ranching

Foothill Agrarian
Further Reflections on Non-lethal Predator Protection

Sep 12, 2016
Further Reflections on Non-lethal Predator Protection

Reno at work.From my earlier writing in this space, you may know that we're committed to using non-lethal livestock protection tools in our sheep operation (see Big Dogs, Hot Fences and Fast Sheep - A Few Thoughts on Predators and Sheep-raising&nb...

Foothill Agrarian
The Food Tank Summit: A Part-time Shepherd’s Perspective

Sep 8, 2016
The Food Tank Summit: A Part-time Shepherd’s Perspective

Several friends recently invited me to attend the 1st annual Farm Tank Conference in Sacramento later this month. According to their website:
"This two-day event will feature more than 35 different speakers from the food and agriculture field, interactive panels moderated by top food journalists, networking, and delicious food, followed...

Foothill Agrarian
Benchmarks

Aug 31, 2016
Benchmarks

Even though our sheep operation is very small scale, we try to take it seriously as a business.  To me, this is important for a number of reasons.  First, we don't view it as a hobby - the business should cover its expenses, pay us for our ti...

Foothill Agrarian
Montana Observations

Aug 28, 2016
Montana Observations

Okay - I realize that I'm not the first Californian to say this - not even close.  I want to move to Montana!  I'll also admit that it's not likely to happen in the short term - my oldest daughter would transfer out of Montana State Universit...

Foothill Agrarian
Bittersweet

Aug 28, 2016

As I started writing this post, I was sitting in a hotel room in Elko, Nevada, after a 9-hour drive from Bozeman, Montana.  As I finish it now, I'm sitting in our living room.  Our family has had a wonderful time over the last week - we all f...

Foothill Agrarian
Is Education Wasted on the Young? Probably Not!

Aug 26, 2016
Is Education Wasted on the Young? Probably Not!

This week, I'm in the unique position of starting the seventh and eighth courses in my online master's degree program at Colorado State University and taking my oldest daughter (Lara) to Bozeman, Montana, to start her first semester at Montana Sta...

Foothill Agrarian
Work in Progress

Aug 16, 2016
Work in Progress

Photo credit: Emma MaconShearing sheep is intensely physical.  When I went to sheep shearing school five years ago at the University of California's Hopland Research and Extension Center, I was surprised by how sore my legs were - I'd assumed that...

Foothill Agrarian
Hopeful Weather

Aug 5, 2016
Hopeful Weather

The last full week of July 2016 marked the longest stretch of hot weather we've had in the Sierra foothills this summer.  While we didn't get nearly as warm as some parts of California, the heat here was oppressive.  Moving irrigation and unc...

Foothill Agrarian
Adaptation and Resilience

Jul 24, 2016

I'm taking a course as part of my master's degree program at Colorado State University called "Managing for Ecosystem Sustainability."  I've enjoyed the course, which has covered topics like the carbon and nitrogen cycles and soils management. &nb...

Foothill Agrarian
Managing the Dry Season

Jul 7, 2016
Managing the Dry Season

As we enter the middle of summer in the Sierra foothills, we transition to a different phase of our annual grazing management.  Our lambs are making one last pass over our irrigated pasture, while the ewes have been moved onto un-irrigated annual ...

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