Stacking enterprises in the Deep South

Nature’s Gourmet Farm is bringing good food to southern Mississippi

Petal, Mississippi — Ben and Beth Simmons have a lot going for them in terms of producing grassfed products and marketing to the public.

Pasture can grow here virtually year-round, rainfall is plentiful on an annual basis, and forage tonnage can be impressive. Ben can get many of his moderate-framed Red Angus steers to around 1,000 lbs. live weight, with hanging carcasses at 600 lbs., in no more than 16 months on mother’s milk and grazed forages. Continue reading “Stacking enterprises in the Deep South”

Pigs stack well with our grassfed beef

By Aaron and Melissa Miller

We’ve been raising pigs on pasture for the past 12 years. Our beef customers were asking about pork, and we decided it was a good candidate to round out our meat selection at the various markets we serve.

Pigs have become a profit center for us because we’re able to fill our delivery truck and sales trailer with a broader range of products when we go to market, making the days more profitable. Stacking pork atop our core grassfed beef business adds value without adding too much in the way of expense, including labor.

Thank you for visiting the Graze magazine website. We offer a few sample articles online, but to see the full content, order a subscription of the print magazine or order the specific back issue you are interested in. This article appeared in the January 2017 issue of Graze.

Good grazing requires good handling techniques

By Steve Cote

Midvale, Idaho
— My road to high level stockmanship actually started while driving down a road in Idaho with Holistic Management founder Allan Savory. In listening to Allan, I learned that I had deeply held beliefs about grazing that were dead wrong.

I learned that overgrazing is not caused by too many grazing animals. I learned that too much rest is damaging not only to the plants, but also to soils. In humid climates, it hurts forage plant productivity and nutrition. Continue reading “Good grazing requires good handling techniques”

The similarities of grassfed beef and dairy

By Allen Williams, Ph.D.

The grassfed beef sector has expanded rapidly over the past decade, ballooning from less than $40 million in domestic retail sales value in 2005 to $550 million in 2015. Annual sales growth of grassfed beef averaged 25-30% over the period.

Interest in “100% grassfed” dairy is also taking off, with the sector poised to experience the same exponential growth as grassfed beef. This brings up a few questions.

What can people who want to develop a vibrant grassfed dairy sector learn from the grassfed beef sector? What are the similarities? What are the contrasts? Continue reading “The similarities of grassfed beef and dairy”

Trees and pasture can grow together

Pigs graze in the woods

Silvopasture important part of diversified Forks Farm grazing

By Tracy Frisch
Orangeville, Pennsylvania—
For many graziers, the woodlot is a place where the livestock end up when they break through the fence. For others, it’s a poorly managed shade lounge for hot summer afternoons. For John Hopkins, trees represent a natural extension of his pasture management.

And woodlot management. At Forks Farm, tree lots are viewed as something more than providers of summer shade and winter shelter. They are valued for providing diversity and complexity to the farm’s grazing program. And the grazing stock are viewed as improving the quality and market value of the trees by controlling competing weeds and brush. Continue reading “Trees and pasture can grow together”

Selecting cattle for finishing on grass

Allen Williams

By Allen Williams, Ph.D.

Over the past three months we have looked at the basics of seedstock genetic selection for producing the kind of cattle that are capable of meeting the demands of the grassfed beef market. This month we will concentrate on selecting for the stocker or feeder cattle that we are actually going to finish on forage.

And as with the seedstock, selection for cattle to finish is primarily a matter of proper phenotype and genotype. To determine the desired phenotype and genotype, we first have to identify the end-product target. Continue reading “Selecting cattle for finishing on grass”