Utilizing managed intensive grazing for maximum benefit for land and animals
Shawn and Beth have been farming together since the 1980’s, for the last twenty years in eastern Ohio, where they manage 24 acres designated by the state as ‘not suitable for agriculture’. Using intensive grazing as the primary source of food energy, they raise dairy and beef cows, sheep, farm-fed hogs, and a variety of poultry, producing most of the food, and feed, on the farm.
Concerned that farming is so often dependent upon multiple off-farm resources, from feed, fuel and fertilizer to water and electricity, their ongoing project is to identify and test the means by which farming was done for centuries with a minimum of off-farm inputs. Their research has led them to identify grass conversion, especially the daily conversion of grass into milk by dairy ruminants, as a key to whole-farm sustainability, combined with the integrated nutrient feed-backs that are possible with a community of diverse animal and plant species, domestic and native. They are the authors of The Independent Farmstead, Chelsea Green Publishing 2016.
IN THIS PODCAST: Greg is thoroughly impressed with the transformational successes of Shawn and Beth on their “really trashy” plot of land to the diverse, beautiful, and healthy pasture they now enjoy. They tell their story of how they bought what they could afford were prompted to do research and replicate the methods of grazing that preceded the modern day mass production farms. They explain why managed grazing is important and so beneficial to both the animals and the land they occupy.
Go to www.urbanfarm.org/blog/podcast/ to find this podcast and links to our other informative interviews.