For the most part, this blog will be covering ways for you run your ranch more profitably by operating in ways which will allow you to increase capacity while streamlining your infrastructure needs. We also have an ongoing battle with animal rights organizations and environmentalist groups. Both of these issues are tied into education and how our educational system, like our political system, has gone from one to educate the public on facts, to one of promoting the philosophies or agendas of special interest groups and corporations.
In my first post on this blog, I used Dan Dagget's experience of changing from an anti-grazing environmentalist, to an environmentalist who now believes that the best tool we have to improve land, is cattle. I did this for Several reasons.
First, this shows that even staunch environmentalists can come to realize that cattle can actually be beneficial for the environment. Secondly it shows just how twisted organizations can be when “educating” its members when there is a political or economic motive behind the education. Third, it shows a way the ranching community can improve range conditions at a lower cost.
Intensive, rotational grazing has been around for quite some time. However it has been largely ignored because of the associated cost of added infrastructure to build and maintain. The fact is we have spent so many generations teaching cattle to not act as a herd, we have forgotten they are herd animals. We have been convinced over time that we need to spend so much money on added interior fences to follow intensive grazing programs that conventional wisdom tells us it is not a practical option.
However it is relatively easy to re-introduce the herd instinct in cattle. Once that is accomplished, one person can herd a thousand head or more through a rotational system without the need of interior fences, let alone adding additional ones. In doing this we can also concentrate our water points, reducing the amount of time and money spent on monitoring and maintaining the water system.
To instill the herd instinct in our cattle we need to re-train ourselves in how we handle them. As in learning any new method we have to open our mind a little to really learn it. I have already built a site showing how easily it is to train cattle to act as a herd.
In the meantime, let us all start thinking about the motives of the people who are feeding us information, as well as how we can improve our operations through a minimal yet holistic approach. If you have any questions, feel free to comment, or email me.