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Old 07-29-2012, 11:11 PM
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But... a rancher in Birkenstocks? That's just plain unworkable!

New breed of ranchers shapes a sustainable West - CSMonitor.com
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:09 PM
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Cool story. There's a guy in VA who's been doing this for years, and his success at restoring rutted farmland in the Shenandoah Valley were documented in "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. I found the book's discussion of the ag business to be fascinating.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:48 PM
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I would be interested in knowing what the financial records are like on Mr. Jones ranch (main feature of first link), overall and without the dude ranch and without the capital input of philosophically influenced investors (presumably on terms favorable to Mr. Jones). If he really wanted to shake things up, publish good financials without needing to or just using those things that won't be available to many ranchers.

The guy in Virginia? Selling breakfast sausage or whole chicken for about $4.50 per pound. Apple juice at $7 per gallon (when you buy 4). Bacon chunks at $10 per pound. If he can get it great for him; but I am not buying at those prices.

Last edited by NW Crow; 07-30-2012 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:31 AM
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I grew up, with rotating areas the cattle were grazing. No smart rancher over grazed their land, or they would loose a lot of the ability to keep cattle in good feed. We had 100,000 plus cut over timberland owned by a major timber company, that we leased for about 40 years next to our deeded acres. The cattle were moved between pastures, depending on the condition of the feed, and water to best take care of the property. My grandfather was born in Montana in 1867, and trained my father and then me, in this type of practice. He grew up on ranches, and when he was only 16 took a group of hands and rode down to Mexico with a saddle bag full of gold to buy cattle and bring them back. They were combination cowboys and gun slingers to protect the gold and also the herd they brought back.

He said back then, that if you overgrazed your land, you never would be a success in ranching. So the idea of sustainable pasture land, is nothing new. Some ranchers were always so stupid to overgraze their land and put themselves out of business, but the smart ones were doing this kind of good stewardship to the land for a long, long time.
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