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Ecological Sustainability

Full Eclipse captured in Ohio
I was able to go to Ohio for the full eclipse. My brother, Cameron, was able to catch this shot!

For those interested in our practices and the indicators pointing toward improved lifecycles on farm...

Last year Doug and I had the opportunity to participate in an on-going MSU study regarding techniques to monitor lifecycles on the farm and how our daily decisions impact those cycles. It is a technic that utilizes daily observations to monitor leading indicators and then the farm participates in a yearly long-term monitoring that tracks trailing indicators. If the farm reflects positive change, then we can also label our products with a specific label. We have seen improvement on our property but I have my reservations about marketing paradigms.

Sunset over a mowed hay field from the tractor seat
Deitrick and I mowing hay last season.

With the weather warming up, we are getting geared up for the coming season. Doug and I had a jail break a couple days ago with most of the cattle all over our pastures. They are sure excited to be out. The problem is we need to allow our pastures to get some growth on them before grazing as the plants need to rebuild their strength after winter. A couple years ago, I experimented with having them out most of the dormant season. While there are a few variables, it resulted in some of the weakest stand growth I've seen. This required round bale feeding in July and seriously stunted that pasture's development.

Currently, I am attempting to work with the National Resource Conservation Service to assist in the cost of planting some trees to create a silvopasture (think pasture with sparsely populated trees). As I get older, I imagine being able to walk the pastures and have some natural shade along the way. It will also help the cattle stay cooler when the brunt of the heat hits midday while allowing sun to reach the pasture during dusk and dawn.

Thank you for everyone's support and here's to a productive season,


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