Tag Archive for: Regenerative Grazing

By Hernan Colmenero

Badger Creek Ranch is a special place. High above the Arkansas River Valley in Central Colorado, guests can stay on a working cattle ranch rimmed by 14,000-foot peaks of the Rocky Mountains. A team of men and women on horseback tend these lands, forming a long chain of stewardship dating back to the people of the Ute, Jicirilla Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Pueblo, Shoshone, and Comanche Tribes. Ranch owners Chrissy and Dave McFarren see to it that their legacy is one of regeneration and caring land stewardship, where a vibrant community is nurtured now and for generations to come.

Badger Creek Ranch LLC has ambitious goals. The ranch team is restoring riparian areas to catch, slow, and retain more rainwater. They work to reduce erosion by various methods, including carefully planned regenerative grazing with cattle.

By partnering with Full Circle Alliance, their closely affiliated nonprofit, Badger Creek Ranch fosters success for the next generation of land stewards. They create community by articulating the importance of regenerative agriculture to customers at the farmers markets where they sell their meat. Community is fostered, too, through learn-while-doing events, such as the building of Zuni bowls, erosion control structures that use rocks, water, biology, and time to heal the soil sponge. Partnerships with Audubon Society and Central Colorado Conservancy help the ranch team restore and conserve these lands, promote wildlife diversity, and at the same time, generate a feeling of kinship between community members and the land they inhabit together.

Photo: Badger Creek RanchWith access to water being the limiting factor for rangeland grazing in semi-arid West, Badger Creek Ranch has designed a new stock-watering system with the help of National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This water point project will allow further restoration of the lands through rotationally grazing cattle in areas that currently don’t have access to water. A watershed restoration group has helped with drilling a well. NRCS engineers designed the stock watering system, and NRCS staff provided a grazing plan that ensures cattle will always have access to water without damaging riparian areas. Before this project, Badger Creek Ranch staff (and adventurous guests) would push cattle out of the riparian areas on horseback because there were only two water points on the 8,000-acre ranch.

The project includes installing a solar-powered pumping station at a well, which feeds into two 5,000-gallon storage tanks. From there, buried pipelines distribute water to dedicated paddocks. Scattered along the pipelines are hydrants to fill water troughs, which can be moved from one paddock to the next to accommodate the grazing plan.

Currently, this set-up is being trialed on the Badger Creek Ranch horse herd. If it is demonstrated to be feasible, this operation will be scaled to include the cattle herd and other animals. If and when this approach is replicated across the ranch, land that is currently degraded and without access to water could be regenerated through carefully managed mob stock grazing, which optimizes plant health, adds essential nutrients, and stimulates the soil microbiome.

Managed correctly, this method will save time in rotating cattle, and the efforts will be aligned to the ranch’s philosophy of low-stress stockmanship. It will help, too, with regeneration of nutrient-dense perennial forage and with the restoration of riparian areas. But special attention will need to be given to the fencing of the paddocks with new water points. Where new water points are being put in, the ranch is also installing metal piping fencing, which creates a strong fence where cattle can come to drink. This keeps them where they are supposed to be, saves time in fence repair, and is safer. With higher concentrations of animals, old post and barbed-wire fencing may not hold up. Rough terrain and lack of roads make it difficult to repair fences and the stock watering system, but close monitoring of the land and animals, endless persistence from the team, and a bounty of hope keep the ranch strong.

When asked whether the addition of cattle and rotational grazing on the range has been worth the hard work, Chrissy gives an ecstatic yes! It is hard work, she says, but the “joy [of] working out on the land every day and watching it through the eyes of friends and guests has been great.” The ranch team is looking for ways to further strengthen their community.

Farmers and ranchers often toil in silence and the ag community at large may not understand the full menu of challenges, opportunities, ideas, and resources available. The Soil for Water Network aims to bridge that gap by connecting producers to one another and to practices that promote soil health and water retention. For established and beginning producers alike, Chrissy urges thinking about building bridges in their community, to “keep fighting the good fight, without fighting [each other].” She advises us all to stay connected to others who share a passion for the land, so we may do what is right for it and for ourselves.

Find Badger Creek Ranch online to learn more:




Do you like to eat fresh food? Do you like variety in your diet? Most of us would probably answer ‘yes’ to both questions. Not surprisingly, livestock crave the same things we do. If that desire is not met, then we get less than optimal livestock performance. This can create health problems for the animals, increase costs, and reduce profitability. So how can we constantly provide fresh food for livestock and a diet that is diverse?
Justin Morris and Lee Rinehart

By Hernan Colmenero 

To understand something, we must be willing to observe it. Observe the movements, patterns, shapes, and textures of the thing. The distance, frequency, timing, and sizes, too. Determining soil health and water-retention capacity is no different and requires observation. Doug Garrison has been doing just that for 25 years in Malcolm, Nebraska. Using a “fresh grass and move” management technique, he has been comparing pasture forage production when compared to prescribed burning. The results are unquestionable.  

Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, Doug often visited his grandparents’ farm and grew to appreciate the animals and the outdoors. When he took over his current land in 1997, he tried a prescribed burning technique to reset the plant community and manage it. Much of the land was previously in old native prairie, trees, and a creek. Some of it was old farmland. After encountering health issues, he found grassfed beef to be a healthier alternative to conventionally raised beef. You can view some of that data here and here. Realizing that the whole ecosystem starts in the gut of the cow, he brought in 10 heifers and a bull to this land that had not felt animal impact for almost 100 years.  

DS Family Farms prairie

DS Family Farms prairie. Photo: Doug Garrison

From the start, Doug moved the cattle every day. He learned from Kit Pharo, Joel Salatin, Neil Dennis, and others about the concepts of mob and rotational grazing and has put those into action. Doug set up six main paddocks comprised of two-wire electric cross fencing, each containing one water tank. He then hangs poly wire off that cross fence to set up a less-permanent perimeter within each pasture. This creates a smaller paddock and allows Doug to contain the cattle on a small strip of land. After allowing the cattle to graze for one day, the poly wire is removed and installed further down the pasture, in essence doubling the strip of land. This process is repeated until one entire paddock is grazed without ever cutting off access to the paddock’s water tank. Then, the process is repeated in a different pasture. Doug will put up a poly wire fence to prevent cattle from overgrazing that first strip of land, which requires a different source of water, but cows don’t usually go back to the initial grazed area of that paddock. Doug tries to follow Holistic Management International’s principle to never let the animal take a second bite. Using this technique, 20% of the pasture will have more than one year to rest and recover. 

The benefit of this “fresh grass and move” technique is that it automatically gives the pasture long recovery periods. Planning is mostly removed from the equation. Doug used prescribed burning for 10 years before using grazing as a management tool and found differences in biomass production. He has averaged the monthly forage production at three points in the year (beginning of the growing season, summer, and end of the growing season) and found that grazing results in more biomass accumulation on average. There was 100 more pounds per acre at the beginning of the growing season, 200 more pounds per acre during the summer, and 300 more pounds per acre by the end of the year in his grazing operation, compared to when he would burn.  

Here it is again:  

10-year average total biomass under fire management only = 2,601 lbs. per acre
10-year average total biomass under cattle grazing = 2,899 lbs. per acre 

For the data junkies, more information can be found on DS Family Farms website, including information on a cool-season cover-crop trial that benefitted the grazing operation. Blessed with mild winters and 28 to 32 inches of rain a year, DS Family Farms enjoys year-round grazing, which has been enhanced with an annual cool-season grass for winter forage production. 

Doug emphasizes that portability and mobility of fencing is key to making his system work. Equally important to success is having a mentor. There are many innovative producers asking questions and providing feedback on the Soil for Water Forum, which is extremely useful, especially if you’re just starting. Additionally, “you have to have a passion and burning in your belly to really do this stuff,” says Doug. “You have to love the animals, and you have to love the outdoors.” The Soil for Water team could not agree more.  

Visit DS Family Farms for more information at the following links:

DS Family Farm website

DS Family Farm Facebook

DS Family Farm Instagram

Keep the conversation going at the Soil for Water Forum!

By Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist, and Lee Rinehart, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Did you know that grazing practices could potentially enhance photosynthesis so that plants provide greater quantities of forage? Is it possible for weeds to provide equal or better nutrition than alfalfa? The second session of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) four-part webinar series, Advanced Grazing for Regenerating Soils and Enhancing Animal Nutrition, addresses these questions by focusing on the plant side of the grazing equation. 

This session starts with a discussion on how a disturbance can improve or degrade plant health and the health of a landscape, depending on the nature of the disturbance. Grazing is a disturbance with four dimensions: timing, duration, frequency, and intensity. Healthy pastures are more resilient to catastrophic events than unhealthy pastures. While catastrophic climatic events cause even the healthiest of pastures (green line) to drop in productivity, the drop doesn’t go as far or last as long compared to unhealthy pastures (red line), as shown in the graphic below. 

catastrophic event effect on pasture health 

We also talk about the process of photosynthesis to potentially enhance future plant health and productivity. Overgrazing—grazing a plant before it’s ready to be grazed—prevents plants from achieving a high level of photosynthesis, resulting in very low productivity. When livestock graze plants in the elongation phase, or phase II, plants recover faster from the prior grazing while pasture productivity, root mass, and root exudates increase. The key to prevent overgrazing is to ensure plants are fully recovered before grazing is re-initiated. Overgrazing in the fall is especially detrimental to the following year’s pasture productivity.  

Next comes a discussion on how weeds can be valuable as they can access soil nutrients through a deeper, more extensive root system compared to grasses, they can be highly palatable and very nutritious, and they can contain medicinal compounds and dewormers to improve animal health. Weeds can also reduce compaction, remove excess nutrients, provide pollen and nectar for wildlife, and be a food source for birds and mammals. Weed management can happen in a variety of ways, such by focusing on increasing competition with a dense stand of grasses and forbs, delaying spring grazing to let the favorable forages establish well, beginning grazing early in the spring to graze young weeds and annuals like cheatgrass, and deferring grazing until the fall. Grazing severely (very close to the surface) greatly increases the time plants need to recover. Residual carbon above and below the soil surface feeds soil microorganisms, protects the soil from moisture loss, maintains leaf area for photosynthesis, and encourages soil aggregation. Bare ground, low residuals, and too short of a recovery period are invitations to weeds. All plants have toxins—it’s a matter of how much of the plant animals eat. 

The session concludes the session with a discussion on the different ways to determine forage yield and initial paddock size. Various methods are detailed, ranging from the simple, such as using a pasture or grazing stick, rising plate meter, or using historic hay yields, to the more complex and time-consuming clip-and-weigh method. There are several ways to determine forage yield and initial paddock size. Paddock size and number of paddocks can be determined easily using simple formulas. Shorter graze periods with longer recovery periods are the key to improving plant health and carrying capacity in environments receiving less than 20-inches of precipitation. 

Register for the remaining sessions (May 26 and June 9) here. Watch Session 2 here, and Session 1 here.   

Related ATTRA Resources: 

Pasture, Rangeland, and Adaptive Grazing 

Pastures: Sustainable Management 

Why Intensive Grazing on Irrigated Pastures? 

This blog is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. 

By Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

The terms regenerative grazing and soil health have started to seem almost ubiquitous in the world of agriculture. This is heartening for me as a soil specialist with NCAT, where I consider it part of my job to help producers understand and take care of their soils, as it is key to their long-term success as farmers and ranchers.

Photo: Nina Prater, NCAT

As a farmer, the evolution of language around grazing has been interesting to watch over the past 15 years. I first moved to Arkansas and became part of a livestock farming family in 2007, and I’d never heard of regenerative grazing. My husband and I, the third generation of the farm family, did a lot of reading when we returned to the farm and learned about continuous vs. rotational grazing, management-intensive grazing, mob grazing… on and on. We were awash with terms from different schools of thought about grazing management. Instead of getting hung up on the language, though, we just tried to implement a grazing management practice that improved pasture and soil health. When I finally did hear the term regenerative several years ago, it resonated immediately as what we were trying to do. To me, regenerative means restoring health to the whole farm system. I find it to be such an empowering term because it carries with it the implication that soil health can be restored. You’re not just stuck with what you’ve got right now. You can improve the health of your soil through a variety of practices, and in doing so, increase the productivity and profitability of your farm. Isn’t that exciting?!

Thanks to funding from a Southern SARE grant, I have been working to demystify the terms regenerative grazing and soil health for a variety of folks in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas (and via virtual platforms for people in other places). I think if farmers, ranchers, extension staff, NRCS staff, and other agriculture professionals understand these terms and how to work towards those goals we could see improvement to our agricultural landscapes across the country.

On the ATTRA website, we recently shared two resources that are a part of this project. The first is a recorded virtual workshop that covers soil health, regenerative grazing, and farmer support. It includes presentations by two Arkansas graziers, Jeremy Prater and Rick Crunkleton, who are regenerating their land through their grazing management practices. The second resource is a regenerative grazing presentation, by NCAT’s Regenerative Grazing Specialist Justin Morris, as a stand-alone for folks who want to learn more about that concept specifically.

And in case you missed it, last year we hosted a virtual workshop with Dr. Allen Williams of Understanding Ag, LLC on this topic as well. He is an excellent teacher and explores these topics in great depth, and this workshop would complement the two listed above very well.

I hope you will check these recordings out and start your journey on the path of soil health and regenerative agriculture. And please share with anyone you think would benefit from learning more about these topics!

Related ATTRA Resources:

Livestock and Pasture

Regenerative Grazing 

Soils and Compost 

This blog is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. This blog was also made possible in part by funding from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Professional Development Program. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. 

By Justin Morris, NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist, and  Lee Rinehart, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist 

Did you know that the most important livestock on your farm are the ones you never purchased and, in most cases, have rarely, if ever, seen? These livestock, along with plant roots, play an essential role in improving soil health, which is the foundation of any agricultural operation. But what is soil health and how does one go about improving it? The NCAT four-part webinar series Advanced Grazing for Regenerating Soils and Enhancing Animal Nutrition begins by addressing this question. 

Soil health is defined as the continued capacity for soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that enhances the well-being of plants, animals, and humans. Healthy soil should be full of life, from earthworms and dung beetles on the large scale down to bacteria and fungi on the smallest scale. Our very existence is dependent on life that can only be seen, in most cases, under a microscope. Yet it’s these microscopic life forms that create stable soil aggregates that provide a host of benefits ranging from improving water infiltration to improving plant-available water and even improving gas exchange. Well-aggregated soils allow our landscapes to be more resilient to the environmental extremes of severe droughts and floods that are becoming increasingly prevalent and severe.  

So how do we get well-aggregated soils that can make our grazing operations more resilient going into the future? We focus on five soil health principles through our grazing management: 

  1. Optimize disturbance – lack of disturbance is harmful to the soil ecosystem when plants aren’t grazed periodically, and too much disturbance through overgrazing is also harmful as soil life goes on a starvation diet. 
  2. Optimize biodiversity – different plants are associated with different beneficial soil microorganisms that help facilitate soil aggregation in a variety of ways. 
  3. Optimize soil cover – too little cover exposes the soil to extreme weather conditions and too much cover slows down and halts nutrient cycling. 
  4. Grow living roots throughout the year – the longer the time roots grow, the longer soil life is fed that helps to create and maintain more stable soil aggregates. 
  5. Integrate livestock on cropland where possible – livestock grazing a diverse blend of annual forage plants in addition to growing cash crops can improve the feeding of soil aggregate-building microorganisms in addition to growing cash crops. 

In session 1 of the webinar series, we begin to break these concepts down and discuss diversity and disturbance as linchpins that hold a resilient ecosystem together. In resilient pastures, everything is in flux and managers can imitate the natural successional processes through optimized disturbance to move the pasture system toward a natural polyculture and increased biodiversity. 

These principles are followed by a discussion on how physical and chemical processes form stable soil macroaggregates only in association with soil life. Without this collaboration, plants cannot promote the conversion of sunlight energy into carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and medicinal compounds that livestock, and eventually humans, need to thrive.  

We wrap up the session by tying in grazing management principles that enhance and improve pasture resilience and livestock productivity. We detail various ways land managers have provided optimal disturbance that fosters biodiversity and resiliency by the fluctuation of grazing duration and frequency (see figure below).  

Session 1 of the webinar can be viewed here. The remaining three sessions of this series will be held on May 12, May 26, and June at 5 pm Central time. Register here.

This blog is produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG. 

Erik Tucker has been ranching in Southeast Colorado since his early 20s, and although he didn’t grow up on a ranch, he has long felt  that the old way of ranching just wasn’t working. He likes to observe the sunshine, rain, and natural processes of the world that culminate in pastures and healthy cattle. He knows livestock didn’t always need so much handling, especially when bison freely roamed the area. He often thinks about those times and wonders if they can be recreated in their efficiency.  

A meeting with Allan Savory, co-founder of Holistic Management International and founder of Savory Institute, confirmed what Tucker’s intuition told him all along: there is a way to ranch that promotes economy AND ecology, never one at the expense of the other. To accomplish that, Tucker makes sure three components are in order: stockmanship, grazing, and marketing. Tucker believes that if you invest in these three things, you’ll receive dividends that pay over a lifetime.  

The idea of proper stockmanship originated from Bud and Eunice Williams, creators of what BeefProducer called one of the most important innovations in 2011 (along with barbed wire and antibiotics) (Williams, 2022). In essence, Tucker says proper stockmanship is about getting the cattle to the right place at the right time for the right reasons. If a rancher understands what livestock want, could, and probably will do, they can get the animals to respond how they want them to, more often. The result is less stress on the animals and handlers, and more time for everything else. 

Appropriate grazing management is key to meeting your ecological goals, says Tucker. While he uses the principles of planned grazing, he says one’s specific context should ultimately drive decision-making. In fact, he thinks context is so important that he (and others) would like to add that as the sixth soil health principle. No two pastures are the same, let alone two ranches, so they should be observed diligently and acted on accordingly. By practicing proper grazing management, a rancher can catch and hold more water in their soil, leading to more dense and diverse pastures. Visit the Soil for Water Forum to read how others are catching and holding more water in their soils. 

Proper marketing is what brings the entire operation together and makes the engine move forward. Tucker is adamant that a rancher creates value by investing his time, effort, and energy into improving a product or service. The more skillfully a farmer does that, the more value that is created. Good marketing tells the story of that value, the story of that producer’s time, effort, and energy; it tells the story of why balancing economy and ecology is the responsibility of each of us, producers and consumers alike. This can no doubt lead to bigger margins.  

Sometimes economical decisions take precedence over ecological ones, or vice versa, but neither should be made at the expense of the other. Tucker suggests that all new producers first understand  why they want to get into the agriculture business. Then, he urges us to understand our context. There are already plenty of resources like the Soil for Water Network and its partners that can help new, transitioning, and established producers understand and work within the ecological limits of their land. There’s no end to better, as Bud Williams says. It takes the development of one’s intelligence, skills, and commitment to their work. Tucker reminds us that setbacks are good because they serve as a sign of what is broken and where to go next. That process adds value to an operation. As chiefs of whatever land we may be on, we can make sure every decision we make relates to the welfare and well-being of generations to come (Vecsey and Venables, 1980).



Vecsey, Chirstopher and Venables, Robert W (eds.). 1980. An Iroquois Perspective. American Indian Environments: Ecological Issues in Native American History. Syracuse University Press. 

We highlight internationally renowned rancher, president of Pasticultores del Desierto, consultant for Understanding Ag group, and Soil for Water technical advisor, Alejandro Carrillo. In the early 2000s, at the request of his father, Alejandro took over his family’s ranch, Las Damas in Chihuahua, Mexico. At this time, he began researching regenerative agriculture methods in hopes of improving the revenue of the ranch, which had only been profiting approximately every four years. Luckily for him, there were people nearby who were already practicing regenerative agriculture, and who mentored Alejandro on his journey to revive the ecology of his ranch to grow more grass and revenue.

Sitting in the heart of the Chihuahuan Desert, Las Damas receives an average yearly rainfall of ten inches. The Chihuahuan desert is the largest desert in North America and is considered the most diverse desert in the western hemisphere. Vast and diverse grasslands make this desert unique. However, it is also one of the most endangered regions in the world due to overgrazing, water depletion and diversion, urbanization, agricultural practices, resource extraction, invasive exotic species, and overcollection of native plants and animals. The good news is Alejandro, along with other ranchers and conservationists in his community, are doing what they can to regenerate and preserve this important ecosystem.

Alejandro used four simple tools over the last 15 years to regenerate the ecosystem on his ranch:  

  1. Added fencing to increase the number of pastures
  2. Moves the cattle daily between the pastures
  3. Increased and improve cattle drinking water infrastructure
  4. Allow 12-14 months of rest in each pasture between grazing periods

Las Damas has permanent cross-fencing consisting of a single high tensile strand, and movable polywire electric fencing throughout the ranch. What started as ten pastures across 25,000 grazable acres, has grown to 500 pastures, allowing cattle to graze each pasture once a year.

This allows for adequate rest before the next grazing to improve ideal forage. Depending on the density of vegetation in each pasture, cattle are moved once or twice a day to create short-duration, high-intensity grazing periods. Since drinking water for livestock is the greatest limiting factor on the ranch, Alejandro was very intentional about ensuring water distribution throughout. Round concrete water reservoirs capable of holding 40,000 gallons of water were placed at high elevations on the ranch. Then, smaller 2,500-gallon concrete water troughs were placed at lower elevations on the ranch. These smaller water troughs are gravity-fed from the large water reservoirs above and are shallower to allow cattle to drink. By investing $100 per hectare over 15 years on water and fencing infrastructure, Alejandro has made all the grazable lands on the ranch utilizable to livestock, improving his profitability by 350 percent.

Most ranches in the surrounding area of Las Damas stock one cow for every 125-150 acres. At Las Damas, Alejandro is stocking one cow for every 42 acres. Prior to transitioning to rotational grazing, the ranch averaged 200 head of cattle annually. It has since tripled to 600. By using the four tools, soil water infiltration rates on the ranch have improved from two inches of rain per hour to 18-20 inches per hour.

Besides a salt mineral, there are no supplements or vaccination protocols since all cattle are born and bred on the ranch; it is a closed herd. This removes many biosecurity issues involved when pathogens enter a herd from external sources. There is also evidence that grass-fed cows are more resilient to diseases due to the increased diversity of their gut microbiome, a critical element to health. Cow mortality rates dropped from 10% before the transition to now 1% annually.

Even though cows are being moved daily, the operating costs have decreased while profits have increased. Alejandro says the biggest benefit to the transition has been the improved communication among the three generations of the family ranch. Now, everyone gets excited about the projects and what they’re doing for the landscape. Everyone now has an opinion on how to continue to improve it.

“Going to the ranch and seeing what nature can offer brings joy and peace of mind. That has no price,” says Alejandro.  

While Alejandro recommends using the four tools of improved fencing, daily cattle movement, water infrastructure, and rest, he also recommends observing the land closely. There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining how long to graze a pasture, or when to reintroduce cattle again. There are so many variables at play that one cannot count on prescribed timelines or durations.

Finally, he recommends starting with the lowest-hanging fruit. He suggests starting with pastures that have healthier soil and higher grass density, then gradually moving on to improving less-fertile pastures. That will give the biggest and most immediate return on investment. It can also serve as the proof point needed to continue holistic management practices.

In the face of more ranches being abandoned and a younger generation that is less interested in pursuing agriculture, Alejandro has hope. He is here to win the battle of bridging environmental conservation, agricultural productivity, and economic prosperity. He believes we must be willing to lose sometimes, correct our ways, then try again. Throughout these trials, the goal of improving our ecosystem will remain the same.

For more information on Rancho Las Damas click here. For great resources on properly utilizing fencing, cattle movement, water infrastructure, land rest, and other regenerative tools, visit UnderstandingAg.com.

Learn more from Alejandro during NCAT’s second annual Soil Health Innovations Conference

Adaptive grazing is a regenerative livestock production system that uses multiple paddocks, frequent moving of livestock with short grazing intervals, and long rest periods to provide full pasture plant recovery. It is a proven method of increasing the resiliency of pastures by building soil organic matter, increasing soil water infiltration, promoting water conservation, adding diversity, and decreasing surface runoff.

Dr. Allen Williams travels all over the world to teach about adaptive grazing. A former professor at Mississippi State University, he came to the realization that conventional methods of production were not working for many of the farmers he was trying to help. Farmers were having to use more and more inputs to get the same productivity and were having a difficult time staying profitable. This caused him to rethink his approach. He transformed his own ranch in Starkville, Mississippi, using adaptive grazing and, ultimately, he decided to leave academia to become a full-time rancher and consultant. He has been teaching other producers how to implement adaptive grazing on their land ever since.

In this video series, filmed at an in-person workshop at The Piney Woods School, Dr. Williams discusses and demonstrates the principles and benefits of adaptive grazing.

This video series was produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology through the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program, under a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Development. This video series also was supported a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of The Piney Woods School Sustainable Farming Outreach Project. The workshop was hosted in partnership with the Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi. ATTRA.NCAT.ORG.