By Joel McNair
Organic and grassfed production practices have done great things for thousands of farmers and ranchers. Millions of consumers have benefited, too.
But looking at this from a broader perspective — and I think most organic and grassfed people do look at things this way — there’s a big problem here:
Very few acres are being farmed and ranched as organic and/or grassfed.
The things we want to achieve in terms of bettering people and the planet aren’t getting done. Indeed, by most reports the overall picture here is getting darker by the day. Continue reading “Regenerative ag aims to go mainstream”
By John Arbuckle
Grazing multiple species provides many benefits, not the least of which is enterprise stacking that allows each acre to create more than one saleable product in the same growing season.
Our topic here is how to make multi-species grazing regenerative in the biological sense. We custom graze replacement heifers in front of our pigs, with 37 heifers and slightly more than 100 finisher pigs moving in a leader-follow pattern. Continue reading “Regenerating soils by grazing cattle and pigs”
By John and Holly Arbuckle
We consistently hear how pigs can’t be regenerative. We would edit that to say this: While pigs don’t fit into the regenerative equation as smoothly as ruminants, we can look for strategies to improve land, even with pigs.
When it comes to regenerative grazing, it is useful to look at how pigs compare and contrast to beef cows. Let’s contrast first:
• If you want pigs to grow at a reasonable rate, you’ll have to give them something other than just grass.
• If you want them to create positive animal impact on your cropland or pasture, you have to move more than just the fence.
This second topic is what we are talking about in this article. Continue reading “How we regenerate soils with pigs”
Reverence Farms taking ‘local’ to another level
By Joel McNair
Saxapahaw, North Carolina — Quite frankly, what is taking place here at Reverence Farms is almost too much to describe.
There’s the 45-cow dairy herd with its rapidly growing raw milk sales program, plus the possibility of a further-processing venture at some point in the future. There’s the Jersey linebreeding program and bull/semen sales based on genetics that do well on no-grain rations and mediocre forages, along with a variety of milk qualities ranging from ultra-high solids to A2A2 genetics. Continue reading “Rebuilding soils and community”
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”
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. Continue reading “Pigs stack well with our grassfed beef”