August 8, 2022

The Future is in Your (Big) Hands

I included this quote in one of my posts last week, and it inspired a call from John Marble. He agreed with the sentiment, but thought we should remember that some people have bigger hands than others. Here’s what he told me: “I really like talking to people who live in little apartments in town […]

August 1, 2022

A Farming Tragedy

I come from a long line of Mennonite farmers. My ancestors were among those invited to Ukraine by Catherine the Great in the mid-1700s as part of her plan to turn the region into productive agricultural land. She offered them forever incentives, including religious freedom, the right to settle in segregated colonies and govern themselves, […]

July 25, 2022

Harsh Truths That May Change Your Life

Seems I have lots of advice to offer as I transition On Pasture to its future as a grazing library. Here’s some more… I can’t remember where on the internet I found this. It’s been sitting in the background on my computer screen for months now. Every time I find it, I read through it […]

July 18, 2022

The Best Advice Ever From a Rancher

In last Wednesday’s newsletter from The Quivira Coalition, Leah Potter-Weight wrote about a recent field day at the Ute Creek Cattle Company in Bueyeros, New Mexico. She shared a piece of advice from their hosts, Tuda and Jack Crews: “Think” – a word displayed on Tuda and Jack’s fridge – and Tuda offered this as […]

July 11, 2022

Kathy is Retiring and On Pasture is Changing

Dear On Pasture friends, Let me start by thanking you for your support for On Pasture. I know it sounds silly, but truly, I’ve been thinking of you every morning for the past nine-plus years as I worked to bring you information that would be both useful and entertaining. I’ve written 1,641 articles and a […]

July 4, 2022

Adapting to New Climate Normals

A little over a year ago, as I was catching the local weather forecast, the young woman presenting started with a bit of news. The National Weather Service had just updated the “Climate Normal” data showing that Tucson’s average temperatures were now two degrees warmer than the past thirty years. She added, “This change tells […]

June 27, 2022

What Should I Do About Pasture Weeds?

Back in the Spring of 2010, the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in Miles City, Montana put out a press release announcing an online calculator that could tell producers how many more cattle they could raise if they were able to eliminate one or two widespread invasive plants. Matt Rinella, the rangeland ecologist who developed the […]

June 20, 2022

Beyond Tarweed – Thoughts About Why Things Are Changing in Pastures

In the past few years, John Marble has dealt with Tarweed, a vole invasion, and now a new weed. Is it his management, or something beyond his control? I asked him to share his thoughts with us in this week’s Notes from Kathy. It’s a great addition to this month’s Thinking Grazier. This year, I’m […]

June 13, 2022

Canada thistle is my favorite forage. You can learn to love it too!

Since developing a simple method for teaching cows and other livestock to eat weeds, I’ve trained lots of cows, goats, sheep and bison to eat most of our most problematic invasives. With all I’ve learned about weeds in that time, I’ve grown to love one more than all the rest: Canada thistle (cirsium arvense, also […]

June 6, 2022

Is Kathy a Kook and Other FAQs About Teaching Livestock to Eat Weeds

In 2004, I developed a simple method that anyone can use to train livestock to eat weeds. In this month’s Grazier’s Focus I tell the story of how this all happened, what the process looks like, and the benefits to graziers of having a weed-eating herd. That probably leaves you with some questions. Here are […]

May 23, 2022

Feeling Underappreciated? Here’s How to Tell You’re Important

A common complaint I hear from farmers and ranchers is that the public doesn’t appreciate them, that people don’t understand all the hard work that goes into producing food, and that if they did understand, they would be nicer and be willing to pay more. Actually, it’s similar to complaints I hear from everybody, no […]

May 16, 2022

Finding the Information You Need

Back when I was starting to raise meat chickens, I went online and looked for plans for the chicken tractor recommended by a pretty famous person in the farm world. You can find the directions all over the internet. I built one, I used it, and at the end of my first year of raising […]

May 9, 2022

Some Advice for Beginning Graziers

I was talking with a friend last night about our experiences with beginning farmers and ranchers, some of the things they do, and the consequences of those choices. Here are some thoughts for you drawn from our conversation. Choosing an animal breed What should you buy? Well, What will make you money? Don’t choose Icelandic […]

May 2, 2022

Creating an Information System to Get You Where You’re Going

Something funny happened at On Pasture in April. Three OP authors all wrote articles on the same topic without checking in with me or each other first. each article was about some version of record keeping as part of being a successful grazier. That’s why this month we’re focusing on record keeping – or better […]

April 25, 2022

Why I’m Writing About Drought

“A “megadrought” gripping the western United States is the worst one in 500 years, scientists say. And it’s the first to be influenced by human-caused climate change.” Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, April 17, 2020 This year, the megadrought in the West hit 22 years. That means over a third of my life has been spent […]

Translate »