Bale Grazing to Build Soil Health
Erin and Drew Gaugler are exploring and documenting the impact of bale grazing on their North Dakota farm. Outreach activities like their "mailbox tour" are helping the siblings share their findings with neighboring producers.
Grazing Livestock on Cover Crops in Double or Relay Cropping Systems, Post-Weaning
Mike Ostlie received SARE-support to seed cover crops into an existing crop rotation for fall and winter grazing as an alternative to drylot backgrounding.
Scaling Up Specialty Dairy in Ohio’s Appalachian Region
The beautiful vistas of Ohio’s Appalachian region delight visitors with ancient forested foothills, winding creeks, and unglaciated terrain. In the late 19th century, extraction industries like the coal industry also discovered value in this landscape, but as coal resources declined, local economies deteriorated. Today, scaling up local foods is one way these historic communities are […]
Spring-Grazing Cover Crops with Nebraska’s Knuth Farms
When a fourth-generation farm in Mead, Nebraska began to diversify their primarily cash crop operation in 2012, they gave some thought to cover crops and livestock. Knuth Farms didn’t want to buy cattle or become beef producers, but they did want to diversify their income stream, capture some of the soil benefits of cover crops, […]
Developing a Woman and Farmer-Led Meat Processing Cooperative
Wisconsin needs more butchers. That’s what April Prusia, Betty Anderson, and Bethany Emond Storms determined during their farmer-led research project in 2017. The three livestock producers raise beef, pork, poultry, and goats in south central Wisconsin. While they all have big dreams of charcuterie plates made with their meat, they lack processing options in the […]
Goat Milk Soap Making Manual
This 38-page manual was created to be used in Goat Milk Soap Making workshops and as a tool for producers interested in making goat milk soap. It was developed by Krista Duval of Creekside Farms in 2017, as part of a SARE-supported project to amplify specialty dairy opportunities for local producers and food entrepreneurs in Appalachia Ohio.
Youth Hit the Road to Learn about Sustainable Livestock Production in Wisconsin
Jessie Oberlin is no stranger to the 4-H’ers in Jackson County, Wisconsin. Whether she’s providing coaching for the 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, setting up livestock production tours, or prepping youth for the 4-H Quiz Bowl, Oberlin has spent most of her adult life introducing rural young people to new livestock opportunities in a county known for cranberry and strawberry production. Oberlin grew up showing […]
Does Open-Pollinated Corn Have a Place on Today’s Organic Farm?
On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the On 205 acres near the picturesque bluffs of the Mississippi River, Stanley Smith raises beef cows and grows organic corn in southeastern Minnesota. He grew up on this small farm in the rolling hills of Winona County, and worked in partnership with his dad until his dad retired. Smith and his wife, Vickie, […]
North Coast Lamb Co-op: Using Carcass Scanning for Producer Production Criteria
1865 was a historic year in American history. Abraham Lincoln was president, the Civil War was coming to a close, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, and the National Wool Growers Association was formed. This first-ever national livestock association in the U.S. laid the groundwork for the organization we know today as the American Sheep Industry […]
Development of a Cooperative Food Distribution Model for Small Farms
Monica Bongue owns Muddy Fork Farm in Wooster Ohio, a certified organic farm for over 15 years, where she produces vegetables, chickens, ducks, sheep, and goats. She wanted to expand her marketing which consisted of direct sales through farmers’ markets and a small, on-farm CSA. Along with a number of other small, local producers, Bongue […]
Investigation into a Year- Round Complimentary Broiler and Vegetable Farm Enterprise using Mobile High Tunnels
From improving soil health to diversifying income streams on the farm, vegetable growers have plenty of reasons for adding poultry to their farms. Amy Surburg of Berry Goods Farm in Morristown, Indiana, wanted to integrate poultry production with winter vegetable production, and she wanted to build a hybrid mobile coop/greenhouse that could be used for […]
Optimal Flock Size for Pasture Raised Layers
A number of growers, especially those on small or mid-scale diversified farms, are choosing to raise poultry in alternative ways, many of them reliant upon pasture. Aaron Brower, along with his wife Mary, own and operate Bluestem Farm, a diversified, 4-season farm in Northern lower Michigan. They raise certified organic vegetables on 10 acres. They […]
Feasibility, Planning, and Purchase of Mobile Processing Unit (MPU)
Pasture poultry, with its quick turn-around and minimal equipment needs can be attractive to small farmers looking to diversify their farming operations. Chris Sramek is a pasture poultry producer and a member of the High Plains Food Co-op (HPFC); in 2013, customer interest in their poultry was so high that the producer members were unable […]
Economics of Grazing and Haying Cover Crops in North Central Kansas
Grown on an estimated 10 million acres across the country, cover crops are becoming an indispensable part of crop rotations. To maintain this momentum, the development of reliable information at the local level—how to craft a diversified rotation that pays—needs to keep pace with growth in farmers’ interest. That is what motivated Josh Roe to […]
Beekeepers are stewards of an essential resource; the plants that bees pollinate constitute more than 30 percent of the food we eat and the beverages we drink. While the role of alternative pollinators is vital, bees continue to provide an important service to agriculture in our region. From research projects about Colony Collapse Disorder, to educational programs around beekeeping, to innovative hive designs, NCR-SARE has funded a wide variety of grants to help beekeepers.
Producer Raises Prawns for Ohio Locavores
Global demand for seafood is projected to increase by 70 percent in the next 30 years. Because harvests from capture fisheries are unlikely to meet that demand, some argue that a dramatic increase in aquaculture is needed to supply future aquatic food demands (USDA-NIFA). Although the Census of Aquaculture reported a $3 million increase in domestic, farm-level sales between 2005 […]
South Dakota Rancher Explores Sustainable Livestock Fly Control
Linda Simmons is a cattle rancher in Twin Brooks, South Dakota. Beef and sheep producers in northeastern South Dakota depend largely on native rangeland, and there are several species of flies that can cause serious economic losses there. Several years ago, Simmons experienced a failure with her feed-through insecticide plan. “We had a terrible incident of […]
Big Bluestem Management Using High Density/Short Duration Grazing
Big Bluestem is a warm season, perennial bunchgrass with blue-green stems four to eight feet tall. It has been referred to as “ice cream for cows.” Leslea and Brad Hodgson own and operate Root Prairie Galloways, where they raise Galloway beef cows and have big bluestem pastures that they want to protect from the encroachment […]
Confinement Building Redesign Sheds ‘Sunlight’ on Animal Welfare
Paul Sobocinski has a 240 acre crop and livestock farm that includes hogs and cattle. In 2001, he received a SARE grant for the conversion of an existing pole barn to a deep bedded sow and piglet nursery. In 2012 he received a second NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant for $7,450 to renovate an existing 24 […]
Making Goats Milk Soap Business Sustainable by Implementing Standard Manufacturing and Testing Protocols
Penny and Jay Adler own and operate the 444Farm in Hazel, South Dakota. They have 40 acres (half in wetlands) where they have implemented sustainable grazing practices by replacing water systems, re-sowing pastures, installing high tensile fences, and creating paddocks for rotational grazing. They raise dairy goats and make goat’s milk soap and lotion. They […]