• Mike Biver


An old row crop field continuing its transition to pasture this spring.

Feeding the soul and soon feeding the animals, the pastures continue to green up by the day. More and more plants make their spring debut and the early risers creep up bit by bit, building the forage platter for a grazing feast. It’s hard enough not to take a bite of this lush greenery myself – it’s even harder to deny the animals this succulence they would enjoy so much. But we must be patient! Painfully patient! If we jump the gun and send out the animals too soon, we will be putting our pastures at a deficit that they may take all summer to recuperate from.

It is times like these, that I try to focus on the following (albeit exaggerated) mantra: our pastures do not exist to feed our animals, our animals exist to improve our pastures.

Now obviously, we need our pastures to feed our animals and that is precisely why we have pastures. However, if we view the pastures simply as the food platter for our animals – we create a thought framework that could lead us down paths that could jeopardize the long-term health of the whole farm.

If instead, we keep pasture health (i.e. soil health) at the epicenter of our planning and thinking – the farm will continue to improve year after year and our animals will have much healthier and happier existence for years to come.

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