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Learning Center launches rotational grazing operation

Mai and Maizy explore their new home, Highland Field
Tall fescue, alyce clover and dandylions attract the cows in Highland field

Did you know that grass-fed beef contains fewer calories, more heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and more nutrients than grain-fed beef?  And that animals raised in rotations on pastures have dramatically lower counts of bacterial pathogens that can harm human beings? 

 

Allowing cows to live on grass is also better for the environment. Cows and grass have symbiotic relationship that evolved over millions of years and the relationship benefits the animal, the plants, and the soil. Marginal sloped lands that would be highly erodible with other farming practices are perfect for permanent pastures and rotational grazing of livestock.  Grazing in rotations can actually improve soil and grass conditions, and prevent water runoff that would otherwise erode soil into creeks and rivers. 

 

The farmer benefits by letting the animals do the work by doing what comes naturally to them (ie, eat grass).  Instead of the farmer fertilizing the fields, growing hay, harvesting it into bales, moving it, storing it, and then delivering it to the cows, our livestock do all the work themselves!  They harvest the grass by eating it, they fertilize as they graze, their grazing stimulates the grass to grow more, and their hooves open space for air and water to enter soils.  All this without the farmer having to lift a finger or burn fossil fuels. 

 

Angelic Organics Learning Center launched its rotational grazing operation this month to help the farm grow towards its Biodynamic ideal – including balancing vegetables and other crops with livestock and wild space – and to help the public and beginning farmers learn about the benefits of rotational grazing. 

 

We expanded our herd of cows (we now have 7 Scottish Highland cows, 3 of which we hope are pregnant!) and in April moved them for the first time onto Highland Field, 13 acres of sloped land on Angelic Organics farm that we have been transitioning for three years in anticipation of this day. We plan to expand our herd on this pasture to a dozen cows, and eventually introduce cows and other livestock in rotation on a portion of the newly purchased 70 acres known as Kinnikinnick Fields. 

 

Melody and Buttercup, Mai and Maizy, Bisbi and our two new yet-to be named heifer calves will be eager to greet you the next time you visit the farm. 

 

Check out our upcoming On-Farm programs and visit the cows during your visit.  The Learning Center joins several farms in the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) to feature rotational grazing.  

 

You can also help name our newest calfs- Read about our cow-naming contest and submit your names by May 15.