, you get outwitted by an animal that poops in its food. This is happening to me a lot less frequently now that I have been through a few years of learning the hard […]

November 26, 2018

Outsmarting Wild Cattle – Part 1

Meg is back with some more about the skills she’s developing and practicing as she grows her cattle operation. This time she’s sharing her experience working with newly purchased heifers and techniques she used to move them more easily through pastures.

October 1, 2018

Choosing the Right Partner for a Custom Grazing Deal

Custom graziers and herd owners both need to be very careful when choosing to work with one another. It’s difficult to put together a deal with stability and longevity, mostly for interpersonal relations reasons. Both parties should ask around about their potential business partner. I don’t ask for references, because people only use for references […]

August 27, 2018

Custom Grazing: Why I Got Out

After five start-up years as a custom grazier, Meg decided to make some changes. Here she talks about why and what her new set up is.

July 30, 2018

Custom Grazing: Why I Got In

Meg spent her first five start-up years as a custom grazier. Here she talks about the benefits to her and to the livestock owners and how custom grazing worked for her.

July 9, 2018

How to Write a Custom Grazing Contract

Strong, written contracts can prevent some of the Boneheaded Business Blunders I made in my early years of ranching. My previous two articles have covered every brutally specific detail that I should have included in my former land lease contracts. This month I’m running down everything that needs to be in a custom grazing contract. […]

May 7, 2018

Everything You Need to Include in a Farm/Ranch Lease Contract – Part 2

Over the last few months, my Boneheaded Beef Business Blunders articles have related how I’ve been burned by ineffective land lease and custom grazing contracts. As a result, I’ve changed what I include in contracts. Here in Part 2 I share the rest of the topics I am now including in my lease contracts along […]

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