Rotational grazing, antibiotic- and hormone-free, locally-focused and scale-appropriate practices
Grazing, Pasture and Nutrient Management Practices
Our feeding program is based on the ideals and principles of local, organic and nutrient-dense foods. We have several dairy mentors and do continual science-based research on best practices. We want our animals to have access to the best feed, but we also want it to originate from our bioregion and be sustainable on all accounts.
Part of our commitment to farming is land regeneration and pasture improvement, so the longer we’re on this land, the more our animals should be able to sustain themselves directly from it. We’re already seeing the difference in our first two years of pasture improvements.
The cows, heifers and calves are on a rotational grazing program, moving to new pasture every day in spring and early summer. When the ground is saturated, is it important for the preservation of the pasture that cows stay off the majority of the land; this is one reason we are making pasture improvements here.
We make our own hay for winter stockpile, and buy some from our neighbors. We also grow winter forage crop gardens for our cows: kale, rutabaga, turnip, daikon, etc., and feed organic vegetables from nearby farms.
A herd of goat wethers and a flock of laying hens contribute to soil fertility and pasture species management.
Our dairy in the Coast Range on the Marys River requires coexisting in a fragile environment and we hope to improve our land stewardship each year. Protecting the Marys River from cows and their impact is a top priority. Sharing land with a variety of species, including coyote and cougar is another; this year we received support from Benton County for non-lethal wildlife deterrents to protect our livestock. Working to reduce invasive plant species on this land without chemicals is another priority.