Northeast SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product
Making the Switch
Two Successful Dairy Graziers Tell Their Stories
Some nine to 10 years after they began to use grazing instead of confined feeding for their milk cows, two successful Maryland dairymen sat down for leisurely interviews on how they changed to grazing and how grazing changed their lives. What follows are their stories in their own words, edited only minimally for readability and brevity.
By the time Rachel Gilker conducted these interviews, she had developed a close rapport with both farmers during the three years she had been studying the groundwater quality under their pastures. Much of the factual information given in the sidebars throughout this booklet is taken from her investigations into the nutrient balance and economics of these farms.
As would be the case for any two farmers, their stories are at the same time distinctly different and strikingly similar. We hope that these stories will inspire others to explore the possibilities of grazing, while perhaps helping others to avoid or better deal with some of the struggles these dairymen experienced along the way.
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Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LNE04-213, Environmental and Economic Effects of Management-Intensive Grazing on Dairy Farms - Phase II.
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Project products are developed as part of SARE grants. They are made available with support from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed within project products do not necessarily reflect the view of the SARE program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.