Regenerating soils by grazing cattle and pigs

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.

John Arbuckle grazes pigs and cattle and operates Roam Snack Sticks, LLC, from his farm near Newcastle, Maine.

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 October 2019 issue of Graze.

How we regenerate soils with 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”

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.

The fame and struggles of Gunthorp Farms

Gunthorp and his Durocs

Serving high-end restaurants isn’t always easy

LaGrange, Indiana — Gunthorp Farms is famous.

Superstar chefs laud the farm’s pork in big-city magazines and food publications. The name Gunthorp is all over the menu at Frontera Grill, one of Chicago’s best-known and most decorated restaurants. Big-time politicians in three states have bestowed honors, and Gunthorp Farms once provided the Thanksgiving turkey for the mayor of Chicago.

In 2013 the farm raised close to 150,000 chickens, 10,000 turkeys, 12,000 ducks and more than 2,000 of its signature hogs on pasture, with the majority of that production going to restaurant and grocery customers in and around Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis. Gunthorp is one of the best-known and most desired high-end meats brands in the Upper Midwest and perhaps the entire country. Continue reading “The fame and struggles of Gunthorp Farms”

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”