Rotational Grazing Practices in Vermont

Across the Fence recently joined farmers and agricultural educators — including our Dairy Manager Sam Dixon — on a visit to Brush Brook Community Farm (Huntington, VT) to learn about rotational grazing practices. “There is something  peaceful about seeing a small herd of animals grazing on pasture,” Fran Stoddard says as she introduces the segment. “For many of us, what gets lost in the serenity is that the animals are working. Putting sheep, cows, or gotas out on a pasture is a tried and true agricultural practice. And when grazing is done well, the benefits to the animals, environment, and community are exponential.” 

At Shelburne Farms, we rotationally graze our cows and sheep, which means the animals “mob graze” in a small fenced area for a short time, and then we fence them into a new pasture, allowing the grazed plants to grow back and biodiversity to increase. “This is actually the natural state for many of these animals: outside on the grass, grazing, and being outside,” shares Sam Dixon in the episode. “This is where they’re the happiest. The air quality is the best, and the feed is the highest quality, particularly if you’re rotational grazing.”

UVM Extension dove into the topic on a recent episode of Across the Fence:

Across the Fence is produced by University of Vermont Extension. Find more stories on their YouTube channel.

Read more about how sheep and goats graze in our “For You & Your Family” resource hub — a great place to find fun family-friendly activities and information!

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