livestock Tag

Do you like to eat fresh food? Do you like variety in your diet? Most of us would probably answer ‘yes’ to both questions. Not surprisingly, livestock crave the same things we do. If that desire is not met, then we get less than optimal livestock performance. This can create health problems for the animals, increase costs, and reduce profitability. So how can we constantly provide fresh food for livestock and a diet that is diverse?
Justin Morris and Lee Rinehart...

International Heritage Breeds Week aims to raise global awareness about endangered heritage breeds of farm animals. It's scheduled for May 15-21, 2022, with International Heritage Breeds Day being held the ending Saturday of that week. This is not an in-person event at a single location, but rather a global week of awareness. Join the fun by following #HeritageBreedsWeek on social media and learn more about rare breeds from the participating organizations. International Heritage Breeds Week is an opportunity for livestock conservation organization members, fans, and sponsors to advocate for conservation of heritage breeds in agriculture. It's a time to share...

Related ATTRA publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services The University of California, Davis, is bringing a flock of sheep back to campus for a second year as part of research into how sheep mowing compares to conventional practices in terms of soil fertility, fuel and labor costs, and pest control. Data from the first year of the project showed that sheep cut the grass as short as conventional mowing, and they increased soil fertility. This year, scientists will explore the mental health affects of sheep grazing on campus and the beneficial insect populations associated with grazing the...

Ranchers who have approved applications through USDA's 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for forage losses due to severe drought or wildfire in 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments for increases in supplemental feed costs in 2021 through the Farm Service Agency's (FSA) new Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP). USDA will leverage LFP data to deliver immediate relief for increases in supplemental feed costs in 2021. FSA notes that it continues to evaluate and identify impacts of 2021 drought and wildfire on livestock producers to ensure equitable and inclusive distribution of much-needed emergency relief program benefits. Due to...

Related ATTRA publication: Organic and Grass-finished Beef Cattle Production Value Meal: The Benefits of Organic Beef is a new report from The Cornucopia Institute that highlights the latest research on certified organic beef production. It explains the difference between organic and grass-fed beef, describes beef finishing, and showcases the health benefits of organic beef. An accompanying Organic Beef Scorecard that ranks more than 175 brands is designed to help consumers understand and compare beef production practices....

Our farm is small, and it doesn’t have a lot of infrastructure or equipment. This makes handling cattle an intimidating proposition for our family. Fortunately, not all cattle are created equal. By selecting Aberdeen Angus, a small breed of cattle about 44 inches at the hip and 1,000 pounds per cow, we were able to work a beef enterprise into our farm operation with minimal difficulty. 
By Tracy Mumma, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

Cattle come in all sizes, and small cattle may be just right for a small or start-up farm, or they can offer an efficient add-on farm enterprise. NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Tracy Mumma raises Aberdeen Angus, and NCAT Southeast Regional Office Director Margo Hale raises Belted Galloway.
Tracy Mumma and Margo Hale...

Years of farming and visiting other farms, combined with recent education in soil health, have convinced me of this: We can best serve people, the land, and the livestock by learning to care for the soil FIRST. That’s why NCAT’s Livestock and Grazing Team began with this foundation when they gathered to teach a three-part series for beginning livestock producers. 
By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist...

The Livestock Conservancy awarded more than $22,000 in microgrants to 12 rare-breed farmers, ranchers, shepherds, and breed organizations across the country. "Small financial awards can make a big difference for heritage breeders," said Dr. Alison Martin, Livestock Conservancy Executive Director. "These strategic investments were selected as excellent examples of livestock conservation in action across the United States by our panel of judges." Profiles of the grant recipients, their projects, and the breeds they are saving from extinction are available online....

After many different and varied careers, Doug Lair settled into ranching 25 years ago, returning to a legacy started by his great-great grandfather, who passed down a team of mules and the family brand to his great grandfather. I recently had a conversation with Doug about his efforts to create a more holistic system of ranching.
By Andrew Coggins, NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director...

Join Margo Hale, Tracy Mumma, Linda Poole, and Linda Coffey, all long-time producers of sheep, goats, or cattle, and all NCAT Livestock and Grazing Specialists, to hear how we handle lambing, kidding, and calving, and what we believe are the five keys to a successful season. We each share our philosophy in managing our livestock, and share photos of a normal birth, discuss how to prepare, when to intervene, what to have on hand, and how to get more help. This webinar is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor sits down with silvopasture specialist Delie Wilkens to talk about the basics of silvopasture, an agroforestry practice integrating trees, forage, and the grazing of livestock. Delie currently serves as the program analyst for the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, a nonprofit organization that works to advance the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. She has been working in forestry, agroforestry, and sustainable agriculture for many years, and has researched silvopasture adoption and best practices in the Southeast. Less than one percent of...

If we’re going to build the health of anything – whether that’s our own health or the health of grazing lands – and we are causing damage by our management actions, then our first priority should be to stop the damage.
By Justin Morris, Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

Chronic human diseases are everywhere these days it seems. Interestingly, there are some similarities between how our bodies respond to acute and chronic disturbances and how grazing lands respond to acute and chronic disturbances that come in the form of grazing, drought, fire, hail and even insect pest invasion.
By Justin Morris, Regenerative Grazing Specialist...

A new report from USDA Economic Research Service documents a growing market for chicken products raised without any antibiotics. The Market for Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics, 2012–17 says that household expenditures for classic, processed, and sausage products labeled as "raised without antibiotics" grew substantially during the study period. The report also notes that the chicken labeled as being raised without antibiotics commanded higher prices per pound than conventional chicken products. The authors point out that "[t]hese findings suggest there is significant consumer interest and market opportunities for production practices between conventional and organic."...

Visiting other farms is always a joy and an education for me. I recently had the pleasure of visiting BDA Farm in Uniontown, Alabama, for a day-long workshop where we toured the farm and learned about its regenerative practices that build soil health and increase productivity and profitability of the farm.
By Linda Coffey, Livestock Specialist...

Regenerative Livestock Specialist Justin Morris may be new to the National Center for Appropriate Technology, but he's no stranger to using grazing as a tool to improve pasture quality and soil health. In this interview with NCAT Program Specialist Tracy Mumma, Justin explains how he first became interested in managing grazing to improve the land resource and discusses how livestock producers can start using grazing as a tool. He goes on to describe what regenerative agriculture means to him and the positive effect that it can have on soil health, environmental health, and producer well-being. Related ATTRA Resources: Justin Morris Biography ATTRA Grazing...

In this episode, Nina Prater, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s southeast office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks about electric fencing with her husband, Jeremy Prater. Jerry is the owner and operator of Cedar Creek Farm, a sustainable diversified livestock operation in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Jeremy has used electric fencing to manage cattle, goats, hogs, and poultry. In this episode, Nina and Jeremy talk about why electric fencing is such a useful tool in management-intensive grazing; the NRCS’s cost-share program for electric fence; how to adapt existing fence; and other ways electric fencing can be used to contain and manage livestock. In...

Weather events bring all sorts of challenges to livestock producers, but perhaps none more than severe winter weather. The bitterly cold temperatures in February 2021 sparked a conversation among NCAT Livestock Specialists about how we provide water to stock during such times.
By Linda Coffey, Margo Hale, and Dave Scott, NCAT Livestock Specialists...

My day begins with a hot cup of coffee and a quick check of our farm. What a thrill to find a new baby calf from our Belted Galloways, to watch the antics of our pig, to have my girls gather farm-fresh eggs, and to watch the goats grazing. Livestock bring life to the farm!
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist...

In this episode, Margo Hale and Linda Coffey, lifelong livestock producers and long-time NCAT livestock specialists, talk about getting started in livestock. What is the appeal, and what are the important considerations? Margo is director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she and Linda both work. In their conversation, Margo and Linda emphasize the importance of keeping farm goals and resources in mind and stress the need to start small but plan for expansion. They mention essential infrastructure to have in place before bringing livestock home and offer many tips that will help beginners succeed with livestock. For more information...