Pasture Management: Extending the Grazing Season

By: Juan P. Alvez | Pasture Technical Coordinator UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture Farming requires mental and physical involvement in the complex management of the soil, plants, animals, people, equipment, weather and markets. While this complexity is constantly changing, problems can sometimes become opportunities. Then, anything livestock producers can do to keep animals rotationally grazing […]

Conference Celebrates, Connects Northeast Livestock Farmers

  Given the latest snow storm, January seems like just yesterday.  Sounds like a good time to share updates from the 18th Annual Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference.  Over 350 farmers, feeder dealers, technical assistance providers, and environmental managers attended the two-day event held at Lake Morey Resort.  Workshops and events included live animal demonstrations, […]

Nature is a Force to be Cooperated With, Not Controlled (or: Farming Practices in Sync with Natural Systems Will Always Keep You in the Green)

By Kimberly Hagen Grazing Specialist UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture What’s in a crisis? Almost always there is a lesson to be learned. The trick is to pay attention, or make the observation about what is going on and make the necessary changes to move forward in a positive way. It could mean some slow […]

Ecosystem Services: Consider Wildlife Habitat for Higher Productivity

by Juan Alvez, Pasture Technical Coordinator Learn why you should consider leaving some space for pollinators and beneficial fauna! Farming is an amazingly fulfilling activity that can bind families and communities around food production and rural way of living. However, this idyllic activity demands great knowledge, dedication, and perseverance. In an effort to make the […]

Countdown to the VT Grazing & Livestock Conference!

Coming Right Up: 18th Annual VT Grazing & Livestock Conference Farm Management Decisions: More Than the Sum(s) of Their Parts January 17 & 18, 2014 Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT The conference will include day-long focused sessions on soil health and farm planning on Friday January 17.  On Saturday January 18, there will be 21 […]

Socialize With Cows to Promote Soil Fertility

by Juan Alvez, Pasture Technical Coordinator When I studied Agronomy in Brazil, my grazing mentors recommended that farmers that walked in the paddock or grazing strips for a few minutes previous to moving the cows to a fresh pasture, might stimulate soil fertility. If you are wondering how this is possible, read on and I’ll […]

Animal Behavior: Avoiding Grazing Selectivity

By Juan Alvez , Pasture Program Technical Coordinator In general, well-managed swards should present a variety of grasses, legumes and forbs, each fulfilling an important function in animal nutrition and health. All species have more or less, sugars, proteins and minerals. Legumes are well-known for fixing nitrogen via plant root-bacteria symbiosis. They also carry important […]

It’s OK to Trample!

by Kimberly Hagen, Pasture Program Grazing Specialist “Graziers need to get beyond the paralyzing paradigm of wasting grass if we want to be truly sustainable.” Those are the words of Ian Mitchell-Innes, of South Africa – farmer, philosopher, punster and no-nonsense world renowned educator of grazing farmers, and wanna-be grazers all over this planet. He […]

Planned Grazing Featured on NPR, Tested in Vermont

Several weeks ago, NPR featured a piece on using planned grazing to build soil.  While the piece focused on a ranch in Colorado, the concept is one that farmers in Vermont have also been working with for over a decade.  In fact, the Pasture Program is part of a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) […]

Trampling Paradigms in Vermont

Troy Bishopp, aka The Grass Whisperer, Wells, Vermont- In the coolness of a Vermont landscape etched with green pastures, green mountains and small farmers, stood a passionate rancher from South Africa ready to inspire others about the “whole” future of grass-based agriculture. The internationally recognized, holistically-driven grazier, Ian Mitchell-Innes, is no namby-pamby in […]