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Grazing is now “Progressive”

Emily Zweber Published on 14 January 2011

011411_zweberThe first Progressive Dairyman issue of 2011 struck a chord with grazing producers across the country. See this unique post by Emily Zweber of Zweber Farms in Minnesota. Zweber talks about what it means to be a progressive grazing producer. Check out an excerpt here, and be sure to read the full post.

All of us at Zweber Farms read many industry magazines, newspapers and publications. Some are dairy focused, some are organic focused and some are just general agriculture information.

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The other day when I pulled Progressive Dairyman out of our mailbox, I was shocked to see the words “consider grazing as a means to profitability” on the front cover. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy reading the Progressive Dairyman. Their up to date coverage on industry issues and trends is very helpful.

But when it came down to the articles on animal care or management, their focus really didn’t fit our operation. We are grazers and our needs and issues are very different than those who operate with barns.

Not only was there one article about grazing, the entire issue was dedicated to the topic. When you read Editor Walt Cooley’s intro, he explains why. He had just visited New Zealand where grazing is a very popular and successful dairy business model. His visit reminded him of a time when his father explained to him “what works for me does not work for everyone else." How refreshing.

We have always thought of our farm as progressive, not regressive. Many naysayers of grazing and organic herds say we are just submitting to consumers’ fears and not taking advantage of the “latest” technology to be successful. “Why would we want to return to the 1950′s of farming?” they ask. PD

Click here to read this full post at the Zweber Family Farm News blog site.

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