We hear and see many reasons for improving our grazing practices.
Reasons. Over the last several years, the federal government has also chosen to support and encourage grazing through the use of government programs.
And, there are environmental reasons for grazing, such as reduced erosion, improved water quality and enhanced wildlife communities.
Studies have demonstrated that improved grazing efficiency reduces cost, too, providing a way for small farms to remain economically viable.
We have also been provided health reasons, such as omega-3 fatty acids that are found in higher concentrations in the meat and milk of grazing animals.
We end up with these reasons for grazing: It is economically viable, environmentally friendly, and creates a healthy, wholesome animal product. These reasons alone have provided farmers with enough motive to implement improved grazing.
Improved grazing. But, what do you see and hear when you talk with farmers who have switched from conventional grazing to an improved grazing management system?
You hear and see what was mentioned previously, yet you sense an enthusiasm and a sense of security and hope. I see content people who enjoy what they are doing. Grazers have a good way of life.
I challenge you to visit and talk with the families and managers of grazing farms to see for yourself. You’ll find improved intensive rotational grazing is truly a sustainable farming practice.
(The author is an OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator in Guernsey County. Questions or comments can be sent in care of Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem OH 44460.)