Slide51It’s with a heavy heart that I write this as Jerry Brunetti found greener pastures in heaven on December 20th.  Our prayers go out to his family and employees of Agri-Dynamics.  I’m hoping Jerry was pleased with our operation and commitment to growing diverse plant and animal communities.

This past week (Dec. 15th – Dec. 21st) started warm enough for the heifers to push snow around in little snowballs trying to reach the grass to frozen, crusty, snow pack where they would have to work really hard to break through.  Mud was an issue and then not so much.  We have not had sun since December 7th.  A big bale per day is still being fed along with the stockpile which was not part of the original plan but is necessary given the weather conditions.

If you look at the grazing chart you’ll see the paddock shifts have changed to accommodate more sheltered areas in Paddock 17.  You’ll also see I’ve lost a few more days of grazing since the mud and hard snow have plagued the ground and I’m trying to minimize the animal impact.  The grass underneath is still of good quality and they are performing pretty well given the circumstances.  A big ole’ beef cow might be a better match for these tougher conditions as they have more reserve fat to work harder.

As Christmas approaches, paddock 14 will bSlide53e utilized and this morning I staged a bale in each paddock shift (while it was frozen) so I wouldn’t have to start a tractor this week.  All I’ll have to do is take a break wire down and get back to the house to be with family.  It is supposed to thaw big time (mud?) and rain and then snow a bit by Friday.  I’m hoping for some better grazing as one of my Christmas presents.

My family and I hope you enjoy your holiday season.  Look for a 6 minute video at www.OnPasture.com I made last year just before my heart attack.  It describes some of my feelings and thoughts on pasturing, animals and life on the farm.  Looking bSlide57Slide54ack, it seems appropriate as a tribute to Jerry and to my family, friends and grandkids.  Slide56

Thank you for the blessings.Slide55  GW