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Upping Your Grazing Game: Make Your Organic Dairy Operation Even Better
This article was first printed in the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of the Organic Broadcaster, published by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.
If you are an organic dairy farmer, you are already successful. You provide high quality milk without the use of prohibited pesticides and herbicides, hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. You keep business, your farm and your herd healthy by building productive capacity and focusing on long-term sustainability rather than short-term profits. You have gone through the certification process and have earned the recognition and compensation that goes with the USDA Organic label. But in order to comply with the new NOP standard, which requires a minimum average of 30% dry matter from fresh pasture, you may have to up your grazing game. Fortunately, there are many resources available in the Upper Midwest, including several established networks of graziers willing to share their knowledge and experiences. Before you invest time, energy and money in expanding your pastures, it’s worth taking advantage of existing opportunities to learn more about managed grazing.
Bridget is a teacher, writer, mother and long-time supporter of sustainable and organic agriculture.Return to TOP