What to tell environmentalists about cows

Latest research shows that good grazing is good for the planet

By Allen Williams and Russ Conser

Somewhere along the road, cattle got a bad rap. Just when the fear that eating animal fats will kill you appears to be fading, concern is growing that cattle are intrinsically bad for the planet.

So, it’s refreshing to see some countering truth peek through the clouds of fear in a brand new scientific paper from Michigan State University, “Impacts of soil carbon sequestration on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in Midwestern USA beef finishing systems” (Stanley, et. al., 2018). Continue reading “What to tell environmentalists about cows”

Doing what it takes to build soil health

Breitkreutzes up their game with covers and grazing

Redwood Falls, Minnesota — Most cash grain growers in the Upper Midwest run big equipment across thousands of acres of GMO corn and soybeans and maybe — just maybe — feed out some of those crops to feedlot cattle or confinement hogs. Often it doesn’t get much more complex than that.

Things aren’t quite that simple at Stoney Creek Farm. Over the past 20 years, Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz have converted a conventional crops and cattle farm into a multi-faceted enterprise that is one part experiment, two parts flexibility, and several parts complex. Continue reading “Doing what it takes to build soil health”

What are fatty acids, and why are they important?

Allen Williams

by Allen Williams, Ph.D.
Meat and milk consumers are becoming increasingly interested in fatty acids and are asking lots of questions about what they are and why they are important. With that in mind, I’ll offer a relatively straightforward explanation that might help your understanding of fatty acids and better enable you to answer such questions.

Fatty acids are simply the building blocks for the fats in our body and in all our foods. When we eat fats, they are broken down into fatty acids that are then used by the body to perform numerous vital functions. Chemically, a fatty acid is comprised of a long hydrocarbon chain that can have hydrogen atoms attached. It is capped by a carboxyl group (COOH) that makes these molecules acids. Continue reading “What are fatty acids, and why are they important?”

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”