Time to make a grazing resolution


For most of us in the United States, the beginning of the New Year is a time to make our New Year’s resolution. It’s a time to set goals and make plans for the coming year.

Some of us think about what it is we want to complete this year, but never end up setting our goal. If anyone is like me, you set some goals and here we are, a month in and my progress is going rather sluggish.

For others, it’s just another day and you don’t think much about it, you just keep going.

If you’re thinking about your resolution, or in my case, the lack of progress on your resolution, or just wondering why I’m talking about the new year in February, I want to tell you for us graziers out there, it is not too late.

New grazing season

To me, February is a new year. This is the start of our grazing year.

At this point in time, some of you are grazing some leftover grass (stockpiled grass) from last year, but a large portion of us are wading through mud, muck, and snow in our four layers of clothes to feed hay until spring arrives.

These cold, wintery days are a good time to make plans for the grazing year ahead of us.

Within the next few weeks, we will start our planting season with frost seeding pastures, which is typically done at the end of February through March. While we have longer evenings on our hands, we can make plans for fine-tuning our grazing system — maybe taking your first crack at some rotational grazing, revamping your water system, or even fencing some of those hay fields to try stockpiling for winter grazing.

We could be planning what types of seed to be frost seeding and trying to improve those pastures.

Get S.M.A.R.T.

You could use this time to think about some goals for the year. Remember to make sure your goal S.M.A.R.T: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result Focused, and Time Bound.

These goals could be revenue based, herd health focused, or education based in trying to pass the art of grazing onto your kids or grandkids. But don’t forget goals are best kept when they are discussed with everyone involved and written down.

After writing them, put them in a place where you’ll see them daily: on the mirror, by the nightstand, or on the fridge.

Some of you reading this are from Pennsylvania and on Feb. 2, (Groundhog Day) you witnessed Punxsutawney Phil predict six more weeks of winter. I am writing this with faithfulness in Buckeye Chuck, believing spring is just around the corner and we’ll be grazing before we know it.

So here we are, the start of the grazing year is upon us, and it’s time to make plans.

What will your grazing resolution be?

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